'Lackadaisical' approach to case attacked by family judge

A family judge has warned family lawyers not to take a 'lackadaisical' approach to case preparation after the wrong person was summoned as a witness to attend court in a case involving a seven-week old baby who suffered burns covering her groin area.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Slow decline in number of approved fostering households continues

Proportion of fostered young people Staying Put increases.

Full story: Family Law Week

“Senior judge’s salary enough”, divorcing husband told

A divorcing husband’s income was equivalent to that of senior judges and more than sufficient for his post-divorce needs, the High Court has ruled.

Full story: Legal Futures

Government deprivation of liberty ‘definition’ added to DoLS replacement bill but criticised as contrary to case law

Proposal designed to provide clarity to practitioners in interpreting the law but shadow minister warns it will fail in its aim and result in costly litigation.

Full story: Community Care

Family courts next to test video hearings

A test in the family courts will be the next step in exploring fully video hearings, against a backdrop of widespread concern about the technology among judges, it has emerged.

Full story: Legal Futures

Judge blasts council’s failure to include family member in care planning

Court told Greenwich council neglected to explore placing children with aunt, and compounded errors by breaching adopters' confidentiality.

Full story: Community Care

Corners may have to be cut and time limits exceeded: Family President

It is neither necessary nor healthy, “in these highly pressured times”, for the courts and the professionals to attempt to undertake ‘business as usual’, the President of the Family Division has said.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Family judge praised for ditching legal jargon so child can understand judgment

A family court judge has won plaudits for writing an adoption judgment without legal jargon.

Full story: Legal Cheek

UK named in Council of Europe sharia warning

The body that oversees the European Convention on Human Rights has named the UK - along with Albania, Azerbaijan and Turkey - in a hard-hitting resolution highlighting conflicts between sharia law and universal human rights. A measure adopted last night by the 47-nation Council of Europe raises concerns about the role of sharia councils in family, inheritance and commercial law.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Almost half of us mistakenly believe that common law marriage exists

Almost half of people in England and Wales mistakenly believe that unmarried couples who live together have a common law marriage and enjoy the same rights as couples that are legally married.

Full story: National Centre for Social Research

Charity calls for more foster carers as number of children in care rises by 27 percent in a decade in England

More children are being taken into care with fewer foster carers to look after them, says Barnardo’s as it launches its 10th annual fostering campaign.

Full story: Barnardo's

Domestic abuse bill 'missed chance' to protect children, warns NSPCC

New laws to tackle domestic abuse do not go far enough to protect children, a charity has warned.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Bill bans ‘abhorrent’ quizzing of domestic abuse victims in court

Landmark draft legislation also includes measures to raise awareness and support survivors.

Full story: The Observer

Private law cases received by Cafcass in December 2018 13 per cent up on a year ago

Cafcass received 3,105 new private law cases during December 2018. This is 13.1 per cent (360 cases) higher than December 2017 and the second highest December on record.

Full story: Family Law Week

Monthly care applications reach three-year low

The number of monthly children's care applications made by councils to family courts has dipped below the 1,000 mark for the first time in more than three years.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Woman ordered not to contact son is spared jail for attending parents' evening

London woman, who cannot be identified, tells family court there was exemption in order allowing her to attend.

Full story: The Guardian

Child maintenance: changes to powers of entry and information requests

This consultation seeks views on changes to the powers the Child Maintenance Scheme use to calculate child maintenance and enforce payments.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Civil Partnerships Bill due to receive second reading on 18 January

The Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc) Bill, sponsored by Tim Loughton and Baroness Hodgson of Abinger, will receive its second reading in the House of Lords on 18 January 2019.

Full story: Family Law Week

Government issues deprivation of liberty definition in bid to provide clarity to practitioners

Ministers’ amendment to DoLS replacement bill sets out when a person would not be deprived of liberty, but sparks concerns over compatibility with human rights law.

Full story: Community Care

Only three in ten children with mental health problems receive NHS-funded treatment

Government must accelerate prevention and early intervention efforts: Public Accounts Committee.

Full story: Family Law Week

Law must recognise children as victims of domestic abuse between parents, NSPCC says

Almost 250,000 children currently living with domestic violence in England but not being treated as victims, figures suggest.

Full story: The Independent

Repatriation fees for forced marriage victims abolished

Campaigners had long said victims should not have to pay Foreign Office for their freedom.

Full story: The Guardian

UK signs and ratifies Hague Choice of Court and Hague Maintenance Conventions

The UK signed and ratified, on 28 December, the 2005 Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements and the 2007 Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and other Forms of Family Maintenance.

Full story: Family Law

£2.7 million fund announced to tackle parental conflict

DWP looks for new initiatives to help families at risk of parental conflict.

Full story: Family Law Week

British victims of forced marriages required to pay their rescue costs, The Times reports

Those unable to pay asked to sign loan agreements by Foreign Office.

Full story: Family Law Week

Thousands apply online for divorce - including 13 on Christmas Day

Hundreds of people applied for a divorce over the Christmas and New Year period, the government has revealed, in its latest announcement claiming success in moving justice processes online.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Judge criticises top firm for exacerbating divorce conflict

A top family law firm has been criticised by a High Court judge for exacerbating the conflict in a high-value divorce.

Full story: Legal Futures

Family law ‘does not need lawyers’, claims ex-policeman's McKenzie startup

A former police officer who has set up a venture linking the public with McKenzie friends has told the Gazette it is an ‘irrebuttable truth’ that family law does not need lawyers.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Mr Justice Moor becomes Family Division liaison judge for Thames Valley

Appointment took effect from 1 January 2019.

Full story: Family Law Hub