Family law practitioners are acutely aware of delays in the family courts due to the coronavirus pandemic. With the courts being closed for most hearings and these taking place remotely instead, they have been faced with prioritising work. Matters relating to children including child abduction and care proceedings are understandably treated as being urgent.
The Ministry of Justice figures for the quarter from April to June 2020 show that it’s taking approximately four months longer for the divorce process to be completed. On average it now takes 23 weeks to get to Decree Nisi stage and 47 weeks to get to the grant of Decree Absolute. This means that on average it takes nearly a year for the divorce process to be completed although applications made via the court portal are currently dealt with more quickly than this.
The figures also show a 13% reduction in family cases started compared to the same quarter in 2019, with 18% fewer divorce petitions being filed.
Quite what these statistics tell us about the divorce rate in the longer term remains to be seen.
If you need help applying for a divorce or advice regarding arrangements for your children or financial matters on the breakdown of a relationship contact Sandra Marshall or Madeleine Young who are both specialist family lawyers. Contact Sandra on 0118 955 9615 or Madeleine on 0118 955 9616 to discuss your matter on a no obligation basis.
Published on 21/10/2020