Sir James Munby, president of the family division, has proposed to pilot Financial Remedies Courts scheme which is anticipated to begin running in February 2018 in London the West Midlands and South-East Wales.
This news follows the success of the first pilot in the Southampton Divorce Centre which introduced a more streamlined process, reducing delays by up to two weeks which are experienced when files are transferred from one court to another. Currently, if a contested financial application is made, the whole divorce proceedings are transferred to a local court to be dealt with.
It has been decided to keep divorce separate from the financial aspects of a divorce case. The Financial Remedies Court (“FRC”) will operate separately from the Regional Divorce Centers, a new concept also set up relatively recently. The FRC will handle paper files however, it is believed that the Court Service is already working towards ‘a fully digitised model’.
Each circuit will have two regional hubs, headed by a lead judge whose expertise is within financial remedy work. Hearings will be conducted at the regional hubs and some financial remedies hearing centres within the hub area. Only “Ticketed judges” will sit in the FRC and initially deal with ancillary relief cases. The work will eventually extend to all financial remedy cases dealt with in the family court/division.
If you wish to discuss matters relating to divorce, please contact Lynn Gooch on 020 8502 3991 for more information.