Changes in the Divorce Process in England and Wales

21 April 2015

  • Opening of 11 new divorce centres in England and Wales
  • A majority of uncontested decree nisi applications will be considered by Legal Advisers (as opposed to district judges) at these centres

What These Changes Mean for You

The new divorce centres were created to reduce delays in divorce proceedings and free up the judiciary for more complex cases involving family law. They will eventually take over most non-contested Decree Nisi applications.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service has announced that all divorce petitions and financial remedy applications should now be sent by post to one of the centres rather than to an applicant’s local court, with the exception of urgent applications that require immediate issue.

Some divorce centres are now partly, and in some cases, fully operational. The HM Courts & Tribunals Service plans to have every centre functioning by October 2015 and stated in a recent press release, “The divorce centres will be centres of expertise that will improve services, release efficiencies of scale and minimise the possibility of fraud”.

Where is My Nearest Divorce Centre?

Centres within each region will be as follows:

  • North East - Durham, Doncaster, Harrogate and Bradford (work from Harrogate will transfer to Bradford in due course)
  • North West - Liverpool
  • Wales - Neath, Newport and Wrexham
  • Midlands - Nottingham and Stoke
  • South West - Southampton
  • London and South East - St Edmunds

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