The Blood Tests (Evidence of Paternity) (Amendment) Regulations 2015

These Regulations amend the Blood Tests (Evidence of Paternity) Regulations 1971.

Statutory Instrument

Brain-damaged baby should no longer be on life support, judge rules

Parents of child, who was born in car during hailstorm, wanted treatment to continue but judge in Manchester says she has no quality of life.

Full story: The Guardian

Mitochondrial donation regulations come into force

The UK has become the first country to license mitochondrial donation techniques which will allow women who carry the risk of serious mitochondrial disease to avoid passing it onto their children.

Full story: Family Law Week

Report reveals mental health cost of legal aid cuts

Middlesex University and Toynbee Hall call for reintroduction of legal aid after report shows link between government cuts and increased anxiety.

Full story: Family Law

Council ordered to pay £40,000 to mother and child over human rights breaches

A Family Court judge has ordered a local authority to pay £20,000 in damages each to a mother and her seven-year-old daughter for breaches under the Human Rights Act.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Attitudes and behaviours of self-employed child maintenance clients and barriers to paying child maintenance

This research explores attitudes and behaviours of self-employed child maintenance paying parents towards the payment of child maintenance.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Children’s residential care review to transform lives

Prime Minister and Education Secretary announce root-and-branch review of children’s residential care.

Full story: Department for Education

'Well-known' footballer wins High Court battle to reduce child maintenance payments

A "well-known" footballer has won a High Court appeal to reduce the amount of child maintenance he pays.

Full story: ITV News

Domestic violence victims' family call for public inquiry into police response

Family ask for national review into domestic violence, after IPCC criticised for ‘underresourced’ investigation into deaths of Rachael Slack and her son Auden.

Full story: The Guardian

Social workers criticised for ‘shocking misunderstanding’ of the law

A mother and daughter were awarded record damages after a judge ruled Medway council unlawfully removed the daughter from the mother's care.

Full story: Community Care

Family courts must open up to avoid 'outrageous injustices', warns Ukip

MP Douglas Carswell launches Ukip policy calling for greater sensitivity in legal process to avoid breakup of families and forced adoptions.

Full story: The Guardian

Number of children who are the subject of a child protection plan continues to rise

Figures relating to the number of children in need in England in the period 2014–15 were published yesterday (22 October 2015) by the Department of Education.

Full story: Family Law

Assumptions about cost and misuse of judicial review are, at best, misleading

Research underscores the importance of access to the High Court’s inherent supervisory jurisdiction.

Full story: Family Law Week

Private fostering statistics released by Welsh government

The third annual Private Fostering in Wales statistics release was published by the Welsh government yesterday (21 October 2015), presenting information regarding private fostering figures in Wales for the period 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015.

Full story: Family Law

Guidance published on age assessment

‘Age assessment of unaccompanied children seeking asylum is a challenging process,’ says ADCS.

Full story: Family Law Week

More than 15,000 same-sex couples have married, says ONS

Of the 15,098 same-sex marriages to have taken place in England and Wales since it became legal to do so, 7,732 were conversions from civil partnerships.

Full story: The Guardian

Court of Appeal allows appeal in deprivation of liberty case, criticises judge

The Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal in a case over whether a woman was being deprived of her liberty in her own home, and in the process criticised a High Court judge who maintains that the majority decision in the Supreme Court’s Cheshire West ruling is wrong.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Wealthy couple rack up £5m lawyers' bills in divorce battle

A Laura Ashley boss and his estranged wife have racked up around £5 million in lawyers' bills during a divorce money battle, judges have been told.

Full story: Express & Star

Muslim couple who headed for Syria 'do not pose risk to their children', says court

Asif Malik and Sara Kiran will not have their four young children taken into care and can have their British passports returned, High Court rules.

Full story: The Telegraph

70% fewer civil partnerships in 2014

The number of civil partnerships created dropped from 5,646 in 2013 to 1,683 in 2014, according to the latest bulletin from the Office of National Statistics.

Full story: Family Law Hub

FGM reporting duty in force from next week

Social workers should never physically examine girls for signs of FGM, official guidance states.

Full story: Community Care

Ministry of Justice publishes new guidance for divorcing couples

New guidance published by the Ministry of Justice last week aims to help couples in the midst of stressful divorce litigation arrange their finances easily, and provides helpful information for those supporting divorcing couples.

Full story: Family Law

Record number of families helped by adoption support fund

More than 2,000 families being helped through life-changing government fund worth over £7 million in the past 6 months.

Full story: Department for Education

The Children Act 2004 (Joint Area Reviews) Regulations 2015

These Regulations revoke and replace, with modifications, the Children Act 2004 (Joint Area Reviews) Regulations 2005.

Assessment of Special Guardians

The Association of Directors of Children's Services and Cafcass have issued a joint note on the Assessment of Special Guardians as the preferred permanence option for children in care proceedings applications.

Full story: Family Law

Skeleton arguments, appeals and litigants in person: guidance to counsel

Court of Appeal sets out approach to be adopted by counsel who take on appeal.

Full story: Family Law Week

Millionaire may be first hit by ‘divorcee wealth’ ruling

The ex-wife of Giles Mackay has alleged he undervalued his wealth.

