Computer says nisi: digital divorce application on test

The government has announced it is piloting a fully online divorce application process across England and Wales which it hopes will make the process less stressful for families.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Judge bans man from taking daughter out of the country for the next 11 years over FGM fears

A judge has banned a man from taking his six-year-old daughter out of the country for the next 11 years over fears she may be forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM).

Full story: The Telegraph

London borough withdraws foster care threat in hospital care plan row

The London Borough of Croydon has withdrawn a threat to take a sick child into care because her parents rejected a hospital’s proposed care plan.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Isaiah Haastrup: Baby's life-support 'can be stopped'

Doctors can stop life-support treatment to a brain-damaged 11-month-old against parents' wishes, a High Court judge has said.

Full story: BBC News

CoA clarifies when proposed adopters’ merits may be considered on making placement order

Exception made to Re T (A Child) (Early Permanence Placement).

Full story: Family Law Week

85% of parents with a family-based child maintenance arrangement say it works well

DWP release figures for child maintenance arrangements made after speaking to Child Maintenance Options.

Full story: Family Law Week

Ineffectual written agreements in domestic abuse cases amount to victim blaming

Eleanor Schooling has called for a discussion about the use of written agreements after inspectors found they weren't effective in many domestic abuse cases.

Full story: Community Care

Judge rejects challenge to decision that 9-year-old was not a “child in need”

A High Court judge has dismissed a claim for judicial review over a decision of Birmingham City Council that a child was not a "child in need" for the purposes of section 17 of the Children Act 1989.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Judge backs ‘short-term’ fix to backlog of deprivation of liberty cases

Court of Protection can use general visitors to protect human rights of service users in deprivation of liberty cases lacking Rule 3A representatives.

Full story: Community Care

Latest View from the President’s Chambers

The on-going process of reform – Financial Remedies Courts.

Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

European Parliament calls for stronger protection for rights of children in international divorce disputes

The European Parliament has emphasised the importance of protecting the rights of the child throughout the dispute resolution procedure between divorcing couples, given the increasing rates of international divorces and cross-border child abductions within the EU.

Full story: Family Law

Domestic abusers told to say sorry to partner by police

Police are dealing with domestic abuse cases by simply making the abuser say sorry to their partner on the doorstep, a Fawcett Society report has found.

Full story: The Telegraph

Practice Guidance: Standard Financial and Enforcement Orders – Update

Addendum issued by the President of the Family Division.

Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Surrogate mother calls for 'old-fashioned' laws on births to be changed

Surrogacy UK chair Sarah Jones says genetic parents should have legal authority over new babies.

Full story: The Guardian

Adoption has become 'runaway train' social workers cannot stop

British Association of Social Workers’ two-year inquiry calls for ‘significant rethink’ of adoption laws.

Full story: The Guardian

Munby warns against 'adversarial and punitive' care proceedings

The president of the family division has advised local authorities to think long and hard before embarking on care proceedings against 'otherwise unimpeachable' parents.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

New private law cases received by Cafcass in December 2017 2% down on a year ago

In December 2017, Cafcass received a total of 2,790 new private law cases. This is a 2% decrease compared with those received in December 2016.

Full story: Family Law Week

Care applications received by Cafcass in December 2017 8% down on a year ago

In December 2017, Cafcass received a total of 1,008 care applications. Whilst this figure represents an 8% decrease in comparison with December 2016, it is the third-highest monthly total for December on record.

Full story: Family Law Week

Missing four-year-old British girl found with mother in Spain

Family court judge says Elliana Shand and her mother, who has mental health problems, will return to England within days.

Full story: The Guardian

Leicester council sent care children list to taxi firms

Details of "hundreds, potentially thousands" of vulnerable people, including children, have been emailed to taxi firms by a council.

Full story: BBC News

Secure Tenancies (Victims of Domestic Abuse) Bill receives second reading

Legislation fulfils commitment to victims of domestic violence.

Full story: Family Law Week

Child referred to social services every 49 seconds amid rising reports of domestic violence

Councils warn they face pressures on ‘staggering scale’ as data shows there were 646,120 referrals to children’s services last year – equating to 1,770 referrals per day.

Full story: The Independent

Social workers could use social media checks to ‘enhance’ assessments, serious case review says

The review recommended safeguarding boards look at developing guidance for social workers on how to use social media to enhance assessments.

Full story: Community Care

Cost of divorce up 17% in three years amid soaring legal fees and housing costs

Separating couples now typically spend £14,561 on lawyers and lifestyle costs, plus an additional £35,000 to rent or £144,600 to buy new property.

Full story: The Independent

Court rules children of learning-disabled mother can be adopted despite criticising council

Judge highlights lack of training and protocol around parents with learning disabilities but stresses support must not become 'substituted parenting'.

Full story: Community Care

Parents of sick child in row with hospital hit out at foster care threat

The parents of a sick child have said that the London Borough of Croydon has threatened foster care proceedings because they have rejected a hospital’s care plan.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Solicitor Gauke is named as justice secretary

Solicitor David Gauke was today named as lord chancellor and secretary of state for justice in a surprise element of the government reshuffle.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Changes to domestic violence evidence requirements come into effect

From today (8 January 2018), victims of domestic violence will get more support in taking abusive former partners to court.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Women should be told if new partner has abusive past, say victims’ groups

MPs urged to back law granting police powers to disclose convictions of violent offenders if they start relationship.

Full story: The Observer

Serious case review calls for changes to domestic abuse procedures

A serious case review into the murder of a toddler by his violent stepfather has called for improvements in the way councils assess the risk of domestic abuse to children.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Domestic violence and abuse: help from DWP

A guide for domestic violence and abuse victims about services from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Changes to family forms from 8 January 2018

The Ministry of Justice has announced that Form FM1, Form A, Form A1, Form B and Form C100 will be amended with effect from 8 January 2018.

Full story: Family Law