- Latest Family Court statistics from the Ministry of Justice
Latest Family Court statistics from the Ministry of Justice
Latest Family Court statistics from the Ministry of Justice1st April 2020 - Published by Eleanor Jones
The Ministry of Justice has published its latest set of quarterly statistics on the work of the Family Court, for October to December 2019. Family lawyers and social researchers will be particularly interested to note the comparison once the figures for January to March 2020 are published in light of the current climate amid Covid-19.
Below is a summary of the key findings from the report:
• 39% of divorce petitions are now being filed electronically – it is expected that this will now rise following the roll-out of electronic filing to solicitors and especially as we adjust to working and managing our lives remotely following the strict COVID-19 measures this year.
• There has been a 5% drop in matrimonial proceedings issued in the Family Court – this may be due to separating families waiting for the long expected no-fault divorce legislation to come in before getting things started, or due to increased use of alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation or arbitration.
• The average time from petition to decree nisi has increased by 3 weeks, and to decree absolute 2 weeks – The increased figures may be due to the courts working through a number historical cases. However, as divorce work moves increasingly online, we are likely to see a reduction in the average length of divorce proceedings, and this will be monitored moving forward.
• The number of private Children Act cases has increased by 5% – this might be due the removal of legal aid for these types of cases, a greater awareness of domestic abuse, along with a general increase in the number of families. It is not yet possible to quantify the impact of these aspects and it will be monitored moving forward.
• The number of financial remedy applications has decreased by 3%.
If you would like advice on any of the topics mentioned above, or any other family law matter, then please contact us.