29 September 2016

Jo Edwards comments on the latest family court quarterly statistics

Jo was quoted by the Press Association about the latest trends in the court statistics and watch points.

Jo noted that the Family Court quarterly statistics for the period April to June 2016 highlighted the increasing pressure that the Family courts are under with public law (care) cases rising by 24% over the last year. These statistics echo the words of the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, in which he warned of a crisis in the care system, due to the 'relentless' rise in the number of care cases over the past decade.  The statistics also revealed the fact that the number of private law family cases where neither party is legally represented has increased by 17% since April to June 2013; and that, notwithstanding this, the number of private law applications made in April to June 2016 had increased by 16% from the same quarter in 2015, despite the courts encouraging the use of alternative dispute resolution such as mediation.  Jo also highlighted that this increase seems to be having a knock-on effect on divorce/finance cases, which, according to the latest statistics, have been taking on average of a month longer to resolve since the start of 2015 to mid-2016.  Against that backdrop, understandably alternative dispute resolution processes, such as arbitration, are becoming increasingly attractive, giving couples the ability to choose their judge and set their own timetable.

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