The North-South divide seems to be growing more and more each year in different subjects – anything from the weather to house prices and now private law cases!

A recent report, published by the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory, concentrating on private law cases within England and Wales called ‘Uncovering private family law: Who’s coming to Court in England?’ has made surprising findings.

The report has found that there is a clear north-south divide in the number of private law application being made in the Court arena. The North West, North East and Yorkshire and Humber areas are consistently higher than those in the South East of England and London.

More information is needed to truly uncover the reasons as to why the North seems to have a higher rate of private law proceedings than the South of the country.

Some key figures published within the report were that between 2019 and 2020, private law application rates in London for families with dependent children were 44 per 10,000 and in the South East of England this was 59 per 10,000 – this is comparable to the North of England which varied between 79 and 81 per 10,000 families.

The majority of private law applications are related to where a child should live and who the child should see. The report also found that fathers were more likely to apply for contact and mothers for residence of the child.

It is clear that further information is needed to ascertain why there is such a big divide between the northern and southern regions – could it be that mediation is more successful in the southern regions of the country?

You can read the report in full here.

If you are looking for family law advice around child matters including child contact or any legal matters around divorce or separation, please contact Farleys’ family law team on 0845 287 0939 or submit your enquiry by email.