New Divorce Processing Centres – changes to divorce

The Ministry of Justice has confirmed that all divorce petition processing is likely to be centralised by October this year. This may lead to over 100 divorce processing services in local family courts being closed by the end of this year and replaced with regional divorce processing centres.

The Ministry of Justice confirms that the proposal in the South West region is that Southampton will be the point of entry for all divorce petitions. The proposed date of implementation is April 2015. This will mean that divorce petitions in this region will be processed at Southampton with only the more complicated cases returning to local family courts for a hearing.

The location of the divorce processing centre came from the Ministry of Justice’s response earlier this month to a freedom of information request from a firm of solicitors based in Berkshire.

Current position

The current position is that a divorce petition can be issued in any Family Court.   For our client’s convenience, this is usually Yeovil or Taunton.

Effect of future changes

However, the procedure for obtaining a divorce is relatively straightforward and does not usually require any attendance at court. There is not usually a hearing, except in rare cases where there is an issue as to the payment of costs.

If you require any further information or assistance, please contact the Family Team at Stokes Partners on 01460 279279 .

Hilary-Askew-lg Hilary Askew, Solicitor in the Family Team