Separated couples are facing a record wait to get divorced as a result of regional divorce centres trying to process a back log of older cases.
The average time from Petition to Decree Nisi is now 33 weeks, up 6 from last year.
The figures are shocking but not surprising to those working in the family justice system.
It is now clear that the effect of legal cuts, lack of funding for sign posting alternatives to Court and swaths of Court closures across the country are taking their effect.
People are issuing applications in higher numbers than ever before and the remaining Courts are having to soak up the work of 100s that have been closed are swamped.
The President of the Family Division has recently said
“the pressure on all of those working in the system is immense and taking its toll”.
What clients have to bear in mind also is that whilst 6 months is shocking to reach the Decree Nisi stage, Financial Orders cannot be submitted to the Court until after that stage has been reached.
Talk of Divorce Court Centres being phased out and replaced by an online system is yet to be introduced.
The President of the Family Division is also accepting that the Divorce Court centres have not worked well.