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Family law-related applications to the courts decline in latest figures released

Private law children applications reduce by 21% and public law applications by 14%

The Ministry of Justice has released statistics for court business in the period of October to December 2010. The figures show a sharp decline in most areas of family-related work.

On matters affecting children, there were 5,700 children involved in public law applications made in the fourth quarter of 2010, a 14 per cent drop on the same period for 2009.

27,000 children were involved in private law applications made in the fourth quarter of 2010, a 21 per cent decrease. Although the overall long-term trend for private law applications had been upward, the last four quarters' data have shown a decrease in the volume of cases, to levels similar to those seen in 2008 after being notably higher throughout 2009.

,200 domestic violence orders were made in the fourth quarter of 2010, a drop of 13 per cent on the 6,000 in the same period in the previous year. There was no change in the number of domestic violence orders in the last quarter between 2008 and 2009.

One area that bucked this trend was in decrees absolute granted for the dissolution of marriage of which there were 34,000 in the fourth quarter of 2010, an increase of one per cent compared to the fourth quarter of 2009.