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Family court’s case load falls 19% from last year

MoJ publishes court statistics for April to June 2014

The Ministry of Justice has published court statistics for April to June 2014.

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. 60,287 cases were concluded.

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.

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.

The breakdown of the caseload was as follows:

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.

In general, across all case types, cases where both parties, or the respondent only had legal representation took longer than those cases where only the applicant was represented or where both parties were without legal representation.

The statistical release is here.

25/9/14