Courts struggling to cope with growing number of family and finances disputes

Family courts are struggling under the pressure of a growing number of disputes over children and finances, new figures show.

The figures for the family courts in England and Wales for the first quarter of this year show that, in all, 65,714 cases were started in the family courts in that period, up by 4 per cent on last year. Disputes involving arrangements for the residence of children and access amounted for 13,281 applications and involved 28,043 children, while those involving money made up 12,185 applications, the biggest number for four years.

These figures demonstrate just how important it is for the judiciary to provide effective case management. They also highlight the impact of recent court closures, which have restricted access to justice and produced a backlog of cases.

Paul Reay