Family judges must justify delaying final decisions – Court of Appeal

Judges have been warned by the Court of Appeal not to adjourn final decisions in family cases simply to 'press the pause button'.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Supreme Court judgment in deprivation of liberty case to be promulgated on 26 September

16-year-old lacked capacity to make decisions about his residence and care.

Full story: Family Law Week

Contacts to NSPCC helpline rise 12 per cent

The NSPCC helpline received nearly 73,000 calls and emails from adults worried about a child in 2018/2019 – and referred almost half on to other agencies including the police and social services.

Full story: Family Law Week

Register our Marriage campaigns for equality for unregistered faith marriages

In an article on the Law Society's website, Siddique Patel, a solicitor at Shoosmiths specialising in Islamic family law, discusses the Register our Marriage campaign for equality for faith marriages.

Full story: Family Law Week

New funding to protect child abuse victims and track down offenders

A £30 million funding boost will equip law enforcement with pioneering new tech and capabilities to track down more paedophiles operating online and safeguard children who have been abused, the government has announced.

Full story: Family Law Week

Tory MP refuses to say if domestic abuse bill will ban cross-examination of victims

Victoria Atkins fails to confirm that new bill will contain key measure in original proposal.

Full story: The Guardian

First domestic abuse commissioner for England and Wales revealed

The first domestic abuse commissioner for England and Wales is "relieved" the prime minister has pledged to re-introduce a new law on the issue.

Full story: BBC News

Paralegal’s contempt conviction found to be ‘manifestly unfair’

Judges in the Court of Appeal have quashed a paralegal’s conviction for contempt after finding significant procedural mistakes in how the case was handled.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

6,000 became homeless in three months following domestic abuse

Women’s Aid publishes No Woman Turned Away report 2019.

Full story: Family Law Week

Support for family and friends carers looking after children

Research briefing financial and other help available.

Full story: Family Law Week

Annual CPS Violence against Women and Girls report published

Latest figures on prosecutions involving Violence against Women and Girls have been released by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Full story: Family Law Week

New care applications received by Cafcass in August fell by 11 per cent

New applications down in each of the last ten months.

Full story: Family Law Week

New private law cases received by Cafcass in August decreased by 3 per cent year-on-year

Cafcass received a total of 3,817 new private law cases in August – 3.3 per cent (131 cases) lower than the same month last year.

Full story: Family Law Week

Johnson pledges to reintroduce domestic abuse legislation

Boris Johnson has responded to pressure from women's groups and confirmed that he will reintroduce legislation to protect the estimated two million people who suffer domestic abuse a year.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Population estimates by marital status and living arrangements, England and Wales: 2018

Annual estimates of population by legal marital status and cohabitation status by age and sex for England and Wales.

Full story: Office for National Statistics

Domestic violence murders surge to five-year high

The number of people killed as a result of domestic violence in the UK is at its highest level in five years.

Full story: BBC News

Five-year-old girl on life support would oppose its removal, family say

Tafida Raqeeb’s mother tells high court daughter would like to live whatever her condition because of her ‘Islamic values’

Full story: The Guardian

The women who end up homeless after fleeing violence

Thousands of women in England are fleeing domestic abuse only to find themselves homeless, government figures show.

Full story: BBC News

Non-disclosing husband fails in challenge to Court of Appeal

A husband who failed to disclose all of his assets has failed in his appeal to set aside an order.

Full story: Family Law

Justice bills fall overnight as parliament shuts down

Legislation covering divorce and domestic abuse was killed off in the early hours of this morning as parliament was closed for five weeks.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Jo Edwards responds to news that Divorce Bill will be dropped

The former Lord Chancellor, David Gauke, has today tweeted “Disappointed that the suspension of Parliament means that the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill has been dropped."

Full story: Resolution

104 new Family Recorders appointed

159 new Recorders appointed.

Full story: Family Law Week

Commons debates EU settlement scheme in relation to looked after children and care leavers

Commons Library publishes information pack.

Full story: Family Law Week

Court rejects bid to stop Muslim family representing sick girl

An NHS trust has been criticised for arguing that the family of a seriously ill five-year-old girl are incapable of acting in her best interests because of their Islamic religious beliefs.

Full story: The Guardian

Domestic abuse proposals expected to be revived in Queen’s Speech, MPs hear

New proposals to protect domestic abuse survivors are expected to be “revived very quickly” in the new parliamentary session, a Cabinet minister has said.

Full story: Care Appointments

Nagalro raises concern about Cafcass undermining the role of Children’s Guardians

Nagalro is concerned that Cafcass public statements have disseminated inaccurate information on its website, which appear to dilute the role of the Children's Guardian and minimise their legal obligations.

Full story: Family Law Week

Civil Justice Council launches consultation on vulnerable witnesses and parties in civil proceedings

The Civil Justice Council has launched a consultation on its report and recommendations for change in respect of vulnerable witnesses and parties in civil proceedings.

Full story: Family Law Week

Doctors can perform C-section if woman loses mental capacity, judge rules

Ruling comes despite woman, who has bipolar disorder, saying she does not want procedure.

Full story: The Guardian

The High Court appoints a new Family Division Judge

The Judicial Appointments Commission announced that seven top barristers make the step up from bar to bench.

Full story: Family Law

Jacky Tiotto joins Cafcass as new Chief Executive

Today Cafcass (the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) welcomes Jacky Tiotto as its new Chief Executive.

