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

President invites FJC to consider covert recording of conversations for use in family proceedings

Detailed analysis of the rules of admissibility needed.

Full story: Family Law Week

HMCTS sets course for online financial remedy applications

CEO Susan Acland-Hood outline plans in her latest blog post.

Full story: Family Law Hub

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

France not recognising same-gender marriages converted from civil partnerships

Couples advised to divorce and re-marry.

Full story: Family Law Week

Police recorded domestic abuse continues to rise

4,246 offences of coercive control recorded in year ending March 2017.

Full story: Family Law Week

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

'Clumsy' lawyers risk appeals after judge clarifies family court powers

A broad interpretation of the family court's powers risks creating a surge in appeals if 'clumsy' lawyers delve into areas beyond their specialism.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Mr Justice Baker appointed as the Senior Family Liaison Judge

Appointment has immediate effect.

Full story: Family Law Week

Guidance given in important hair strand testing judgment

Practices of testers affirmed and suggestions made for report writing.

Full story: Family Law Week

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

Boys with ‘narcissistic cult’ mindset removed from mother’s care

Three teenage brothers, who believed they were intellectually superior, had suffered physical and emotional harm, judge told.

Full story: The Guardian

MFPA 1984 Part III award overturned by Court of Appeal

Agreement by the parties was Radmacher fair.

Full story: Family Law Week

Domestic violence education inadequate across UK medical schools, finds new study

Teaching on domestic violence should be mandatory, says report.

Full story: Family Law Week

Local authority failed to assess vulnerable young children at risk of harm

Ombudsman finds council did not properly consider the needs of the children.

Full story: Family Law Week

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

Mostyn J confirms that family court has power to order indemnity in respect of mortgage liability

Such orders have been made ‘routinely’ over last three years.

Full story: Family Law Week