Ministry of Justice grant to support victims of domestic abuse in family courts

Government has awarded £900,000 to organisations based in some family courts to provide in-court support to victims of domestic abuse.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Sick girl to be treated against parents' wishes, judge rules

Doctors should treat a sick 13-month-old girl and give her a "chance" at life against the wishes of her parents, a High Court judge has ruled.

Full story: BBC News

Domestic violence in London rises 63% in seven years

Mayor Sadiq Khan announces £15m boost after cuts to services left them at ‘breaking point’.

Full story: The Guardian

Rising numbers of domestic abuse suspects released without bail conditions

Rising numbers of domestic abuse suspects are being released without restrictions after a steep fall in the use of police bail, a watchdog has revealed.

Full story: Care Appointments

Woman who had children taken from her faces jail for sharing case details online

A 54-year-old woman who says her children were unfairly taken from her could be jailed after a judge concluded that she had wrongly posted information relating to family court litigation on Facebook.

Full story: Care Appointments

Judiciary pulls back on ban for fee-charging McKenzie Friends

While “deeply concerned” about the growth in fee-charging McKenzie Friends, the judiciary has failed to decide whether they should be banned – three years after consulting on doing just that.

Full story: Legal Futures

Charity launches legal challenge to protect vulnerable children and young people

Article 39 seeks removal of ‘myth busting’ guide.

Full story: Family Law Week

Civil Partnerships Bill report stage scheduled for 1 March

The Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc) Bill, sponsored by Tim Loughton and Baroness Hodgson of Abinger, is scheduled to proceed to report stage in the House of Lords on 1 March.

Full story: Family Law Week

Care proceedings should not omit assessment of wider family ‘on parents’ say-so’, judge rules

Court rejects father's attempt to keep existence of children hidden from his family in adoption case.

Full story: Community Care

High Court clarifies internet access for vulnerable people

Guidance given in respect of persons who lack mental capacity to use the platforms.

Full story: Family Law Week

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

Government faces High Court action over children's rights

A children's charity is taking High Court action against the government over its claims that some protections of children in care are "myths".

Full story: BBC News

Brexit 'could risk children's safety', warn commissioners

Children's safety could be put at risk if the UK leaves the EU without proper plans for child protection, the UK's four children's commissioners warn.

Full story: BBC News

More than 150 children subject of court proceedings amid radicalisation fears

More than 150 children have been have involved in care proceedings in the UK since 2013 over concerns they were in danger of being radicalised, a report has said.

Full story: Care Appointments

Grandparents win child custody after council fail to set out risk with ‘sufficient clarity’

A couple who have cared for their six-year-old grandson since he was born have won a family court fight after council social services bosses said he should be taken from them.

Full story: Care Appointments

Child Support Agency quarterly summary of statistics: December 2018

Quarterly statistics on the progress of the Child Support Agency child support schemes to 2018.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Country's biggest regional divorce centre hit by record delays

Delays at the country’s biggest regional divorce centre reached unprecedented levels in 2018, figures obtained by the Gazette have revealed.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Girl must live with stranger instead of grandparents, judge rules

Croydon family court judge says blood relationship ‘powerful’ but not ‘definitive’.

Full story: The Independent

Family Drug and Alcohol Courts backed by private donors

A group of private backers has agreed to fund a national unit supporting courts which help parents deal with drug or alcohol addiction so their children are not taken into care.

Full story: BBC News

The Family Procedure Rules 2010 and Court of Protection Rules 2017 (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019

The amendments remove provision in the FPR and COPR which relates to powers, processes and orders under EU instruments or international agreements which will no longer be applicable or available when those instruments or agreements are revoked by the Withdrawal Act or the statutory instruments made under it, or in some cases amend such provision where such instruments are retained in an amended form.

Statutory Instrument

“Far removed from fat cats” – High Court praises lawyers

Lawyers acting pro bono in a complex family law case countered the stereotyped image of ‘fat cats’, a High Court judge has said in praising their “commitment to the delivery of justice”.

Full story: Legal Futures

CA: “Bully” judge forced mother to agree to care orders

A judge effectively bullied a mother into agreeing to interim care orders for her children against her wishes, the Court of Appeal has found.

Full story: Legal Futures

Human Rights Committee begins inquiry into children whose mothers are in prison

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights has begun an inquiry into children whose mothers are in prison.

Full story: Family Law Week

No-fault divorce to become the law

Long-awaited change will mean couples no longer have to allocate blame or mutually consent to ending marriage.

Full story: The Guardian

Resolution responds to Legal Aid review

Legal Aid review a welcome first step, but more must be done to reverse damage of cuts, say family lawyers.

Full story: Resolution

Government sets out new vision for legal support

A new strategy to help people resolve legal problems at the earliest opportunity and avoid the need for unnecessary court proceedings was unveiled today.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Legal Support Action Plan

The Ministry of Justice has published a Legal Support Action Plan to deliver quicker and easier access to legal support services.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Post-Implementation Review of Part 1 of LASPO

The Ministry of Justice has published an evidence based review of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO).

Full story: Ministry of Justice

New research: Government urged to reform overly-complex divorce system

New research published today by the Nuffield Foundation reinforces the case for reform of the overly complex divorce system in England and Wales.

Full story: Nuffield Foundation

No-deal Brexit: family lawyers told to seek local advice from EU neighbours

Continuing uncertainty over a no-deal Brexit next month has spurred a fresh wave of guidance for family lawyers who have been told they may need to start seeking advice from local lawyers in other EU member states.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Family law disputes involving EU after Brexit

What to do if you are involved in a family law dispute (including divorce and child maintenance) with someone living in the EU after Brexit.

Full story: Ministry of Justice and Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Surge in parents forced to fight child custody battles with no legal representation

The number of parents forced to represent themselves in child custody battles at family courts has more than doubled in six years in the wake of legal aid cuts.

Full story: The Independent

Judge's Twitter plea to missing mum

A High Court judge has used Twitter to urge a mother who vanished with her three-year-old son to return home.

Full story: BBC News

Mother first to be convicted of FGM

First prosecution in England for failing to protect a person from FGM.

Full story: Family Law Week

‘Wellbeing of children in single parent families not negatively affected’: Gingerbread research

‘Single parenthood is more common than typically reported’.

Full story: Family Law Week

Resolution and The Law Society issue joint note on No-Deal Brexit and family law

Family lawyer organisation Resolution and The Law Society have issued a joint note for family lawyers in England and Wales, with recommendations in the event of no-deal in relation to Brexit on areas of family law including divorce, maintenance and children proceedings.

Full story: Family Law