Commons Library publishes briefing paper on no fault divorce

The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper considering the current basis for divorce and arguments for and against the introduction of no fault divorce.

Full story: Family Law

Domestic abuse: 75% rise in NSPCC helpline contacts since 2011

Ten adults a day now contact the NSPCC helpline worried about children living in a dangerous or risky home, the charity says.

Full story: Family Law Week

First baby born from mitochondrial donation

HFEA is yet to approve licensing regime for UK clinics.

Full story: Family Law Week

Sharp fall in numbers of children being adopted

Numbers of children being adopted have fallen for the first time in more than four years, government figures show.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Practice Directions published for Court of Protection pilots

PDs relate to case management and section 49 pilots.

Full story: Family Law Week

Latest legal aid and court statistics published

The Ministry of Justice have today (29 September 2016) published their latest legal aid and family court statistics.

Full story: Family Law

New cases in the family courts rise by 10% year-on-year in most recent quarter

The figures were revealed in latest statistics published by the Ministry of Justice.

Full story: Family Law Week

Judge criticises council that blamed workload for failings in work with ‘abusive’ mother

The judge rejected an application made by a 14-year-old girl for her care order to be discharged after finding her mother had “driven” the application.

Full story: Community Care

Widow wins High Court frozen embryo case

The widow of a Falklands war veteran has won a High Court bid to keep frozen embryos that they had created.

Full story: BBC News

Expansion of joint children’s services company on the horizon

Windsor and Maidenhead planning to join Achieving for Children.

Full story: Family Law Week

Completed Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards applications rise 68 per cent

NHS Digital has published its findings from the Mental Capacity Act 2005, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) data collection from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016.

Full story: Family Law

DWP publishes evaluation of help for separated families projects

Report looks at the progress of 17 services funded by the department and finds that they need to find ways to sustain their impact.

Full story: Family Law Hub

Helping families ‘open up about domestic violence needs to be a public health priority’

Helping children and families open up about experiencing domestic violence needs to be a public health priority, experts from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have warned.

Full story: Family Law Week

Supreme Court to hear Ilott Inheritance Act case in December

Charities' appeal against award to estranged daughter to be heard 12th December.

Full story: Family Law Hub

Judges to rule on tycoon's secrecy plea in court battle with ex-wife

Wealthy businessman says his identity should not feature in media reports due to safety concerns but Times editors disagree.

Full story: The Guardian

Ex-BBC actress cleared by High Court judge of abducting child in international custody battle

A former BBC actress has been cleared of abducting her child in an international custody battle.

Full story: The Telegraph

Family Drug and Alcohol Court’s ‘humane’ approach keeps more families together

New research has found that mothers reunited with their children after care proceedings in the Family Drug and Alcohol Court are more likely to stay off drugs and alcohol for longer, and their family life less likely to be disrupted when compared with cases heard in ordinary care proceedings.

Full story: Family Law

Solicitor removed from injured child case over conflict of interest

A court has arranged for a woman whose child suffered “shocking” injuries at home to be represented by a new law firm in family law proceedings after her previous solicitor was found to have a conflict of interest on both professional and personal grounds.

Full story: Legal Futures

FGM application reveals loophole in protection measures

Met Police urge Home Secretary to bar FGM practitioner from entering country.

Full story: Family Law Week

Victims of coercive control are focus of new police pilot

Research shows officers may not recognise patterns of controlling behaviour.

Full story: Family Law Week

Court directs solicitor to travel to Saudi Arabia to meet Amina Al-Jeffery in private

The solicitor representing Amina Al-Jeffery in High Court proceedings concerning her removal to Saudi Arabia from her home in Wales, is to visit Riyadh in order to take instructions in person from her client.

Full story: Family Law Week

Courts face “imminent crisis” with rise in care cases, warns top family judge

The family courts face “a clear and imminent crisis” as a result of the rapidly rising number of care cases, the President of the Family Division has warned.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Number of women convicted of domestic violence at record high

The number of women convicted of domestic violence has tripled in the last decade, new figures have shown.

Full story: The Independent

Foster care workers vote to form first ever trade union

A group of foster care workers have voted to form the first ever trade union for the profession.

Full story: BBC News

Joint Committee on Human Rights launches inquiry into human rights implications of Brexit

Inquiry will consider impact on privacy and family life.

Full story: Family Law Week

4,000 benefit sanctions applied to care leavers in last two years: The Children’s Society

Half of local authorities ‘fail to offer care leavers financial education’.

Full story: Family Law Week

MPs call for end to abusive men using courts against families

Government urged to review family court system which is ‘allowing men to re-traumatise women and children’.

Full story: The Guardian

Changes to legal aid Special Children Act applications

The Legal Aid Agency has made changes to applications under the Special Children Act and standard cost limits to improve processes in the Client and Cost Management System.

Full story: Family Law Week

Transforming our Justice System

Consultation and Statement seek to map out future for the court system.

