Judge criticises council for breaching duty of disclosure when making streamlined application for authorisation of deprivation of liberty

A council has been criticised by a Court of Protection judge for breaching the duty of full and frank disclosure when it made an application under the streamlined procedure for authorisation of a deprivation of liberty.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Judge concludes girls were not systematically abused by members of paedophile ring

A judge has concluded that three girls were not systematically abused by members of a paedophile ring after an “unprecedentedly complex” High Court investigation.

Full story: Care Appointments

President of the Family Division: Guidance as to reporting in the Family Courts

The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has issued the latest guidance for reporting in the Family Courts.

Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Judge questions council care plan for baby at centre of court abortion litigation

A judge has questioned a council plan for the care of a baby whose mother has learning disabilities and was at the centre of a court abortion battle.

Full story: Care Appointments

Supreme Court judgment due as to use of inherent jurisdiction to order summary re-location

On 30 October 2019 the Supreme Court will promulgate its judgment as to whether the inherent jurisdiction can be used to order the summary re-relocation of a child where there is a statutory scheme and where the substantive and procedural characteristics of that scheme are avoided.

Full story: Family Law Week

Privy Council to give judgment in Jersey financial provision case

On Thursday, 31 October 2019 the Privy Council will promulgate its judgment in the cases of C v C in which it will determine whether it was open to Jersey courts to treat the appellant as a 'parent' for the purpose of orders for financial provision under the Children (Jersey) Law 2002.

Full story: Family Law Week

‘Government needs to do more to improve the welfare of separated families’

Social Security Advisory Committee publishes report.

Full story: Family Law Week

New support for young people leaving care

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced new cross-government support available to young people leaving the care system, together with £19 million of investment into programmes benefiting care leavers.

Full story: Family Law Week

District judge ‘sarcastic and shaking with rage’ in flawed family hearing

The Family Court has overturned a district judge’s care ruling after finding she ‘crossed the line’ during the hearing, creating a hostile atmosphere and alienating everyone appearing before her.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Professional couple spend £500,000 on divorce proceedings

A ‘highly educated’ couple spent over half a million pounds on ‘destructive and disproportionate’ divorce proceedings, an appeal judge has revealed in a judgment  refusing to change the financial outcome of their case.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Anorexic teenager who wants to go home must stay in specialist unit – judge

An anorexic teenager who wants to go home must stay in specialist accommodation, a Court of Protection judge has decided.

Full story: Care Appointments

Children in care warning from justice commission in Wales

Children's interests are being neglected in court cases that decide who looks after them, a major report has warned.

Full story: BBC News

Dad gives up eight-year fight for kids with mum who ‘alienated them’

A mother ‘alienated’ her children from their father in a case a judge described as ‘heartbreaking.’

Full story: Metro

Bar Council calls for surrogates to be paid

It should be an option for intended parents to compensate a surrogate for career interruption, according to the Bar Council.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Legal aid rates blamed for mother ending up in prison

A firm specialising in family and immigration cases has blamed low legal aid rates for its struggle to find counsel to represent a mother who ended up in prison for disobeying a High Court order.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

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

Progress update on the 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

Toddler at significant risk in dirty and overcrowded home to go into council care

A toddler who was sharing an overcrowded home with two dogs must go into council care, a family court judge has decided.

Full story: Care Appointments

Government confirms councils' duty to support domestic abuse victims

Councils will have a statutory duty to provide safe accommodation for victims of domestic abuse and their children from 2021, the government has confirmed.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Woman who alienated son from ex-husband loses custody over boy’s care

A woman has lost a fight over the care of her 12-year-old son after a High Court judge concluded that she had alienated the youngster from his father.

Full story: Care Appointments

Lay member of family rules committee quit after lack of progress

A layperson who quit a family committee sponsored by the Ministry of Justice voiced concern at the lack of progress on improving children's participation in proceedings, it has emerged.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Judge sanctions DNA testing on dementia sufferer thought to have fathered children

Specialists have been given the go-ahead to swab the mouth of an elderly dementia sufferer so DNA tests can be carried out in a bid to establish whether he fathered two sons and a daughter.

Full story: Care Appointments

Judge hits out at lack of resources for councils looking after young vulnerable people at risk of harm

A Family Court judge has published a judgment in relation to a 15-and-a-half year old girl to highlight the resource issues that local authorities face looking after young vulnerable people at risk of harm, describing the problems as “huge”.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Legal aid cuts fuel surge in self-referrals to child contact centres

Legal aid cuts have fuelled a surge in the number of separating parents without solicitors making self-referrals to child contact centres to make their situation less stressful, it has emerged.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Child Support Agency quarterly summary of statistics: June 2019

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

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Woman with learning disabilities at centre of abortion dispute gives birth

A woman with learning disabilities who was at the centre of an abortion battle has given birth, lawyers have said.

