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In early 2015, HM Courts and Tribunal Service, implemented central divorce centres across the UK which would be the only point of entry across the single family court for issuing divorce petitions and financial remedy applications.
The rationale behind the move to centralisation was to allow Legal Advisers to deal with the majority of routine decree nisi applications with the intention of freeing up judicial time for other work and to reduce processing delays and inconsistency.
At the time of implementation, solicitors from Wright Solicitors attended a Court users group meeting and members were reassured that processing times and delay would not be a concern and at most there would be a two week turn around time in respect of divorce work.
We are now four years on and sadly the reassurances provided by HM Courts and Tribunal Service have not materialised. In fact, we are experiencing some of the longest delays there have ever been in the Court dealing with matters.
If you e-mail the West Midlands Divorce Unit, you are met with the following message:
As you can see, there is a considerable delay in the Court dealing with most applications and this often causes unwanted stress and anxiety for clients who are waiting to hear back from the Court in respect of their applications.
We would hope that the HM Courts and Tribunal Service will be addressing these issues to ensure the smooth running of the legal system for family law cases in the future.