Judge hits out at gay couple whose marriage ran into difficulties after having surrogate daughter

Two married men whose union ran into difficulties after they arranged to have a child by surrogate "abdicated their responsibilities" to the little girl, a High Court judge told them.

Full story: The Telegraph

Police 'not equipped' to enforce new domestic abuse laws

Just eight of 43 forces in England and Wales have provided training since controlling behaviour was made criminal offence.

Full story: The Guardian

Court of Protection: New Practice Directions

The Practice Directions hitherto supplementing the Court of Protection Rules 2007 have been revoked.

Full story: Family Law Week

Judges to revisit case of transgender Jewish woman refused right to see her children

High court judge ‘gave up too easily’ in ruling that woman who left ultra-Orthodox Haredi community in Manchester should not see her five children, appeal court says.

Full story: The Guardian

Alfie Evans: Parents in legal fight to take brain damaged son to Vatican doctors

A hospital has prevented parents from sending their brain damaged toddler to the same Vatican doctors who offered to help Charlie Gard, a court has heard.

Full story: The Telegraph

Child Maintenance Group FIU: complex earners investigations, Apr 2016 to Sept 2017

Statistics on the Financial Investigations Unit (FIU) investigations into cases of complex earners who are suspected of evading their child maintenance.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Children's experts urge Government to protect children throughout Brexit

Children’s experts from across the UK, including the Children Society and Barnado’s, have come together to form the ‘Brexit and Children’ coalition and have published a report which explores the specific implications of Brexit on children and young people.

Full story: Family Law

Magistrates Say Children Suffer In Family Court Hearings When Their Parents Have No Lawyers

An exclusive survey by the Magistrates Association for BuzzFeed News found that in magistrates' most recent family court hearings, 68% of people represented themselves, up from 41% in 2014.

Full story: Buzzfeed News

Law Commission to consider the law of surrogacy

The UK law ‘is outdated and unclear and requires comprehensive reform’.

Full story: Family Law Week

Family Justice Council 11th Annual Debate transcript and podcast available

‘Parental autonomy and a child’s best interests: Should the courts have the final say?’

Full story: Family Law Week

Child maintenance arrears: proactive use of part payment

Trial indicates that discussion of part payment in settlement of arrears is not cost-effective.

Full story: Family Law Week

Rise of LiPs “key challenge for family lawyers and courts system”

The rise in the number of litigants-in-person in the family courts since the 2013 legal aid reforms has topped a poll of the causes of discontent among family law practitioners for the fifth year running.

Full story: Legal Futures

MIAMs between July and September down 5% on a year ago

Mediation starts down 14%.

Full story: Family Law Week

Councils dealing with 500 child protection investigations every day

The number of child protection investigations being started by councils has risen at an ‘alarming’ rate of more than 500 a day, according to new figures.

Full story: LocalGov

Child maintenance consultation launched

Tough new powers to help tackle child maintenance arrears are being proposed in a consultation that launched today (14 December 2017).

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Care applications in November 2017

In November 2017, Cafcass received a total of 1,228 care applications. This figure represents a 5% decrease compared with those received in November 2016 but is the second-highest monthly total for a November on record.

Full story: Cafcass

Cafcass private law demand

In November 2017, Cafcass received a total of 3,811 new private law cases. This is a 9% increase compared with those received in November 2016 and is the highest demand for the month of November since 2012.

Full story: Cafcass

Child maintenance arrears: proactive use of part payment

This research analyses the outcome of calling Child Support Agency clients to discuss part payment of child maintenance arrears.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Family court statistics quarterly: July to September 2017

Statistics relating to family courts.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Mother whose two children died has third child taken away

A mother must have her 18-month-old daughter taken from her and placed for adoption even though she has not harmed her, a judge has ruled.

Full story: BBC News

Tri-borough collapse set to raise children's services staff costs

Westminster City Council's children's services are facing an annual bill in excess of £420,000 to establish a partnership with Kensington and Chelsea following the collapse of the tri-borough arrangement.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Select Committee examines proposed HFEA order to remedy discrimination against single parents

Call for submissions on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Remedial Order) 2018.

Full story: Family Law Week

Concern over adopter numbers as figures show ‘no continued decline’ in adoptions

Adoption decisions and placement orders have stabilised since landmark court judgements caused a slump, the Adoption Leadership Board has said.