Full story: Care Appointments

Queen’s Speech: Johnson puts law and order issues at forefront

Crime and justice policies were placed at the centre of the government’s agenda today as the Queen’s Speech set out its legislative priorities.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Abusive men using child contact as way to carry on subjecting women to domestic abuse

Thousands of domestic abusers are preying on their victims during meetings with their children ordered by the family courts, The Independent can reveal.

Full story: The Independent

‘One lawyer is enough’: family judge issues court guidance

Solicitors with cases being heard at Central Family Court have been told they do not always have to turn up with their barristers.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Woman with severe learning disabilities to have abortion, judge rules

Doctors allowed to perform termination on woman with mental age of toddler.

Full story: The Guardian

Cafcass 'just as busy' despite falling care applications, says chief

The chief executive of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) Jacky Tiotto says the body has not seen a fall in work despite it dealing with fewer care applications over the past year.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Civil partnership registrations rise for third consecutive year

Dissolutions fall by a quarter.

Full story: Family Law Week

New private law cases received by Cafcass in September rose by 11 per cent year-on-year

Cafcass received a total of 3,803 new private law cases in September – 10.9 per cent (374 cases) higher than the same month last year.

Full story: Family Law Week

New care applications received by Cafcass in September fell by 5 per cent

New applications down in each of the last eleven months.

Full story: Family Law Week

Proportion of births in E & W to mothers born outside the UK falls for the first time since 1990

One in three children born in E & W had at least one parent born outside the UK.

Full story: Family Law Week

Kinship care in crisis, finds Grandparents Plus

A State of the Nation Survey Report by Grandparents Plus finds that kinship care is in a state of crisis.

Full story: Family Law Week

Judge decides vulnerable woman should be fitted with contraceptive device

A woman with learning disabilities, who was at the centre of an abortion battle, should be fitted with a contraceptive device, a judge in a specialist court has decided.

Full story: Care Appointments

Cafcass backs renewed focus on pre-proceedings work in public law children cases - but rejects direct role

Cafcass has said it supports a renewed focus on pre-proceedings work and managing risk in public law children cases, with more emphasis on gaining and recording the wishes and feelings of children at that stage.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Welsh council criticised after couples became embroiled in ‘nightmare’ adoption case

Social services bosses at a Welsh council have come under fire from a High Court judge after two couples became embroiled in “nightmare” litigation when a woman changed her mind about giving up a baby daughter for adoption.

Full story: Care Appointments

Council correct not to arrange prostitutes for man with learning disabilities, judge

A judge has said social services bosses should not facilitate access to prostitutes for a man with learning difficulties.

Full story: Care Appointments

BASW publishes responses to Public and Private Law Interim Reports

The British Association of Social Workers England and the Social Workers Union have completed a survey of members and formulated their response for the Children Cases in the Family Court consultations on public law, and for private law.

Full story: Family Law Week

New support for foster families to overcome trauma

Practical and emotional support from communities of foster carers to boost their resilience.

Full story: Family Law Week

Commons debates Child Maintenance Service’s performance in recovering payments

On Wednesday 2 October, the House of Commons held a Westminster Hall debate entitled "Performance of child maintenance service in recovering payments from absent parents", led by Peter Grant.

Full story: Family Law Week

Tafida Raqeeb: Brain-damaged girl can go abroad for treatment

The parents of a brain-damaged girl will be allowed to take her abroad to continue her treatment, the High Court has ruled.

Full story: BBC News

Man who does not understand consent has right to pursue sex, court rules

Judge finds against care plan for 36-year-old who has autism with impaired cognition.

Full story: The Guardian

Labour MP moves colleagues to tears with domestic abuse story

Rosie Duffield’s harrowing personal account is described as ‘moving and horrifying’.

Full story: The Guardian

Funding key to success of Domestic Abuse Bill, say councils

Investment in children's services and prevention is crucial to the success of the revived Domestic Abuse Bill, councils have claimed as it moved a step closer to becoming law today.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Court has no power to require Cafcass to undertake work with non-subject child, judge rules

A court has no power to require Cafcass to appoint one of its officers, whether a children's guardian or otherwise, to undertake any work with or play any role with a non-subject child, a High Court judge has concluded.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Action needed to tackle domestic abuse of over-60s, says Age UK

Charity calls for needs of older survivors in England and Wales to be properly met.

Full story: The Guardian