Children's charity Coram calls for task force to secure children's rights as Britain leaves the EU

With Brexit at the forefront of the national agenda, Coram, the country’s first children’s charity, is calling on the government to take pro-active steps to advance the rights of children now and in the future.

Full story: Family Law

Children in UK's poorest areas 10 times more likely to go into care

Study finds one in 60 children taken into care in most deprived areas compared with one in 660 in the wealthiest.

Full story: The Guardian

City trader who earned £10m in bonuses fights to slash her husband’s divorce payoff by £1.5m

A former City trader who made millions in bonuses working in the energy market is fighting to have her divorce settlement to her ex-husband cut by £1.5 million to £1.2 million.

Full story: Evening Standard

Removal of harsh evidence tests will help domestic violence victims

The removal of a 5-year time limit on evidence of abuse which prevents vulnerable victims of domestic violence from obtaining legal aid for court hearings has been welcomed by the Law Society of England and Wales.

Full story: Family Law

Tribute paid by Sir James Munby to Sir Nicholas Wall

The President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, has paid tribute to the former President, Sir Nicholas Wall, who died last week.

Full story: Family Law Week

High Court rules against sharia-only divorce claim

The Family Division of the High Court has ruled against a man who claimed his marriage could only be dissolved under sharia, and that his wife must travel to Pakistan for a divorce.

Full story: National Secular Society

HRA claims and concurrent care proceedings

Third party costs orders, statutory charge guidance and an invitation to the Lord Chancellor.

Full story: Family Law Week

Resolution response to Prisons and Courts Bill

Resolution, the biggest national organisation of family lawyers, has issued a response to today's Prisons and Courts Bill. The Bill was unveiled today by Justice Secretary Elizabeth Truss.

Full story: Family Law

MOJ publishes research on the cross-examination of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses in private family law

The Ministry of Justice has today (23 February 2017) published a report on the cross-examination of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses in private family law.

Full story: Family Law

The Court of Protection (Amendment) Rules 2017

These Rules amend the Court of Protection Rules 2007 in two respects.

Council criticised over death of child on special guardianship order

A children's services department has been criticised for a raft of failures in their handling of the case of an 18-month-old girl, who was murdered after being placed with a family member through a special guardianship order.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Consultation launched on draft Practice Direction 3AA

Vulnerable persons: participation in proceedings and giving evidence.

Full story: Family Law Week

Courts to ban cross-examination of victims by abusers

Domestic abusers will no longer be able to cross-examine their former partners in family courts in England and Wales, the justice secretary is to announce.

Full story: BBC News

Legal aid shakeup hands lifeline to domestic violence victims

Removal of five-year limit for applications follows vow by prime minister to increase domestic abuse prosecutions.

Full story: The Guardian

Relate puts pioneering online divorce project on hold

A project to create the first online dispute resolution system for divorcing and separating couples in the UK has been put on hold, Legal Futures has been told.

Full story: Legal Futures

Bill requiring government to ratify Istanbul Convention to have report stage on 24 February

Government expected to table amendments.

Full story: Family Law Week

Supreme Court finds that minimum income rules for foreign spouses are lawful in principle

Children’s Commissioner responds to judgment.

Full story: Family Law Week

Social workers advised to visit homes for six months in suspected abuse cases

Social workers should consider home visits for at least six months if there are suspicions that a child is being abused or neglected, new guidance has suggested.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Businessman 'repeatedly lied' during evidence in cash battle with estranged wife

A High Court judge has concluded a businessman dubbed ''Africa's youngest billionaire'' by journalists lied during the latest stage of a cash battle with his estranged wife.

Full story: Aol.

Judge describes man in divorce case as ‘unattractive witness’ who tried to ‘bully the court’

A businessman embroiled in a High Court cash fight with his estranged wife tried to ‘fall back on his dyslexia and Asperger’s’ when the going got tough during a trial, a judge has said.

Full report: Metro

Heterosexual couple lose civil partnership challenge

A heterosexual couple have lost their Court of Appeal battle for the right to enter into a civil partnership instead of a marriage.

Full story: BBC News

Family judge condemns 2,000-page bundle

A family judge has expressed his disapproval at the ‘unwarranted expenditure’ in a case where a local authority breached Article 8 rights under the European Convention on Human Rights by taking an infant into care.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

76 projects to share £20 million fund to support domestic violence victims

Seventy-six projects across the country will receive a share of £20 million to support victims of domestic abuse.

Full story: Family Law Week

Prime Minister's plans to transform the way we tackle domestic violence and abuse

Prime Minister Theresa May announced plans for a major programme of work leading towards bringing forward a Domestic Violence and Abuse Act.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Government announces new funding to tackle child sexual abuse and child trafficking

Centre of Expertise to be launched.

Full story: Family Law Week

New research identifies impact of shortened care proceedings

Fewer care orders and placement orders made; more special guardianship and supervision orders.

Full story: Family Law Week

Domestic abuse victims wait nearly two years for compensation

Criminal injuries payouts delayed by almost double the time advised by charter, Ministry of Justice data show.

Full story: The Guardian

Court of Protection holds first public hearing under transparency pilot

The Court of Protection has started its first public hearing under its transparency pilot.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Parliamentary Group on Children of Alcoholics launches manifesto

Group calls for national strategy to counter ‘Britain's biggest secret scandal’.

Full story: Family Law Week

Kirkless council breached parents’ human rights by removing baby

Council ordered to pay £11,250 after removing week-old baby over father’s ‘unorthodox views’ about benefits of formula milk.

