Mother alleging abuse left alone in court after failing legal aid test

A family judge has publicly criticised the lack of funding for a woman alleging rape and sexual assault against her ex-husband, suggesting it may have resulted in a miscarriage of justice.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Revised protocol published for referrals of families to child contact centres by judges and magistrates

Protocol endorsed by the President of the Family Division.

Full story: Family Law Week

Charity to launch £5m family justice research centre

A research hub that will seek to improve practice across the family justice system is to launch next year.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Judge rules diplomatic immunity is no barrier to care proceedings

Court finds high commission employee could have lost her children after physically abusing them.

Full story: Community Care

Guidance on the Capacity to Litigate in Proceedings Involving Children – April 2018

This guidance has been produced to assist judges in the Family Court to resolve mental capacity issues concerning parties to family law proceedings.

Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Guidance on Financial Needs on Divorce: Edition 2 – April 2018

The FJC has now published the second edition of this useful guide for the family judiciary, courts and legal advisers.

Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

NICE defends guidance on spotting injuries to babies after criticism from researchers

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has defended its guidance on spotting injuries to babies after criticism from researchers on television.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Divorce blame game leads to futile court battles, new study finds

Nuffield Foundation says outdated law needs a no-fault divorce option.

Full story: The Guardian

IPSO upholds complaint against Times story about Muslim fostering arrangement

Newspaper's report distorted judge’s decision.

Full story: Family Law Week

Plans announced to help children living with alcoholic parents

£6 million funding designed to help 200,000 children in England.

Full story: Family Law Week

Digitising divorce applications could save 13,000 hours of court staff time

Enabling people to apply for a divorce online could eliminate up to 13,000 hours of time spent by court staff checking divorce petitions, a senior civil servant responsible for several family justice reforms predicts.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Child maintenance arrangements made after speaking to CM Options, Dec 2017

Estimates of the child maintenance outcomes for parents that have spoken to Child Maintenance (CM) Options, based on the December 2017 survey.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Queen approves appointment of President of the Family Division

HM The Queen has approved the appointment of The Rt Hon Sir Andrew McFarlane as the President of the Family Division.

Full story: Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street

Divorce should be done online in 'one stop shop', says President of Supreme Court

Couples should be able to divorce online in a "one stop shop", the President of the Supreme Court has said as she argues that blame should be take out of the process as it is "unjust" and "discriminatory".

Full story: The Telegraph

Parents facing 'unfair child abuse claims' over bruising

Parents are being investigated for possible child abuse because of the misinterpretation of guidelines on bruising in babies, it's claimed.

Full story: BBC News

Alfie Evans: European court of human rights rules against parents

Family of seriously ill toddler lose latest legal fight after ECHR judges refuse to intervene in case.

Full story: The Guardian

President’s interim guidance: defective divorce petitions/decrees

On 23 April 2018 the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, issued interim guidance in respect of defective divorce petitions/decrees.

Full story: Family Law Week

Tagging domestic abusers is not enough, say campaigners

Satellite trackers and offender register would be more effective, government told.

Full story: The Guardian

Alfie Evans' parents lose latest legal battle at UK's highest court

Appeal by family of baby at centre of life-support dispute rejected by supreme court judges.

Full story: The Guardian

Family lawyers repeat calls for no-fault divorce ahead of Owens intervention

A national family law body is once again urging the government to reform 'outdated' divorce law as it prepares to intervene in a highly-anticipated case at the Supreme Court next month.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Pensions Advisory Group publishes long-awaited reports

Two reports published for consultation covering the legal issues of pensions on divorce and the use of valuation and experts.

Full story: Family Law Hub

Judge rejects bid by council to obtain wardship over ill child

A High Court judge has rejected an attempt by the London Borough of Croydon to obtain wardship over a seriously ill child.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Government denies welfare changes will exacerbate domestic abuse

The government has rejected concerns from MPs that the move to paying benefits to a single recipient in the household rather than separately will exacerbate domestic abuse cases.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

LASPO review unlikely to be released this year

The government’s long-awaited review into its controversial legal aid reforms is unlikely to be published this year, the Ministry of Justice has suggested - despite lord chancellor David Gauke stressing that he does not want the review to slip into 2019.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Controlling girlfriend 'first woman convicted' of new domestic abuse offence

A university graduate is believed to be the first woman convicted under new domestic abuse laws after scalding her boyfriend with boiling water, stabbing him and keeping food from him.

