UK surrogate vetoes legal parenthood for biological parents despite having no wish to be involved in children’s lives

The High Court has ruled that it cannot award legal parenthood to the biological parents of twins born through a UK surrogacy arrangement, because the surrogate who carried them has refused to give her permission.

Full story: Family Law

Sharia Courts interfered to protect domestic abusers, MPs told

A leading British Sharia Council intervened to prevent men accused of domestic violence from facing criminal charges, according to testimony submitted to a Commons Committee.

Full story: The Independent

Council ‘unable’ to fund care package for man to leave hospital

It would be almost three times more expensive to support the man at home, an increase the local authority said was "unsustainable".

Full story: Community Care

Number of serious incident notifications may have plateaued

Serious harm notifications have increased.

Full story: Family Law Week

LAs reminded of responsibilities to comply with case management decisions in public law cases

Mr Justice MacDonald has reminded local authorities and their representatives of 'the cardinal principles' applicable to complying with case management directions made by the court in public law cases.

Full story: Family Law Week

UK court to hear appeal about civil partnerships for straight couples

Six-year struggle for an option that gay partners already enjoy will face a new test this week.

Full story: The Guardian

NHS hospitals forcing surrogate families to hand over newborn babies in car parks due to ‘dire and outdated’ laws

Hospitals are forcing surrogates to hand over newborn babies to parents in car parks for fear they may fall foul of "dire" and "outdated" surrogacy laws that are failing families, The Independent can reveal.

Full story: The Independent

Paper-free Digital Courtroom technology introduced at the Central London Family Court

E-filing local direction introduced for financial remedies applications.

Full story: Family Law Week

Home Affairs Committee begins to hear evidence on Sharia councils

The House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee will hold its first evidence session on Sharia councils on 1st November 2016.

Full story: Family Law Week

Family Justice Council 10th Annual Debate: settlement conferences

The Family Justice Council is holding its 10th Annual Debate and panel discussion in London between 5.30pm and 7.30pm on Thursday, 1 December 2016.

Full story: Family Law

MoJ opts into EU family law proposal over Brexit risk

The Ministry of Justice says it is in the UK’s interests to opt into an EU regulation on cross-border family matters as a result of risks that could arise once the UK has left the European Union.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Fewer care leavers placed in bed and breakfast

Barnardo's said the Children and Social Work Bill provides a "significant opportunity" to ensure all care leavers get suitable accommodation.

Full story: Community Care

Essex family court case is among first to go to appeal under new system

High Court judges are set to routinely examine some family court cases at public hearings following the introduction of a new appeal system.

Full story: Echo News

Single parents owed millions of pounds for child maintenance, study reveals

Single parents in parts of the UK are owed millions of pounds in unpaid child maintenance, a new study shows.

Full story:

Judge rejects late bid by family members to stop boy’s adoption

Family's attempts to halt the adoption of a baby in an early permanence placement would put child at risk of emotional harm, court rules.

Full story: Community Care

Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Bill receives second reading

The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Bill received its second reading in the House of Lords on 21st October 2016.

Full story: Family Law Week

Boy 'living life entirely as a girl' removed from mother's care by judge

Mother who was convinced her son perceived himself as a girl caused 7-year-old boy ‘significant emotional harm’.

Full story: The Guardian

The Family Procedure (Amendment No. 3) Rules 2016

These rules amend rule 14.2 of the Family Procedure Rules 2010, which makes provision for the assignment of serial numbers to adoptive parents or prospective adoptive parents in proceedings for adoption and certain other proceedings, in order to keep their identity confidential.

Statutory Instrument

Judge dismisses ‘conspiracy theory’ against social workers in care proceedings

A father believed his children had been encouraged to make abuse allegations against him by a social worker.

Full story: Community Care

Married couples failing to claim tax perk, says HMRC

Less than a quarter of couples eligible for marriage tax allowance are bothering to claim it, according to HM Revenue and Customs.

