Number of MIAMs continue to fall

The latest legal aid statistics published today (31 March 2016) show that the number of MIAMs are continuing to fall.

Full story: Family Law

Average time for the disposal of care applications is 28 weeks

The Ministry of Justice has published quarterly statistics for the family courts of England and Wales covering the period of October to December 2015.

Full story: Family Law Week

Rise in special guardianship orders made by courts

The number of children placed with special guardians each year has passed the 5,000 mark for the first time.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

ECtHR affirms that state has positive obligations to keep family together

Adoption of Portuguese children found to be a breach of Art 8.

Full story: Family Law Week

Resolution and LAPG criticise decision to make CCMS compulsory

The Legal Aid Agency has today today announced that all new civil Legal Aid applications must be made using the Client and Cost Management System from 1 April.

Full story: Resolution

Court of Protection plans to shift more costs onto deputies

The Court of Protection is considering giving judges more power to make family members cover the legal costs in disputes over an incapacitated person’s property, affairs or care.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

England granted jurisdiction in Anglo-Scottish maintenance dispute

A High Court judge has ruled that an English court has jurisdiction over a maintenance dispute, despite the couple’s divorce being granted in Scotland.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

The Child Support (Deduction Orders and Fees) (Amendment and Modification) Regulations 2016

These Regulations modify the Child Support (Collection and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 and amend the Child Support Fees Regulations 2014.

Statutory Instrument

Education Secretary unveils a new blueprint for adoption

New plan to see more children placed in loving, stable homes by ensuring adoption is always pursued where it is in a child’s best interest.

Full story: Department for Education

Legal aid cuts add to strain on divorcees

Nine out of 10 people forced to represent themselves in family court reported a negative impact, says Citizens Advice.

Full story: The Guardian

Rising numbers in child protection system ’down to cuts’, MPs told

Numbers of children entering the child protection system are on the rise because service designed to help them stay with their families are being “decimated”, MPs have been told.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Resolution urges LAA to delay compulsory CCMS use

Resolution has this week written to the Legal Aid Agency, urging them to delay the compulsory use of the Client and Cost Management System (CCMS), which is due to take place from 1st April.

Full story: Resolution

Hammond criticises judge for stripping diplomatic immunity from Saudi billionaire

Diplomatic role for Sheikh Walid Juffali – facing divorce proceedings in UK – was ‘entirely artificial construct’, says judge.

Full story: The Guardian

The Civil Proceedings, Family Proceedings and Upper Tribunal Fees (Amendment) Order 2016

This Order amends the Civil Proceedings Fees Order 2008, the Family Proceedings Fees Order 2008 and the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) (Judicial Review) (England and Wales) Fees Order 2011.

Statutory Instrument

Judge urges Madonna and Guy Ritchie to resolve dispute over son

Mr Justice MacDonald makes plea for peace after ruling that singer can end British legal action over custody of 15-year-old Rocco.

Full story: The Guardian

A bad budget for children, say children’s charities

Concerns that budget does not address child poverty.

Full story: Family Law Week

FPR strike-out provision amended from 6th April 2016

Further amendments relate to attachment of earnings, charging and stop orders.

Full story: Family Law Week

No Fault Divorce Bill to be presented in next Parliamentary session

The No Fault Divorce Bill, the Private Members' Bill sponsored by Richard Bacon MP, will be presented again in the next session of Parliament.

Full story: Family Law Week

MoJ set to impose 34% divorce fee hike next Monday

The Ministry of Justice has slipped out an announcement of a 34% hike in divorce fees expected to take effect next Monday, despite strong opposition from family lawyers.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Research reveals public misconceptions about children adopted from care

New research undertaken by YouGov for 29 independent adoption agencies in England has revealed that people significantly underestimate the primary reasons why adoption is decided on as the best placement option for a child.

Full story: Family Law Week

ADCS publishes ‘thought-provoking' paper on innovation and change in children’s services

Paper highlights examples of local innovative practice.

Full story: Family Law Week

High Court ruling on teenager who refused to live with her family 'because they were not strict enough Muslims'

The girl, who had attempted to travel to Syria, should have been provided with alternative taxpayer-funded accommodation, judges rule.

Full story: The Telegraph

The Family Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2016

These Rules amend the Family Procedure Rules 2010.

