'Hostile' divorce judge thrown off case

High court judge Sir Nicholas Mostyn, Sir Paul McCartney’s former divorce barrister, has been thrown off a case for showing too much “hostility” after threatening to imprison a husband suffering from cancer for failing to keep up divorce payments.

Full story: The Telegraph

Ombudsman warns of risk of determining mental capacity without proper assessment

Family left believing their father was being ‘held prisoner’ against his wishes.

Full story: Family Law Week

Conveyancers overtake family lawyers in complaints league table

Conveyancers have usurped family lawyers as the main cause of complaints to the Legal Ombudsman, its annual report has revealed.

Full story: Legal Futures

Dead tycoon's former partner fights over £6m estate in unique 'divorce' battle

Helen Roocroft is fighting for a bigger share of her ex's estate claiming Carol Ann Ainscow misled her about her wealth when they split.

Full story: The Telegraph

Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings and mediation in private family law disputes: quantitative research findings

This is the second and final report from a programme of research to provide evidence on the use and client experience of MIAMs and mediation in private family law disputes.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Family Justice Research Bulletin: 5 January 2015

A summary of the findings of recent research relevant to family justice.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Women with disabilities excluded from domestic abuse law, say campaigners

Male carers who can prove they are acting in their partners’ interests would escape punishment under ‘coercive control’ legislation.

Full story: The Guardian

New Children’s Commissioner for Wales announced

Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, Lesley Griffiths, has today announced the appointment of Professor Sally Holland as the new Children’s Commissioner for Wales.

Full story: Family Law

Cohabiting couple families are the fastest growing family type in the UK, according to ONS data

According to data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), cohabiting couple families are the fastest growing family type in the UK.

Full story: Family Law

House husband battles divorce ruling which would force him to sell home and get a job

A house husband who was supported by his millionaire wife for years is fighting a divorce court ruling he claims is forcing him to quit their £1 million home — and get a full-time job.

Full story: Evening Standard

Final Report of the Financial Remedies Working Group 15 December 2014

The Financial Remedies Working Group (‘the group’) was established by the President of the Family Division in June 2014.

Full story: Family Law

Clare's Law: 1,300 domestic abuse disclosures made

A scheme allowing people to find out if their partner has a history of domestic violence has been used more than 1,300 times in less than a year.

Full story: BBC News

A third of siblings in care 'forced to live apart'

More than a third (37%) of children in care in England who have siblings are having to live apart from any of them, suggests research by a charity.

Full story: BBC News

LGA criticises Ofsted’s ‘blinkered approach’ to inspecting children’s services

The Local Government Association, which represents councils in England and Wales, is calling for an overhaul of the way children's services are inspected, so the roles of everyone involved in protecting vulnerable children are monitored and included in a judgment.

Full story: Family Law Week

£2.9bn unpaid child maintenance 'uncollectable'

Billions of pounds owed in child maintenance may never be recovered, government accounts show.

Full story: BBC News

Absent parents now paying maintenance cash at record levels

The number of absent parents who are now paying towards the cost of their children through the Child Support Agency has hit an all-time high.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Sharp rise in number of children adopted by gay and lesbian couples

Last year 180 infants were adopted by gay couples and another 150 went to live with lesbian parents, according to the Department of Education.

Full story: The Telegraph

The Gender Recognition Register (Marriage and Civil Partnership) Regulations 2015

These Regulations provide for the registration of marriages and civil partnerships in which one or both parties have obtained a full gender recognition certificate under the Gender Recognition Act 2004.

Statutory Instrument

Court deals blow to rights of domestic violence survivors to access justice

The High Court today rejected a legal challenge over the lawfulness of Government changes to legal aid for domestic violence victims.

Full story: Family Law

£60k compensation for pensioner, 91, locked away from his cat

Judge says it is 'hard to imagine a more depressing and inexcusable' case than that of the WWII veteran taken from his home against his wishes by Essex council.

Full story: The Telegraph

Former beauty queen in Laura Ashley divorce battle complains she is too poor to decorate dolls' houses

Pauline Chai told a court she needed £85,000 of her husband's money each month to pay for holidays and chauffeurs.

Full story: The Telegraph

Judge orders father to take his children to church

Child care proceedings challenged after judge tells father he has a legal requirement to take his sons to Catholic mass.

Full story: The Telegraph

Supreme Court to hear appeal by council over costs award in children case

The Supreme Court will next week hear a local authority’s challenge to being ordered to pay a father's appeal costs in a children’s case.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Young people’s guide to staying put published

Guide is for those in care or who have left care.