Full story: Community Care

Financial Remedies Courts should lead to ‘greater predictability’

Legal experts believe new Financial Remedies Courts should provide claimants and respondents with greater predictability, when resolving financial claims on relationship breakdown.

Full story: Family Law

Justice minister pours cold water on growing calls to fund early legal advice

The government yesterday damped down hopes that it would consider funding greater access to early legal advice.

Full story: Legal Futures

MoJ scraps legal aid restrictions for victims of domestic violence

New rules removing time limit and allowing admission of fresh categories of evidence will come into force in January.

Full story: The Guardian

Social worker to take legal claim over impact of ‘unfair’ criticism from judge to European Court

The social worker was given permission to disclose documents relating to her case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Full story: Community Care

Single parent surrogacy – remedial order goes to Parliament

Law likely to be changed in 2018.

Full story: Family Law Week

President's circular: Financial Remedies Courts

Circular released by the President on 1 December 2017 in which he proposes to pilot the FRC in three places starting in February 2018.

Full story: Family Law Hub

30% of private law cases have been to court before: Cafcass research

Research investigates reasons for cases returning.

Full story: Family Law Week

Surrogacy and IVF cases put the courts under pressure, says senior judge

IVF and surrogacy cases are putting the courts under pressure, a High Court judge has said, as he urged an update to legislation.

Full story: The Telegraph

4,000 women and children fleeing domestic abuse will be locked out of refuges under government proposals, warns charity

Plans announced by Theresa May to place councils in charge of ring-fenced supported housing funds could see more than a third of refuges across England forced to close down.

Full story: The Independent

Age limit of children attending FHDRAs at CFC

HHJ Tolson QC has agreed for this Note to be shared with practitioners.

Full story: Family Law Hub

Judge highlights 'wholly inadequate' care provision for troubled teen

Another High Court judge has used a ruling to highlight inadequacies in state provision for a troubled and dangerous teenager.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Legal aid cuts shown up as false economy - new research

Research published today by the Law Society adds to growing evidence that the government’s legal aid cuts have been a false economy.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Millions of couples at severe financial risk due to ‘common-law marriage' myth

Millions of unmarried couples living together are unaware that they are at severe financial risk as a result of the current legal system, national family justice organisation Resolution has warned.

Full story: Resolution

Is contact with parents always best? Child mental health study challenges convention

Survey for Grandparents Plus charity shows that unsupervised meetings can harm young people’s mental health.

Full story: The Observer

Councils react to no extra funding for children's services

‘We’ve reached a tipping point,’ says Local Government Association.

Full story: Family Law Week

Child Support Agency caseload falls to just over 900,000

Closure process reduces caseload by 44,000 in quarter.

Full story: Family Law Week

Domestic abuse: 10% of young women affected - ONS

More than 10% of women aged between 16 and 19 in England and Wales say they have experienced domestic abuse in the past year, research suggests.

Full story: BBC News

Budget gives divorced couples exemption on stamp duty surcharge

Divorcing couples who faced paying higher stamp duty rates will be given reprieve in a moved which reversed one of the unintended consequences of previous legislation.

Full story: The Telegraph

Potential client met with top family law solicitor “to conflict him out” of acting for other side

A leading family law solicitor’s meeting with a potential client was for the purpose of conflicting him out of acting for the other side, the High Court has said as it rejected an application to stop him from doing just that.

Full story: Legal Futures

Surrogate mother who changed her mind must hand baby to gay couple, court rules

A surrogate mother has lost custody of her child after a court ruled he would be better placed with the gay couple who arranged for her to have the baby.

Full story: The Telegraph

Divorcing parents could lose children if they try to turn them against partner

Measures being trialled to prevent ‘parental alienation’ feature penalties including permanent loss of contact with child.

Full story: The Guardian

Munby orders unsealing of abdicated king's will - but won't read it

The seals of the envelope containing the will of the abdicated King Edward VIII, who died in 1972, can be broken to identify who holds the copyright of his literary works, the president of the family division has said in an unusual ruling.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Progress report on police response to domestic abuse causes concern

Organisations working to support victims of domestic abuse have expressed concerns over a progress report on police response to such abuse.

