The HM Courts and Tribunals Service have been establishing a network of centralised “divorce centres” to handle the divorce petitions and financial remedy applications.
Divorce Centres have been created in order to be the main point of entry for the issue of divorce petitions and financial remedy applications across the single Family Court.
The intention of this process is to free up judicial time for more pressing work and to reduce processing delays and inconsistency.
The divorce centres will operate on the basis of a designated catchment area and work is currently in the process of being transferred to the new divorce centres.
The transfer of divorce work is being phased in to the centres, with the plan being for the divorce centres to be fully operational between November 2014 and October 2015.
The divorce centres in England and Wales are as follows:
- North East – In the North East the divorce centres will be in Durham, Doncaster, Harrogate, and Bradford.
- Northwest – In the Northwest the divorce centre will be Liverpool.
- Wales – In Wales the divorce centres will be in Neath, Newport and Wrexham.
- Midlands – In the Midlands the divorce centres will be in Nottingham and Stoke.
- South West – In the South West the divorce centre will be in Southampton.
- London and South East – In London and the south East the divorce centre will be in Bury St Edmunds.
As part of the changes, the vast majority of uncontested divorces will be considered by Legal Advisors, rather than District Judges.
The rules provides that all divorce petitions and financial remedy applications should now be sent by post to one of the divorce centres, rather than the applicant’s local Court.
Urgent applications which need to be issued immediately, can be issued by the local Court. This only applies to exceptional circumstances.
If you need assistance in respect of your matrimonial affairs, whether this is in respect of issues concerning a divorce and the related financial aspects, children, injunctions or cohabitation disputes, please contact our offices on 01323 727321 to arrange an appointment.
Please note that the family department offer a free initial 30 minute interview to provide general advice and guidance in relation to your matter.