During these unprecedented times the Family Court has seen an increased demand with reports suggesting that by January 2021, the Court will have double the number of outstanding cases than it had in January 2020.

It is off the back of this that a Judge in Bristol has issued a clear warning in relation to the filing of unnecessary private law applications which can be settled by other means outside of the Family Court.

In the case of Re B (A Child) (Unnecessary Private Law Applications) [2020] EWFC B44, senior Family Law Judge HHJ Wildblood QC gave a very precise message to the attendees, and indeed other advocates, that the court is being overwhelmed with applications for private law children matters which are unnecessary.

He warned against wasteful litigation and an inappropriate use of court resources. The Judge went on to say;

‘Do not bring your private law litigation to the Family court here unless it is genuinely necessary for you to do so. You should settle your differences (or those of your clients) away from court, except where that is not possible’

What Are Private Law Children Matters?

Private law children matters are brought by private individuals, rather than a local authority or the NSPCC, generally in connection with divorce or the parents’ separation. The disputes can often concern where a child lives, parental contact and responsibility, among other, more case specific, issues.

It is therefore vital that, upon seeking advice for private law children matters, proper and child focussed advice is obtained.

Of course, whilst litigation cannot always be avoided, at Farleys a number of our family law solicitors are members of Resolution. Professionals who are part of Resolution seek to promote a constructive approach to family issues to consider the needs of the whole family. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is an option explored by our team in many circumstances, avoiding the need for costly, time-consuming, and often stressful court proceedings.

To discuss your situation and the options available to you with a member of our family team please call 0845 287 0939 or submit your enquiry through our online form.