Full story: The Telegraph

Half of kinship carers have to give up work to care for the kin child

Four-fifths of kinship carers have been left ill-informed of the legal options.

Full story: Family Law Week

Parliament to debate straight civil partnerships next week

Parliament will discuss civil partnerships for straight couples next week – in a bill filed by a Tory MP who opposed marriage for gay couples.

Full story: PinkNews

Court orders girl with two mothers to stay in touch with two fathers

Judge says 14-year-old who was born from donor fertilisation is likely to benefit from ‘modest’ link with biological father and his partner.

Full story: The Guardian

Effective family-based child maintenance arrangements: data to March 2015

Children benefiting from effective family-based child maintenance arrangements after contacting the Child Maintenance Options service.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Independent reviewing officers use collaborative methods to fulfil their role

A research report on care planning and the role of the independent reviewing officer has been published by the University of East Anglia Centre for Research on Children and Families.

Full story: Family Law Week

Rise of LiPs not causing delays, says courts chief

The increase in the number of litigants in person has not caused more delays in civil courts, the head of the courts service has said.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Sharland and Gohil – Supreme Court decision – Wives win

In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court allowed the wives' appeals.

Full story: Family Law

MP says couples should be allowed to apply for 'no fault divorce'

Richard Bacon MP has proposed an amendment to family law which would enable couples to say there was no fault for the break-up.

Full story: The Telegraph

Family mediators move towards self-regulation

An organisation representing family mediators is set to introduce a public register and independent board as part of a strategy to self-regulate the sector.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Divorcing couples 'lie to courts because laws pit them against each other'

Family law body warns against laws requiring accusation of adultery or unreasonable behaviour for a speedy resolution.

Full story: The Independent

Couple lose three of four children after judge orders removal of twins' life-support

A judge has ruled that a pair of twins with an unknown genetic disorder should have their life support switched off against their parents' wishes.

Full story: The Telegraph

Cafcass private law demand

In September 2015, Cafcass received a total of 3,094 new private law cases. This is a 9% increase on September 2014 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

Care applications in September 2015

In September 2015, Cafcass received a total of 979 care applications. This figure represents a 7% increase compared to those received in September 2014.

Full story: Cafcass

Fifth of children are denied mental health treatment

Cases rejected because children did not meet CAMHS’s high clinical threshold.

Full story: Family Law Week

His Honour Judge John Altman stands down as Senior Designated Family Judge for London

His Honour Judge John Altman stands down as the Senior Designated Family Judge for London and retires as a Senior Circuit Judge with effect from 9 October 2015.

Full story: Family Law

Court closures will inhibit access to justice: Law Society

Law Society publishes response to proposals to close 91 courts and tribunals.

Full story: Family Law Week

Supreme Court judgments in Sharland and Gohil due next week

Judgments to be handed down on 14th October.

Full story: Family Law Week

Radicalisation Cases in the Family Courts

Guidance issued by Sir James Munby President of the Family Division on 8 October 2015.

Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Couple who were wrongly accused of abuse ‘unlikely to see their child again’

Lawyers believe it is unlikely the adoption of Karrissa Cox and Richard Carter's child will be overturned by a court as such rulings are usually final.

Full story: The Independent

Judge rules it not unlawful to withdraw medical support from 11 year old

An NHS Trust has obtained a declaration from the High Court that it would not be unlawful to withdraw medical support devices that are effectively keeping an 11-year-old boy alive.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Missing boy needs 'urgent surgery' for cancer in his jaw

High Court judge reveals the youngster, identified only as J, is on the run with his parents who want him to be treated with Chinese medicine.

Full story: The Telegraph

Cardiff Court Family Free Advice Clinic launches

A new legal advice clinic has been launched to advise people involved in family proceedings who do not have the means to pay for legal representation.

Full story: Family Law

Parental leave and pay to be extended to working grandparents

George Osborne has announced that working grandparents will be able to share parental leave in future.

Full story: Family Law

Coram Children’s Legal Centre boosts online advice service

Coram Children’s Legal Centre has launched a new website for its Child Law Advice Service to increase and improve access to free advice for people seeking information around child and family law.

Full story: Family Law

Divorce centres: Further progress report

We are approaching the anniversary of the very first divorce centres - how is the new regime working?

Full story: Family Law

Judges need more feedback on their work, new research concludes

Bristol University’s recommendations welcomed by the President.

Full story: Family Law Week

Yearly adoption statistics released by Welsh government

The Welsh government has published statistics regarding adoptions, outcomes and placements for children in the care of local authorities for the year ending March 2015.

Full story: Family Law

Cameron's flagship children's policy 'faces crisis' as adoption figures fall

Prime minister’s promise to speed up process falters as figures show drop in children being matched with families.

Full story: The Guardian

Use of special guardianship orders continues to rise

The number of children being made subject to special guardianship orders is continuing to rise, government figures have shown.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Children looked after in England including adoption: 2014 to 2015

Statistics on looked-after children at both national and local authority levels for the financial year 2014 to 2015.

Full story: Department for Education

Judge rejects call to give life-saving treatment against opposition of patient

A Court of Protection judge has ruled that it would be unlawful for an NHS trust to carry out life-saving treatment against the patient’s opposition.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer