Judge warns against referring family matters to court unnecessarily

As a result of COVID-19 the court is dealing with a backlog of cases and the court system is feeling the strain.

You may have a case already waiting to be heard. It’s taking a lot longer for cases to be heard initially and for cases to be listed for hearings overall. The delays are going to be an issue for many many months to come.

In the recent (25th September 2020)

case of Re: B (a child) (Unnecessary Private Law Applications)

The Judge warned lawyers and litigants in person alike (people representing themselves) that they will be criticised for making unnecessary family law applications.

It is imperative, now more than ever that efforts are made to resolve matters without the involvement of the court.

His Honour Judge Wildblood QC stated in his judgement…

“The message in this judgment to parties and lawyers is this, as far as I am concerned. Do not bring your private law litigation to the Family court here unless

it is genuinely necessary for you to do so. You should settle your differences (or those of your clients) away from court, except where that is not possible. If you do bring unnecessary cases to this court, you will be criticised, and sanctions may be imposed upon you. There are many other ways to settle disagreements…”

In these uncertain times, we must do all we can to take the strain off the court system and not just because of fear of sanctions or criticism by the court.

We, at NjP Solicitors, have always used our best endeavors to resolve matters for our clients without involving the court and we will continue to do so.

There are many benefits if matters can be resolved without involving the court e.g.

  1. Issues can be resolved swifter.
  2. Significantly less costs involved.
  3. less stressful for the parties to the dispute.
  4. The court arena is frightening/intimidating for most people.
  5. The parties can have matters resolved without the necessity to see each other.


If you have a family law issue that needs to be resolved we strongly suggest that you seek legal advice rather than refer your matter to court yourself.

If you have already made an application to the court and your matter is waiting to be listed for a hearing then you would still benefit from seeking legal advice. We may be able to resolve your matter and you can avoid any potential criticism or sanctions from the court. Additionally, your matter will be resolved sooner and you will not be affected by the current court delays.