Concern as Ofsted ceases regulation of outsourced social work

The children's sector has criticised the government’s continuing drive to outsource children’s social care after Ofsted this week ceased regulation of third-party providers.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Four out of ten divorce petitions flawed

Solicitors are being urged to check divorce petitions after it emerged that 40% have to be returned to them for correction owing to errors.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Government uses Queen’s speech to advance jail plans for social workers

Police and criminal justice bill will introduce criminal offence of wilful neglect for professionals who fail to act on child protection concerns.

Full story: Community Care

Crackdown on pension payout loophole will mean bitter divorcees can't steal ex-spouses' pots

The Government says it could amend new pension rules to stop bitter divorcees exploiting a loophole to leave exes penniless.

Full story: This is Money

Father forced to fight hospital in courts to keep son alive spends funeral cash on lawyers

Man uses money for teenage son's funeral to pay for lawyers to argue at Court of Protection doctors should continue giving him chemotherapy.

Full story: The Telegraph

New measures to end delay for children awaiting adoption

Next week’s Queen’s Speech to outline further improvements to the adoption system.

Full story: Department for Education

Indoctrinated son 'troubled’ by mother’s religion is put into care

It was feared that the seven-year-old boy's mother, a Jehovah’s Witness, was causing him emotional harm by 'immersing' him in her beliefs.

Full story: The Telegraph

Ex-bouncer McKenzie friend banned after calling lawyer a 'lying slag'

A former nightclub bouncer turned McKenzie friend who called an opponent a ‘fucking lying slag’ has been banned indefinitely from representing anyone in court.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Court of Appeal allows Lord Chancellor’s appeal against order that HMCTS should fund father’s legal fees

Association of Lawyers for Children and Coram Children’s Legal Centre intervene.

Full story: Family Law Week

The Association of Lawyers for Children and Coram Children’s Legal Centre intervene in Court of Appeal case of Re K-H (Children)

Judgment in the appeal case of Re K-H (Children) [2015] EWCA Civ 543 has been handed down by the Court of Appeal.

Full story: Family Law

Alistair MacDonald QC appointed to the High Court bench

Alistair MacDonald QC has been appointed a Justice of the High Court with effect from 2 June 2015  and will be assigned to the Family Division.

Full story: Family Law Week

More babies with 'special guardianship orders' as adoptions fall

The number of babies being made subject to special guardianship orders in England has tripled in two years, according to data obtained by the BBC.

Full story: BBC News

Court approves caesarean for mentally-ill woman

Doctors can perform a caesarean section on a mentally-ill woman who is in the latter stages of pregnancy without her consent, a judge has ruled.

Full story: BBC News

Men experiencing or perpetrating domestic violence linked with increase in mental health problems

Men visiting their GP with symptoms of anxiety or depression are more likely to have experienced or carried out some form of behaviour linked to domestic violence and abuse, according to a new University of Bristol study.

Full story: Family Law Week

Reviewing legal aid: Key issues for the 2015 Parliament

House of Commons Library researchers have prepared a briefing on legal aid for Members of the new Parliament in 2015, stating that pressure for government action to improve access to justice for the most vulnerable is likely to continue.

Full story: Family Law

MIAMs aren’t a guaranteed deal-maker, Resolution tells Lord Neuberger

Respondents to family law organisation's survey finds small proportion of mediations result in a settlement.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Unregistered surrogate-born children creating 'legal timebomb', judge warns

Children born through surrogacy who lack a court’s parental order could become ‘stateless and parentless’ with birth mother remaining legal parent, says Theis.

Full story: The Guardian

'First wives club’ fights for justice from the divorce courts

A group of women, led by Michelle Young, who feel the divorce courts have left them short-changed have joined forces to help others in their position.

Full story: The Telegraph

Men-only divorce law firm for fathers feeling let down by family courts to open in London

Family law companies with all male client lists have grown in popularity as fathers and husbands worry women are more likely to get a better deal.

