The Ministry of Justice has published court statistics for the third quarter of 2014 (July to September)
showing that both parties are represented in only 24 per cent of all private family law cases.
The number of private law disposals where both parties were represented fell by 40 per cent in July to September 2014 compared to the same quarter the previous year. This continues the upward trend since the second quarter of 2013. According to figures, both parties are unrepresented in 28 per cent of all private family law cases.
The number of cases that started in family courts in England and Wales in July to September 2014 dropped 7 per cent to 61,700 compared to the equivalent quarter of 2013. In particular, there were almost a quarter fewer private law cases starting, continuing a downward trend since the second quarter of 2013.
The average time for the disposal of a care or supervision application continued to drop to just over 29 weeks (down from just over 36 weeks in July to September 2013 and down from just over 48 weeks in July to September 2012). This is due to the Children and Families Act 2014, which introduced a 26 week time limit for completing these cases.
Nearly 60 per cent of care or supervision proceedings were disposed of within 26 weeks.
The upward trend in the number of non-molestation applications continues - up from a low of 3,729 at the end of 2011 to 5,107 in July to September 2014.
During July to September 2014, there were 1,766 adoption orders issued, continuing the increasing trend and the highest number since the beginning of 2011. The full report can be downloaded here.