Statement from the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby: Cross-examination of vulnerable people

I am currently considering the review of Practice Direction 12J undertaken by Mr Justice Cobb, who met with Women’s Aid during the course of his review. I expect to make decisions on the review early in the New Year.

Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Family courts chief backs end to abusers cross-examining their victims

Sir James Munby says he welcomes Guardian’s spotlight on issue and will prioritise reform early in New Year.

Full story: The Guardian

BBC helpline sees 26,000 people seek domestic abuse advice

Helen Titchener’s abuse by husband in The Archers was among storylines prompting people to search for guidance in 2016.

Full story: The Guardian

Certain family court hearings to take place in public in radical trial

James Munby, head of high court’s family division, to continue far-reaching reforms to bring more transparency to the system.

Full story: The Guardian

Pakistan joins 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention

In force from 1 March 2017.

Full story: Family Law Hub

Police and council pay damages to children kept in care too long

Two children who were kept in care for too long have been awarded damages from a police force and council.

Full story: BBC News

Girl abducted to Oman phoned mother to say 'I miss you', court told

Mother Lacey Plato is seeking return of 11-year-old and her brother who were taken from UK to live with father’s relatives.

Full story: The Guardian

Justice Committee considers family law implications of Brexit

Key figures in the legal sector have today been giving evidence at the Justice Committee's inquiry on the implications of Brexit on the justice system.

Full story: Family Law Week

PC Paul Briggs: Coma treatment 'should stop'

Doctors should stop providing life-support treatment to a police officer who has been in a coma since July 2015, a judge has ruled.

Full story: BBC News

Millionaire seeks greater share in divorce because he is a 'genius', prompting court to examine the meaning of the word

Randy Work, an American financier, is seeking to overturn as order at the High Court last year awarding his estranged wife, Mandy Gray, half of a fortune, totalling more than £140 million.

Full story: The Telegraph

Troubled families turnaround claim misleading, say MPs

The government's claim that a project had "turned around" the lives of 99% of England's most troubled families was misleading, MPs have said.

Full story: BBC News

Demand for free legal advice spiralling upwards, charity reports

There is fast-growing growing demand for free legal advice, with family law now the most requested area of law, according to the experience of LawWorks, the solicitors’ national pro bono charity.

Full story: Legal Futures

Privy Council clarifies treatment of non-matrimonial property in AR applications

Appeal dismissed in Scatliffe v Scatliffe.

Full story: Family Law Week

Labour criticises government 'obsession' with adoption

The government has an "obsession" with adoption and is neglecting other forms of care, Labour's shadow children's minister Emma Lewell-Buck has said.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Council spending on child protection and care surges by £280m

Council spending on child protection and children in care services has risen by £280m this year as local areas struggle to cope with increasing demand on services.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

New Child Maintenance Service helping parents to work together

Research shows the majority of separated parents using the Child Maintenance Service are managing child support payments themselves.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

CPS and NPCC launch new honour-based violence/abuse and forced marriage protocol

The CPS and police have published the first ever joint honour-based violence/abuse and forced marriage protocol, outlining their commitment to the successful investigation and prosecution of these crimes.

Full story: Family Law Week

Domestic violence legal aid applications rise

Relaxing time limits for reporting domestic violence may have contributed to the steep increase in legal aid applications from victims this year, latest government figures suggest.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

MPs accuse DfE of 'complacency' in efforts to improve child protection

MPs have launched a scathing attack on the government for failing to have a "credible plan" to improve the quality of child protection services.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

President's guidance on the allocation of work to section 9 judges

The President of the Family Division has issued new guidance on the allocation of work to section 9 judges.

Full story: Family Law

CMA demands greater transparency from legal service providers

After the completion of a year-long study into the legal services sector, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has concluded that competition in legal services for individual consumers, including family law, is not working well.

Full story: Family Law Week

Latest family court statistics confirm recent surge in public law applications

The Ministry of Justice has released statistics on activity in the family courts of England and Wales for the period of July to September 2016.

Full story: Family Law Week

Law Commission publishes report on enforcement of family financial orders

In a report published today, the Law Commission recommends a package of reforms to make the law governing the enforcement of family financial orders more effective, accessible and fair.

Full story: Family Law

Cafcass private law demand

In November 2016, Cafcass received a total of 3,586 new private law cases. This is a 7% increase on November 2015 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

Care applications in November 2016

In November 2016, Cafcass received a total of 1,262 care applications.  This figure represents a 22% increase compared with those received in November 2015.

Full story: Cafcass

Judge criticises council for ‘egregious’ errors in child protection investigation

A judge found flaws in a social worker's report, which contradicted itself on the same page, and advised a child protection conference wasn't needed when it should have been held.

Full story: Community Care

Judges criticise Court of Protection over jailing of woman for contempt

Appeal judges have criticised the Court of Protection over a case in which a woman was jailed for contempt.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

British couple suspected of trying to join Isis allowed to keep children

Judge says he doubts claim family were heading to Germany but deradicalisation scheme appears to have changed attitudes.

Full story: The Guardian

Supreme Court to hear appeal by charities in Ilott v Mitson

Inheritance Act 1975 appeal to be heard on 12 December 2016.

Full story: Family Law Week

Judge calls for LiP powers after court ‘bombarded’ with emails

An appeal judge has called for extra powers to curb the activities of litigants in person who inundate courts with communications.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Bill to ratify Istanbul Convention to have second reading on 16 December 2016

A Bill which would require the United Kingdom to ratify the Istanbul Convention is due to have its second reading on 16 December 2016.

Full story: Family Law Week

Privy Council to give judgment in division of matrimonial assets case

Judgment to be promulgated in Scatliffe v Scatliffe on 12 December 2016.

Full story: Family Law Week

‘Toxic trio’ increasingly drives involvement of children’s social care services

The Association of Directors of Children's Services has published the latest version of its Safeguarding Pressures research.

Full story: Family Law Week

1.8 million adults said they were victims of domestic violence in last year

There were in England and Wales an estimated 1.8 million adults aged 16 to 59 who said they were a victim of domestic abuse in the year ending March 2016.

Full story: Family Law Week

Men killed 900 women in six years in England and Wales, figures show

Government urged to protect long-term funding for domestic abuse services as study reveals scale of deadly male violence.

Full story: The Guardian

Husband ordered to leave home over wife mistreatment claims

A 67-year-old millionaire has been ordered by a judge to leave his home after his wife said she had been used as "an emotional punch bag".

Full story: BBC News

Divorce rate continues to fall in latest ONS figures

The number of people divorcing in England and Wales decreased by 3.1 per cent in 2014, according to the latest statistical bulletin published today (5 December 2016) from Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Full story: Family Law

Claims for financial orders on divorce do not vest in trustee in bankruptcy

The judgment has been published in the dismissal of a claim by the trustee in bankruptcy under sections 23 and 24 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 where the bankrupt was deceased.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children in care 'in need of early education but too few receive it'

New study finds missed opportunities.

Full story: Family Law Week

Home Secretary hosts forum to end FGM

Government responds to Select Committee’s recommendations on FGM.

Full story: Family Law Week

Lawyers overwhelmingly hostile to settlement conferences in care proceedings

Family lawyers have turned overwhelmingly hostile to settlement conferences in public law cases but are equally largely in favour of the process in private law children cases.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Report by The Children’s Society reveals neglect of teenagers at home

One in seven reports some form of neglect by parents or carers.

Full story: Family Law Week

FGM protection orders factsheet published

The Home Office has published a factsheet setting out information about FGM protection orders and how to apply for them.

Full story: Family Law Week