Following an influx in new childcare cases in the family courts, the President of the Family Law Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane has launched a public consultation into our current system. At the launch he described those working in the court system as needingto “run up a down escalator” to deal with the amount of cases progressing through the courts.
Last year there was a staggering 53,164 private children cases involving 123,334 children. There is no sign that this rise will abate in the coming years.
Another factor putting pressure on the family court stems from the cuts to family legal aid. Under the current system only those who can demonstrate that they are both victims of domestic violence and on a low income qualify for family legal aid. Because of this, more-and-more litigants are representing themselves at court without the assistance of legal advice.
We would always recommend that clients seek independent legal advice when undergoing family proceedings and before attending court.
One aim of the McFarlane review is to identify cases that could be resolved through mediation rather than through the court system. A quarter of cases coming before the courts do not involve domestic violence or concerns about the safety of a child so may be suitable for negotiations between solicitors.
We have a breadth of experience in all aspects of children matters and are able to advise our clients in a sympathetic and pragmatic manner.
If you require legal advice or support, give our team of family law specialists here at Lund Bennett Law LLP a call on 0161 924 0079.