In 2014, the government changed the way in which Divorce Petitions are processed and for most of the South East region of England, parties are required to issue their Divorce at Bury St Edmunds Divorce Centre. This enables dedicated staff to attend to every stage of the process from the issuing of a Divorce Petition through to the granting of Decree Absolute. The government’s aim is to encourage parties to resolve their matters in a constructive, conciliatory way and prevent contested court proceedings.
In relation to Children Act matters, parties are advised to apply to their regional Family Court and this varies depending where you live in the South of England. If you issue your application at the wrong Court, this is likely to be returned and will delay your case being dealt with quickly.
The aim of the centralised system is to improve the efficiency of the local County Courts and enable Court staff to deal with matters quickly. This enables the local County Court to focus on more complicated issues.
Unfortunately, the changes to the Court system has led to the recent announcement in February 2016 that 86 Courts will close throughout England and Wales. This now means that only a handful of Courts will serve an ever growing population.
Have you been affected by these changes? If so, get in touch and we will talk you through the process.