Full story: The Independent

Mum's son to be taken off her - because she can't be trusted to keep him away from paedophile father

The boy, her youngest child, was taken away from the mother last year to protect him from his father.

Full story: Manchester Evening News

President gives guidance as to Court of Protection’s powers to impose care plans on reluctant local authorities

Parents fail in appeal to secure a ‘best interests’ approach to son’s care.

Full story: Family Law Week

Councils trying to break up foster placements due to cost, carers claim

A small survey by the Nationwide Association of Fostering Providers found some carers believed their placements were being threatened.

Full story: Community Care

Court of Appeal clarifies route for applications for permission to appeal

Application should be to judge at first instance ‘as a matter of good practice’.

Full story: Family Law Week

Cafcass private law demand

In April 2015, Cafcass received a total of 2,942 new private law cases.  This is an 8% decrease on April 2014 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

April care demand statistics and rates of application breakdown by local authority

Statistics released today by Cafcass, the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, show that in April 2015 Cafcass received a total of 946 care applications, representing a 18% increase when compared to figures from April 2014.

Full story: Cafcass

Judge urges divorcing couple to end 'awful' court fight and reach settlement

Mr Justice Holman, due to start analysing evidence in multi-million pound separation case, tells Ekaterina and Richard Fields battle is ‘unedifying’.

Full story: The Guardian

Adoption rates in freefall after court ruling leaves children languishing in unsuitable homes

The number of children being put forward for adoption has plummeted over the past year following a series of court rulings that have left local authorities frightened of removing them from birth families.

Full story: The Independent

Deprivation of liberty safeguards caseloads rose ten-fold in year after Supreme Court ruling

Figures indicate councils are running up backlogs of cases as less than half of applications have been completed.

Full story: Community Care

Return proceedings lasting 13 months breach father’s Article 8 rights

The European Court of Human Rights has decided that the excessive duration of proceedings in the Romanian courts concerning the return of a child to Argentina breached the father's rights under Art 8 of the ECHR.

Full story: Family Law Week

Divorcees with pension earmarking orders may need to act to protect benefits

Pension reforms may have unintended consequence for divorcees.

Full story: Family Law Week

Court reserves judgment in mother’s claim to bear daughter’s child

A mother has launched a judicial review challenge to the refusal by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Agency to permit her to have her dead daughter's frozen eggs, so that she can carry her own grandchild.

Full story: Family Law Week

Court of Appeal upholds ‘rare’ successful Barder appeal

The Court of Appeal has upheld a wife's appeal on the basis that her former husband's inheritance was a Barder event which invalidated the foundation upon which a consent order had been made.

Full story: Family Law Week

Judge blasts warring parents for damaging young sons

Family court judge says while each parent is devoted to their sons, the boys are “the most unfortunate children” because the estranged couple are unable to contain their hatred for each other.

Full story: The Telegraph

Delays in Court of Protection 'readily tolerated' - Munby

The president of the Family Division has bemoaned what he called ‘systemic failures’ in Court of Protection procedures causing cases to take years to reach full hearing.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Surrogacy battle: time to review the law, say lawyers

Bitter battle between mother and gay couple exposes lack of proper legal framework for surrogacy deals in Britain, warns judge.

Full story: The Telegraph

Surrogate mother launched hate campaign against baby's gay father

High Court hears mother carried out a malign campaign to discredit the father and his partner, despite saying she was willing to carry his child.

Full story: The Telegraph

Labour pledges to roll back obstacles to legal aid for victims of domestic abuse

Announcement coincides with calls from former judges and senior lawyers to restore access to funding to prevent ‘widespread miscarriages of justice’.

Full story: The Guardian

Leading adoption charity calls for the £19.3m Adoption Support Fund to be extended to children under special guardianship and children adopted internationally

The British Association for Adoption and Fostering welcomes the £19.3m Adoption Support Fund, which goes live today in England, and announces a range of new services to help social workers and adoptive parents make the most of the funding.

Full story: Family Law