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Family Section

Divorce centres: one year on. What next?

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Tony Roe reveals details of a new Family Section seminar that brings together members of the judiciary, civil servants and family practitioners to debate and discuss the Designated Divorce Centre one year since its launch.

It’s now a year since the launch of the Designated Divorce Centre for London & the South East, based in Bury St Edmunds.

In June 2015, at an event organised by the Family Section, members of the judiciary and senior civil servants explained the changes to the divorce process. They set out how the work was being transferred there from 45 divorce courts on a phased basis and how it would then be dealt with.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) set an ambitious target of dealing with over 40 per cent of divorce work in England and Wales once the centre was fully operational. Bury St Edmunds Divorce Centre (BSE) would issue broadly 40,000 divorce petitions per year. So, 12 months on, how is it working? What is your experience?

On 21 June, the Family Section will once again bring together a panel drawn from the judiciary and senior civil servants involved in the running of centralised divorce, together with family law practitioners, to discuss the process and how it will be developed. The format will offer opportunity for broad discussion and questions to the panel.

Back in May 2015, HMCTS revealed that 40 per cent of petitions had to be returned for correction. BSE has just disclosed the current top 10 reasons for divorce papers being bounced back by the court. Has this figure been reduced, and if so, how? Just how long does it take to issue a petition assuming that it is correctly drafted? These are some of the questions that may be addressed at this interactive Family Section seminar, which will be a must for family lawyers wanting to be at the cutting edge of changes to divorce.

The event will be followed by a networking session.


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Family Section renewals

Benefits of Membership*

The Family Section will provide you with support, advice, networking opportunities and enable the sharing of best practice with peers.

The current Section Engagement programme has been created in consultation with the Advisory Group and will focus on key issues including:

  • Sharland and Gohil Supreme Court Judgement
  • Family Law Protocol
  • General Children Law update
  • Forced marriages
  • Divorce centres a year on
  • Pensions for family lawyers
  • General financial remedies update
  • Surrogacy
  • Social media as a business tool: Is LinkedIn worth my time?
  • Emotional resilience
  • Domestic Violence
  • Serious Crime Act 2015: FGM provisions

These issues will be addressed through a range of activities including: Seminars, Discounts off Law Society publications and webinars, Features, Commentary, Webinars, News and a LinkedIn Group.

*See Section terms and conditions

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