It has been reported in the news this week that statistics are showing that more than a third of cases in the Family Court now have no legal representative for either party and that:

–   For the period from April to June neither the applicant nor respondent were represented in 34% of cases;

–   This is the highest proportion since the introduction of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act in 2013, which restricted legal aid for family cases;

–   When the legislation was implemented only around 17% of family court cases had no representation for either party;

–   Cases where both parties are represented has fallen from around 40% in 2013 to around 27% in the second quarter of this year;

–   From April 2013, legal aid is now only available for private family law cases, such as contact or divorce, except if there is evidence of domestic violence or in child abuse and child abduction cases;

–   The average time for a disposal in care proceedings is around 27 weeks, although this figure has dropped in recent years;

–   The average time for the disposal of divorce cases with financial remedy has been steadily increasing, from 20.5 weeks at the start of 2015 to 24.9 weeks in the second quarter of 2016;

–   The workload of the family courts appears to have increased significantly;

–   There were 66,328 cases started in family courts in England and Wales in April to June 2016, a 10% increase on the same period in 2015.

How can we help?

At Ringrose Law we have a specialised Family Law team.   For advice on any aspects of Family Law contact any of our offices in Lincoln, Boston, Spalding, Sleaford, Grantham and Newark.

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