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Divorce to be taken out of the courts

The process of divorce seems to be in a state of constant review. Recent changes include the consideration of mediation in all divorce cases, and now, new measures seek to remove some types of divorce cases out of the court system altogether.
Under the new measures, non-contested divorces would be processed in an administration processing centre. This would take out 120,000 cases from the courts each year, which would have a significant effect on reducing the civil justice bill, which has been significantly cut over the last few years.
This approach has brought into question how ‘easy’ divorce will become if these new measures are implemented. Ann Widdecombe, a former Conservative MP, has strongly suggested that the approach undermines the value of marriage and the seriousness of the contract entered into when a couple marries. She said: “Divorce is already too easy and it makes a nonsense of marriage.”
In contrast, Sir James Munby, the UK’s most senior family judge, says that his plans to take out non-contested divorces from the courts will help to streamline the process and make it quicker and cheaper too. He went on to say that the process of a non-contested divorce is mostly administrative, and that the changes would only mean that the admin would take place somewhere else other than in a court.
There has been support from Resolution, an association of family lawyers and the High Court judge, Sir Paul Coleridge, who commented that this idea would be an obvious and logical way forward, but that the perception could be that this was making divorce easier.
It remains to be seen how far Sir James Munby gets with these new proposals.
Need help and advice about your divorce? Then, speak to us. We’re experienced family lawyers with over 30 year’s experience in helping families through the divorce process. Give us a call on 01302 320621 to find out how we can help you.

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