Full story: Family Law

Court hears transgender woman's appeal over access to her Jewish children

Lower court previously ruled the children risked greater psychological harm by being ostracised than if direct contact ceased.

Full story: The Guardian

Review to examine rise in care order applications and number of children in care

A sector-led review of the rise in applications for care orders and the number of children in care has been announced.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Don't abandon separating families in Brexit, say legal groups

Three influential family law bodies have today warned that a lack of progress on Brexit negotiations could leave tens of thousands of families and children in limbo.

Full story: Resolution

'Urgent' appeal to find missing baby

An eight-month-old baby is thought to have gone missing with her two older siblings.

Full story: BBC News

Domestic violence 'masks' other threats to children, Cafcass finds

Domestic abuse can 'mask' other risk factors faced by children, an analysis of serious case reviews by Cafcass has found.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Judges reject challenge over adoption and special guardianship for half-brothers

The Court of Appeal has dismissed a case brought against Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council over whether a child should be adopted when his older half-brothers, who lived with the same couple, were to be the subject of a special guardianship order.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Sick baby's treatment 'should continue', High Court told

A mother and father are fighting a High Court battle to stop their eight-month-old son's life support machine being switched off.

Full story: BBC News

Cafcass private law demand

In October 2017, Cafcass received a total of 3,916 new private law cases. This is a 16% increase compared with those received in October 2016 an is the highest monthly demand since October 2013.

Full story: Cafcass

Care applications in October 2017

In October 2017, Cafcass received a total of 1,198 care applications. This figure represents a 4% increase compared with those received in October 2016 and is the highest monthly total for an October on record.

Full story: Cafcass

Rise in number of care leavers not in work or education

The number of care leavers who are not in education, employment or training (Neet) has increased over the last four years, government figures have revealed.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

ONS statistics show cohabiting couple families are on the rise

The Office of National Statistics has released its Families and Households in the UK 2017 report.

Full story: Family Law

Expert Working Group recommends ways to improve the mental health and wellbeing of looked after children

Over 80 children and young people contributed their experience to the project.

Full story: Family Law Week

Parents’ alcohol abuse damaging the lives of 700,000 teenagers

The Children’s Society calls on government to address the £2bn funding gap for local children’s services.

Full story: Family Law Week

Grandmother Had To Fight Without A Lawyer To Stop Her Grandchild Being Put Up For Adoption

Gloucestershire County Council attempted to stop journalists naming the authority, but this was successfully challenged in court by BuzzFeed News and two other news outlets.

Full story: Buzzfeed News

Munby sets aside divorce petitions because of fraud by disbarred barrister

The president of the Family Division has set aside 21 fraudulent divorce petitions produced by a disbarred barrister.

Full story: Legal Futures

High court judge asks public to help find girl, 3, missing with mother

Elliana Shand is thought to be in UK with mother Jessica Richards who has schizophrenia, says judge in rare appeal.

Full story: The Guardian

Court of Protection Rules 2017 set out consolidated practice and procedure of CoP

2007 Rules revoked and replaced from 1 December 2017.

Full story: Family Law Week

Divorced women are missing out on £5bn in pension payments every year, says Scottish Widows

Nearly three-quarters of divorced people did not discuss pensions during divorce proceedings.

Full story: Family Law Week

Civil news: funding in international child rights of access cases

Clarification of funding arrangements in Article 21 of 1980 Hague Convention for cross-border disputes about rights of access to a child.

Full story: Legal Aid Agency

Muslim father 'ordered' by judge not to impose Islam on his children

Father told he can only talk to children about Islam in a 'non-pressuring way'.

Full story: The Independent

Government to consider care reforms for people who lack mental capacity

A written statement from Jackie Doyle-Price, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, has set out the Government’s interim response to the Law Commission’s recent report on mental capacity and deprivation of liberty.

Full story: Family Law

NCB survey: Children’s services struggling under increased demand

A survey of local councillors responsible for children’s services has found the majority believe the demand for local authority support for children and families has risen over the past two years.

Full story: Family Law

New FPR Part 3A - Vulnerable Persons: Participation in Proceedings and Giving Evidence

A new Part 3A to the Family Procedure Rules 2010 has been published, which comes into force on 27 November 2017. It makes provision in relation to vulnerable persons (parties and witnesses), including protected parties, in family proceedings.

