Family Law Hub

Both parties represented in only 22% of private law cases: a new low

Figures published in the Family Court statistics report for April - June 2015

  • The number of private law cases where both parties are represented has hit a new record low of 22%. This compares with 50% in April 2011 and contrasts with cases where neither party are represented which has climbed above 30% for the first time having risen from just over 10% in the same period.

    Other key findings set out in this quarter's statistics are that (in the MoJ's own words):

    • The number of cases that started in family courts in England and Wales in April to June 2015 rose 4% to 59,908 compared to the equivalent quarter of 2014, but the recent trend remains steadily flat.
    • Nearly half of new cases are divorce cases.
    • There has been a decrease in the timeliness for private law cases overall in the last year – trend seen post-LASPO reforms during 2013 and early 2014 now seems to be reversing with timeliness returning to pre-LASPO levels.
    • There has been a general upward trend in the number of applications for non-molestation domestic violence remedy orders since the end of 2012, but there has been a drop since the end of 2014 suggesting that the trend may be stabilising.
    • The average time for the disposal of a care or supervision application made in April to June 2015 was 29 weeks, and the trend over the past year has remained stable at this level.
    • 56% of care or supervision proceedings were disposed of within 26 weeks, following on from the 26 week time limit for completing these cases introduced in the Children and Families Act 2014.
    • There has also been a general upward trend in the number of adoption orders issued since 2012 rising to an all-time high in July - September 2014, but in the most recent quarters, the number of orders has dropped. 

    The full report and accompanying tables can be found on the MoJ website here.

Published: 24/09/2015


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