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

City council faces legal action over leak of adoption information

Newcastle City Council faces legal action after a data leak exposed personal details of people involved in adoptions.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Supreme Court allows wife’s appeal in Birch v Birch

Court may hear wife’s application to be released from undertaking to sell former matrimonial home.

Full story: Family Law Week

High Court affirms declaration that Charlie Gard’s life support may be withdrawn

Parents withdraw objection to GOSH’s application.

Full story: Family Law Week

Cuts cannot have been intended to leave parents struggling - Charlie Gard judge

Legal aid reforms cannot have been intended to leave parents struggling to access legal representation in cases similar to that of terminally ill baby Charlie Gard, the judge ruling in the case said today in an unusually outspoken intervention.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Further Family Court closures

5 more court closures confirmed before September 2017.

Full story: Family Law Hub

Consultation on changing legal gender to be launched

The UK government is considering plans to make the process of changing legal gender easier.

Full story: BBC News

New D8 and other divorce procedure changes

The Family Procedure (Amendment No 2) Rules 2017 are due to come into force on 7 August 2017.

Full story: Family Law Hub

International meeting addresses domestic / family violence and the 1980 Child Abduction Convention

New Guide to Good Practice on Article 13(1)(b) developed.

Full story: Family Law Week

Mr Justice Peter Jackson appointed to Court of Appeal

Seven new appointments to Court of Appeal.

Full story: Family Law Week

Lady Hale appointed next President of Supreme Court, alongside three new Justices

Baroness Hale of Richmond will succeed Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury as President of the UK Supreme Court, it was announced today, alongside three additional appointments to the UK's top appeal court.

Full story: The Supreme Court

Judge allows council to submit evidence on family gained from private investigator

But Judge Moradifar ruled allegations the covert surveillance breached parents' human rights should be dealt with separately.

Full story: Community Care

Supreme Court ruling in Birch v Birch variation appeal due next week

The Supreme Court will hand down judgment in the Birch v Birch appeal next week on Wednesday 26th July.

Full story: Family Law Hub

The Child Abduction and Custody (Parties to Conventions) (Amendment) Order 2017

This Order revokes the Child Abduction and Custody (Parties to Conventions) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order 2011 and amends the Child Abduction and Custody (Parties to Conventions) Order 1986.

Statutory Instrument

HMCTS turns in £100m civil justice 'surplus' as fees add up

Fee income from civil courts reached almost £800m in the last financial year, new figures have revealed.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Judge praises ‘significant changes’ made by parents during care proceedings

A local authority withdrew its recommendation that a child be removed into care after the parents made changes during proceedings.

Full story: Community Care

Marriage and divorce on the rise at 65 and over

Increases explained by longer life expectancy.

Full story: Family Law Week

Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004: rights of victims

Guidance for clinicians where perpetrator is mentally disordered offender.

Full story: Family Law Week

The Family Procedure (Amendment No. 2) Rules 2017

These Rules amend the Family Procedure Rules 2010 from 7 August 2017.

Statutory Instrument

Consultation launched to facilitate de-linking of financial applications from divorce / dissolution proceedings

The Ministry of Justice has launched a consultation on proposed amendments to Part 9 of the Family Procedure Rules (FPR): Application for a financial remedy.

Full story: Family Law Week

Police and not council must pay for special advocates in family case, says judge

The police and not a local authority must pay for the provision of special advocates in a rare example of them being required for a Family Court case, Cobb J has ruled.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Judge warns double-booked lawyers: We will start case without you

A family judge has issued a public warning to solicitors and barristers to avoid 'cross courting' that impacts on the progress of a case.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Proportion of the population who are married has decreased by 3.9 per cent since 2002

51 per cent of population (over 16) married.

Full story: Family Law Week

Experts’ Group recommends new Hague Convention on recognition and enforcement of family agreements

New instrument would build on the 1980, 1996 and 2007 Hague Conventions.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children’s Commissioner urges EU not to use children’s residency status as ‘bargaining chip’

Issue of ECJ jurisdiction needs to be separated.

Full story: Family Law Week

Outdated law of wills needs 'overhaul'

Law Commission consults on proposals to ease strict rules.

Full story: Family Law Week

Pension inequality ended for same-gender couples

Supreme Court judgment finds Equality Act exemption unlawful.

Full story: Family Law Week

Care applications to Cafcass in June up 3 per cent on a year ago

1,319 care applications received.

Full story: Family Law Week

Private law applications to Cafcass in June up 12 per cent on a year ago

Highest number of new cases in a month for more than three years.

Full story: Family Law Week

“Perception” of high cost discouraging family law clients from going direct to barristers

There is a “clear perception” among most family law clients that barristers are more expensive than solicitors and other legal services providers, major research commissioned by the Bar Standards Board has found.

Full story: Legal Futures

Charity issues guidance on publication of judgments about family matters

The Transparency Project has published a new guide designed to help parties in the family justice system “navigate the complicated issue of publishing judgments about private family matters”.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Babies at risk of 'adoption by stealth', family charity warns

Mothers may find temporary arrangements turn into permanent adoption under fostering for adoption scheme, with limited access to free legal advice.

Full story: The Guardian

Charlie Gard hospital applies to high court for fresh hearing

Great Ormond Street hospital says move comes ‘in light of claims of new evidence relating to potential treatment’.

Full story: The Guardian

Privy Council considers beneficial ownership case

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has dismissed an appeal by a Jamaican husband against a ruling of the Court of Appeal of Jamaica that the beneficial interest of a property bought by a married couple was to be held in equal shares.

Full story: Family Law Week

CoA to decide whether English court can consider section 27 maintenance application when Scottish court is dealing with the divorce

Case concerns interpretation of the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments (Maintenance) Regulations 2011.

Full story: Family Law Week

Legal Aid Agency guidance on a model approach to civil billing

The Legal Aid Agency has set out a standard approach to help turn around your work more efficiently when submitting online and paper bills.

Full story: Family Law

Amber Rudd unveils £17m fund to help domestic abuse victims

Men who harm women and children by inflicting domestic abuse are to be targeted as part of a new £2.5 million drive announced today to protect female victims of violence in London.

Full story: Evening Standard

Settlement Conferences Pilot

Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, has issued the following guidance in respect of the settlement conferences pilot.

Full story: Family Law Week

Annual statistical publication for FGM shows 5,391 newly recorded cases during 2016-17

There were 5,391 newly recorded cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) reported in England during 2016-17, according to the second publication of annual statistics from this data set.

Full story: Family Law

Children in north of England 70% more likely to face care process, study shows

North-south divide reveals discrepancies in the way local authorities and judges address care proceedings.

Full story: The Guardian