A “cultural revolution” in family law

8th March 2015 by


According to statistics from the Ministry of Justice, around 70,000 family cases are commenced each quarter in England and Wales. The majority of these (44 per cent) are applications for divorce.

Other matters involve local authority intervention care proceedings, domestic violence, adoption and financial claims on divorce.

To find out more about the family law lawyers at Healys in London, and how we could help you, please click here.

Family law reform in 2014

In April 2014, a series of sweeping family justice reforms saw the introduction of combined Family Courts in England and Wales to replace the three tier system which had formerly handled family proceedings.

The introduction of the Family Court hoped to ensure that each new case would receive the appropriate level of judge and would be heard at the most suitable location.

Following the implementation, judges of all levels would be able to sit in the same building to reduce time taken up by cases having to be transferred between different courts.

The Family Court will also see Justices’ clerks and their assistants authorised to assist judges in a number of matters, including undefended divorce. This will allow judges to use their time to focus on more complex cases.

The Child Arrangements Programme introduced the court’s ability to make ‘child arrangement orders’ which replace ‘contact’ and ‘residence orders’. The intention is to see families using mediation to settle disputes regarding child arrangements and to focus on the needs of the child rather than on the perceived ‘rights’ of the parents.

Couples undergoing divorce and separation will also be required to attend a MIAM (Mediation Information Assessment Meeting) before applying to the family law court to settle financial settlement disputes.

Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, said that April 22 2014 marked “the largest reform of the family justice system any of us have seen or will see in our professional lifetimes”.

Adding, “Taken as a whole, these reforms amount to a revolution. There has been, indeed there had to be, a fundamental change in the cultures of the family courts. This is truly a cultural revolution.”

Do you need a family law lawyer in London?

Our family law team in London has a proven track record in successfully advising and representing clients in a wide-range of family and matrimonial matters.

We have offices in London and Brighton and are a ‘full-service law firm. This means we have the benefit of being able to draw on the experience and skills of our colleagues in other departments to help with the complex nature of family work.

Call or email us today with your enquiry – we will be happy to have an initial discussion about how we could best help you in your personal circumstances.