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 4,659 new private law cases in March 2021 which is 1,282 cases (38.0%) more than the same period in 2020. These cases involved 6,627 children, which is 1,489 (29.0%) more children than March 2020.

    You can download March 2021 private law 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 5,174 3,134 4,705 3,458 5,227 3,607

    5,437

    2,555

    3,895

    May 3,166 4,770 3,628 5,525 3,634 5,600 3,851

    5,924

    3,341

    5,140

    Jun 3,487 5,259 3,814 5,778 3,392 5,152 3,617

    5,540

    3,772

    5,765

    Jul 3,370 5,065 3,616 5,437 3,682 5,713 4,268

    6,497

    4,524

    6,904

    Aug 3,438 5,223 3,639 5,481 3,949 6,000 3,727

    5,702

    3,691

    5,556

    Sep 3,494 5,236 3,550 5,499 3,427 5,209 3,717

    5,723

    4,186

    6,457

    Oct 3,377 5,101 3,810 5,794 3,973 6,014 4,279

    6,520

    4,162

    6,384

    Nov 3,491 5,241 3,745 5,715 4,012 6,052 3,946

    6,063

    4,042

    6,069

    Dec 2,843 4,303 2,736 4,141 3,040 4,726 3,195 4,879 3,468 5,318
    Jan 3,238 4,891 3,506 5,282 3,561 5,453 4,008 6,063 3,587 5,452
    Feb 3,328 4,994 3,089 4,722 3,629 5,554 3,809 5,805 3,793 5,745
    Mar 3,807 5,687 3,526 5,400 4,067 6,137 3,377 5,138 4,659 6,627
    Total

    40,505

    60,944

    41,793

    63,479

    43,824

    66,837

    45,401

    69,291

    45,780 

    69,312

     

  • Annual summaries

    April 2020 – March 2021

    • Between April 2020 and March 2021 Cafcass received a total of 45,780 new private law cases.
    • This figure shows a 0.8% increase compared with the previous financial year.

    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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