Online pilot divorce centre named

Nottingham's East Midlands Divorce Centre will host the online divorce pilot, the Ministry of Justice has announced.

Full story: Family Law Week

Court makes landmark ruling on deprivation of liberty and medical care

The judgement was made in the case of a woman with Down's syndrome and learning disabilities, who died in intensive care in 2013.

Full story: Community Care

Social workers not treating foster carers ‘as equal’, report says

A widespread survey by The Fostering Network found that foster carers felt pressured to take on cases outside of their approved range.

Full story: Community Care

Court bans children from seeing transgender parent because it is 'incompatible' with their Ultra-Orthodox Jewish faith

A transgender woman has been banned from seeing her five children after a family court ruled it was not compatible with her ex-wife's ultra-orthodox Jewish background.

Full story: The Independent

Divorce (Financial Provision) Bill receives its second reading

Baroness Deech’s private member’s bill seeks to replace section 25(2) of the MCA 1973.

Full story: Family Law Week

Schedule of cases: Damages in HRA claims involving children within care proceedings

ALC also publishes three papers on HRA claims.

Full story: Family Law Week

Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill receives its second reading on 27 January 2017

Bill seeks to enhance Muslim women’s rights.

Full story: Family Law Week

Millionaire couple battle over £11m fortune in divorce court

A wife claimed her millionaire husband tricked her into signing prenuptial agreement to protect his fortune by telling her it was a "just a piece of paper'", a divorce court heard.

Full story: The Telegraph

Alaskan divorce courts to treat pets more like children

New law provides for joint ownership of family animals.

Full story: Family Law Week

Government backs innovative projects for children and families

Three projects with ambitious plans to transform children’s services in their areas have been awarded a share of more than £7 million in government grant funding as part of the Children’s Social Care Innovation programme.

Full story: Family Law

Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill set for second reading on 27 January 2017

Bill seeks to enhance Muslim women’s rights.

Full story: Family Law Week

Divorce (Financial Provision) Bill set for second reading on 27 January 2017

Baroness Deech’s private member’s bill seeks to replace section 25(2) of the MCA 1973.

Full story: Family Law Week

DfE evaluation of the family drug and alcohol court (FDAC) national unit published

National Unit perceived to have had critical role in the set-up of new FDACs.

Full story: Family Law Week

Intercountry adoption: checklist changes

The Department for Education has updated the checklist detailing the paperwork adoption agencies must include in intercountry adoption applications they submit to the DfE.

Full story: Family Law Week

Divorce order set aside after ‘procedurally unfair’ mistakes

The Court of Appeal has overturned remedy orders in a divorce case after finding a string of procedural errors with how the matter was handled.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Former banker ordered to hand over foreign pension income to ex-wife in landmark divorce ruling

A former banker who blew his fortune on spread-betting was yesterday ordered to hand over income from a foreign pension to his ex-wife, in what lawyers said was a landmark ruling stopping divorcing spouses concealing assets offshore.

Full story: The Telegraph

New FPR Practice Direction 36D commences online divorce pilot

A new Family Procedure Rules Practice Direction has been published today [25 January 2017] and sees the launch of the first small online divorce pilot.

Full story: Family Law

Social worker 'gave safe house address to woman's abuser'

A victim of domestic violence was assaulted after a social worker twice disclosed the address of her safe house to her abusive ex-husband, the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire show understands.

Full story: BBC News

Family mediators call on lawyers and judges to be more supportive

Initiative is reminder to family lawyers of their duty to consider all dispute resolution options.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Mr Justice Bodey departs from equality on basis of unmatched contributions

Judgment gives wife 37.5% of £36.95 million.

Full story: Family Law Week

Judge criticises local authority practice in 148 week care proceedings

A total of six social workers were involved in the case leading to failures in working with the family.

Full story: Community Care

Munby: video-links in family courts 'a disgrace'

The president of the family division has berated the state of equipment in family courts, including his own court in London's Royal Courts of Justice.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Adopted sons 'unjustly' taken from parents

A couple whose two sons were taken into care and adopted may be victims of a miscarriage of justice, says a solicitor.

Full story: BBC News

10% decrease in number of children with a placement order waiting to be placed

Number of children adopted from care has decreased.

Full story: Family Law Week

Court of Appeal: Divorcée can be identified

Appeal judges lift an order protecting parties’ anonymity.

Full story: Family Law Week

UK judges change court rules on child contact for violent fathers

Reforms aim to end presumption that a father must have contact with a child when there is evidence of domestic abuse.