Full story: Family Law Week

Smile: High Court judge uses emoji in official ruling

One High Court judge has gone to previously unheard-of lengths to make a judgment in a family court case comprehensible even for the children it affects.

Full story: The Telegraph

First children arbitration heard

The first arbitration held under the children arbitration scheme introduced in July 2016 has been determined.

Full story: Family Law Week

Mr Justice Moylan appointed as Lord Justice of Appeal

Mr Justice Moylan has been appointed as one of six new Court of Appeal judges.

Full story: Family Law

Munby calls for action on England-Scotland enforcement

The president of the Family Division has called for urgent action to fill gaps in the law relating to cross-border issues between England and Scotland.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Judge identifies high social worker turnover in 52 week care case

A judge has lamented the turnover of social workers and “wholly unacceptable” delays in a care case that saw adoption orders made for three children of learning disabled parents.

Full story: Community Care

Government service puts domestic abuse survivors at risk

Domestic abuse survivors are being put at risk by the government’s new Child Maintenance Service, finds new evidence from Gingerbread and Women’s Aid.

Full story: Gingerbread

Solicitor dismay over Munby care case comments

Lawyers have expressed concern over comments made by the president of the Family Division about the representation of children in public law cases.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Shot girl Mary Shipstone's safe house revealed by solicitor error

The address of a girl fatally shot on her doorstep by her estranged father was accidentally sent to him by her mother's solicitor, it has emerged.

Full story: BBC News

The Family Procedure (Amendment No. 2) Rules 2016

These rules amend the Family Procedure Rules 2010.

Statutory Instrument

Care cases received by Cafcass in August up 34% on a year ago

1,258 care applications received.

Full story: Family Law Week

New private law cases received by Cafcass in August up 23% on a year ago

3,535 new private law cases received.

Full story: Family Law Week

The Access to Justice Act 1999 (Destination of Appeals) (Family Proceedings) (Amendment) Order 2016

Article 2 of this Order amends the Access to Justice Act 1999 (Destination of Appeals) (Family Proceedings) Order 2014 to provide for the route of appeal from certain decisions or orders of Circuit judges and Recorders sitting in the family court to be to the High Court, rather than the Court of Appeal.

Statutory Instrument

Joint Human Rights Committee will consider UK’s record on children’s rights

Recommendations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child under scrutiny.

Full story: Family Law Week

Long-term fostering must be on equal footing with adoption and SGOs in new legislation, says The Fostering Network

The Fostering Network is calling for an amendment to clause 8 of the Children and Social Work Bill, to ensure that long-term fostering is on an equal footing with adoption and special guardianship orders when it comes to possible permanence options for children in care.

Full story: Family Law Week

Mother verbally abused social worker she claimed tried to ‘drive her to insanity’

Family Court judge finds aspects of the mother's behaviour had put her children in "stressful and upsetting situations".

Full story: Community Care

Civil partnerships registrations halved since introduction of same gender marriage

Dissolutions increase by 14% since 2014.

Full story: Family Law Week

Acquitted dad Craig Beattie 'killed baby son' family judge said

A judge found that a father killed his baby son in a ruling made a year before he was cleared of manslaughter by a jury, it has emerged.

Full story: BBC News

Violent crimes against women in England and Wales reach record high

Director of public prosecutions says use of social media to threaten and control is driving factor behind 10% rise in number of cases to 117,568 in 2015-16.

Full story: The Guardian

CPS prosecuting and convicting more cases of rape, domestic abuse, sexual offences and child abuse than ever before

The Crown Prosecution Service is prosecuting and convicting a record number of rape, domestic abuse, sexual offences and child abuse cases, a report published today shows.

Full story: Family Law

Hayden J expresses concern about preparation of ‘habitual residence’ cases

Such cases are a factual exploration and must be ‘child driven’.

Full story: Family Law Week

Housing benefit cap may force 67% of women's refuges to close – report

Women’s Aid says planned government cuts risk destroying finances of refuges for victims of domestic violence in England.

Full story: The Guardian

ALC publishes guidance on the anonymisation of children judgments

Checklists provide practical way for judges to secure children’s anonymity.

Full story: Family Law Week

British courts should be able to grant Islamic divorces, Home Affairs Committee will hear

All Islamic marriages should be registered as civil marriages.

Full story: Family Law Week

Supreme Court refuses permission to appeal decisions concerning children’s participation in proceedings

Permission refused in Re S (Children) 2016 EWCA Civ 83 and F (Children) [2016] EWCA Civ 546.

Full story: Family Law Week

Resolution ‘disappointed at selective reporting’ of President’s comments on care cases funding

‘Cheap shots at lawyers’ not best way to conduct debate on public funding.

Full story: Family Law Week

Number of children benefiting from Child Support 1993 and 2003 schemes falls under half a million

Number of cases paying less than their liability decreases by 28% in last quarter.

Full story: Family Law Week