The Good Divorce Week is an annual campaign which runs from 28 November to 2 December that is organised by Resolution, the membership organisation for professionals that work with separating families. The focus of “Good Divorce Week 2022” is to highlight the crisis in the Family Court and raise awareness of the different ways families can resolve their disputes away from Court.
The family law system saw its biggest change in 50 years when no-fault divorce came into force on 6 April 2022. The impact of this legislation is already being felt; in the fiscal quarter from April to June 2022, there were 33,234 divorce applications. This is an increase of 22% from the same quarter in 2021.
In spite of this notable reform, the family court system is at breaking point due to family courts across the country facing unprecedented backlogs and delays. These delays can partly be attributed to the rising number of unrepresented parties which comes as a result of the restricted availability of legal aid. This is because unrepresented parties often require more time and support from Court which is likely to slow down the system and increase overall costs.
Stephanie Boyce, the former President of the Law Society of England and Wales, recently spoke on the issue, arguing that the family law backlog could be cut by restoring Legal Aid for early advice. To support this, by restoring early legal advice for family law cases, fewer cases would go to Court as solicitors could assist negotiated settlements, refer clients to mediation, and better manage client expectations.
For up-to-date information on “Good Divorce Week”, please follow the below link: