International Child Abduction Unit: request for co-operation form published

The International Child Abduction and Contact Unit has published a form and guidance notes for local authorities to use in child protection cases to make a request for co-operation to another country.

Full story: Family Law Week

ALC and NAGALRO respond to guidance on the need for guardians to justify court attendance at care hearings

Due weight must be given to the guardian’s views on the need for attendance.

Full story: Family Law Week

Court of Appeal hears challenge over domestic violence legal aid

The Court of Appeal has begun hearing a challenge to government changes to legal aid for victims of domestic violence.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

HHJ Bellamy issues local section 20 practice guidance

In the light of recent developments in case-law in respect of the use (and misuse) of s 20, Children Act 1989 by local authorities when children are voluntarily accommodated in their care, Leicester Designated Family Judge, HHJ Bellamy, has issued local section 20 practice guidance.

Full story: Family Law

Heterosexual couple lose civil partnership court challenge

A heterosexual couple who want to enter into a civil partnership have lost a legal challenge at London's High Court.

Full story: BBC News

Court of Protection to increase transparency with start of pilot scheme

A pilot scheme begins today which will see the public and media gain access to Court of Protection hearings across England and Wales for the first time.

Full story: Family Law

The ICACU releases guidance on care cases with an international element

The International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU) has published a form and guidance notes where co-operation into and out of the jurisdiction under either Brussels IIa or under the 1996 Hague Convention is required in care proceedings.

Full story: Family Law

Only one in eight children who are sexually abused are identified by professionals

The Children's Commissioner calls for urgent action to improve prevention.

Full story: Family Law Week

LiPs ‘behind unfair’ divorce settlement

A High Court judge has granted permission for a woman to appeal her divorce settlement, after a lack of representation due to legal aid cuts led a district judge to conclude incorrectly that she was a liar and a bigamist.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Parker J provides comprehensive review of the law and guidance on committal applications

In W v H (No 2) (Contempt Contents of Application Notice) [2015] EWHC 2436 (Fam) Parker J provides a comprehensive review of the law and guidance on the subject of committal applications in her decision on a wife's application for committal in respect of the husband's alleged breaches of a lump sum order and undertakings.

Full story: Family Law

Trailblazing therapy helps warring parents work together in the interests of their children

A new programme has demonstrated that it is possible to successfully engage parents 'entrenched' in emotionally damaging and costly legal disputes surrounding the care of their children.

Full story: Family Law

2012 statutory child maintenance scheme: Aug 2013 to Nov 2015

Statistics on intake, number of cases, accuracy, telephony and complaints.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Wife who claims her lawyer ex-husband 'doctored' bank statements 'with tipp-ex' wants him jailed

Multi-millionaire's ex-wife claims he 'spent'" the whole of a £6 million fortune in just nine months to cheat her of her rightful share.

Full story: The Telegraph

Senior judges lambast government over court fees

Deep divisions between the government and judiciary over court fee increases were today laid bare through a rare barrage of public criticism.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Kent council struggling to cope with rise in child migrants

Vulnerable children are being placed in care outside their home county of Kent due to the influx of child asylum seekers, according to council chiefs.

Full story: BBC News

Harsh evidence tests leave 40 per cent of domestic violence victims at risk

This month the Court of Appeal will decide whether to overturn a High Court ruling on the lawfulness of government changes to legal aid for domestic violence victims.

Full story: The Law Society

‘Shaken’ baby might return to parents

‘Plainly exhausted’ mother probably shook baby in ‘momentary loss of control’, judge concludes.

Full story: The Telegraph

New CAP Orders released by the President

The President has released a set of overhauled orders to be used under the Child Arrangements Programme.

Full story: Family Law Hub

House of Commons meeting calls for extension of civil partnerships

Panel discussion explores legal issues confronted by unmarried couples.

Full story: Family Law Week

Family Justice Written statement to Parliament

Update on investigation into faulty online form used in divorce proceedings.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Children forced to have sex with animals, court hears

Judge rules that children's claims of forced sexual contact with animals are probably a 'grim reality'.

Full story: The Telegraph

Stress on social work recognised in ruling on section 20 failings

Pressures persuade judge to take unusual decision not to name local authority involved in a case in which a father was not properly consulted about a section 20 arrangement.

Full story: Community Care

House of Commons research briefing published on rise of LiPs

Paper collates all available evidence on the LASPO effect on representation.

Full story: Family Law Week

Ofsted tells two councils to improve children's services

Two councils have been told to improve standards within their children's services departments following inspections by Ofsted.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Abuse survivors ‘re-victimised’ through family court process

Victims of domestic abuse should not endure the trauma of being cross-examined by their abusers in court, a national charity has recommended in a study on child deaths.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Length of High Court financial remedy case skeleton arguments to be reduced

The recent drive to ensure court documents are kept concise is continuing, with Mostyn J revising his guidance on the efficient conduct of financial remedy hearings allocated to a High Court Judge.