Full story: Family Law Week

Are online divorces used as a marital cry for help?

FOI request indicates that fewer online divorces proceed to final decree than paper petitions.

Full story: Family Law Week

Parliament shut-down puts justice bills under threat

Boris Johnson’s intention to prorogue parliament could lead to a halt on divorce, court and domestic abuse reform.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Domestic abuse: Killers 'follow eight-stage pattern', study says

Men who kill their partners follow a "homicide timeline" that could be tracked by police to help prevent deaths, new research suggests.

Full story: BBC News

Boy taken from home after exposure to domestic violence can return to mother

A little boy removed from his home more than two years ago because he was being exposed to domestic violence can return to his mother’s care, a family court judge has decided.

Full story: Care Appointments

Generation 'Z' likely to demand prenup - survey

Members of 'Generation Z' - those born from 1996 onwards - are likely to take a pragmatic approach to marriage and protect their assets before tying the knot, a YouGov survey on prenuptial agreements suggests.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

More than half of married people have no plans for their pensions if they get divorced

The survey, carried out by Fidelity International, an investment management company, found that 56% of women and 60% of men said they had no plans for what would happen to their pensions should their marriage break down.

Full story: Family Law

Pension cap exception may benefit divorcing pension holders

A little-known exception to Money Purchase Annual Allowance rules may be used, where applicable, to benefit pension holders.

Full story: Family Law Week

Mental health services fail to ask women about their experience of domestic abuse

Mental health services across England are failing to ask women about experiences of domestic abuse, according to new data in a report published by Agenda, the alliance for women and girls at risk.

Full story: Family Law Week

New care applications received by Cafcass in July fell slightly

New applications down in each of the last nine months.

Full story: Family Law Week

New private law cases received by Cafcass in July increased by 18 per cent year-on-year

Cafcass received a total of 4,369 new private law cases in July – 18.7 per cent (688 cases) higher than the same month last year.

Full story: Family Law Week

Ignore emails after 6pm, family court tells lawyers

Barristers should take an hour for lunch and ignore emails before 8am and after 6pm, according to well-being guidance issued by the Central Family Court.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Family court has jurisdiction to review its findings of fact, says Court of Appeal

The family court has the statutory power to review its own decisions and challenges to findings of fact on the basis of further evidence do not have to be by way of appeal only, the Court of Appeal has held.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Stepsister wins legal battle over which parent died first

Entitlement to co-owned estate depended on sequence of John and Marjorie Scarle’s deaths.

Full story: The Guardian

Child-parent abuse doubled in three years, according to police records

Prosecutions fell by 36 per cent over the same period.

Full story: Family Law Week

Launch of Deputy High Court s9(4) support programme 2019

The Judicial Diversity Committee has launched a programme for those interested in applying to be s.9(4) Deputy High Court Judges.

Full story: Family Law Week

No-fault divorce is ‘a marriage-wreckers charter’: Christian Institute

The Christian Institute says that the government's "approach to no-fault divorce is a marriage-wreckers [sic] charter".

Full story: Family Law Week

Children at risk of sexual exploitation need better support: report

Children constantly moved around social care system are more likely to be vulnerable to CSE.

Full story: Family Law Week

Britain's biggest ever divorce case as Russian oligarch's ex-wife brings claim in London

Britain's biggest ever divorce case is set for the High Court after a Russian oligarch's wife launched a legal bid to claim a third of his £15 billion fortune.

Full story: The Telegraph

DfE names councils to receive family support funds

As part of the DfE's Supporting Families; Investing in Practice programme, family drug and alcohol courts (FDACs) and family group conferencing services will be launched in more areas.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Social services: Child in care lived in 57 different places

A child lived in 57 different places while in contact with social services, according to "troubling" research into the care system.

Full story: BBC News

Cohabiting couples fastest growing family type – ONS

Office for National Statistics data shows 25% rise in cohabiting couple families in past decade.

Full story: The Guardian

Same-sex couples living together up by 50%

The number of same-sex couples living together in the UK rose by more than 50% in the three years to 2018, official statistics reveal.

Full story: BBC News

Call for 'significant changes' to special guardianship orders

A review has urged that "significant changes" should be made to guidance on special guardianship orders, including a requirement that the child has been looked after by the proposed carer.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Appeal allows stand-still agreement on claim 17 months out of time

The Court of Appeal has overturned a decision to throw out a widow’s delayed application to claim from her late husband’s estate.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Significant increase in number of older children and teenagers going into care

A significant increase in the number of older children and teenagers going into state care in England over the last five years has affected the stability of the system, the children’s commissioner has said.

Full story: Care Appointments

Domestic abuse victim to go into hiding as ex freed after six months

A woman who was left with life-changing injuries after being beaten by her ex-partner says she will go into hiding when he is released from prison after serving six months.

Full story: The Guardian

UK’s top judge calls for donations to legal support charity

Lady Hale’s appeal for support likely to reignite controversy over cuts to legal aid.

Full story: The Guardian

Judge voices concern after ‘highly-disturbed’ 11-year-old boy restrained by police

A High Court judge has voiced concern after a “slight” and “highly-disturbed” epileptic 11-year-old boy was handcuffed and placed in leg restraints by police for an “extended period”.

Full story: Care Appointments

Annual FGM statistics released

Local Government Association calls for renewal of National FGM Centre’s funding.

