Half of all parents are going to Court nowadays without legal representation when seeking to contest arrangements for their children.

The Family Courts are rapidly becoming lawyer free zones consequently devastating low income families and creating delays for parents attending Court.

They need to stop seeing Lawyers and Mediators as an either/or.

They are both professionals working in tandem to keep families out of Court and promote the interest of the child.

In the period of 2012/2013 before Legal Aid was withdrawn from Lawyers in most family disputes the proportion of unrepresented parents at Court for the same matters stood at 42%.

The latest quarterly figure released from the MOJ shows this has now increased to 62%.

The same MOJ figures also show the number of unrepresented parties at Court contesting financial matters has risen to over 30% for the first time.

In August 2014 statistics from CAFCASS showed there were 2,928 new private law cases in July which amounted to a 36% fall from August 2013.

The Chair of the Law Society Family Law Committee warned that falling numbers of parents going to Court would lead to children being denied access to their parents which would undermine the concept of shared parenting being introduced by the Government in Children and Family bill.

Ministers should admit they have got it wrong.

If you need help or representation contact our family team, we can see if you are eligible for legal aid or offer fixed fee advice to you.

 

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