Criticism deterring medical specialists from being expert witnesses

Criticism from lawyers, judges and the press may be deterring health professionals from being expert witnesses in family cases, a working group looking into a chronic shortage has said.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Divorce rate falls for heterosexual couples in England and Wales

Applications backlog partly blamed for drop to lowest level in 50 years, while same-sex couple figure rises.

Full story: The Guardian

Judge asked to decide whether man lacking mental capacity can visit prostitute

A judge is set to decide whether a man with mental health difficulties who admits having fantasies involving sexual violence and children can visit a prostitute.

Full story: Care Appointments

LiP support unit shuts branches

The president of the Family Division has called on lawyers to help fund a support scheme for litigants in person.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Family Law Week Weekly Podcast Episode 4

Rachel Cooper of Coram Chambers is joined this week by Hannah Markam QC of The 36 Group.

Podcast: Family Law Week

Almost 2.5 million in England and Wales experienced domestic abuse in last year

ONS publishes statistics on domestic abuse in England and Wales for year ending March 2019.

Full story: Family Law Week

British women ‘being forced into polygamous relationships’ because law lets them down, campaigners say

British women are increasingly being pressured into polygamous relationships or left without child support when relationships break up because UK law does not offer adequate protection to spouses in religious marriages, campaigners have warned.

Full story: The Independent

Study explores damaging impact of domestic violence on women’s careers

The damaging impact of domestic abuse on women’s careers has been highlighted in a new report which suggests that many women take time off work after suffering violence.

Full story: Care Appointments

Financial Remedies Courts: Structure document and Good Practice Protocol published

An Overall Structure of the Financial Remedies Courts and the Role and Function of the Lead Judge has been published for the Financial Remedies Courts.

Full story: Family Law Week

Girl in ‘forensic limbo’ as parents spend over three years locked in family court row

An eight-year-old girl who has been at the centre of a family court row between her separated parents for nearly three-and-a-half years has been badly let down by “the system”, a senior judge has said.

Full story: Care Appointments

Labour promises ‘wholesale review of care system’

Domestic abuse and ‘no fault’ divorce legislation included in manifesto.

Full story: Family Law Week

Lack of secure accommodation for vulnerable children needs ‘urgent attention’

The availability of secure accommodation for vulnerable children in England and Wales is in crisis, a senior judge has said.

Full story: Care Appointments

Marriage between woman and trans man is void

Gender Recognition Certificate had not been obtained at date of ceremony.

Full story: Family Law Week

Victims and survivors of domestic abuse let down by fragmented system in Wales

Auditor General finds that information on prevalence is unreliable.

Full story: Family Law Week

Lib Dem manifesto commits to ‘no-fault’ divorce

The Liberal Democrat Party's manifesto includes a range of commitments on family law.

Full story: Family Law Week

Child victims of domestic violence ‘must not be collateral damage of Brexit’

Child victims of domestic violence could become “collateral damage of Brexit” without action by the next Government, a charity has said.

Full story: Care Appointments

Research on the effect of the PLO and Re B-S on care proceedings published

Child protection in Court: Outcomes for Children reports the findings of research by the Universities of Bristol and East Anglia on reforms to care proceedings in 2013-14, and their impact on children.

Full story: Family Law Week

Press attacks on family courts should be assessed - McFarlane

The president of the family division has called for independent research to be carried out on cases reported by the press to see if courts are making mistakes and failing to protect victims and children.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Judge rules in favour of man who said ex-partner alienated him from children

A man who said his former partner had alienated their two children from him has won a family court care battle.

Full story: Care Appointments

‘A third of married couples do not know about pension sharing on divorce’

Research undertaken by Shoosmiths in October revealed that a third of married couples and those in civil partnerships do not know that on divorce or dissolution they are entitled to a proportion of their spouse's or partner's pension.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children of couple at centre of terror probe must be monitored by social workers

A Muslim couple facing allegations of “terror-related offences” can care for three children – but must be monitored by council social services staff, a High Court judge says.

Full story: Care Appointments

Judge allows inter-country adoption to proceed despite failure to comply with pre-adoption requirements

An application for an inter-country adoption should not fail because of inconsequential errors made by the intending adopter, a High Court Family Division judge has ruled.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

New private law cases received by Cafcass in October rose by 9 per cent year-on-year

Cafcass received a total of 4,361 new private law cases (involving 5,451 children) in October – 9.5 per cent (or 379 cases) higher than the same month last year.

Full story: Family Law Week

Number of children in foster care rises by 3 per cent over last year

Almost 55,000 children and young people placed with foster carers.

Full story: Family Law Week

Child abuse linked to witchcraft rises by a third, councils reveal

The number of children in England identified by councils as having been abused for reasons associated with witchcraft has risen by a third in the past three years, the Local Government Association has revealed.

Full story: Family Law Week

New care applications received by Cafcass fall slightly in October

Cafcass received a total of 1,635 new care applications in September – six fewer than in the same month last year.

Full story: Family Law Week

Practice Guidance: Placements in unregistered children’s homes in England or unregistered care home services in Wales

The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has issued a new practice guidance to explain the registration and regulation structure applicable in England and, separately, in Wales for residential care facilities for children and young people.

Full story: Family Law Week

Difficulties in recruiting to District Bench "to have adverse consequences" for civil, family jurisdictions: Lord Chief Justice

The Lord Chief Justice has warned of “a very worrying shortfall” in the recruitment of salaried members to the District Bench this year, saying that it will have adverse consequences for the family and civil jurisdictions.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Child maintenance arrangements made after speaking to CM Options, data up to August 2019

Preliminary estimates of the Child Maintenance outcomes of parents following contact with Child Maintenance (CM) Options.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Concerns raised about Calderbank offers being used to assess litigation conduct

Reservations have been expressed about plans to change the rules for determining costs at the end of family proceedings.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Domestic abuse 'biggest threat to child protection'

Domestic violence, family conflict and drink and drug abuse are the biggest drivers of the rise in child-protection cases in England, says the Local Government Association.

Full story: BBC News

Family Law Week Weekly Podcast Episode 1

A round-up of family law news from the past week and an in-depth look at recent cases hosted by Rachel Cooper, counsel, Coram Chambers.

Podcast: Family Law Week

Tort of deceit can exist between husband and wife

Claims ‘fundamentally incompatible’ with Court’s consideration of MCA s25.

Full story: Family Law Week