Full story: Family Law Week

Divorcee granted injunction against ex-husband's holding company

The High Court in England has granted an injunction against the holding company to which a wealthy Russian businessman transferred ownership of a luxury yacht in order to avoid enforcement of a £500 million divorce settlement, preventing the company from moving the yacht from where it is docked in Dubai.

Full story: Out-Law

Judge orders special arrangements for girl’s Egypt trip amid FGM fears

A High Court judge has said special arrangements must be made to allow a two-year-old girl thought to be at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) to travel to Egypt.

Full story: Care Appointments

Separated migrant children to access legal aid more easily

Draft legislation amending LASPO laid.

Full story: Family Law Week

Robert Buckland QC appointed Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

Robert Buckland QC MP was appointed as Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice on 24 July 2019.

Full story: Family Law Week

Lord Reed appointed next President of Supreme Court

Three new Justices also appointed.

Full story: Family Law Week

President offers ‘profound thanks’ to all involved in the family justice system

The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has addressed a letter of 'profound' thanks to every judge, magistrate, HMCTS staff member, civil servant, CAFCASS officer, social work and lawyer involved in the Family Justice system and Court of Protection in England and Wales.

Full story: Family Law Week

Parents' bid to get daughter treated goes to High Court

A family's fight to take their ill daughter to Italy for treatment will be heard at the High Court in September.

Full story: BBC News

Rise in knives and blades found at London family courts

Thousands of knives and sharp objects are being confiscated annually at London family courts, with campaigners saying it showed how "desensitised" some people were to carrying weapons.

Full story: BBC News

Children’s services’ ‘fundamental lack of understanding’ of domestic abuse risks slammed by case review

Social workers involved with Gloucestershire couple where man later killed baby failed to explore criminal history or injuries to mother.

Full story: Community Care

Assessing risk of harm to children and parents in private law children cases

A public call for evidence on how the family courts protect children and parents in private law children cases concerning domestic abuse and other serious offences.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Domestic abuse survivors invited to shape future of family court

Survivors of domestic abuse and other harmful conduct are being invited to share their experiences of how well the family courts protects them and their children in private family law proceedings.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Judge highlights ‘serious procedural problem’ in efforts to prevent forced marriage

A High Court judge says guidance may be needed to solve a “serious procedural problem” related to efforts to prevent forced marriage.

Full story: Care Appointments

Woman wins right to late partner's military pension in landmark ruling

A woman has won the right to her late partner's military pension in a landmark ruling for unmarried couples.

Full story: BBC News

Judge decides woman has mental capacity to consent to sex with husband of 25 years

A judge has decided against ruling that a woman with learning difficulties is no longer able to consent to making love with her husband of more than 25 years.

Full story: Care Appointments

Domestic abuse report exposes hidden side of rural life

A "deeply hidden and disturbing side to rural life" has been laid bare by an 18-month inquiry into domestic abuse in the English countryside.

Full story: BBC News

Consultation in relation to the treatment of Calderbank offers when determining issues relating to costs

This consultation seeks views as to whether the Family Procedure Rule 2010 should be amended in relation to the treatment of Calderbank offers when determining issues relating to costs.

Full story: Ministry of Justice and Family Procedure Rule Committee

Transgender man who gave birth loses high court privacy ruling

Guardian journalist loses right to anonymity in legal action seeking to be registered as father.

Full story: The Guardian

“Landmark moment” as Domestic Abuse Bill introduced to Parliament

Domestic Abuse Bill to receive first reading in the House of Commons.

Full story: GOV.UK

Councils can investigate parents’ complaints without consent of minors

Ombudsman clarifies local authority’s obligation.

Full story: Family Law Week

Refuge awarded grant to run National Domestic Violence Helpline

Domestic abuse charity Refuge has been awarded a grant to operate a helpline to provide confidential advice for domestic abuse victims.

Full story: Family Law Week

Judge who approved abortion did not factor in vulnerable woman’s feelings

A judge who gave specialists permission to perform an abortion on a pregnant woman with learning disabilities did not pay enough heed to her feelings, appeal judges have said.

Full story: Care Appointments

Trend of falling care applications continues

Numbers of care applications have fallen again for the first quarter of this year, new figures show.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Heterosexual couples may be allowed to convert marriages to civil unions

Ministers in England and Wales are considering how to extend civil partnerships.

Full story: The Guardian

Hale risks political storm by questioning legislation before parliament

The president of the Supreme Court has taken the constitutionally unusual step of publicly criticising a bill that is making its way through parliament.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Judge moves to protect sisters living in Africa after social workers raise concerns

A High Court judge in London has taken steps to protect two sisters living more than 4,000 miles away in Africa after social workers said they were at risk.

Full story: Care Appointments

Council admits unlawful practice in turning away homeless children from care

Essex County Council breaches duty under Children Act section 20.

Full story: Family Law Week

Social workers concerned about child confidentiality in family court reporting

BASW publishes response to draft guidance on reporting in the Family Courts.

Full story: Family Law Week

Court of Protection issues ruling in test case on appointment of personal welfare deputies

A Court of Protection judge has clarified the circumstances in which family members may become personal welfare deputies for people aged over 18, calling for the Code of Practice under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to be redrafted.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Judge approves blood transfusion for gravely ill baby son of Jehovah’s witness

A High Court judge has ruled that a sick baby whose mother is a Jehovah’s Witness should have a blood transfusion.

