Posted by Patrick Hart, Partner
On 1 September 2016 Withy King LLP merged with Royds LLP. The trading name for the merged firm is Royds Withy King. All content produced prior to this date will remain in the name of the firms pre-merger.
Private family law matters taking longer to resolve
The average time taken to conclude private family law cases has increased, claims legal organisation Resolution.
A poll by their members shows that 40 per cent claimed such disputes (those between individuals) now take longer since major changes were made to the family law system last year.
Despite the success of a 26-week time limit introduced for care cases, private family cases are taking longer to get through the courts.
In a survey to mark the one-year anniversary of the reforms, no less than 56 per cent claimed the courts are now slower to issue legal orders and 52 per cent agreed that it takes longer for private family cases to be allocated a specific court date.
One-third felt the overall length of cases had been negatively affected by the change in case allocation and four in ten felt the management of interim cases had suffered.
The reforms also included a centralisation process referred to as the ‘single family court’ and compulsory ‘mediation information and assessment meetings’ (MIAMs).
People planning to take a family dispute to court are required to attend the latter in order to assess whether or not their case would be suitable for mediation.
Resolution represents more than 6,000 family lawyers across England and Wales committed to “a constructive, non-confrontational approach to family law matters.”
The chair of Resolution, Jo Edwards, said that although it was “absolutely right” care cases should and had been given priority by the courts, private children cases had been the worst affected.
“It is unfortunate that there are simply not enough judges available to deal with the volume of work (exacerbated by the huge increase in the number of litigants in person over the past two years since LASPO and the fact that those cases take longer).
“I have seen cases involving applications for a child arrangement’s order take almost a year to conclusion, with the impact on the children involved profound.”
At Royds, our experienced family law department are able to advise on all aspects of the divorce process. We will work closely with clients to achieve the best possible outcome. For more information, please visit or contact Patrick Hart.
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