Full story: Family Law Week

Family Court magistrate suspended after objecting to gay parents

A magistrate has been suspended – after he objected to a gay couple being permitted to adopt a child.

Full story: PinkNews

Legal aid cuts hit divided families as contact centres close down

Anguish as lifeline neutral spaces for separated parents who cannot agree access rights suffer dramatic fall in referrals.

Full story: The Observer

MoJ scraps plans to increase divorce application fees

Consultation response proves hostile to planned increase of fee to £750.

Full story: Family Law Hub

Domestic violence helpline facing closure

LGBT domestic violence charity Broken Rainbow’s helpline may close after failing to secure government funding.

Full story: PinkNews

'More children go missing' from foster carers

There was a large increase in the instances of children going missing from foster homes last year, Ofsted statistics show.

Full story: BBC News

Councils must be more proactive to prevent FGM, says top judge

More vigilance needed in taking appropriate protective measures as prevention is best approach, says Sir James Munby.

Full story: The Guardian

Twelve new family law QCs appointed

The Lord Chancellor has approved the appointment of 12 new family law Queen's Counsel today.

Full story: Family Law

Toddler who survived abortion is ‘little miracle’ – Judge

Family court hears how baby boy survived failed abortion at 26 weeks and is now 16 months old.

Full story: The Telegraph

Care applications in December 2014

In December 2014, Cafcass received a total of 918 care applications. This figure represents a 13% increase compared to those received in December 2013.

Full story: Cafcass

Cafcass private law demand

In December 2014, Cafcass received a total of 2,735 new private law cases. This is a 4% decrease on December 2013 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

Number of forms for DoLS authorisations cut in bid to speed up processing

The number of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) authorisation forms has been cut from 32 to 13, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services has announced.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Solicitor warning over legal aid disputes

The solicitor at the heart of a long-running legal aid funding dispute has warned that more challenges are likely without changes to the application system.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Adoption reform delays continue due to security concerns

Plans to allow would-be adopters to search videos and photos of children remain in limbo because security issues that emerged last year have yet to be resolved.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

ADCS president urges MPs to collect more accurate data about children in care

Alan Wood's comments follow damning National Audit Office report that criticised government data collection.

Full story: Community Care

Majority of UK believe childcare should be shared equally between couples

Survey finds that more than half of the UK believes that childcare should be shared equally between parents.

Full story: Department for Business, Innovation & Skills

Judge left anonymous in family court case is named

Judicial Office names judge in Reading case as Eleanor Owens after identities of everyone involved kept secret in highly-unusual move.

Full story: The Telegraph

New Practice Directions and amendments to existing Practice Directions

Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, has issued two new Practice Directions, PD 2B and PD 38A, as well as amendments to existing PDs 2A, 5A, 7A and 30A.

Full story: Family Law

Media coverage of family courts could prompt increased hostility towards social workers

New research by Community Care shows that almost 80% of social workers are thinking of leaving their jobs because of stress.

Full story: Community Care

DV prosecutions soar as prosecutors given new guidelines

New guidance on handling cases of domestic abuse is expected to help the Crown Prosecution Service to deal effectively with up to 20,000 more cases this year than two years ago.

Full story: Family Law Week

New EU personal protection law comes into force

An EU regulation providing for trans-EU recognition of orders protecting, in particular, the victims of domestic violence comes into force on the 11th January.

Full story: Family Law Week

Commons debate on mitochondrial donation possible within weeks

The Independent reports that proposed regulations legalising so-called 'three parent' IVF babies are expected to be debated in the House of Commons in the next few weeks.

Full story: Family Law Week

‘Milestone tax breaks’ idea for married couples who stay together longer

Former High Court family judge Sir Paul Coleridge calls for couples to be given extra tax breaks after passing landmark wedding anniversaries to encourage family stability.

Full story: The Telegraph

Munby: legal aid system ‘neither compassionate nor humane’

The president of the Family Division has described as ‘unconscionable’ delays over legal aid funding which have held up a case concerning the removal of a child from his parents.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Bury St Edmunds not London identified as the likely venue for London and South East divorce centre

The Ministry of Justice has provided more information about centralisation for divorce processing in England and Wales, but only in response to a further Freedom of Information Request.

Full story: Family Law

Judge orders MoJ to pay for LiP’s lawyer

The High Court has ordered the government to pay for a litigant in person to be represented at a hearing despite his lack of eligibility for legal aid.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Quarter of parents secretly consider divorce or separation

New research shows reluctance to seek support for relationship problems.

Full story: Solicitors Journal