Full story: Care Appointments

Henry VIII powers not appropriate: disagreement over divorce bill

Difference of opinion has emerged among family practitioners today over the government's bill seeking to make the divorce process less acrimonious, as MPs began taking a closer look at the proposed legislation.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

New good practice guide addresses shortfall in understanding of how to treat pensions on divorce

An essential guide to the treatment of pensions on divorce has been published today by the Pension Advisory Group. The long awaited report brings guidance to family judges, lawyers and pension experts encouraging fairer settlements and helping to manage liability.

Full story: Nuffield Foundation

Wealthy divorcee sues lover by serving legal papers on him using WhatsApp

A divorcee already worth £90 million has won the right to fight to sue her former lover in the UK over tens of millions of assets after serving court papers on him via WhatsApp.

Full story: The Telegraph

Family Court Statistics Quarterly: January to March 2019

Quarterly data on the volume of cases dealt with by family courts over time, with statistics also broken down for the main types of case involved.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Doctors can give girl from Jehovah’s Witness family blood transfusion, judge rules

A High Court judge has ruled that doctors can give a sick five-year-old girl from a Jehovah’s Witness family a blood transfusion.

Full story: Care Appointments

Child Maintenance Service: August 2013 to March 2019 (experimental)

Experimental statistics on cases processed under the 2012 statutory child maintenance scheme administered by the Child Maintenance Service.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Child Support Agency quarterly summary of statistics: March 2019

Quarterly statistics on the progress of the Child Support Agency (CSA) child support schemes to March 2019.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Child maintenance arrangements made after speaking to CM Options, March to April 2019

Child maintenance outcomes for parents that have spoken to Child Maintenance (CM) Options, data from parents surveyed in March to April 2019.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Anorexic teenager can be moved to specialist unit against her wishes, says judge

An anorexic teenager whose weight has dropped to four-and-a-half stone can be taken from home against her wishes and moved to a specialist unit, a judge has ruled.

Full story: Care Appointments

Justice Secretary admits new divorce laws likely to lead to spike in marriages ending

The Justice Secretary has admitted that reforms to divorce laws are likely to lead to a spike in the number of marriages ending.

Full story: Care Appointments

Judge sets out limits of using ‘inherent jurisdiction’ to deprive liberty in gang member case

Court turns down council's attempt to detain 17-year-old involved in gang violence and believed to be at risk of attack.

Full story: Community Care

Judges overturn 'forced abortion' ruling

A woman has won an appeal against a court ruling that would have seen her mentally ill daughter forced to have an abortion.

Full story: BBC News

Judge gives doctors go-ahead to abort vulnerable woman’s baby

A judge has given doctors the go-ahead to perform an abortion on a pregnant mentally-ill woman.

Full story: Care Appointments

McFarlane tells family lawyers: don't do more than a full day's work

Tweets highlighting unreasonable judicial behaviour are likely to be referred to local leadership judges, the president of the family division has warned, after reading two social media posts last weekend about judges.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Family Justice Panel update

Panel members confirmed to steer call for evidence on how the family courts protect children and parents in cases of domestic abuse and other serious offences.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Doctors ask Court of Protection judge to approve abortion for mentally-ill woman

Doctors want a judge in a specialist court to allow them to perform an abortion on a mentally-ill woman who is 22 weeks pregnant.

Full story: Care Appointments

Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill: What does research tell us?

The Nuffield Foundation has published a new briefing note, authored by Professor Liz Trinder, ahead of the second reading of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill which is scheduled in the House of Commons on Tuesday 25 June.

Full story: Nuffield Foundation

Extension of the Financial Remedies Courts project to 8 new zones is a success

Today, Wednesday 19th June 2019, a press release was issued from the Judiciary of England and Wales, written by Mr Justice Mostyn acting as the National Lead Judge for the Financial Remedies Courts project.

Full story: Class Legal

Judge rejects application by Official Solicitor for council to pay costs in s.21A proceedings

A Court of Protection judge has rejected an application by the Official Solicitor (OS), acting as litigation friend, for the London Borough of Harrow to pay its costs in proceedings under Section 21A of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Woman who has had seven children taken away is pregnant again, judge told

A woman who has had seven children removed from her care is pregnant again, a family court judge has been told.

Full story: Care Appointments

President issues guidance on forms of order in children cases

The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has published guidance on Forms of Orders in Children Cases, for judicial and practitioner's information.

Full story: Family Law Week

Campaigners call for shared parenting presumption in the law

Campaigners for shared parental rights have called for a presumption in law that children will spend roughly equal time with their parents following a separation or divorce, after a YouGov survey suggested the majority of the public agrees.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Two-year-old who needed major surgery after stepfather attack to live with father

A two-year-old boy who needed major surgery after being kicked and punched by a man his mother lived with should move to his father’s home, a High Court judge says.

Full story: Care Appointments

Man gets suspended jail term for online post identifying children taken into care

A man whose children were taken from his care has been given a suspended nine-month jail term by a judge after posting material online which identified the youngsters.

Full story: Care Appointments

Social workers halt four-year attempt to teach young mother parenting skills

Social workers have halted a four-year attempt to teach a woman who gave birth when she was a teenager how to be a good parent.

Full story: Care Appointments

New care applications received by Cafcass in May fell by 11 per cent

Cafcass received a total of 1,152 new care applications in April – 11.5 per cent lower (149 applications) than in the same month last year.

