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, according to The Law Gazette.
The Ministry of Justice published quarterly statistics covering January to March this year, showing the average time from petition to decree absolute is 59 weeks.
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.’
The Law Gazette reported that Jo Edwards, head of family at Mayfair firm Forsters, said,
“For years we have been warning that the system is almost at breaking point. It is now clear that the effect of legal aid cuts, lack of funding for signposting alternatives to court and swaths of court closures across the country, has been profound. People are issuing applications in higher numbers than ever before and the courts soaking up the work of the hundreds that have been closed are swamped. As the president of the family division has recently said, the pressure on all those working in the system is immense and taking its toll.”