Divorce centres

2014 saw the introduction of the single Family Court. Following these significant changes in family law, a network of centralised divorce centres will now be established. We explain the purpose of these in more detail.

Divorce centres will mainly be used for the issue of divorce petitions and financial remedy applications. Each centre will serve a designated catchment area, as stated below:

-         North East region (centres in Durham, Bradford, Doncaster, Harrogate)

-         Wales region (centres in Neath & Port Talbot, Newport (Gwent), Wrexham)

-         North West region (one centre in Liverpool)

-         Midlands region (centres in Nottingham, Stoke-on-Trent)

-         South West region (one centre in Southampton)

-         London & South East region (one centre in Bury St Edmunds)

At each divorce centre there will be district judges and legal advisers/justices’ clerks on site. The judges will handle any contested applications, annulments and judicial separation applications, along with most financial remedy applications that do not require a hearing. Legal advisers will be supervised by the district judges and will be able to deal with the majority of routine decree nisi applications.

Once all of the centres are up and running, divorce petitions are expected to be sent by post to the appropriate centre, or people can attend in person. In due course it is thought that civil partnership dissolution applications will also be handled by the centres.

For more advice and guidance on ending a relationship and the process involved, contact Fraser Brown’s family team on 0115 9888 777.

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