Children and Social Work Act 2017

The Children and Social Work Act 2017 has received royal assent and introduces a number of significant changes.

Full story: Family Law

Administrative De-linking of Financial Remedy Applications from Divorce Proceedings

On 2 May 2017, a pilot will see the administrative de-linking of financial proceedings from divorce so that the main divorce proceedings can remain in the specialist centre and staff and judiciary at the local hearing centres can work independently on the contested financial proceedings.

Full story: Family Law

Council sending section 20 cases to legal planning meetings to ensure compliance

The council said its decision to get extra legal scrutiny on section 20 cases followed critical judgments by Sir James Munby.

Full story: Community Care

Munby lambasts council over "profoundly concerning" adoption case

The president of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, has made scathing criticisms of Brighton & Hove City Council’s conduct in a complex adoption case.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Baby removed from parents over 'abuse' is found to have rare bruising condition

A baby who was removed from her parents when they were accused of abusing her has a rare condition which causes "easy bruising".

Full story: ITV News

Exclusive: Family Law Café goes live with lawyer ‘mentors’ to help clients navigate their cases

A novel online family law service that uses experienced lawyers to mentor and manage clients through the legal process has gone live.

Full story: Legal Futures

Charlie Gard case: Ministers rule out intervening in court decision

Ministers have ruled out intervening in the case of a sick baby after a High Court judge ruled doctors could withdraw his life support.

Full story: BBC News

Online divorce prototype proving 'extremely successful'

Prototype has been in operation since January 2017.

Full story: Family Law Hub

Mrs Owens takes divorce refusal to Supreme Court

Petitioner’s silk hopes justices find workable solution that reflects modern thinking.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Government to investigate how foster care can be improved

The Department for Education has launched a stocktake and consultation on current foster care provision and how it can be improved.

Full story: Community Care

Three in five people think that civil partnerships should be available to all

Populus survey suggests popular support for extension of civil partnership.

Full story: Family Law Week

Prisons and Courts Bill dropped

The Prisons and Courts Bill was today dropped ahead of the dissolution of Parliament as MPs prepare for June’s general election.

Full story: Legal Futures

Judge criticises council’s failure to support ‘intimidated’ social worker

Inexperienced practitioner exaggerated threat posed to his own family by father he was working with, court hears.

Full story: Community Care

Paid McKenzie Friends “play on uncertainty and victimhood” of separating fathers

‘Professional’ paid McKenzie Friends associated with fathers’ rights groups play on their “uncertainty and sense of victimhood” to attract business, academic research has found, saying that there needed to be a code of conduct and a greater role for law school clinics in their place.

Full story: Legal Futures

Child abuse victims 'let down by system' children's commissioner claims

Children who are the victims of child abuse are being let down by the system, with professionals often failing to pick up signs of abuse, England's children's commissioner has said.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Online divorce service goes to pilot

East Midlands court provides testing ground for new service from HMCTS.

Full story: UKAuthority

Welsh schoolgirl taken to Saudi against her will had warned school, charity says

MP says lessons should be learned from case of woman taken from Wales to Saudi Arabia and allegedly held prisoner by her father.

Full story: The Guardian

Child Support Agency case closures: June 2014 to December 2016

Quarterly experimental statistics on the progress of the Child Support Agency (CSA) case closure programme from June 2014 to December 2016.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

High degree of variation in adoption decision-making across country

Number of approved adopters has almost halved in last three years.

Full story: Family Law Week

Pinball kids: report highlights difficulties for children ‘bouncing around’ the care system

One in ten children in care experience two or more changes in placement.

Full story: Family Law Week

Joint targeted area inspections announced to protect children at risk of neglect

New framework and guidance published.

Full story: Family Law Week

Concerns over major drop in adopter recruitment

More needs to be done to attract suitable adoptive parents for children with complex needs amid a sharp drop in recruitment, an influential body set up by the government to drive through adoption reform has warned.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Care applications in March 2017

In March 2017, Cafcass received a total of 1288 care applications.  This figure represents a 4.3% increase compared with those received in March 2016.

Full story: Cafcass

Cafcass private law demand

In March 2017, Cafcass received a total of 3,907 new private law cases. This is a 16% increase on March 2016 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

Lord chancellor to face damages claim after judge's 'gross' error

The lord chancellor will face a claim for damages after the Court of Appeal accepted a judge made errors amounting to a ‘gross and obvious irregularity’.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Judges reject US banker's claim to be a genius in divorce case

Randy Work must pay ex-wife Mandy Gray half of their fortune after the appeal court backs initial ruling that his contribution to the marriage was not exceptional.

