Are family centres really the way forward?

This year HM Courts Tribunals Service took the decision to create 11 divorce centres within England and Wales as part of the new structure of the Single Family Court system. Their hope for these new centres was to have a central hub of expertise to improve services, release efficiencies of scale and minimise the possibility of fraud. But is this the reality?

It’s interesting to see whether these new centres are living up to their promises and working more efficiently in comparison to the previous system. So we’ve been looking into some timescales so see whether one family centre which would have previously been 6-12 different courts can handle the workload in a more efficient manner.

The result – at present, shows that this new system is even slower than the previous! With the timescale between a petition being filed to being issued now 4 times slower than before. An application for a Decree Nisi, where the papers are dealt with by a judge previously took 1-2 months depending on the court but these alone are now taking 4-6 months. You could average that a divorce without a financial settlement previously took around 16 weeks if the parties filed their papers at the appropriate times. Now it would take around 1 year if the current time scales are kept to.

Unfortunately, this does make one question how these family centres are benefiting clients. At a time when you most want to speedily organise separation and settlement so you can both move on with your lives, you could now be forced down a very long winded route with the use of family centres.

If you’d like to find out more about how Divorce Negotiator differs from solicitors and can provide an amicable and more effective route to divorce, using one representative and sharing one fee please get in touch. We’re contactable five days a week from 9am to 5pm:

By phone on 0800 177 7702 or 01256 630156
By texting ‘Divorce’ to 60777
Or email

Are family centres really the way forward? was last modified: September 7th, 2021 by Carol Sullivan

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