Alice Scambler considers what options are open to those seeking an alternative to family courts under post-pandemic pressure

The pandemic and associated lockdowns have led to an increase in reports of domestic violence and relationship breakdowns. Family practitioners have noticed a surge in enquiries, and this is reflected in the courts. “The volume of work is simply overwhelming,” commented Rt Hon Sir Andrew McFarlane, president of the Family Division.

Quarterly statistics

On 24 June 2021, this increase was confirmed by the Family Court Statistics Quarterly report which makes for an alarming read, considered in light of McFarlane’s statement: “[C]learly the pandemic has made things harder, but we were already overrun”.

71,707 new family cases were issued between January and March 2021, a 7 per ...

Alice Scambler
Thomas Mansfield Family Law

This article is part of a subscription-based access, to continue reading, please contact your library