In 2020 the demand on the Family Courts increased significantly and this continues to be the case in 2021.

HHJ Wildblood QC gave a clear warning in the matter of Re B (Unnecessary Private Law Applications) [2020] EWFC B44 about the increase in unnecessary Private Law Children Act Applications.

Unfortunately, with some parents being unable to afford litigation they are increasingly unrepresented by legal representatives, therefore see court as the only option for them. If given the correct advice about alternative options available to them this could significantly reduce the number of applications made to the court.

Private Law children matters are those brought about by individuals such as parents or grandparents. Usually involving where a child lives or who they spend time with, and other specific issues.

Between April 2020 and March 2021 Cafcass received a staggering 45,780 private law applications with them affecting around 100,000 children. Of course, the effects of this acrimonious litigation on those children is upsetting to say the least. Various children’s mental health charities have a specific focus on children of separating or separated parents. It is therefore vital that those dealing with private law children matters always have the children’s welfare at the centre of their work.

Currently, there is a campaign lead by a group ‘Positive Parenting Alliance’ to promote discussions and agreements between parents whilst they are still together so that if they should ever separate, it is easier to move forward without litigation if possible.

Unfortunately, this does not account for all circumstances and there will be cases where litigation is unavoidable. The key is obtaining legal advice as soon as possible on the individual situation.

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.

To speak to a member of our family law team please call 0845 287 0939, send us an email, or speak to us through the chat button below.