Full story: The Guardian

January 2017 Practice Note Official Solicitor Appointment in Family Proceedings

This Practice Note replaces the Practice Note dated March 2013 issued by the Official Solicitor.

Full story: Family Law Week

Sir Oliver Heald QC outlines LASPO review timetable

Justice minister working ‘within straitjacket’ of UK’s finances.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Practice Direction: Family Court – Duration of Ex Parte (Without Notice) Orders

This Guidance was originally issued on 13 October 2014. This revised Guidance, issued on 18 January 2017, supersedes the previous Guidance.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children unnecessarily removed from parents, report claims

Dossier indicates drive to increase adoptions is punitive for low-income families and alternatives exist.

Full story: The Guardian

Bristol launches new scheme to help litigants in person

A new scheme aimed at helping litigants in person appearing before the Bristol Family and Civil courts is being launched next week.

Full story: Family Law

MOJ publishes report on implementation of Law Commission proposals

The Ministry of Justice has published their 2015-2016 Report on the implementation of Law Commission proposals.

Full story: Family Law

Civil Partnership Act 2004 (Amendment) Bill fails in Commons

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 (Amendment) Bill, sponsored by Tim Loughton MP, has failed at its second reading in the House of Commons.

Full story: Family Law Week

Three-quarters of social workers oppose ‘power to innovate’ provisions

LAs should not be permitted to opt out of statutory duties to children and families.

Full story: Family Law Week

Sixteen new family law silks appointed

Sixteen family lawyers have been included among the new Queen's Counsel appointed today (12 January 2017).

Full story: Family Law

Civil partnership for only same-sex couples is ‘discriminatory’

Private members bill receives cross-party support ahead of Commons debate.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Care applications in December 2016

In December 2016, Cafcass received a total of 1,068 care applications.  This figure represents a 3% decrease compared with those received in December 2015.

Full story: Cafcass

Cafcass private law demand

In December 2016, Cafcass received a total of 2,938 new private law cases. This is a 1% increase on December 2015 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

Foster carer left with no support for 6 years following dispute with local authority over placement

A family and friends foster carer who took on three vulnerable children after their mother was unable to care for them, failed to get council support for the arrangement for 6 years.

Full story: Family Law

Government fund for 'exciting' adoption initiatives opens

The Department for Education has launched a fresh push to improve the adoption system, inviting bids for grant funding to "spark new innovations".

Full story: Children & Young People Now

'Bonfire of children's rights' Bill opposed

A Bill described as "a bonfire of child protection rights", which would let councils opt out of key legal duties to children, is being debated on Tuesday.

Full story: BBC News

Nearly 3m UK couples missing out on free tax break

HMRC campaign bids to reverse low take-up on George Osborne tax break worth up to £220 a year.

Full story: The Guardian

Court of Protection extends scheme offering more access to journalists until August

An experiment which gives journalists and members of the public more access to Court of Protection hearings has been extended and will now run until August.

Full story: Press Gazette

Munby P could face MPs over vulnerable witnesses reform

‘Legal aid cuts have left working with the country’s most vulnerable in the family courts impossibly difficult’.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Cafcass request regarding Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programme referrals

A letter from Cafcass has been circulated today (5 January 2017) with a view to clarifying best practice arrangements where referral to a Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programme is intended.

Full story: Family Law

Judge lambasts council and police for flaws in investigation and care case

A High Court judge has strongly criticised a council and a police force for serious breaches of the Human Rights Act, after two children were retained in care despite their mother not being charged with an offence following her arrest.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Truss orders review to ban abusers tormenting victims in family courts

Justice secretary intervenes after Guardian investigation revealed women often cross-examined by violent ex-partners in private hearings.

Full story: The Guardian

Full digital divorce process ‘won’t happen any time soon’

Online divorce petition expected to be completed by end of summer 2017.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Calls for ADR renewed as ‘Divorce Month’ begins

Family charity calls for greater take-up of out-of-court options for separating couples.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Sunderland set to become UK's only major city without any domestic violence refuges for women

The only provider of refuges for women fleeing domestic violence in Sunderland may be forced to close if the local council goes ahead with plans to stop providing funding, charity officials have warned.

Full story: The Independent

Charges to use the Child Maintenance Service hand the Government almost £1m a month

SNP brand the rising fees a 'cruel and callous tax' - particularly on mothers fleeing domestic abuse.

Full story: The Independent