Private law children cases are at an all-time high, according to figures released by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, or Cafcass as it is often known.
Cafcass is an independent organisation charged with the task of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children going through the family courts. Their primary aim is to ensure that each child is given a voice and that all decisions are made in their best interests.
Private law children cases cover arrangements for the children where parents are separated or divorced, usually about where the child will live or with whom they will spend time. Arrangements for grandparents can also be included.
During the period 2014-15, Cafcass recorded 34,119 cases, which was a 27% decrease on the previous year. Since then, each year has seen a year-on-year increase of between 3.1% and 10%. As a result, during the 2018-19 reporting period a total of 43,908 cases were recorded.
During July alone, a total of 4,369 new private law cases were received – an alarming 18.7% or 688 cases higher than July last year.
Figures for the first quarter of 2019-20 already show 15,559 cases, indicating that the current financial year will very likely see yet another increase.
Commenting on the report, children law expert, Alison McIlroy said: “This increase demonstrates that family issues are getting ever more complex.”
It’s also worth noting that in private law a single case may involve several children and various different types of application. Therefore, the number of cases is not an accurate reflection of the number of children caught up in the family court system.
If you are experiencing issues regarding arrangements for children and need guidance, our family law experts are here to help. We offer a free initial consultation and Legal Aid is still available in certain circumstances.
For a no obligation discussion about your options please call 01302 320621.