Full story: Family Law

Online divorce extended in £1bn justice system shake-up

‘Smart forms’ will bring savings for Ministry of Justice by cutting down on paperwork and processing time.

Full story: The Guardian

Impact of cuts to legal aid to come under review

Ministry of Justice’s consultation will analyse if access to justice has been restricted by £450m a year savings imposed by coalition government.

Full story: The Guardian

Daughters of brain-damaged woman win case for removal of feeding tube

Children of Mrs P have been embroiled in legal battle with patient’s sisters over the ongoing care of 72-year-old following a fall in February.

Full story: The Guardian

The Court of Protection Rules 2017

These Rules set out the practice and procedure to be followed in the Court of Protection.

Statutory Instrument

The Family Procedure (Amendment No. 3) Rules 2017

These Rules amend the Family Procedure Rules 2010.

Statutory Instrument

Fitting contraceptive patch in best interests of woman with severe learning disabilities, court rules

No precedent set by decision in favour of 'additional safeguard' for 21-year-old who gave birth after being raped, says judge.

Full story: Community Care

Government urges councils to prioritise housing for domestic abuse victims

Councils will be "strongly encouraged" to prioritise social housing for children and parents who have fled domestic abuse under new guidance proposed by the government.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Tri-borough arrangement 'to continue for adoption and fostering services'

Three London councils will continue to operate a shared service for adoption and fostering once partnership arrangements for children's services come to an end in six months' time, it has emerged.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Divorce law in England and Wales increases conflict and suffering for separating couples and their children, encourages dishonesty, and undermines the aims of the family justice system

New research published today by the Nuffield Foundation shows that divorce law in England and Wales is incentivising people to exaggerate claims of ‘behaviour’ or adultery to get a quicker divorce.

Full story: Nuffield Foundation

Clampdown on child maintenance cheats

New powers to stop parents avoiding paying child maintenance that they owe have been announced.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Two useful briefing notes on 2012 child maintenance scheme published

The House of Commons Library has recently published two useful, and free, briefing notes explaining the calculation and rules relating to the 2012 statutory child maintenance scheme.

Full story: Family Law Week

Justice Committee welcomes Sentencing Council’s guidelines on domestic abuse

Committee makes recommendations to ensure more consistent approach.

Full story: Family Law Week

Consultation launched on revised ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’

Guidance changed to reflect Children and Social Work Act 2017.

Full story: Family Law Week

Government says “not the right time” for review of marriage law

The Government has written to the Law Commission to say it’s not the right time for a full review of marriage law, but hasn’t ruled out further work in the future.

Full story: Law Commission

Newcastle City Council faces possible payouts over adoption leak

A council which mistakenly leaked details of thousands of children and their adoptive parents is facing a possible compensation payout of tens of thousands of pounds.

Full story: BBC News

Council vicariously liable for abuse perpetrated by foster parents

Local authority has no non-delegable duty to ensure reasonable care of fostered children.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children in contact with the public law system more likely to offend than others

MoJ report focuses on those children named in a public law case.

Full story: Family Law Week

Family of woman brain-damaged after fall seek removal of her feeding tube

Twelve-year-old grandson tells court of protection of his grandmother’s previously independent spirit in legal wrangle over her care.

Full story: The Guardian

Family Drug and Alcohol Court and councils to receive £6m+ from social impact bond

The Family Drug and Alcohol Court and partner local authorities are to receive £6.2m over seven years through a social impact bond to support its work within the family court system, the Government has announced.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Divorces in England and Wales: 2016

Dissolutions and annulments of marriage, by previous marital status, sex and age of divorcees. Includes number of children and fact proven at divorce.

Full story: Office for National Statistics

Domestic violence victims still waiting for legal aid reform, says Labour

Shadow minister accuses government of dragging its feet on promise to make it easier for victims to access legal aid.

Full story: The Guardian

Senior judge warns over 'shaming' impact of legal aid cuts

Mr Justice Bodey’s comments highlight judiciary’s dismay about MoJ’s slow progress reviewing effects of Legal Aid Act.

Full story: The Guardian

Cafcass Chief Executive addresses the rising number of children in care

LGA Conference hears that number of looked after children has reached a new high of 72,670.