Full story: The Guardian

Guidance issued on DoLS and intensive care after landmark ruling

The judgment held that “in general” there could be no deprivation of liberty under human rights law when a person is receiving lifesaving treatment.

Full story: Community Care

Work done by social workers ‘marginalised’ in court, council says

A council also reported that a rise in legal challenges to placement orders was contributing to adoption delays.

Full story: Community Care

‘Helen Archer’ law must not forget alleged abusers

Barrister condemns routine use of terminology that fails to acknowledge presumption of innocence.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Government rebuffs latest calls for no-fault divorce

Widespread calls to reform divorce laws appear to be falling on deaf ears after the government confirmed it has no current plans to change existing legislation.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

University professor’s challenge to the validity of his 16 year marriage fails

Court of Appeal applies ‘presumption of marriage’ to Syrian couple’s relationship.

Full story: Family Law Week

Doctors can end life-support for baby 'with only weeks to live', judge rules

High court judge says stopping ‘invasive’ treatment is in baby’s best interests despite her parents’ objections.

Full story: The Guardian

ADCS and Cafcass agree on ways social workers can collaborate during proceedings

The Association of Directors of Children’s Services and Cafcass have struck an agreement on how social workers in both local authorities and those acting as guardians in family proceedings can better work together during care proceedings and pre-proceedings in the family courts.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Woman seeks to end 39-year marriage in Valentine's Day court appeal

Tini Owens is appealing against judge’s ‘extraordinarily unusual’ refusal to grant her a divorce last year.

Full story: The Guardian

Divorcees don't need to afford lifestyle they were accustomed to in marriage, Court of Appeal judge says as he rules against ex-wife

Divorcees do not need to be able to afford the lifestyle they were accustomed to in marriage, a Court of Appeal judge has suggested as he rejected an ex-wife’s bid to increase her settlement.

Full story: The Telegraph

Divorced parents who pit children against former partners 'guilty of abuse'

Divorced parents who "brainwash" their children against ex-partners are guilty of “abuse”, the head of the agency that looks after youngsters' interests in family courts has said.

Full story: The Telegraph

Violent abusers to be prevented from cross-examining ex-partners in court

Domestic violence victims will no longer face the threat of being interrogated by their former partners in court under proposed legislation.

Full story: The Observer

Munby to step down next year

The most senior family judge in England and Wales, renowned among practitioners for his outspoken views, is to step down next year.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Cafcass private law demand

In January 2017, Cafcass received a total of 3,356 new private law cases. This is a 17% increase on January 2016 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

Care applications in January 2017

In January 2017, Cafcass received a total of 1,119 care applications.  This figure represents a 7% increase compared with those received in January 2016.

Full story: Cafcass

High demand requires exceptional collaboration between local authorities and Cafcass

New agreement launched by ADCS and Cafcass aims to strengthen working together for children facing the care system.

Full story: Family Law Week

Munro withdraws backing for ‘dangerous’ social care exemptions plan

Leading child protection expert says she fears measures in Children and Social Work Bill will create more dangers than benefits.

Full story: Community Care

MPs ignore severe child protection warnings from large body of experts, says Together for Children

Campaign group publishes synopsis of expert advice.

Full story: Family Law Week

DWP reports on progress with Child Support Agency case closure programme

CSA caseload has reduced from 1.5 million to 1.1 million cases.

Full story: Family Law Week

Cohabiting partner wins pension fight in Supreme Court

Nomination requirement added nothing to evidential hurdle concerning cohabiting relationship.

Full story: Family Law Week

High Court blocks deprivation of liberty damages claim

Judge refuses to grant extension to allow learning disabled man to launch claim relating to care placement that ended in 2013.

Full story: Community Care

Separated parents working together on child maintenance arrangements

Thousands of children are benefiting from their separated parents working together on child maintenance arrangements, new figures show.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

France refuses to recognise Dubai divorce ruling that was ‘manifestly discriminatory’

Afsana Lachaux plans to pursue divorce and custody claims in UK.

Full story: Family Law Week

Court orders man to increase payments to wife who lost bulk of divorce settlement with 'poor financial decisions'

A wife who lost the bulk of her divorce settlement by making "poor financial decisions" has been awarded larger monthly payments from her ex-husband despite calls from his lawyer for maintenance limits to reflect "social change".

Full story: The Telegraph

Health Secretary urged to end GPs’ charging for legal aid ‘domestic violence’ letters

Guardian reports call from 16 police and crime commissioners.

Full story: Family Law Week

Court of Appeal applies Wyatt v Vince in 'delay' case

Husband’s claim that court had paid insufficient regard to wife's delay rejected.

Full post: Family Law Week

Reports of child-on-child sex offences rise 80% in three years

Barnardo’s warn of next major child protection issue.

Full story: Family Law Week

‘Honour killing’ Bill to have second reading on 24 March 2017

The Crime (Aggravated Murder of and Violence Against Women) Bill was introduced to Parliament on Tuesday 31 January 2017 under the Ten Minute Rule.

Full story: Family Law Week

ALC writes to Liz Truss about the ‘most shameful consequence of the LASPO Act’

Association offers to assist to end cross-examination of victims by alleged abusers.

Full story: Family Law Week

Consent ‘not required’ for section 20 accommodation, judge says

The Court of Appeal has said good practice guidance set out by Sir James Munby should still be followed, but not meeting it doesn't necessarily mean there is an 'actionable wrong'.

Full story: Community Care

Munby: court did not ‘cave in’ over release of jailed 71-year-old

The senior family judge has insisted the Court of Appeal has not ‘caved in’ at the ‘first sign of obduracy’ following the release of a 71-year-old jailed for contempt.

Full story: Law Society Gazette