A new statistical release by the Office for National Statistics (‘ONS’) has suggested that divorce centres are to blame for a significant decrease in the number of divorces, due to the time that they are taking to deal with them.
There were 90,871 divorces of opposite-sex couples in 2018, a decrease of 10.6% compared with 2017 and the lowest number since 1971.
However, the ONS say that recent Ministry of Justice statistics highlight an administrative reason behind the scale of this decrease: divorce centres processed a backlog of work in 2018 resulting in 8% more divorce petitions. The ONS expects this to translate into a higher number of completed divorces in 2019.
Divorce centres were established in 2015, replacing divorce county courts. The primary aim of the centres was to streamline the process of divorce, by having it dealt with at just eleven centres.
These are the latest figures, but Family Law Cafe has seen anecdotal evidence that suggests that at least some divorce centres are still taking far too long to deal with their caseloads.
Apart from simply meaning that it will take longer to get a divorce (which can of course be a cause of unnecessary further stress), the delays can also affect financial settlements, which do not usually take effect until the divorce has been finalised. This could potentially lead to financial hardship.
If you are worried about the effect of delay upon your divorce then you should seek expert advice. Family Law Cafe can help you find that advice. To book a free initial consultation with us click the green button at the top of this page and fill in the form, or call us on 020 3904 0506.
You can read the statistical release here.
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