Couples facing delays of 59 weeks to get a divorce through the courts

Separated couples are facing a record wait to get divorced as a result of regional divorce centres trying to process a backlog of older cases, it has been revealed.

Quarterly statistics covering January to March 2019, published by the Ministry of Justice today, show that the average time from petition to decree absolute is 59 weeks. The average time from petition to decree nisi is 33 weeks – up six weeks from last year. The ministry says the figures ‘represent the highest figures so far for the periods covered by this bulletin, and is a result of divorce centres processing a backlog of older cases’.

Cyrus Mansouri, head of family law at Mansouri & Son Solicitors, said ‘the figures were shocking & disappointing but not surprising to those working in the family justice system. The Ministry of Justice introduced the new regional court system to solve the previous backlog, but what has been created is significantly worse than the system we had before.’

It is shocking that divorcing couples, including those who have no real dispute between them except that they want a divorce, are facing delays of six months simply to reach the decree nisi stage. This is made all the more frustrating because financial orders cannot be submitted to the court until this stage’.

A question mark hangs over the future of the 11 regional divorce centres, which have been heavily criticised by senior family judges.

Sir Andrew McFarlane, president of the family division, told practitioners this year that the centres ‘have not worked well’. Days later his predecessor, Sir James Munby, said in a family court judgment that the centres had become ‘bywords for delay and inefficiency, essentially because HMCTS has been unable or unwilling to furnish them with adequate numbers of staff and judges’.

Last month McFarlane revealed that the centres were being phased out and replaced by an online system based in the new national Civil and Family Service Centre at Stoke on Trent.

Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc) Act 2019 comes into force

On Sunday, 26 May, the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc) Act 2019 came into force in accordance with section 6(3) of the Act. 

Section 2(1) of the Act empowers the Secretary of State, by regulations, to amend the Civil Partnership Act 2004 so that two persons who are not of the same sex are eligible to form a civil partnership in England and Wales (provided that they would be eligible to do so apart from the question of sex). Section 2(2) requires the Secretary of State to exercise that power so that such regulations are in force no later than 31 December 2019.

In short this means that once the new law becomes operational then heterosexual couples will be free to form ‘civil partnerships’. The civil partnership regulations had come under increased criticism after they were introduced to try and give gay couples similar matrimonial rights to heterosexual couples, but then criticism was directed at this claiming that it continued to differentiate between gay and heterosexual marriages simply because the law had a different name. To try and balance the rights of both heterosexual and gay couples the Government now allows both to enter into ‘civil partnerships’. It is hoped that any stigma associated with the name ‘civil partnership’ is now removed.

Domestic abuse bill ends family court cross-examination

Nearly two years after the government pledged to end the cross-examination of domestic violence victims by their alleged abusive ex-partners in the family courts, it has unveiled a draft bill to end the controversial practice.

The landmark bill, published today, will also introduce the first statutory definition of domestic abuse to specifically include economic abuse, as well as controlling and manipulative non-physical abuse.

The government says it decided to introduce a ban on cross-examination in the family courts following a unanimous response to its call for evidence and stakeholder events last year.

In criminal proceedings, the court can make an order preventing an unrepresented defendant cross-examining the alleged victim in person. In family proceedings, judges can use their general case management powers to prevent a victim from being cross-examined in person by the alleged perpetrator, but the family court currently cannot appoint a legal representative to represent the victim and conduct the cross-examination in their place.

Women’s Aid, which last year published research revealing shocking attitudes of how family courts handle domestic abuse, said it was ‘delighted’ that the government has listened to its ‘Child First’ campaign and introduced a ban.

However, Katie Ghose, Women’s Aid chief executive, said: ‘Although this new law is much welcomed, it alone will not protect survivors in the family courts and challenge the “contact at all costs” approach by judges which is putting children in danger. We look forward to working with the government to introduce greater protections in the family courts for survivors, like special measures to safeguard them in the courtroom, and ensure that children’s safety is put at the heart of all decisions made by the family courts.’

The government says it is making 120 commitments to tackle domestic abuse, including £8m of Home Office funding to support children affected by domestic abuse and an additional £500,000 for provisions for male victims.

وکیل طلاق و اختلافات خانوادگی در انگلستان و لندن

دکتر سیروس منصوری حقوق‌دان و وکیل پایه یک دادگستری انگلستان و لندن در زمینه‌ متخصص کلیه امور و قوانین طلاق و اختلافات خانوادگی است.

دکتر منصوری شخصأ پرونده موکلین خود را با دقت به قوانین انگلستان و با توجع به حقوق شرعی ایران به نتیجه پیرزی میرساند و برای موکلین خود همیشه بهترن نتیجه ممکنه را از همسرشان میگیرد.

دکتر منصوری در سختترین موقعیت زندگی موکلین خود از کلیه تجربه بیش از ۲۹ سال وکالت برای هموطنان ایرانی از درون کشور یا سراسر جهان موفقت پرونده خانوادگی موکلین خود را در مقابل معروفترین وکلای انگلیسی فراهم میکند. موکلین ایشان میتوانند اطمینان کامل داشته باشند که پرونده شما در دست سولیستر فارسی زبان است با امار موفقیت فوقالاده بالا و با تجربه در بیش از ۶۸۰۰ پرونده.

برای مشاوره با دکتر منصوری با شماه تلفن ۰۲۰۸۴۰۱۷۳۵۲ تماس حاصل بگیرید یا با ایمیل با ادرس

Putney Solicitors

Our new offices now provide a full legal service to the residents of Putney in the London Borough of Wandsworth. We are based a short walk from East Putney Underground or Southfields Underground stations and precisely on the border between Southfields, Wandsworth and Putney. For all legal enquiries relating to Matrimonial matters including divorce, children law matters and the financial aspects of divorce as well as numerous other areas of law including immigration law, commercial law, landlord and tenant matters and contracts and disputes as well as Wills & Probate we are ideally placed to offer a personalised and highly experienced and effective service to the residents of Putney in London.

Our new Putney office address is as follows:

193 Merton Road
SW18 5EF

To book and appointment either pop in or email us at or call 020 8401 7352