Full story: Family Law Week

Foster children disadvantaged by council policy

Ombudsman asks councils to check their approach on transport costs.

Full story: Family Law Week

Supreme Court to deliver judgment as to LA’s liability for abusive foster care placement

Applicant’s claim dismissed by Divisional Court and Court of Appeal.

Full story: Family Law Week

Adoption and Children Act Register (Search and Inspection) Regulations 2017

These Regulations make provision for the search and inspection of the Adoption and Children Act Register (“the register”) by prospective adopters that an adoption agency is satisfied are suitable to adopt a child.

Full story: Family Law Week

Cafcass private law demand

In September 2017, Cafcass received a total of 3,637 new private law cases. This is a 4% increase compared with those received in September 2016.

Full story: Cafcass

Care applications in September 2017

In September 2017, Cafcass received a total of 1,109 care applications. This figure represents a 10% decrease compared with those received in September 2016.

Full story: Cafcass

Ninety children taken into care each day, figures show

Ninety children are being taken into care every day in England and Wales and it's claimed social workers are "firefighting" the most serious cases late into the night.

Full story: BBC News

Fifth of CPS cases are alleged sex crimes or domestic abuse

Report says 19.3% of prosecutors’ caseload involves such alleged offences, compared with 7.1% a decade ago.

Full story: The Guardian

Judge praises ‘focused’ social worker for high-quality evidence in care proceedings

Contribution of guardian also commended in case where care and placement orders were made for a 14-month-old girl.

Full story: Community Care

Billionaire property developer says he was never married to 'wife' in bid to protect fortune, court hears

A billionaire London property developer has claimed that he was never married to his "wife" of 14 years in a bid to protect his £1.1bn fortune, the High Court heard.

Full story: The Telegraph

Study reveals link between childhood in care and mothers who have babies removed by the courts

A study launched today has found a high number of women, who repeatedly appear before the family courts and lose many children into public care or adoption because of child protection concerns, have been in care themselves.

Full story: Family Law

Top divorce lawyer urges Tories to scrap law forcing couples to 'sling mud' in court

'This nasty mud-slinging as the centre of our divorce process is obsolete. It means the whole process starts with a combative, adversarial approach'

Full story: The Independent

Lady Hale sworn-in as new President of Supreme Court

A special ceremony was held at the Supreme Court yesterday to mark the beginning of the new legal year. It was a landmark for family law as Brenda Hale was sworn-in as the first female President of the Court while Jill Black joined the court as its second female Justice.

Full story: Family Law

Solicitor disclosed wife's new address to violent ex-husband

A firm and its solicitor have been fined a total of £35,000 after disclosing a woman’s new address to her ex-husband, who was subject to a restraining order.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Woman with learning disability loses legal fight to keep children

Court of appeal in London backs family court judge’s decision to send boy, 11, and girl, seven, into long-term foster care.

Full story: The Guardian

Girl had 'warm relationship' with Muslim foster carers, court told

Five-year-old girl at centre of media storm over foster placement misses the carers, Tower Hamlets inquiry found.

Full story: The Guardian

Plans for domestic violence register could save women's lives

An MP is to try to introduce a law to create a register of those convicted of domestic violence and make police warn new partners of a repeated offender’s violent past.

Full story: The Telegraph

Litigant-in-person figures expose family courts crisis

Latest government figures highlighting the rising number of private law cases and litigants in person have prompted calls for the government to heed recent warnings about the family justice system.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Important overview of Court of Protection’s welfare jurisdiction published

Cardiff University uses ground breaking empirical research.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children in care numbers rise at fastest rate in five years

The number of children in care has risen at its fastest rate in five years while the number of children being adopted continues to fall, official figures have revealed.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

MIAMs in April to June 2017 down 11% on a year ago

1,600 mediation starts was the lowest number since LASPO Act was introduced.

Full story: Family Law Week

More than half of child abuse victims experience domestic abuse in later life, statistics show

In the last year alone, roughly one in six former child victims reported domestic abuse; those aged between 16 and 24 were most likely victims.

Full story: The Independent

Family court statistics quarterly: April to June 2017

This report presents the latest statistics on type and volume of cases that are received and processed through the family court system of England and Wales in the second quarter of 2017 (April to June).

