Divorce Delays: Reasons, Implications, And Consequences

A common question about divorce is how long the process takes from start to finish. It used to be that the most straightforward divorces (i.e. those without any complex financial or child-related issues to settle) took around 24 to 32 weeks (four to six months) to complete, the Ministry of Justice has revealed that the average time from Petition to Decree Absolute is now 59 weeks!  How does it now take more than a year? 

Julie Nicholson, who has vast experience in divorce and all related matters, speaks about the serious problems that the delays are now causing each Petitioner and Respondent in divorce proceedings.  Julie has obtained the accolade of now being admitted to the Advanced Family Law Panel for her third 5 year accreditation. 

Julie says: “The speed of the divorce process is dictated by the workload in regional divorce centres, which are responsible for processing the administrative aspects of divorce proceedings. Part of the reason for the delays is that it was previously the responsibility of local courts to process divorce proceedings. And as there are more local courts (such as Newcastle upon Tyne/North Shields) than divorce centres (of which there are currently 11) in England & Wales, the transfer of workload has understandably resulted in a backlog.  This is also a result of the number of local court closures throughout the country.  This has impacted directly upon the speed of the divorce process.  The nearest regional centre is Bradford. 

Also, financial agreements cannot be ratified by the court until Decree Nisi has been pronounced (the average time from Petition to Decree Nisi now being 33 weeks). This of course could have further financial implications following a separation.”

Alderson Law LLP has a bespoke and focused family department, operating from our 3 branches in Whitley Bay, Blyth and Morpeth, specialising in complex divorce, children and financial claim disputes.  The emphasis is on quality and depth of advice, together with a personal interest in the outcome for each and every client.

With all this in mind, it’s important to seek legal advice for divorce and related children and/or financial issues sooner rather than later. If you’d like more information or advice, please contact julienicholson@aldersonlaw.co.uk, our accredited Advanced Family Law Panellist.

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