username

password

Alpha Biolabs1 Garden CourtFamily Law Week Email Subscription

Home > News

Latest MoJ statistics set out the impact of Covid-19 on family court activity

New cases started in family courts down 13 per cent between April and June 2020

The latest statistics issued by the Ministry of Justice demonstrate the substantial impact Covid-19 and associated actions have had on family court activity.

There was a significant decrease in most types of family justice between April and June 2020 (the period covered by the statistical release). The reduction of 13 per cent (on the same quarter in 2019) to 56,867 in new cases started is linked to Covid-19 measures undertaken by the courts. This represents a 30 per cent decrease in financial remedy cases, a 24 per cent decrease in adoption, an 18 per cent decrease in matrimonial matters and a 7 per cent decrease in private law case starts.

The average time for a care or supervision case to reach first disposal was 36 weeks in April to June 2020, up three weeks from the same quarter in 2019. Thirty-four per cent of cases were disposed of within 26 weeks, down 7 percentage points compared to the same period in 2019.

There were 23,372 divorce petitions filed in April to June 2020, down 18 per cent on the equivalent quarter in 2019. There were 23,196 decree absolutes granted in April to June 2020, a decrease of 5 per cent from the same period last year. The mean average time from divorce petition to decree nisi was 23 weeks, and decree absolute was 47 weeks – down 10 and 11 weeks respectively when compared to the equivalent quarter in 2019. The median time to decree nisi was 14 weeks and 31 weeks for decree absolute respectively.

There were 7,218 financial remedy applications made in April to June 2020, down 31 per cent from the same period in 2019, while there were 7,949 financial remedy disposals events, down 22 per cent. During this period, 78 per cent of disposal events were uncontested, 15 per cent were initially contested and 7 per cent were contested throughout.

The number of domestic violence remedy order applications increased by 24 per cent compared to the same quarter in 2019, while the number of orders made increased by 17 per cent over the same period.

In April to June 2020 there were 798 adoption applications, down 35 per cent on the equivalent quarter in 2019. Similarly, the number of adoption orders issued decreased by 52 per cent to 584.

There were 1,020 applications relating to deprivation of liberty in April to June 2020, down 26 per cent on the equivalent quarter in 2019. Orders increased by 33 per cent in the latest quarter compared to the same period last year.

For the full statistics, click here.

24/9/20