Throughout May a record number of child custody cases were brought before the courts in what may be directly linked to the cuts in legal aid which come into force shortly.
A record number of 9,398 cases were heard in May according to the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass). Nine out of ten of these were custody cases, an increase of 27% on the same month in 2012.
Child welfare experts who are trying to champion the use of mediation services, say that these latest reports are worrying. Cafcass Chie Executive Anthony Douglas said;
“All of us in the family justice system are working hard to steer families towards more constructive alternatives to court applications.
“Cafcass will also continue to discuss the reasons behind any changes to application levels with solicitors and other family-justice agencies over the coming months.”