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Jump in mothers facing court battles without legal representation

Family Law | 23 Jun 2014 2

There has been a two third increase in the number of mothers facing child contact and residence proceedings without a lawyer, new data suggests.

A significant majority – nearly 60 per cent – of the mothers who went to court for proceedings involving children between April and December last year had no solicitor, figures obtained from the Ministry of Justice show: a total of 27,017 women. The figure represents an increase of more than 10,000 since the same period in 2012. According to the legal network Lawyer Supported Mediation, which obtained the figures, the increase in unrepresented mothers is almost twice that of unrepresented fathers.

A total of 22,949 fathers were unrepresented, up from 17,291 in 2012.

Fifty-seven per cent of all parents involved in children’s proceedings had no legal resentation during the period.

Marc Lopatin, founder of Lawyer Supported Mediation, said: “The huge rise in the number of women representing themselves implies a great many cannot afford a divorce lawyer to represent them.  Some will be full-time mums without a wage at all, while others will be working part-time earning a modest income.”

Photo by jemasmith via Flickr under a Creative Commons license

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. Guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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    1. Stitchedup says:

      Alternative headline “the playing fields have at last been levelled”.

    2. Luke says:

      This is not a good thing at all, but I don’t see what the solution is because in my opinion we have an adversarial legal system set up that the general public cannot afford – either as an individual or as a taxpayer.
      I don’t see any influential interest group within the system looking to change it I’m afraid as there is no incentive to saving money.

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