UK Family Law Market Report 2024 - Divorce Petitions Filed Fell in 2023 but those Completed Increased

Dublin, April 16, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The "UK Family Law Market Report 2024" report has been added to's offering.

The tenth edition of an annual report which provides a review of the market looking at the legislative background, recent market developments and drivers, market structure, market size and trends with historical volume and value data, the key players and future market developments with forecasts to 2027.

Key Highlights

  • In 2023, the annual value of the family law market increased by 5.4% to pass £2bn for the first time. After an increase in divorces filed in 2022 following the launch of no-fault divorces in Spring 2022, divorces filed decreased in 2023 but market growth was driven by advice for high net worth individuals, complex cases especially Children Act cases, and increased demand for advice on financial issues after a divorce. Increases in the latter cases are a follow-on from the increase in divorces in 2022.
  • There are still major issues around court backlogs and these are likely to increase pressures to turn to alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Mandatory mediation has been dropped but judges can now order court proceedings to be stayed so that ADR can be turned to.
  • Some of the larger consumer law firms and a few specialist family law brands are taking a greater share of the market through M&A and office network expansion. At the top end of the market are some large international law firms working on legal issues for high net worth individuals and cross border matters and this part of the market continues to show healthy growth.
  • Divorce petitions filed in 2023 were down by 7.5%. Again, 2022 was a unique year given the arrival of no-fault divorce but the general trend over the last decade has been for a fall in petitions filed. By 2023, 95% of all divorce petitions were filed digitally.
  • Most other categories of family law cases witnessed declines in cases started in 2023. The main exception was financial remedy cases where cases started increased by 13.2%.
  • Between 2023 and 2027, the market value compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is forecast at 4.5%.
  • The next two years are likely to see more ADR which in turn will require new training for many legal advisers used to an adversarial approach. Other areas where demand is expected to increase include pre-nuptial agreements, one lawyer one couple services, and advice post-divorce and financial settlements such as co-parenting advice, counselling, and wellbeing services. After years of debate there should also be some positive movements on improved legal rights for co-habitating couples.

Key Topics Covered:


  • Market overview
  • Family law developments in 2023/24
  • Steady market growth forecast for the next few years


  • Law firm numbers in family law continue to fall
  • Mediation services
  • Other family law advisers .


  • Marriage and co-habitation trends
  • Civil partnerships increase
  • Legal aid family work and funding in long term decline
  • Mediation starts decreased in 2022/23 but some increase in latest year
  • High numbers of LIPs in adoption, private law, and domestic abuse cases
  • Divorce application fees will remain at £593
  • Family court reporting pilot extended
  • Mandatory mediation for separating couples dropped
  • Options for alternative dispute resolution still available .
  • CMA investigation launched covering online divorce services
  • £55m for family courts in Spring Budget
  • Domestic Abuse Commissioner's report and response on family court process
  • Still delays and backlogs in family courts .


  • Amicable
  • Family Law Group (FLG)
  • Family Law Partners
  • Hall Brown Family Law
  • Irwin Mitchell
  • Rayden Solicitors .
  • Simpson Millar
  • Slater & Gordon .
  • Stowe Family Law
  • The Divorce Surgery
  • Vardags
  • Solicitors - London firms
  • Solicitors - Rest of the UK
  • Online divorce


  • Strongest market growth for four years in 2023
  • Matrimonial cases in Family Court decrease in 2023
  • Divorce petitions filed fell in 2023 but those completed increased
  • Digital divorce applications account for 95% of all petitions filed
  • Civil partnership dissolutions decreasing in England and Wales
  • Divorces in Scotland and Northern Ireland
  • Financial remedy applications and disposals increase in 2023
  • Children Act cases decrease again in 2023
  • Volume of domestic violence cases growing long-term but decline in 2023
  • Adoption applications generally declining but an increase in 2023


  • Steady growth to 2027 with CAGR of 4.5%

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