Mixed reactions to Government proposals to protect domestic abuse victims

The announcement by Home Secretary Amber Rudd of plans to increase use of screens and video links in court for victims of domestic violence, to spare them the trauma of facing their perpetrators, has raised conflicting responses from practitioners.

Full story: Family Law

First surrogacy guidance published for England and Wales

Guidance on how to start a family using a surrogate has been published for England and Wales for the first time by the government.

Full story: BBC News

President issues fresh guidance on jurisdiction and allocation in the Family Court

The President seeks to clarify the position, which is the cause of "considerable confusion".

Full story: Family Law Hub

Latest ONS marriage figures underline need for legal reform

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has published Marriages in England and Wales: 2015, reporting on the number of marriages that took place in England and Wales in 2015.

Full story: Family Law

Number of councils using Family Drug and Alcohol Courts to expand

The new authorities join 15 others that operate the specialist courts across the country.

Full story: Community Care

Child Maintenance Service: Aug 2013 to Dec 2017 (experimental)

Experimental statistics on child maintenance arrangements administered by the Child Maintenance Service.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Solicitor loses appeal against order to give evidence on Russian client’s assets and not tip him off about it

A solicitor compelled to give evidence about a billionaire Russian client’s assets, and forbidden from revealing his court appearance to the client, has lost his appeal against those orders.

Full story: Legal Futures

Rudd urged to prevent cross-examining by domestic abusers

Charity calls on home secretary to end practice in family courts as she unveils proposals for bill.

Full story: The Guardian

Domestic violence legislation will follow consultation, confirms Prime Minister

The Prime Minister has confirmed that the Home Office is not yet ready to bring forward domestic violence legislation.

Full story: Family Law Week

Divorce costs £3,800 a year in retirement income, says Prudential

Expected annual income for divorcees retiring in 2018 is £17,600.

Full story: Family Law Week

CoramBAAF welcomes report on child protection practice with Romani and Traveller children

‘Romani and Traveller children three times more likely to be taken into care’ than other children.

Full story: Family Law Week

Case closure process at Child Support Agency closes another 40,000 files

866,700 cases currently managed by CSA.

Full story: Family Law Week

Police undertake to investigate thoroughly all potential offences of FGM

Avon and Somerset Police statement follows collapsed trial.

Full story: Family Law Week

Parents lose legal battle to keep brain-damaged UK baby on life support

Judge in London denies right to appeal against decision to let 12-month-old Isaiah Haastrup die.

Full story: The Guardian

Mother faces £20,000 costs bill despite successfully challenging care order

Local authorities should not have to cover legal aid funding deficiencies, the Court of Appeal has said, despite upholding a mother's challenge against a placement order.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Alfie Evans: Appeal against ending life support

The family of a seriously ill boy is to appeal against a High Court ruling allowing doctors to switch off his life-support.

Full story: BBC News

Domestic abuse: Guidelines recommend tougher sentences

People convicted of domestic abuse offences in England and Wales will be more likely to go to prison in future, under new sentencing guidelines.

Full story: BBC News

Commons Committee investigates evidence-based early-years intervention

The Science and Technology Committee is holding evidence sessions as part of an inquiry into evidence-based early-years intervention.

Full story: Family Law Week

Parents lose legal fight to keep Liverpool toddler on life support

High court rules in favour of doctors who said continuing to treat Alfie Evans was ‘inhumane’.

Full story: The Guardian

Serious case review criticises services’ ‘over optimism’ of ‘start again’ approach

Serious case review says historical information did not inform decision-making despite five of the parents’ children previously being taken into care.

Full story: Community Care

Councils struggling to cope with surge in child protection referrals

Government urged to act on domestic violence reforms promised in Queen’s speech.

Full story: The Guardian

Dispensing with Independent Reviewing Officers would put vulnerable children at risk

Nagalro objects to proposal in foster care review.

Full story: Family Law Week

Guidance to family courts: payment for intermediaries and intermediary assessments

Internal staff guidance has been published by the Ministry of Justice setting out out how certain court-ordered measures including intermediaries and intermediary assessments may be paid for in family cases.

Full story: Family Law Week

Supreme Court ruling highlights complexities in family 'abduction' cases

The Supreme Court has highlighted the complex nature of issues that lower courts have to grapple with in relation to family cases involving the Hague Convention on civil aspects of international child abduction.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Rise in caseloads for children's social workers

The average number of cases children's social workers deal with at any one time has risen to nearly 18, government statistics suggest.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Divorcing couples may clash over Bitcoin

Divorcing couples are being warned to disclose all their assets amid fears that some may use digital currencies such as Bitcoin to hide their wealth.

Full story: BBC News

Public law cases received by Cafcass in January up 3% on a year ago

Highest monthly total for a January on record.

Full story: Family Law Week

New private law cases received by Cafcass in January up 11% on a year ago

3,590 new cases received.

Full story: Family Law Week

Supreme Court to hear s.20 Children Act accommodation case this week

The Supreme Court will this week consider the lawfulness of a London borough’s accommodation under s.20 of the Children Act 1989 of eight children who had been taken into police protection.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Court of Protection: SRA regulation allows for immediate approval of trust corporations

Trust corporations wanting to act as property and affairs deputies for incapacitated people must be regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to gain immediate approval, the Court of Protection has ruled.

Full story: Legal Futures

Parental alcohol abuse linked to child deaths and injuries

One in three child deaths or serious injuries from neglect or abuse linked to alcohol misuse.

Full story: The Guardian

Supreme Court to decide whether ‘anticipatory retention’ is recognised under the 1980 Hague Convention

Judgment in appeal against C (Children) [2017] EWCA Civ 980 to be given on 14 February 2018.

Full story: Family Law Week

Countries where a parent can enforce child maintenance decisions: list updated

Briefing paper published on reciprocal enforcement of maintenance orders.

Full story: Family Law Week

Adoption and Care Planning (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2018

The Adoption and Care Planning (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2018, which come into force on 5 March 2018, make provision for the disclosure of certain information by an adoption agency to another adoption agency.

Full story: Family Law Week

Human Rights Committee launches inquiry into reform of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

Written submissions sought from interested parties.

Full story: Family Law Week

Government asks Law Commission to look at trolling laws

Report due on online harassment and cyber bullying by October 2018.

Full story: Family Law Week

CCLC report calls for effective access to justice for all children

A Coram Children’s Legal Centre report has found that the narrowing in scope of provision of legal aid by LASPO has resulted in thousands of children being left without access to free legal advice and representation each year.

Full story: Family Law

Foster care in England report published

Sir Martin Narey and Mark Owers's independent review of the fostering system in England with recommendations to the government about improving foster care.

Full story: Department for Education

FGM can remain unreported for 25 years, data analysis reveals

More than two thirds of all newly recorded cases of FGM reported – 70 per cent - are of women aged 35 or younger, new analysis by the National FGM Centre reveals today (February 6).

Full story: Barnardo’s

Alfie Evans: Judge orders new scans of seriously ill boy

A seriously ill toddler is to undergo fresh brain scans at a judge's request.

Full story: BBC News

Rich couple's divorce battle a waste of time, says UK judge

Pair accused of losing touch with reality after spending third of £6.6m wealth on case so far.

Full story: The Guardian

Register Islamic marriages under UK law, sharia review says

Report endorses civil marriage alongside religious ceremony to give women legal protection.

Full story: The Guardian

Russian billionaire's ex-wife seeks record UK divorce payout

Farkhad Akhmedova yet to pay ‘a penny’ in appeal against settlement, high court hears.

Full story: The Guardian