Wilsons' Head of Family, Natasha Grande, has written an article for LexisNexis about the implications of the latest Family Court Statistics and what can be done to address the delays in family courts.
The latest Family Court Statistics have raised concerns about the significant delays in the family courts, particularly in private children work. The Ministry of Justice reports that private law children cases took an average of 47 weeks to conclude from January to March 2023, a month longer than the same period in 2022. The number of new cases has consistently exceeded the number of resolved cases since 2016.
The removal of legal aid in April 2013 for most private law cases has had serious repercussions, with many people unable to afford legal representation. In the first quarter of 2023, 40% of cases reached final disposal where neither party had legal representation, compared to 14% in the same period in 2013. Meanwhile, cases where both parties have legal representation dropped from 41% in early 2013 to 18% in early 2023.
Natasha writes: "The reality is families are waiting for too long for a court hearing to deal with child arrangements, to answer questions on what the contact look should like, for a resolution on what school a child should attend, or whether they can relocate, whether that is within the UK or to another jurisdiction."
Subject to any paywall restrictions, you can access the full article here.