Family court

Family law is the area of law that deals with:

  • Public law – local authority intervention to protect children;
  • Private law – parental disputes concerning the upbringing of children;
  • Matrimonial cases – divorces, annulments and separations;
  • Financial Remedy (formerly known as ‘ancillary relief’) – financial provisions after divorce or relationship breakdown;
  • Domestic violence remedy orders;
  • Forced marriage protection orders;
  • Female genital mutilation protection orders;
  • Adoption;
  • The Mental Capacity Act; and
  • Probate

See statistics at MOJ.


Family court - total cases started

Total cases started at family court.

Family court - total cases started
Year Family court - total cases started
2018 262,747
2017 255,370
2016 256,109
2015 245,118
2014 241,519
2013 265,579
2012 265,965
2011 263,672

Jan 2018 to Dec 2018 262,747


Children Act - public law

Public law – local authority intervention to protect children.

Children Act - public law
Year Children Act - public law
2018 19,037
2017 19,152
2016 18,953
2015 15,998
2014 14,909
2013 15,050
2012 15,238
2011 14,788

Jan 2018 to Dec 2018 19,037


Children Act - private law

Private law – parental disputes concerning the upbringing of children.

Children Act - private law
Year Children Act - private law
2018 51,672
2017 50,652
2016 48,246
2015 43,347
2014 42,114
2013 54,624
2012 52,062
2011 49,067

Jan 2018 to Dec 2018 51,672


Matrimonial matters

Matrimonial cases – divorces, annulments and separations.

Matrimonial matters
Year Matrimonial matters
2018 119,073
2017 110,016
2016 114,825
2015 115,271
2014 113,324
2013 118,304
2012 125,125
2011 129,888
2010 134,105
2009 132,802
2008 129,618
2007 137,022
2006 148,233

Jan 2018 to Dec 2018 119,073


Financial remedies

Financial Remedy (formerly known as ‘ancillary relief’) – financial provisions after divorce or relationship breakdown.

Financial remedies
Year Financial remedies
2018 40,138
2017 42,308
2016 41,540
2015 37,950
2014 37,654
2013 42,919
2012 42,949
2011 41,666
2010 46,173
2009 46,081
2008 51,768
2007 58,496
2006 65,396

Jan 2018 to Dec 2018 40,138


Domestic violence remedy orders

Domestic violence remedy orders.

Domestic violence remedy orders
Year Domestic violence remedy orders
2018 21,356
2017 21,214
2016 20,056
2015 19,508
2014 20,295
2013 19,738
2012 17,318
2011 17,057

Jan 2018 to Dec 2018 21,356


Forced marriage protection

Forced marriage protection orders.

Forced marriage protection
Year Forced marriage protection
2018 283
2017 202
2016 231
2015 189
2014 137
2013 144
2012 109
2011 118
2010 111
2009 94

Jan 2018 to Dec 2018 283


Female genital mutilation protection

Female genital mutilation protection orders.

Female genital mutilation protection
Year Female genital mutilation protection
2018 88
2017 85
2016 68
2015 35

Jan 2018 to Dec 2018 88


All Adoption Act

All Adoption Act.

All Adoption Act
Year All Adoption Act
2018 11,100
2017 11,741
2016 12,190
2015 12,820
2014 13,086
2013 14,800
2012 13,164
2011 11,088

Jan 2018 to Dec 2018 11,100


Applications made under the Mental Capacity Act 2005

Applications made under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Applications made under the Mental Capacity Act 2005
Year Applications made under the Mental Capacity Act 2005
2018 32,029
2017 31,332
2016 29,711
2015 26,722
2014 26,272
2013 24,923
2012 24,877
2011 23,538
2010 20,459
2009 19,093
2008 22,583

Jan 2018 to Dec 2018 32,029


Total grants of representation (including probate)

Total grants of representation (including probate).

Total grants of representation (including probate)
Year Total grants of representation (including probate)
2018 264,486
2017 259,956
2016 254,738
2015 273,557
2014 247,298
2013 260,969
2012 243,462
2011 261,352
2010 246,635
2009 254,164
2008 267,480
2007 286,175

Jan 2018 to Dec 2018 264,486