Private law data

Private law demand is generally used to refer to applications made following a divorce or separation about the arrangements for children, such as where a child will live or with whom a child will spend time.

Note: Cafcass private law demand statistics are published on the tenth working day of each month. Figures are provided from our national databases, the current electronic case management system (ECMS) and historical case management system (CMS). In private law the unit of measurement is a case (note a case can involve multiple children and multiple application types). These are counted upon receipt of the application from the court and entry into the database. The ECMS is a live system and any late entries will be accounted for upon the release of subsequent updates to this data.

If you have any queries about the private law statistics, please contact us via our website form.

 

  • Monthly statistics

    The number of private law cases received per month nationally can be seen in the table below.

    Latest release: We received 4,222 new private law cases in October 2020 which is 62 cases (1.4%) fewer than the same period in 2019. These cases involved 6,467 children, which is 61 (0.9%) less children than October 2019.

    You can download October 2020 private demand data, which contains the latest official statistics for private law demand.

     

    Private law cases received

    2016-17

    2017-18

    2018-19

    2019-20

    2020-21

    Cases

    Children

    Cases

    Children

    Cases

    Children

    Cases

    Children

    Cases 

    Children 

    Apr 3,466 5,173 3,132 4,704 3,463 5,233 3,608

    5,436

    2,563

    3,913

    May 3,169 4,773 3,627 5,524 3,636 5,605 3,852

    5,924

    3,354

    5,154

    Jun 3,481 5,252 3,813 5,776 3,391 5,147 3,617

    5,535

    3,794

    5,799

    Jul 3,372 5,070 3,615 5,433 3,682 5,713 4,266

    6,497

    4,551

    6,937

    Aug 3,438 5,220 3,639 5,483 3,947 5,995 3,731

    5,718

    3,713

    5,582

    Sep 3,494 5,236 3,548 5,495 3,429 5,214 3,720

    5,730

    4,239

    6,538

    Oct 3,378 5,103 3,813 5,798 3,976 6,021 4,284

    6,528

    4,222

    6,467

    Nov 3,491 5,241 3,745 5,719 4,012 6,051 3,947

    6,064

    Dec 2,842 4,302 2,740 4,143 3,041 4,723 3,211 4,905
    Jan 3,238 4,893 3,507 5,287 3,559 5,453 4,021 6,078
    Feb 3,328 4,995 3,090 4,722 3,629 5,560 3,825 5,826
    Mar 3,811 5,692 3,525 5,397 4,068 6,135 3,384 5,141
    Total

    40,508

    60,950

    41,793

    63,481

    43,833

    66,850

    45,466

    69,328

    26,436 

    40,390

     

  • Annual summaries

    April 2019 – March 2020

    • Between April 2019 and March 2020 Cafcass received a total of 45,694 new private law cases.
    • This figure shows a 4.20% increase compared with the previous financial year.

    April 2018 – March 2019

    • Between April 2018 and March 2019 Cafcass received a total of 43,842 new private law cases.
    • This figure shows a 4.9% increase compared with the previous financial year.

     

    April 2017 – March 2018

    • Between April 2017 and March 2018 Cafcass received a total of 41,794 new private law cases.
    • This figure shows a 3.1% increase compared with the previous financial year.

    April 2016 – March 2017

    • Between April 2016 and March 2017 Cafcass received a total of 40,506 new private law cases.
    • This figure shows an 8.3% increase compared with the previous financial year.

    Updates to this information is published on an annual basis.

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