Top judge says parents need to be persuaded not to bring childcare cases to court

Family courts are having to “run up a down escalator” to keep pace with unprecedented increases in childcare cases, the most senior family judge in England and Wales has said.

Launching a review of the overburdened system, Sir Andrew McFarlane, president of the family division, said some parents needed to be persuaded not to bring claims to court in order to reduce the pressure.

Cuts to legal aid had also resulted in an influx of “litigants in person”, exposing district judges and magistrates to the fury of unrepresented and “emotionally charged” claimants who had sometimes posed a security risk, Mr Justice Cobb, who is in charge of private family law, acknowledged.

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