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Duration of care proceedings now 30 weeks on average

Divorce petitions at their highest quarterly rate since 2013

The average time for a care or supervision case to reach first disposal was 30 weeks in April to June 2018, two weeks up from the same quarter in 2017 and the highest average since early 2014.

48 per cent of cases were disposed of within 26 weeks – down 8 percentage points over the same period for 2017.

The figures were revealed in the Ministry of Justice's latest quarterly statistics for the family courts.

The number of cases starting in family courts has increased during the latest quarter. 68,141 new cases started in family courts in April to June 2018, up 7 per cent on April to June 2017, driven by an 18 per cent rise in matrimonial cases starting. 32,230 divorce petitions were made during April to June 2018, up 18 per cent on April to June 2017 – the highest quarterly figure since the start of 2013, following a long period of stability.

The number of domestic violence remedy order applications increased by 1 per cent compared to the equivalent quarter in 2017, whilst the number of orders made increased by 4 per cent over the same period.

The number of adoption applications and orders continues their downward trend. In April to June 2018, there were 1,255 adoption applications, down 1% on the equivalent quarter in 2017. Similarly, over the same period the number of adoption orders issued decreased 9% to 1,271.

There were 1,166 applications relating to deprivation of liberty in April to June 2018, up 27 per cent on the equivalent quarter in 2017. Deprivation of liberty orders were down 19 per cent over the same period.

For the full statistics, click here.