Full story: The Telegraph

Alfie Evans case: Court rules against parents again

Court of Appeal judges have rejected an bid by the parents of terminally ill toddler Alfie Evans to overturn a decision over who has control of his life support.

Full story: BBC News

Sir Ernest Ryder speaks on the Role of the Justice System in Decision-making for Children

Sir Ernest addresses the principles underpinning judicial decision-making and the evidential requirements in a changing environment.

Full story: Family Law Week

Care applications received by Cafcass in March 2018 down by 4%

Annual total of care applications falls slightly.

Full story: Family Law Week

New private law cases received by Cafcass in March 2018 down 5% on a year ago

Annual rate running at 3% above previous twelve months.

Full story: Family Law Week

High court judge backs end-of-life care plan for toddler on life support

Details of provisions for final stage of 23-month-old Alfie Evans’s life not made public.

Full story: The Guardian

'Meal ticket for life' bid backfires as divorcee loses £175,000 a year from ex-husband

An attempt by a divorcee to have a “meal ticket for life” backfired after a High Court Judge ruled her maintenance payments should cease after just three years.

Full story: The Telegraph

Sir Ernest Ryder addresses decision-making for children and the role of the justice system

Sir Ernest Ryder spoke on the role of the justice system in decision-making for children at the 10th International Congress of the British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.

Full story: Family Law

Plaudits for judge's plain speaking in adoption case

A judge has been praised for the way she has explained her decision to allow a baby boy to be adopted so that the child's father, who has a learning disability, can understand.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Listing Final Hearings in Adoption cases

This Guidance is issued with the purpose of clarifying the legal requirements and practical arrangements for final hearings in adoption applications and adoption visits.

Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

President’s Guidance: Family proceedings: Parents with a learning disability

My primary purpose in issuing this Guidance is to bring to the attention of practitioners and judges, and to commend for careful consideration and application by everyone, the very important “Good practice guidance on working with parents with a learning disability” issued by the Working Together with Parents Network and the Norah Fry Centre in September 2016.

Full story: Family Law

Average time for disposal of care cases continues to creep upwards

Little change in overall number of new cases started in family courts in 2017.

Full story: Family Law Week

Rising number of grandparents going to court to win right to see their grandchildren

A rising number of grandparents are going to court to win the right to see their grandchildren, new figures show, as experts say fathers’ parents are more likely to miss out.

Full story: The Telegraph

Legal costs halt thousands of domestic violence cases

Domestic abuse victims in England have been unable to get emergency court orders stopping their abusers from harming them, a charity has said.

Full story: BBC News

Appointment of Edward Timpson CBE as new CAFCASS Chair

The Secretary of State for Justice announces the appointment of Edward Timpson CBE for a period of 3 years.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Mediation starts at their lowest since LASPO introduction

Quarterly legal aid statistics published.

Full story: Family Law Week

Conversion rate of completed foster carer applications to approvals decreases

Staying put numbers down on a year ago.

Full story: Family Law Week

Outcomes for looked after children at 31 March 2017

Measures cover educational attainment, SEN, absence for school and exclusions.

Full story: Family Law Week

Alfie Evans: Hospital to seek court ruling over life support end date

The hospital caring for sick toddler Alfie Evans has said it will seek legal advice over a date when his life support can be withdrawn.

Full story: BBC News

Cohabitant entitled to slice of partner’s £1.5m estate, judge rules

The High Court has ruled in favour of a woman who received nothing from her late partner’s £1.5 million estate, in a judgment that will again spark debate about the law on inheritance.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

UK’s first Islamic Guidance Document on Adoption and Fostering published

Penny Appeal publishes groundbreaking document in response to FOI request.

Full story: Family Law Week

Official Solicitor loses bid for costs over withdrawn deprivation of liberty test cases

The Official Solicitor has failed in a bid to recover costs in the Court Of Protection from a clinical commissioning group that withdrew test cases aimed at seeking clarification of the law concerning the deprivation of liberty of mentally incapacitated adults.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

The Family Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2018

These Rules amend the Family Procedure Rules 2010, in particular making provision in relation to the “fast-track” and “standard” procedures for resolution of certain applications for a financial remedy.

Statutory Instrument