Statutory Instrument

Council ordered to pay damages to boy over delay in revoking placement order

A Family Court judge has ordered a council to pay a 10-year-old boy £5,000 in damages after it failed for three years to seek to revoke a placement order.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Divorcee wins 90 per cent of husband's wealth in bitter court battle

Company boss, Peter Morris, has nothing but his 'anger' to show for 25 years of marriage after a series of rulings.

Full story: The Telegraph

Court ruling piles pressure on government to release funding for representation in deprivation of liberty cases

Judge places responsibility on health secretary Jeremy Hunt and justice secretary Michael Gove to find workable solution to representation issues.

Full story: Community Care

Guidance given in child support cases where a parent is fearful of attending hearing because of intimidation

The Upper Tribunal has provided guidance as to how the First-tier Tribunal should exercise case management powers in child support cases where a parent expresses concern about attending a hearing because of fear of intimidation by the other parent.

Full story: Family Law Week

Court rules transgender teenager can cut off contact with adoptive parents

Judge says best chance of future reconciliation is to respect boy’s current wish to shun parents who kept using his old name.

Full story: The Guardian

New private law cases received by Cafcass in February up 10% on a year ago

In February 2016, Cafcass received a total of 3,237 new private law cases.  This is a 10% increase on February 2015 levels.

Full story: Family Law Week

Care applications hit record high

The number of applications for children to be taken into the care system in England has hit an all-time high.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Reported FGM cases are ‘drop in the ocean’, says Head of National FGM Centre

Only 17 of 9,000 GP practices submitted an FGM report.

Full story: Family Law Week

Forced Marriage Unit receives 350 calls per month

FMU gave advice or support in 1,220 cases in 2015.

Full story: Family Law Week

Asos chief told to give ex-wife £70m in divorce cash fight

Founder of online fashion retailer had argued his former wife should get about £30m of assets - she wanted nearly £110 million.

Full story: The Telegraph

Government unveils £80m plan to tackle domestic abuse and violence

Government has set aside £80m over the next four years to improve the way local agencies tackle domestic violence, it has been announced.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Nottingham City Council 'failed' baby girl due to delay

A council has been criticised by a High Court judge for being "inexcusably late" in applying to get a newborn baby taken away from its parents.

Full story: BBC News

The Pension Sharing (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2016

These Regulations make amendments to secondary legislation concerning pension sharing orders in consequence of the Taxation of Pensions Act 2014 and the Pension Schemes Act 2015.

Statutory Instrument

New findings show that FDACs save taxpayers money

The innovative Family Drug and Alcohol Courts (FDACs) save taxpayers money by keeping families together and breaking parents’ drug and alcohol problems, according to new evidence published today in a report by the Centre for Justice Innovation.

Full story: Family Law

European Commission proposes EU accession to international Convention to fight violence against women

Convention will be discussed in the Council of Ministers and in the European Parliament.

Full story: Family Law Week

Updated statutory guidance on special guardianship published

The Department for Education has updated its statutory guidance on the special guardianship services local authorities need to provide in accordance with the Children Act 1989. The update follows amendments to the Special Guardianship Regulations 2005.

Full story: Family Law Week

Local authority criticised for quality of section 7 report

Court unable to place any weight on report.

Full story: Family Law Week

Commission proposes EU accession to international Convention to fight violence against women

Today (4 March 2016), the European Commission has proposed for the European Union to ratify the Council of Europe's Istanbul Convention, a comprehensive international treaty on combating violence against women and domestic violence.

Full story: Family Law

'Rule of law is undermined if people cannot exercise their right to access justice', Law Society tells Bach commission

Cuts to legal aid have undermined the vital role solicitors play in helping people to assert their legal rights, the Law Society of England and Wales told an influential panel tasked with developing new proposals for reforming legal aid.

Full story: Family Law

Domestic violence victims ‘routinely abused’ in family court – charity

Campaigners have called for immediate action to protect domestic violence victims when they step into family courts to face their abuser.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Court of Protection draft Case Management Pilot published

A pilot Practice Direction has been published in draft, in advance of a case management pilot commencing in the Court of Protection in June 2016 to allow practitioners to prepare for a significant change in case management practice.

Full story: Family Law

Council tried to cover up failings after Poppi Worthington's death

Cumbria county council applied for order to bar the media from reporting on case, after criticism of its failure to protect Poppi’s siblings.

Full story: The Guardian

African diplomat's child given special protection in UK over FGM fears

Baby made ward of court and issued with female genital mutilation protection order as judge hears mother had raised concerns.

Full story: The Guardian