The news that the Court of Appeal is to stop hearing all challenges made in local family courts serves another reminder of the pressure our family court system is under.
The quarterly Family Court Statistics, for example, showed some stark trends:
- a 10% increase in cases started in family courts in England and Wales year-on-year;
- a 16% increase in the number of private law cases being issued between April and June 2016, relative to the same quarter last year;
- the number of public law cases started has increased by 24% over the last 12 months;
- 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 April to June 2016.
One option available to avoid the Court is mediation. This is a voluntary process to assist couples who wish to avoid the uncertainties, delays and costs of the court process, to reach a mutually acceptable outcome out of Court which benefits them both.
It can be used to resolve a wide range of issues, for example arrangements for the children of the family and financial matters on divorce.
We can offer mediation at Gepps, one of our experienced family lawyers, is a resolution trainer mediator and is committed to assisting couples to achieve effective solutions to family disputes in a neutral and supportive environment.
Our mediator Sarah Overy can be contacted on 01245 228132 or at firstname.lastname@example.org