Full story: Family Law Week

New private law cases received by Cafcass in May up by 8 per cent year-on-year

Cafcass received a total of 3,950 new private law cases in May – 8.5 per cent (311 cases) higher than the same month last year.

Full story: Family Law Week

End to divorce ‘blame game’ moves closer

Biggest shake up of divorce laws in 50 years aimed at reducing conflict and supporting children and families.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Expected implementation date for DoLS replacement model announced by care minister

Liberty Protection Safeguards due to come into force in October 2020, though existing Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards authorisations will remain in place until they expire.

Full story: Community Care

Disabled man blinks at judge to tell him he wants to be allowed to go home

A severely disabled man who communicates through blinking has won his court case to leave hospital and live at home.

Full story: Metro

Social services halt family court case after experts say baby injury was accident

Social services bosses have halted family court proceedings against the parents of an injured baby after specialists concluded that the little boy had probably been accidentally hurt.

Full story: Care Appointments

New Official Solicitor and Public Trustee appointed

Sarah Castle has been appointed to the role of Official Solicitor and Public Trustee.

Full story: Family Law Week

Litigants will not be forced online, government pledges

The government has no intention of making court processes exclusively online and so there is no need to give way to demands to guarantee this in primary legislation, peers were told this week.

Full story: Legal Futures

Judge refuses to place youth at risk from gang violence in secure accommodation

Council social service bosses have failed to persuade a High Court judge to place a 17-year-old youth at risk because of his involvement in gang activity in secure accommodation.

Full story: Care Appointments

Secure children's home placements plummet

The number of children placed in secure children's homes has fallen to its lowest ever level, thanks to a significant reduction in youth justice placements, new figures show.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Domestic abuse survivors 'more at risk of serious mental illness'

Women who experience domestic abuse are three times more likely to develop a serious mental illness, Birmingham University research suggests.

Full story: BBC News

Government tackled over release of domestic abuse suspects without bail curbs

Victims of domestic violence must not be placed at risk because of uncertainty around the use of police bail leading to suspects being released without restrictions, a former champion has warned.

Full story: Care Appointments

Campaigners call for reforms to surrogacy laws

Consultation urges creation of national register to allow those raised by surrogate parents to find out about their origins.

Full story: The Guardian

Woman with brain damage after heroin overdose should be allowed to die – judge

A woman who suffered severe brain damage after taking a heroin overdose five years ago should be allowed to die, a judge in a specialist court has ruled.

Full story: Care Appointments

Nine-year-old girl must leave home due to risk posed by ‘very dangerous’ brothers

A nine-year-old girl whose two “dangerous” older brothers pose a risk to her must leave home and live with a foster carer, a family court judge has decided.

Full story: Care Appointments

Boy can continue to live with grandparents despite social services concerns

A couple have won a family court fight over the care of a six-year-old grandson who has lived with them for almost all of his life.

Full story: Care Appointments

Legal aid: change of process in family high cost cases from 3 June 2019

The high cost family case planning process has been changed.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children taken from mother after social workers concern about partner’s violent past

Five children have been taken from their mother after social workers raised concern about her partner’s violent past.

Full story: Care Appointments

High Court rejects appeal by couple jailed for harassing judge

The High Court has rejected an appeal by a couple jailed for harassing the family judge who heard their “long and contentious litigation” over an adoption.

Full story: Legal Futures

Family courts failing victims of abuse and rape, say experts calling for inquiry

Risk assessment is inadequate and victims are told to limit number of allegations, letter to MoJ states.

Full story: The Guardian

Family courts being ‘overwhelmed’ by children’s services cases, says senior judge

Family courts are overwhelmed with applications from council social services bosses wanting decisions relating to the care of children, a senior judge has said.

Full story: Care Appointments

Immigration policy on assessing age of young asylum seekers found to be unlawful

Policy risks children being unlawfully detained as adults.

Full story: Family Law Week

Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc) Act 2019 comes into force

On Sunday, 26 May, the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc) Act 2019 came into force.

Full story: Family Law Week

Family Justice Council: Interim Guidance on Special Guardianship

This interim guidance is issued by the Family Justice Council with the approval of the Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division, in response to some of the issues identified in Re P-S (Children) [2018] EWCA Civ 1407.

Full guidance: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Forced marriage unit reports spike in cases as awareness rises

Goverment body gave advice or support in 1,764 cases in 2018, up 47% on previous year.

Full story: The Guardian

Family court judge refuses to reopen FGM case after man was cleared in criminal case

A family court judge who concluded that a man played a part in subjecting a three-year-old girl to female genital mutilation (FGM) has refused to reopen the case.

Full story: Care Appointments

New Cafcass chief executive announced

Jacky Tiotto will replace Anthony Douglas head of the family court advisory service.

Full story: Community Care

£15 million for project to reduce numbers of children in care

The new programme will be modelled on Family Drug and Alcohol Courts and Family Group Conferencing.

Full story: Community Care

Spotlight on child protection in family courts

A panel of experts will review how the family courts protect children and parents in cases of domestic abuse and other serious offences, Ministers announced today (Tuesday 21 May).

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 becomes law

The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 received Royal Assent on 16 May and became law on that day.

Full story: Family Law Week

Thousands of new foster families needed this year

Over 8,500 foster families are needed across the UK over the next year according to new figures published by The Fostering Network.

Full story: Family Law Week

Courts and Tribunals (Online Procedure) Bill receives second reading

The Courts and Tribunals (Online Procedure) Bill received its second reading in the House of Lords on 14 May.

