Children’s experience of private law proceedings: Six key messages from research

The family court has a role in resolving disputes between separating parents over child arrangements—known as private law. More than twice as many private law applications are started in England and Wales each year than public law applications.

The Nuffield Family Justice Observatory has reviewed 45 studies spanning 20 years from 2000 – 2020. It has produced a report that includes six key messages obtained from the studies, which all give voice to children and young people. UK and international research studies from the last 20 years (2000–2020) were reviewed as well as the accounts directly obtained children’s and young people’s thoughts on parental separation and/or their experience of court proceedings.  

There are limitations within the research. Nevertheless, the paper helpfully indicates the reasons why children can benefit from being actively – not passively – involved in their parents’ separation and court proceedings. 

This paper distills the six key findings across the studies: Children’s experience of private law proceedings: Six key messages from research

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