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 applications received per month nationally can be seen in the table below.

    Latest release: We received 5,998 new private law cases in May 2020 which is 1,465 cases (-19.6%) fewer than the same period in 2019. These cases involved 9,146 children, which is 2,218 (-19.5%) fewer children than April 2019.

    You can download May 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

    3,133

    4,705

    3,463

    5,233

    3,608

    5,435

    2,591

    3,948

    May

           3,169

    4,773

    3,627

    5,524

    3,638

    5,606

    3,855

    5,929

    3,407

    5,198

    Jun

            3,481

    5,252

    3,814

    5,777

    3,391

    5,147

    3,619

    5,540

    Jul

     3,373

    5,072

    3,614

    5,432

    3,681

    5,709

    4,267

    6,496

    Aug

     3,437

    5,220

    3,640

    5,487

    3,944

    5,990

    3,738

    5,733

    Sep

           3,494

    5,236

    3,547

    5,493

    3,428

    5,213

    3,727

    5,729

    Oct

     3,377

    5,102

    3,813

    5,798

    3,979

    6,027

    4,283

    6,515

    Nov

           3,491

    5,241

    3,744

    5,714

    4,014

    6,056

    3,960

    6,082

    Dec

             2,842

    4,302

    2,741 4,145 3,046 4,729 3,224 4,934
    Jan

           3,239

    4,893

    3,507 5,290 3,557 5,451 4,047 6,108
    Feb

             3,328

    4,994

    3,088 4,718 3,629 5,558 3,856 5,869
    Mar

    3,811

    5,694

    3,525 5,396 4,068 6,134 3,414 5,178
    Total

    40,508

    60,952

    41,793

    63,479

    43,838

    66,853

    45,598

    69,548

    5,998 

    9,146

     

  • Annual summaries

    April 2019 – March 2020

    • Between April 2019 and March 2020 Cafcass received a total of 45,635 new private law cases.
    • This figure shows a 4.08% 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.

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