Full story: Family Law

President issues consultation on draft adoption guidance

The President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, has today sent around for consultation a draft proposal for guidance to replace the President’s Guidance: Listing Final Hearings in Adoption cases from 3 October 2008.

Full story: Family Law

President publishes consultation on proposed amendments to Bundle PD - PD27A

The President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, has today (19 January 2016) published a Memorandum proposing amendments to the Bundles PD - PD27A.

Full story: Family Law

Poppi Worthington: Toddler was sexually assaulted by father before sudden death, judge rules

Fresh fact-finding judgment on circumstances of death of 13-month-old from Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, that has been shrouded in secrecy.

Full story: The Telegraph

Couple to begin court fight against ban on heterosexual civil partnerships

Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan will claim in high court that current law breaches their right to family life.

Full story: The Guardian

Saudi billionaire 'should have diplomatic immunity from divorce case' after taking UN role for St Lucia, court hears

FCO has had formal request for Caribbean island to waive immunity of Sheikh Walid Juffali rejected.

Full story: The Independent

Problems with recruiting High Court judges prompts 3% salary increase

MoJ cites shortage of suitable Family Division candidates.

Full story: Family Law Week

Supreme Court ruling triggers 16-fold rise in deprivation of liberty cases in Wales

Welsh care regulator questions whether services have sufficient staff to cope with surge.

Full story: Community Care

Morgan criticised for foster care ‘slur’

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has been criticised for denigrating foster care with comments she made as the government launched a bid to reverse a sharp drop in adoptions.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Building society eases mortgage rules for divorcees

100% of income from child maintenance to be taken into account.

Full story: Family Law Week

Domestic violence rate has been increasing since 2009

New analysis method makes increasing rate of violent crime visible.

Full story: Family Law Week

No rush for same-gender weddings when compared with civil partnerships

One in eight civil partners has converted to a same-sex marriage.

Full story: Family Law Week

Law will be changed to increase adoptions, government announces

Education secretary Nicky Morgan unveils measures to prioritise permanence and therapeutic care in placement decisions for vulnerable children.

Full story: Community Care

Care applications in December 2015

In December 2015, Cafcass received a total of 1,092 care applications.  This figure represents a 17% increase compared to those received in December 2014.

Full story: Cafcass

Cafcass private law demand

In December 2015, Cafcass received a total of 2,991 new private law cases.  This is a 12% increase on December 2014 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

Interim Civil Courts structure report published by Lord Justice Briggs looks towards a more modern justice system

Lord Justice Briggs yesterday (12 January 2016) published an interim report concerning civil court structures and judicial processes as a whole.

Full story: Family Law

Social workers often ‘poorly trained and not ready for frontline practice’, says DfE

Parliament's education committee have launched an inquiry into the Department for Education's social work reform agenda.

Full story: Community Care

Resolution announces training for new Children Arbitration scheme

First course for those new to arbitration to take place in April.

Full story: Family Law Hub

PM: Families are the key to ending poverty

David Cameron will announce a doubling of government funding for relationship support and pledge to take action to deal with poor parenting.

Full story: Prime Minister's Office

McKenzie friends: call for code of conduct

Parties in the increasingly urgent debate about McKenzie friends have called for a mandatory code of conduct, amid mounting concerns about the behaviour of ‘practitioners’.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Seven new family law QCs appointed

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

Full story: Family Law

Family Mediators Association calls for better support for divorcing couples as survey shows huge gap in access to information

Family mediators are calling for more particular information and support for divorcing and separating couples after a recent survey by the FMA revealed that couples are struggling to access the information they need to help them make informed decisions about their family and financial issues.

Full story: Family Law

Research published on Resolution's Family Matters service

Report shows a different way forward for work with separating families.

Full story: Family Law Week

Call for evidence by inquiry into safeguarding absent children

Submissions of written evidence sought by 22 January 2016.

Full story: Family Law Week

Family judge criticised for not naming council that breached father's rights

Lib Dem ex-MP says judge Heather Anderson wrong not to name council that failed to consult man over daughter’s placement in foster care.

Full story: The Guardian

Hague Child Support Convention welcomes latest member

Montenegro has become the latest Contracting State to move to join the Hague Child Support Convention.

Full story: Family Law

Irish High Court judgment changes understanding of priority of proceedings under EU Brussels II

A recent High Court judgment in the Republic of Ireland may significantly affect the practices of international divorce lawyers across Europe.

Full story: Family Law Week

Further mediation resources for separating families published by MoJ

Following on from previous materials made available for separating families, the Ministry of Justice has this week published further information for use in the public domain concerning family mediation and support for families during the separation process.

Full story: Family Law

Parents' court battle over girl lasted 28 months

A little girl whose parents have been separated for most of her life was the subject of 17 family court hearings in 28 months.

Full story: ITV News

DoE publishes findings of special guardianship review

Report highlights need for proper assessment at the start of each case.

Full story: Family Law Week