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Resolution comments on latest ONS statistics on Civil Partnerships

In response to today’s figures (Tuesday), which show civil partnerships rose by 3.4% in 2016.

Full story: Resolution

Over a quarter of adopted families in crisis, survey shows

More than a quarter of adopted families are in crisis, according to a survey by the BBC and charity Adoption UK.

Full story: BBC News

Two million couples missing out on tax break, says HMRC

Nearly half the couples eligible to claim marriage tax allowance are still failing to do so, according to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Full story: BBC News

President of Family Division tells new family lawyers: “We have to embrace technology.”

Over 200 family lawyers and other family justice professionals at the start of their careers gathered this week in Central London, to take part in Resolution’s inaugural national YRes conference.

Full story: Resolution

Labour-backed report calls for more generous legal aid system

Review criticises coalition government’s cuts and calls for new law enshrining right to justice.

Full story: The Guardian

Eligibility criteria relaxed for family magistrates

Requirement to sit in crime for two years to be removed.

Full story: Family Law Week

reunite publishes further international child abduction guides for India and Pakistan

Following reunite's publication in July of a ´Guide to International Child Abduction and Poland´ the charity has published two further guides, relating to India and Pakistan.

Full story: Family Law Week

Flexible court hours pilot is postponed

Now due to start in February 2018.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children and Social Work Act 2017 (Commencement No. 1) Regulations 2017

The Children and Social Work Act 2017 (Commencement No. 1) Regulations 2017 bring specified provisions of the Children and Social Work Act into force on 31 October 2017.

Full story: Family Law Week

Directors of Children’s Services join call for mental health support for care leavers

Barnardo’s report finds that two-thirds of care leavers with mental health needs are not receiving help.

Full story: Family Law Week

Legal proceedings not needed in treatment withdrawal case, says judge

A Court of Protection judge has concluded that legal proceedings were not necessary when there was agreement between the family of a sufferer from Huntington’s disease and her clinicians that clinically assisted nutrition and hydration was no longer in her best interests and should be withdrawn with the consequence that she would die.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Judge throws McKenzie Friend out of court over “tirade” against him and solicitors

A district judge has explained how he had to throw a McKenzie Friend out of his court after she disrupted proceedings and threatened complaints against him and the other side’s solicitors.

Full story: Legal Futures

Domestic abuse: Focus more on children, says Ofsted

In a new report Ofsted says schools in England must prioritise education about healthy relationships.

Full story: BBC News

Judge blasts lack of therapy for mother faced with losing second child

A Family Court judge has questioned the spending of money on the issuing of legal proceedings and on psychological evidence when this expenditure is incurred before attempts have been made at therapeutic support, in a case where a vulnerable mother was faced with the loss of a second child to adoption.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Grandmother to receive backdated foster care allowance from London borough

Ombudsman reminds councils of their duties to friends and family foster carers.

Full story: Family Law Week

David Williams QC appointed to High Court bench

David Williams QC of 4 Paper Buildings has been appointed a Justice of the High Court with effect from 2 October 2017 consequential to the elevation of Sir Andrew Moylan to the Court of Appeal.

Full story: Family Law Week

McKenzie ban back to drawing board

HM Judiciary is set to reassess some of its proposals for regulating the fast-expanding phenomenon of fee-charging McKenzie friends after a consultation on banning the practice received ‘large numbers of responses’.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

E-working in the family jurisdiction and our plans for reform

The attached paper has been produced to provide judiciary and operational colleagues with a much needed update about our plans for the future in relation to e-working in the family jurisdiction.

Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Cafcass private law demand

In August 2017, Cafcass received a total of 3,718 new private law cases. This is an 8% increase compared with those received in August 2016.

Full story: Cafcass

Care applications in August 2017

In August 2017, Cafcass received a total of 1,241 care applications. This figure represents a 1.5% decrease compared with those received in August 2016.

Full story: Cafcass

CPS makes commitment to male victims of sexual and domestic abuse

The Crown Prosecution Service has published its first ever public statement recognising the needs and experiences of male victims of offences including rape, domestic abuse, harassment, stalking and child sexual abuse.

Full story: Crown Prosecution Service

President issues new PD12J - Child Arrangements and Contact Orders: Domestic Abuse and Harm

The President of the Family Division has issued a circular dealing with domestic abuse and containing a new PD12J, which comes into force on 2 October 2017.

