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Family court statistics

The Ministry of Justice has published statistics on cases that are received and processed through the court system of England and Wales in the second quarter of 2013 (July to September).

These statistics focus on four main categories: civil (excluding family), family cases, criminal cases and judicial reviews.

Family courts deal with matters such as: local authority intervention to protect children, issues following the breakdown of a relationship such as divorce petitions and the domestic and financial provision for children, domestic violence remedies and adoption.

Family courts deal with around 270,000 new cases each year. In July - September 2013, there were 66,643 new cases started in family courts and 66,556 cases were concluded.
During the quarter, divorce made up 43% of new cases in family courts, with private law contributing 21% and ancillary relief 16%. In total, relationship breakdown cases account for over four-fifths of the courts’ caseload.

Looking at the figures in more detail, they show that:

  • Divorce: there were 28,427 petitions filed for divorce and 29,960 decrees absolute made in July - September 2013.
  • Ancillary relief: there were 10,924 cases started and 8,805 cases with a disposal in July - September 2013.
  • Domestic violence: there were 5,387 cases started and 4,971 cases with a disposal in July - September 2013, both continuing the upward trend seen over recent quarters.
  • Forced marriage protection: there were 43 new forced marriage protection order cases, and 32 cases with a disposal made in July - September 2013.
  • Adoption: there were 3,952 cases started and 3,479 cases disposed, under the Adoption and Children Act 2002 in July - September 2013.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0.

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