Full story: Family Law Week

Government’s plans for domestic abuse do not reflect scale of the issue

ADCS President calls for ‘public health style’ response.

Full story: Family Law Week

‘Nearly 1,500 children in England are locked up by the state’: Children’s Commissioner

‘A third of a billion a year is spent on 1,465 children’.

Full story: Family Law Week

Judge rules mothers’ actions were ‘blatant and premeditated act of child abduction’

An Australian yoga teacher has won a High Court fight with his estranged English partner over the future of their three-year-old daughter.

Full story: Care Appointments

Theresa May rejects calls from 120 MPs for public inquiry into family courts after four children murdered by abusive parents

Prime minister says government believes formal probe into child deaths not 'necessary'.

Full story: The Independent

DoLS replacement bill becomes law ahead of expected implementation in 2020

Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 will introduce Liberty Protection Safeguards to replace Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

Full story: Community Care

Voices of children overlooked in family courts, says ex-head

Family courts in England and Wales are not properly accommodating children's voices and needs because the government has suggested "it would all cost too much", their former head has said.

Full story: BBC News

Judge raises concern about media coverage of Court of Protection case

A judge in a specialist court who is considering whether a mentally ill woman is still able to consent to make love with her husband of more than 25 years has raised concern about media coverage of the case.

Full story: Care Appointments

New private law cases received by Cafcass in April up by 7 per cent year-on-year

Cafcass received a total of 3,719 new private law cases in April – 7.5% (258 cases) higher than the same month last year.

Full story: Family Law Week

New care applications received by Cafcass in April fell by 2 per cent

Cafcass received a total of 1,084 new care applications in April – 2.3 per cent lower (25 applications) than in the same month last year.

Full story: Family Law Week

Family President to issue guidance to courts on secure accommodation placements and statutory regime

The President of the Family Division has said he will issue practice guidance to the courts before the end of July so that more can be done to bring secure accommodation placements within the statutory regulatory scheme.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Children killed by parents after court-ordered access

At least four children have been killed in the last five years by a parent with a known history of violence, after a family court ordered they have access to their child, the Victoria Derbyshire programme has found.

Full story: BBC News

Questions raised over future of divorce centres

A question mark has been raised over the future of the government’s regional divorce centres, which have been widely criticised for delays and inefficiencies.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Domestic abuse: PM vows to end 'postcode lottery' for victims

Prime Minister Theresa May has vowed to end the "postcode lottery" for victims of domestic abuse.

Full story: BBC News

Judge gives brain injured man go-ahead to marry after assessing his mental capacity

A disabled man in his 20s has been given the go-ahead to marry after telling a judge in a specialist court how he wants a chance to prove that he can “do anything”.

Full story: Care Appointments

Council criticised for failing to support vulnerable children cared under SGO

Remedies agreed with local authority not implemented.

Full story: Family Law Week

Government response to Select Committee’s domestic abuse report published

The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee has published the Government response to the Committee's report on domestic abuse.

Full story: Family Law Week

New programme to protect children at risk of exploitation

Children most at risk of being targeted by gangs or violent crime will benefit from better support from specialists across education, health, social care, police and the voluntary sector in a programme launched by Education Secretary Damian Hinds.

Full story: Family Law Week

Research finds missing children are being let down

‘Opportunities to safeguard children missing from home or care are being missed by councils’.

Full story: Family Law Week

ECF evidence requirements for separated migrant children

Applications no longer need to be supported by detailed evidence.

Full story: Family Law Week

Council halt plans to take children from couple who displayed gender identity issues

Council social services have halted plans to take children from the care of a middle-aged couple.

Full story: Care Appointments

Judge approves council action to remove child from woman who was herself adopted

A woman who was adopted as a child must have her son taken from her care because she cannot meet his needs, a family court judge has ruled.

Full story: Care Appointments

Latest View from the President’s Chambers sets out need for change in Public and Private Children’s Law

Latest update gives details on the Public and Private Law Working Groups, a financial remedy court update, divorce service centres and the HMCTS Reform Programme.

Full story: Family Law Hub

Video hearings tested in domestic abuse cases

Domestic abuse victims may seek injunctions more easily and with less stress as part of a test into the use of fully-video court hearings.

Full story: HM Courts & Tribunals Service

President of the Family Division releases draft guidance on reporting in the Family Courts

The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has released draft guidance, for consultation, on reporting in the Family Courts.

Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Injured child’s case to be reviewed after senior judges raise concern over outcome

A family court case centred on a child thought to have been injured by an adult caring for her is to be reviewed after senior judges raised concerns.

Full story: Care Appointments

Solicitor MP decries no-fault divorce and warns of spike

A solicitor MP has dissented from prevailing opinion on no-fault divorce by speaking out against the government’s proposed reforms.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Even more people set to benefit from online court reform

New legislation making it even easier for court users to apply for small money claims or divorce online was unveiled in the House of Lords today (1 May 2019).

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Children's services 'at breaking point', MPs say

Children's services in England are at breaking point and need a £3.1bn minimum funding boost by 2025, MPs say.

Full story: BBC News

Barristers can act as deputies, Court of Protection rules

Barristers can act as professional property and affairs deputies for people who lack mental capacity, although it is not seen as a legal service, the Court of Protection has ruled.

Full story: Legal Futures

Private pension wealth 'biggest asset in millionaires’ divorces'

Succession Wealth analyses ONS data.

