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    Head of Family Deborah Jeff writes for The Times on the family courts in meltdown

    As the backlog in family courts grows by the day, Deborah says they should work with lawyers to protect clients while their lives are put on hold.

    Stark family court statistics published recently have showcased what lawyers already know — the courts, already creaking under the strain pre-Covid-19, have all but given way with the arrival of the pandemic.

    Not new to lockdown but certainly more common this year are the number of final hearings being cancelled by the court at the eleventh hour owing to a lack of judges. The cost to clients in those circumstances is not only financial; their lives are essentially on hold while they await the outcome of their cases, finding ways of managing the psychological impact with a combination of medication and therapy.

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