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Delays in the Family Courts

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Senior family court Judge for the south-west HHJ Stephen Wildblood has commented on how the family courts are being filled up by private law cases that should not require court involvement 


He noted examples of these types of cases which he has recently been involved with. For instance in one case presented before the Court, there was a disagreement between parents over which junction of the M4 a child should be handed over for contact. 


Due to the pandemic there has naturally been delays in the time taken for the family Courts to process and deal with cases. However, HHJ Wildblood’s comments suggest that unnecessary court applications are also a contributing factor to these delays.


Jo Edwards, who is chair of Resolution’s family law reform group told the Law Society Gazette ‘There is a broader issue at play here which is that the courts are simply not getting the resources they require in order to function effectively. We urge the government to look at what additional resources can be deployed that would divert suitable cases away from courts and into alternative arrangements including collaborative law, arbitration as well as mediation, while ensuring that those cases that need court time are given it promptly.’