Full story: Family Law Week

Jayden Parkinson murder: Mother calls for 'domestic abuse register'

A woman whose daughter was killed by an abusive ex-boyfriend is campaigning for people who commit domestic violence to be placed on a register.

Full story: BBC News

Boy must leave mother with 'hateful feelings' for father, judge rules

Eight-year-old has to live with father to avoid significant emotional harm, parents told.

Full story: The Guardian

Legal aid changes to streamline family work

New approach from 19 April 2019.

Full story: Family Law Week

'Not good enough' - Munby criticises regional divorce centre errors

Days after the most senior family judge apologised to practitioners for delays and inefficiencies at the regional divorce centres, his outspoken predecessor has criticised HM Courts & Tribunals Service for being 'unable or unwilling' to resource them adequately.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Court of Appeal sets aside 'absurd' care decision after 'shambolic' case

The Court of Appeal has delivered an excoriating assessment of a judge’s ‘unprecedented’ summary dismissal of care proceedings at an interim procedural stage.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Legal Aid Agency guidance on interpreters at court clarified

The Legal Aid Agency has revised its Guidance on Remuneration of Expert Witnesses to clarify payments for legally aided interpreters at court.

Full story: Family Law Week

Child Maintenance Service: August 2013 to December 2018 (experimental)

Experimental statistics on cases processed under the 2012 statutory child maintenance scheme administered by the Child Maintenance Service.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Separated families population statistics: April 2014 to March 2017

Estimates of the separated families population and their child maintenance arrangements. Analysis also shows separated families with no arrangement.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Judge decides ‘closeted’ boy, 15, caused ‘genital injuries’ to seven-year-old sister

A 15-year-old boy who said he spent most of his time sleeping, playing computer games or watching horror films caused “genital injuries” to his seven-year-old sister, a High Court judge has decided.

Full story: Care Appointments

Human Rights Committee probes Government on Draft Domestic Abuse Bill

Chair writes to Ministers responsible for the Bill.

Full story: Family Law Week

Outcomes for children looked after by local authorities: 31 March 2018

The Department for Education has published data on the outcomes for children who have been looked after continuously for at least twelve months at 31 March 2018, by local authorities in England.

Full story: Family Law Week

New projects funded to strengthen families and keep children out of care

DfE announces £84 million investment to mark 30th anniversary of Children Act.

Full story: Family Law Week

New care applications received by Cafcass in March fell by nearly 10 per cent

New applications have fallen by almost 5 per cent over the last year.

Full story: Family Law Week

New private law cases received by Cafcass in March rose by 18 per cent

Highest March demand on record.

Full story: Family Law Week

The implementation and delivery of the family court settlement conferences pilot: a process evaluation

Research to understand the views and experiences of professionals taking part in the settlement conferences pilot.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

The Jurisdiction and Judgments (Family) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) (No. 2) Regulations 2019

These Regulations are made in order to address failures of retained EU law to operate effectively and other deficiencies in retained EU law (in particular to address reciprocal arrangements which no longer exist and are no longer appropriate) arising from the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union.

Family court judge had already blamed man cleared of FGM by Old Bailey jury

A family court judge had already blamed a man who was accused of subjecting a three-year-girl to female genital mutilation (FGM), despite him being later cleared by a criminal court jury.

Full story: Care Appointments

Reform of the legal requirements for divorce

This report provides a summary of the feedback received through the consultation and the government’s response.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

New divorce law to end the blame game

New legislation to overhaul divorce law and reduce family conflict.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

New projects to strengthen families and keep children out of care

£84m for projects that support families, marking 30th anniversary of the Children Act.

Full story: Department for Education

Don't let Brexit hold up divorce reform, says family justice body

The head of the leading family justice body in England and Wales has urged government to prioritise vital divorce law reform to reduce conflict between separating couples.

Full story: Resolution

High Court to investigate how three sisters under 10 developed sexual infection

A High Court judge is to investigate after three sisters all aged under 10 developed a sexually transmitted infection.

Full story: Care Appointments

Sir Andrew McFarlane addresses Resolution Conference on ‘Interesting Times’

Sir Andrew McFarlane, the President of the Family Division, addressing the Resolution Conference on 5 April, took the opportunity to offer "an update on the major changes which are currently being developed and which will have a major impact on every aspect of family law during the next twelve months".

Full story: Family Law Week

Woman vows to keep son in ‘line of sight’ amid court of protection hearings

A woman has promised to keep her son in “line of sight” when he leaves home while a judge considers whether public protection measures need to be put in place.

Full story: Care Appointments

Nuffield Foundation appoints Board and Director of the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory

New data partnership established to examine how the family justice system is working.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children: surrogacy – single people and parental orders: Research briefing

The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper considering surrogacy and parental orders.

Full story: Family Law Week

Staffordshire residents deprived of liberty without proper assessment

Thousands of vulnerable people may have been treated unlawfully: Ombudsman.

Full story: Family Law Week

Legal Aid Agency publishes updated Guidance on Remuneration of Expert Witnesses

The Legal Aid Agency has published an updated version of the Guidance on the Remuneration of Expert Witnesses. The guidance covers fees, prior authority and provisions for specific types of expert.

Full story: Family Law Week

High Court’s new judicial assistant scheme

The High Court of England and Wales is launching a new Judicial Assistants scheme.

