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Ministry of Justice publishes family court statistics

New statistics

24 July 2020
Ministry of Justice publishes family court statistics

Quarterly statistics for the family court in England and Wales for January to March 2020 have been published by the Ministry of Justice. While these do not show the impact of Covid-19 on the family court, it is anticipated that the next quarterly figures will.

In total, 65,553 new cases started in the family court, a 3% decrease on January-March 2019. The statistics also show:

  • The number of private law cases started was unchanged from a year before at 13,618, as were private law applications at 14,136. The number of these cases disposed of decreased by 6% compared to January-March 2019
  • Domestic violence remedy order applications increased by 12% compared to January-March 2019, and the number of orders made increased by 8% over the same period. 83% of these applications were for non-molestation orders, and 17% for occupation orders
  • Public law cases started in the family court decreased by 1% on the equivalent period in 2019, while the number of cases disposed decreased by 13%
  • The average time for care and supervision cases to reach first disposal was 35 weeks, up two weeks from January-March 2019. This continues a recent upward trend and represents the highest average since mid-2013
  • Adoption applications decreased by 18% from the equivalent period in 2019, and the number of adoption orders made also decreased by 19%
  • Of the total adoption orders made, 60% of these were issued to mixed-sex couples, 19% to sole applicants, 15% to same-sex couples, and 6% to step-parents
  • The proportion of disposals in which neither applicant nor respondent were legally represented was 39%, a 1% increase on January-March 2019 and a 25% increase since January-March 2013, immediately before the implementation of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO)
  • Similarly, the proportion of cases where both parties were legally represented was 18% in January-March 2020, a 2% decrease on the equivalent period in 2019 and a 23% decrease on January-March 2013
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