Full story: The Guardian

Charlie Gard case: Doctors can withdraw baby's life support

Doctors can withdraw life support from a sick baby with a rare genetic condition against his parents' wishes, a High Court judge has ruled.

Full story: BBC News

Fruit farmer appeals for Brexit discount on £12m divorce payout to wife

A fruit farmer who claims his fortune may have been hit hard by Brexit is fighting his ex-wife over her £12.2 million divorce payout.

Full story: Evening Standard

Samantha Baldwin 'gave children drugs'

A mother who fled with her two sons drugged them with sedatives and made allegations of abuse against their father, a judge has said.

Full story: BBC News

Ryan Giggs to argue he made 'special contribution' to wealth during marriage to estranged wife

Ryan Giggs is set to argue he made a ‘special contribution’ to the creation of wealth during his marriage, a divorce court heard.

Full story: Manchester Evening News

Rowing parents more harmful to child’s development than divorce

Arguing parents in the run up to a divorce cause greater damage to a child’s development than the separation itself, new research has shown.

Full story: iNews

Parents film children to win custody battles in bitter divorce cases

Desperate parents are increasingly resorting to filming or recording their children in an attempt to win custody in bitter divorce cases, lawyers have said.

Full story: The Telegraph

Vegan mother forced to vaccinate children in High Court ruling

Two young boys will receive routine vaccinations, in spite of their mother's wishes, after the High Court ruled that it would not be in the children's best wishes to keep them from being vaccinated.

Full story: The Telegraph

Laura Ashley boss to pay ex-wife divorce settlement of £64m

Khoo Kay Peng and Pauline Chai were involved in long-running divorce row following split after 42 years of marriage.

Full story: The Guardian

Barrister Joanna Toch announces a revolution in family law

Barrister and family law specialist Joanna Toch has launched Family Law Café, a revolutionary new concept based on her years of experience dealing with clients in this sensitive area.

Full story: ResponseSource

Gingerbread queries ‘muddled thinking’ behind Troubled Families programme

Focus of next phase will be on parental conflict and worklessness.

Full story: Family Law Week

Council to investigate social worker criticised by judge in care proceedings

A judge said a social worker appeared to be 'gunning for adoption' to parents who complained and asked for the social worker to be named.

Full story: Community Care

Adoption order numbers drop for second successive year

Government figures show the number of final adoption orders made by judges has fallen by over 300 in the past year.

Full story: Community Care

Council wins Court of Appeal case on translation costs in public law proceedings

The cost of translating court documents served in family public law proceedings may fall on one or other party depending on the circumstances and cannot be decided in a blanket manner, the Court of Appeal has said.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Report reveals rise in calls to family law by 69%

Calls to the family law sector rose by 69% in the first three months of 2017, according to a new report by Moneypenny.

Full story: Legal Futures

New Family forms in use from 6 April 2017

New and amended forms include those covering declaration of parentage, enforcement and protective orders.

Full story: Family Law Hub

Deprivation of liberty court applications double

The increase marks the latest evidence of the impact of the Supreme Court's landmark Cheshire West ruling.

Full story: Community Care

Domestic abuser must tell police if he gets a new girlfriend

Londoner Kylle Godfrey believed to be first person in England and Wales to be subject to new domestic violence disclosure scheme.

Full story: The Guardian

Third of cohabitants believed they had same rights as married couples (or did not know)

Only 14 per cent of cohabitants surveyed bought their home as tenants in common.

Full story: Family Law Week

Court of Appeal endorses Mubarak test for Hadkinson applications

Husband’s appeal dismissed for ‘abject failure to abide by the principles’ of court’s procedural rules.

Full story: Family Law Week

Fears for victims of domestic abuse as number of police charges plummets in one year

Figures obtained by The Independent spark concerns the criminal justice system is failing victims of violent abusers.

Full story: The Independent

SRA dismisses Law Society concerns over domestic violence referral fees

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has dismissed Law Society concerns about disciplinary sanctions imposed on a law firm that paid referral fees to a domestic violence charity.

Full story: Legal Futures

Parents of Charlie Yates raise £1.2m for pioneering treatment

A High Court judge will decide on Monday what is in his best interests.

Full story: BBC News

The Public Guardian (Fees, etc.) (Amendment) Regulations 2017

These Regulations amend the Public Guardian (Fees, etc.) Regulations 2007 by amending the Schedule to change the fee for an application to register an enduring, or a lasting, power of attorney from £110 to £82, and to change the fee for a repeat application to register a lasting power of attorney from £55 to £41.

More unmarried couples with children breaking up than married couples for first time, ONS figures show

More families involving unmarried than married couples are breaking down for the first time ever in what campaigners for marriage are calling a "national tragedy", ONS figures show.

Full story: The Telegraph