Full story: Family Law

Care leavers missing out on mental health support, study finds

Around two-thirds of care leavers with mental health problems are not receiving specialist support, a study by Barnardo's has found.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Social worker criticised for ‘factually impoverished’ evidence in court

Judge Moradifar said the social worker's evidence was some of the most "unhelpful" he'd ever heard.

Full story: Community Care

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill and protecting children’s rights

Charities publish briefing calling for amendments to Withdrawal Bill.

Full story: Family Law Week

Returning jihadis will end up in family courts, Lord Chief Justice warns

British jihadis returning from Syria will put pressure on the family courts over the next year, the Lord Chief Justice has said.

Full story: The Telegraph

Welsh Government launches consultation on cross-border secure accommodation placements

Consultation focuses on local authorities’ duties.

Full story: Family Law Week

Serious case review questions ‘value’ of supervision orders

Review says murder of Ayeeshia-Jayne Smith by her mother could not have been predicted, but criticises ‘lack of professional curiosity’.

Full story: Community Care

London borough finds interim placement for teenager after judicial criticism

Southwark Council has now said it has found an interim placement for a troubled teenager after criticism from a judge.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Child Support Agency case closures: June 2014 to June 2017

Quarterly experimental statistics on the progress of the Child Support Agency case closure programme from June 2014 to June 2017.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Families left devastated by false claims of FGM in girls

Some children in the UK have spent months on child protection plans - or in foster care - on the false suspicion they are victims of female genital mutilation, a BBC report has found.

Full story: BBC News

Divorce ruling 'leaves law in state of flux'

Family lawyers predict a rise in the number of couples seeking prenuptial agreements after the Court of Appeal dismissed a woman's bid for an equal share of her and her ex-husband's assets.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Munby P: Government support for LiPs ‘sadly inadequate’

Family court procedures and rules are unintelligible to litigants in person.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Care proceedings in asylum cases often not justifiable, says judge

Accommodation under section 20 'more appropriate' in many cases involving older unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

Full story: Community Care

Judge criticises ‘egregious’ errors in child sexual abuse interview

Failure to report disclosures by child among ‘serious professional errors’ made by solicitor and children's guardian, court hears.

Full story: Community Care

Jonathan Cohen QC appointed to the High Court bench

Jonathan Cohen QC has been appointed to be a Justice of the High Court with effect from 2 October 2017, assigned to the Family Division.

Full story: Family Law Week

Legal talent of the future recognised by Resolution

A student has been awarded the prestigious Resolution Prize for her outstanding achievement in family law studies.

Full story: Resolution

Girl at centre of fostering row should live with grandmother, says judge

Judge Khatun Sapnara ends placement of five-year-old with Muslim family in case seized on by far-right activists.

Full story: The Guardian

Child Support Agency arrears transitioned to the Child Maintenance Service system: November 2014 to June 2017

The number of non-resident parents with Child Support Agency arrears transitioned to the 2012 IT system, and the associated value.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Iain Duncan Smith warns government over cuts to relationship counselling

Ex-cabinet minister says plan to scrap the £10m available to help prevent couples splitting up would be ‘retrograde step’.

Full story: The Guardian

Council to be questioned after placing Christian girl with Muslim foster carers

Children’s commissioner to investigate decision by Tower Hamlets, as campaigner hits out at ‘demonisation of the foreigner’.

Full story: The Guardian

No secure care place available for 'dangerous' teenager, UK judge told

Interim judgment sent to education secretary as search continues for secure accommodation for 14-year-old boy.

Full story: The Guardian

Huge rise in UK child neglect prompts call for urgent action

Reports of problems rise 60% in five years with nearly nine in 10 serious enough to refer to social services or police.

Full story: The Guardian

Brexit: Government wants continuing judicial relationship

A continuing formal reciprocal judicial relationship with the EU will be essential after March 2019, the government conceded today.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Court approves £10k settlement over delays in providing sex education

The Court of Protection has approved a £10,000 damages settlement plus costs to a man with Down's Syndrome and an associated learning difficulty over delays in the provision of sex education.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

New victim and witness rooms to improve court experience

Victims and witnesses will have their experience of going to court made easier through a number of new waiting rooms.

