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Number of cases in family court falls 19% from last year

Date:25 SEP 2014
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The Ministry of Justice has published court statistics for the second quarter of 2014 (April to June) .

The number of cases that started in family courts in England and Wales in April to June 2014 dropped 19% to 57,720 compared to the equivalent quarter of 2013. A total of 60,287 cases were concluded in this time period.

The average time for the disposal of a care or supervision application continued to drop to just under 30 weeks (down 28% from April to June 2013 and down 43% from April to June 2012).

The number of private law disposals where both parties were represented fell by nearly 40% in April to June 2014 compared to the same quarter the previous year.

Divorce made up 48% of new cases in family courts, with private law contributing 16% and financial remedy 15%. In total, relationship breakdown cases account for four-fifths of the courts’ caseload. A similar picture is also seen for the cases concluded.

  • Public law: in April to June 2014 there were 3,519 new cases (fairly stable since 2011) which related to public law and 4,027 cases that reached a final disposal. The average time for the disposal of care and supervision cases was 29.6 weeks. 
  • Private law: in April to June 2014, there were 9,291 private law cases started (about 41 % lower than the equivalent quarter in 2013) and 13,028 cases that reached a final disposal (continuing the upward trend). 
  • Divorce: there were 27,550 petitions filed for divorce and 27,726 decrees absolute made in April to June 2014. 
  • Financial remedy (formerly ‘ancillary relief’): there were 8,775 cases started and 7,677 cases with a disposal in April to June 2014. 
  • Domestic violence: there were 5,105 cases started and 4,675 cases with a disposal in April to June 2014. 
  • Forced marriage protection: there were 30 new forced marriage protection order cases, and 26 cases concluded in April to June 2014. 
  • Adoption: there were 3,294 cases started and 2,978 cases disposed, under the Adoption and Children Act 2002 in April to June 2014. 
The full report can be downloaded here.

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