Full story: Family Law Week

Vulnerable woman writes ‘incredibly moving’ statement allowing daughter’s adoption

A woman with mental health difficulties has been praised by a family court judge after deciding to let her toddler daughter be adopted because she cannot meet the youngster’s needs.

Full story: Care Appointments

Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc) Act 2019

The Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Act 2019 received Royal Assent last week, paving the way for the first opposite-sex civil partnerships to take place in England and Wales by the end of the year, as well as ushering in further reforms relating to the family.

Full story: Family Law Hub

Government ditches plan for deprivation of liberty definition in DoLS replacement bill

U-turn follows House of Lords’ rejection of government’s proposed definition and comes as Parliament seeks to agree final version of legislation to Liberty Protection Safeguards.

Full story: Community Care

Judge to consider if husband can maintain intimate relationship with vulnerable wife

A judge in a specialist court might have to decide whether a man can keep making love to his wife of more than 20 years.

Full story: Care Appointments

Parliamentary inquiry launched into ‘sent away’ children

‘Record numbers of children go missing after being farmed out to distant children’s homes’.

Full story: Family Law Week

Man sentenced for controlling and coercive behaviour against mother

A man who forced his elderly mother to fund his drug habit has been sentenced for controlling and coercive behaviour.

Full story: Family Law Week

Practical Handbook on the Operation of the 1996 Hague Child Protection Convention

Now available online in 24 languages.

Full story: Family Law Week

Legal Aid Agency publishes updated guidance on Family High Cost Cases

The Legal Aid Agency has published an updated version of its guidance on Family High Cost Cases.

Full story: Family Law Week

Family law disputes involving EU after Brexit: guidance for legal professionals

Guidance for legal professionals on cross-border family law disputes (including divorce and child maintenance) after Brexit if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Marriages in England and Wales: 2016

The latest marriage figures were released today.

Full story: Family Law

Couple whose baby suffered head injury can resume family life as council litigation halted

A couple have been given the go-ahead to resume family life nine months after council social services bosses began family court litigation as a result of their baby son suffering a head injury.

Full story: Care Appointments

Family Court Statistics Quarterly: October to December 2018

Quarterly and annual data on the volume of cases dealt with by family courts over time, with statistics also broken down for the main types of case involved.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Judge rules man should lose leg 'against his wishes'

A mentally-ill man who could die if his badly-infected left foot is not amputated should have the operation against his wishes, a judge has ruled.

Full story: BBC News

Government backs down over 'myth-busting' guide on child protection

Children’s charities and social work groups had launched an application for judicial review.

Full story: The Guardian

‘Victims of the justice system’ left to rely on free help from lawyers let down by courts, judiciary and legal aid, blasts former top family judge

Errors by courts and judges that left a couple’s final divorce decree potentially void was exposed in a judgment from the former head of the family division, who slammed the state for “washing its hands” of the problem it created by not granting legal aid to the parties to resolve their case.

Full story: Legal Cheek

Council seeks to arrange home care for woman ‘detained’ in hospital for six months

Council social services bosses say they are trying to arrange a care package for a woman with mental health difficulties after a judge said she had “effectively been detained” in hospital for six months because her home was not fit to live in.

Full story: Care Appointments

Judge asked to reconsider social services evidence relating to death of 10-year-old

Council social services bosses are waiting for a High Court judge to make findings about the cause of death of a 10-year-old girl whose body was found in her bedroom more than two years ago.

Full story: Care Appointments

Stalking Protection Act 2019 comes into force

The Stalking Protection Act 2019 received Royal Assent on 15 March 2019. It comes into force immediately.

Full story: Family Law Week

Brexit Secretary responds to Children’s Commissioners’ ‘No Deal’ concerns

‘Arrangements are in place to ensure protection of children when UK leaves the EU’.

Full story: Family Law Week

Effective co-parenting is key to keeping children out of the courts: Cafcass

“Public health approach would help prevent cases from reaching crisis point”.

Full story: Family Law Week

Judge who banged her head on a desk during a court hearing was being 'sarcastic and condescending', investigation rules

A “sarcastic and condescending” judge who banged her head on her desk after a member of the public appeared before her at a family court hearing has been reprimanded.

Full story: The Telegraph

Woman lied about husband’s abuse and tried to exclude him from child’s life

A woman told a series of lies about her estranged husband’s behaviour and maliciously tried to exclude him from their five-year-old son’s life, a High Court judge has decided.

Full story: Care Appointments

Troubled Families Programme 'cuts number of children in care'

The government's Troubled Families Programme is cutting numbers of children in care by up to a third, new analysis from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government suggests.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Vulnerable woman with complex health problems cannot leave care facility, judge decides

A 56-year-old woman with complex physical and mental health problems cannot be allowed to leave a care facility and return to her flat, a judge in a specialist court has ruled.

Full story: Care Appointments

Children Act 1989 (Amendment) (Female Genital Mutilation) Act 2019 comes into force

The Children Act 1989 (Amendment) (Female Genital Mutilation) Act 2019 received Royal Assent on 15 March 2019. It comes into force immediately.

Full story: Family Law Week

Judge argues ‘transparency’ outweighs risk in naming council in child protection cases

A family court judge has spelled out why councils should be named in rulings on cases involving applications for children to be taken from the care of their parents.

Full story: Care Appointments

No fault divorce is consistent with international trends

Nuffield Foundation research seeks to inform MoJ consultation.

Full story: Family Law Week