Full story: Family Law

Abducted UK children at greater risk if legal ties cut, Brexit officials say

Appealing to foreign courts for help could become harder if Britain fails to persuade union to continue legal cooperation.

Full story: The Guardian

Heterosexual couple take civil partnership case to Supreme Court

A heterosexual couple who want to enter a civil partnership instead of getting married have been granted the right to take their case to the Supreme Court.

Full story: BBC News

'Unlawful' family court agreement axed

A joint agreement aimed at tackling delays in care proceedings has been ditched amid concerns it is unlawful and could lead to collusion between social workers and family court guardians.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Counselling domestic abusers cuts offending by third, say researchers

A radical counselling scheme for some domestic abusers cuts offending by a third, researchers say.

Full story: BBC News

Some children stuck in a' revolving door' of referral and assessment

Action for Children says vulnerable children are increasingly receiving help only at crisis point.

Full story: Family Law Week

Cafcass private law demand

In July 2017, Cafcass received a total of 3,709 new private law cases. This is a 10% increase compared with those received in July 2016.

Full story: Cafcass

Care applications in July 2017

In July 2017, Cafcass received a total of 1,238 care applications. This figure represents a 5% decrease compared with those received in July 2016.

Full story: Cafcass

Judge approves suicidal girl care plan

A judge who said society should be "ashamed" for not protecting a suicidal girl has approved a care plan for her.

Full story: BBC News

Family Procedure Rules amended as of today

New divorce form D8 may be used from today.

Full story: Family Law Week

Senior judge: Fathers with valuable homes should pay more child support

Estranged fathers with expensive homes should be forced to pay more towards the upbringing of their children, one of Britain's most senior family judges has said.

Full story: The Telegraph

Proposal to extend Child Support Agency case closure programme

The government is  proposing to extend the Child Support Agency case closure programme.

Full story: Family Law

Judge warns of 'blood on our hands' if suicidal girl is forced out of secure care

Sir James Munby, head of high court’s family division, says he is ‘ashamed and embarrassed’ that no hospital place has been found for 17-year-old.

Full story: The Guardian

12% rise in Childline counselling sessions about forced marriage

Recent figures from Childline show growing concern over forced marriage among young people.

Full story: Family Law Week

Multi-million fund reaches record number of adoptive families

Over £52 million has now been released through the Adoption Support Fund, which has helped 22,000 children.

Full story: Department for Education

Government updates child maintenance application fee guidance

The Department for Work and Pensions has updated its guidance which sets out how it will decide if a victim of domestic violence or abuse is exempt from the Child Maintenance Service application fee.

Full story: Family Law

Digital divorce update

Legal stationers are stocking up on new family law forms which will need to be used by the end of the summer.

Full story: Family Law

Mother wins court battle to change child's 'tainted' middle name

A mother who no longer liked her child's middle name has won the right to have it removed in a legal challenge costing thousands of pounds in legal aid.

Full report: The Telegraph

Ten cases like Charlie Gard’s heard in English courts this year

Figures emerge as debate grows over merits of legal secrecy and high-profile public campaigns.

Full story: The Observer

Council apologises over unlawful removal of child from mother

Family court judge says Gloucestershire council acted with ‘degree of subterfuge and immediacy’ that was plainly wrong.

Full story: The Guardian

Fathers group criticises domestic violence study

A group representing fathers has criticised a study that identifies domestic violence as a factor in the majority of applications for contact with a child heard in the family courts.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Ex-wife of millionaire pilot pleads with judges to end 16-year legal fight

The ex-wife of a millionaire pilot locked in Britain’s longest divorce battle has pleaded with senior judges to end the “ghastly” 16-year legal fight.

Full story: The Telegraph

Judge writes personal letter to teen after High Court battle

A judge has written a personal letter to a 14-year-old boy explaining why he has rejected his request to move with his father to Scandinavia.

Full story: BBC News

Divorce court should take wife's family wealth into account, says husband

The wealth of  father should be taken into account when determining a divorce settlement, the Court of Appeal has heard.

Full story: The Telegraph

Domestic violence a factor in majority of child contact applications, research finds

Nearly two-thirds of applications heard in the family courts for contact with a child feature some kind of domestic violence allegation, a study has found.

Full story: Children & Young People Now