Private children law proceedings, which usually involve the parents of a child and the arrangements for that child, have increased, according to Cafcass. These proceedings can involve decisions such as who a child should live with and how much time a child should spend with each parent, as well as other decisions which may affect a child.
Cafcass stands for Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service. Cafcass works with families in divorce, separation, care, and adoption proceedings. They make sure that children’s voices are heard and that any decisions made are in the child’s best interests.
In September 2015, the referrals to Cafcass concerning private children’s law proceedings was around 3,000; however, that figure dramatically increased to 3,588 proceedings in 2016 – an increase of 19%. The figure in August 2016 also increased by 23% from August 2015.
It is likely that one of the reasons for this is the Government’s decision to cut legal aid, which has resulted in more litigants in person – those parties who are not legally represented.
Referrals to Cafcass can incorporate delay in relation to resolving proceedings concerning children. In certain cases, delay can be prejudicial to your application and therefore, it is advisable to seek legal advice before and during any Court proceedings concerning your children.
Anthony Jones is the Head of Family Law and is a Resolution Accredited Specialist. For more information or a second opinion, please contact him at 0161 641 4555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.