New Courts Separate Divorce From Financial Disputes
The Law Of…Speeding Up Divorce Court Decisions
Separate courts are currently being established to split the caseload between divorce and financial disputes. The change was brought about as part of a plan to make the UK divorce system more efficient.
Jane Auty, Family Law Associate explains what this new system entails, and when the changes are due to come into effect.
Split Courts For Faster Divorce
The new system will separate divorce cases from financial claims cases, having each held in its own court and overseen by specialist judges.
As of February next year, financial disputes will be heard at separate courts to more common cases which do not involve finances.
Prior to this, high-value divorce disputes and complex disputes where all dealt with by the same court. This split between divorce and financial disputes seeks to speed up decisions for both types of cases.
What Brought The Changes About?
The Ministry of Justice released figured showing that the average number of weeks for a dispute over finances to reach its final decision is roughly 49 weeks. This is an increase since 2006, when the time scale was around the 42 weeks mark.
The courts tried to rectify this by centralising the system in divorce centres. After this failed to reduce administrative delays it was decided a new system is required.
The new process is expected to reduce waiting times which stem from the courts having to deal with many different types of cases, including complex financial disputes, which are the most time-consuming.
Where Will These Changes Occur?
In the south east of England, a similar system is currently in place. A mutual agreement between judges allows them to allocate cases between differen5 courts, based on the expertise of the judges stationed there.
A pilot for this new system will be put in place in London, the West Midlands and South-East Wales, with plans to roll further after.
This new process will also be available to couples online, although, handing your own divorce is seldom advised. 'DIY divorces' can end up costing you more in the long run, it is always best to seek professional advice.
"The need for Financial Remedies Courts demonstrates just how complex disputes over finances can be. It is hoped that the reform will bring greater certainty and reduce the time it takes to resolve such disputes. Whilst the proposed pilot scheme is a welcome step, how beneficial the new system will be will depend upon further details being released. Issues such as geographical location of such courts and criteria for referral of disputes will be key."
Are You Looking For A Quicker, Less Stressful Divorce?
If you are currently seeking to get a divorce, but are worried about how long, costly and stressful the whole process may be, then it is well worth contacting one of our experienced Divorce Solicitors today. We can explain exactly what the process will entail, and put your mind at ease with the knowledge that our specialists are working to get you the divorce that’s right for you.
Call today on our Freephone number, or, you can use our online enquiry form and we will get in touch as soon as possible.