Full story: BBC News

TUC: Legal aid reforms cutting people out of justice system

Damning report reiterates damaging impact of cuts as support grows for LASPO review.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

President clarifies status of draft guidance on anonymising judgments

Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, has issued a statement on the judicial website clarifying the status of draft guidance on anonymising judgments published in August 2016 by the Association of Lawyers for Children and Dr Julia Brophy.

Full story: Family Law

Child protection: concerns raised as to the police approach

Sir Michael Wilshaw, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills, has written to Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary raising concerns about the contribution of police to safeguarding child.

Full story: Family Law Week

Judge praises devotion of social worker in care proceedings

A social worker has been praised by a judge for devoting hours to a family and providing “reliable and persuasive” evidence in care proceedings.

Full story: Community Care

Troubled families scheme has made 'no significant impact'

A flagship government initiative to help the most disadvantaged families in England has made no significant impact, according to analysis of the scheme.

Full story: BBC News

Civil Partnerships Records Regulations 2016

Births, Deaths, Marriages and Civil Partnerships Records Regulations 2016.

Full story: Family Law Week

McKenzie friend jailed for ‘deceit in family court’

A paid McKenzie friend has been jailed for perverting the course of justice in a family court.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

DfE suggests 'exemption' from foster carer assessments

Councils could use controversial new powers allowing them to be exempted from children's social care legislation in order to streamline checks on potential foster carers, the Department for Education has suggested.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Official Solicitor publishes questionnaire for private law cases involving families

The Official Solicitor's Office has published a questionnaire to help the Official Solicitor understand the issues involved when acting for a parent lacking litigation capacity.

Full story: Family Law Week

Leading family lawyer calls for action on 'endemic' court delays

The government needs to take urgent action to secure the viability and sustainability of the family courts in response to the rising number of litigants and a sharp decline in funding, a leading family lawyer has said.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Civil partner wins appeal against estate of former partner who hid assets

Court confirms that Sharland and Gohil apply to civil partnership dissolutions.

Full story: Family Law Week

Justice Committee launches inquiry into justice system post-Brexit

Committee will consider implications for international family disputes.

Full story: Family Law Week

Cafcass private law demand

In September 2016, Cafcass received a total of 3,588 new private law cases. This is a 19% increase on September 2015 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

Care applications in September 2016

In September 2016, Cafcass received a total of 1,216 care applications.  This figure represents a 23% increase compared to those received in September 2015.

Full story: Cafcass

Children services still not good enough, according to National Audit Office

According to the National Audit Office, the actions taken by the Department for Education since 2010 to improve the quality of help and protection services delivered by local authorities for children have not yet resulted in services being of good enough quality.

Full story: Family Law

Bankrupt cannot be forced to access pension pots to repay debts, Court of Appeal confirms

A bankrupt individual that has chosen not to access his pension savings cannot be forced to do so in order to repay debts, the Court of Appeal has confirmed.

Full story:

Turkey signs 1996 and 2007 Hague Conventions

On Friday, 7 October 2016, Turkey signed and deposited its instrument of ratification to the 1996 Hague Child Protection Convention and to the 2007 Hague Maintenance Convention.

Full story: Family Law

360,000 visits to Government's Sorting out Separation website

The DWP has published information about visitors and their use of the Sorting out Separation website from its launch in December 2012 to December 2015.

Full story: Family Law Week

MPs launch inquiry into fostering

The education select committee will hold an inquiry into the state of fostering in England, it has been announced.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

'Britain's biggest divorce': The Ivy owner Richard Caring 'faces £350m bill after separating from his wife'

A restaurant tycoon’s wife could be in line for £350 million in one of Britain’s biggest divorces after 'her husband left her and moved in with' a Brazilian woman half her age.

Full story: The Telegraph

Social worker turnover damaged understanding of boy’s case, finds serious case review

A serious case review into the death of a 17-year-old boy found he 'bitterly' complained about turnover among his social workers.

Full story: Community Care

The Transparency Project today launches its Family Court Reporting Watch project

Family Court Reporting Watch is a new venture set up by the Transparency Project, made possible by funding from the Legal Education Foundation.

Full story: Family Law

Nicholas Francis QC appointed to High Court bench

Appointment follows retirement of Dame Mary Hogg DBE.

Full story: Family Law Week