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Family court quarterly statistics

New statistics


16 July 2021
Family court quarterly statistics

The Ministry of Justice has published the latest quarterly statistics for the family court in England and Wales, covering January to March 2021. The recovery from the impact of Covid-19 can be seen in these statistics, which show an 8 per cent increase in the number of cases disposed of compared with the same period in 2020, and a 7 per cent increase in the number of cases started.

A total of 71,707 new cases started in the family courts in January to March 2021, a 7 per cent increase compared to the same quarter in 2020. The statistics show that during this period:

  • Domestic violence remedy order applications increased by 12 per cent on the equivalent quarter in 2020, and the number of orders made also increased, by 20 per cent. 10,057 domestic violence remedy orders were made, a 13 per cent increase on the equivalent quarter in 2020.
  • 86 per cent of domestic violence order applications were for non-molestation orders, and 14 per cent were for occupation orders – non-molestation order applications were up by 16  per cent, whereas occupation order applications decreased by 10 per cent. Of orders made, 95 per cent were non-molestation orders, and 5 per cent were occupation orders.
  • Private law case starts increased by 5 per cent from January to March 2020, to 14,396. Private law case disposals were up 9 per cent, while there were 4 per cent fewer court disposal events.
  • 4,088 public law cases were started, 7 per cent fewer than January to March 2020. Cases disposed increased by 11 per cent, to 4,135.  
  • 22 per cent of care and supervision cases reached first disposal within the 26-week limit, down 14 per cent from the same period in 2020.
  • The average time for a care or supervision case to reach first disposal was 43 weeks – 8 weeks longer than in January to March 2020, and the longest time since mid-2012.
  • Adoption applications increased by 6 per cent on January to March 2020, and the number of orders also increased by 6 per cent.
  • The proportion of private law cases disposed of where both parties had legal representation increased by 2 per cent on January to March 2020, to 21 per cent. Neither the applicant nor the respondent had legal representation in 36 per cent of cases, a 2 per cent decrease on the same period in 2020.
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