Court delays leads to private divorce rise

An unprecedented rise in the number of couples choosing to follow the route of a ‘private’ divorce has emerged, instead of coping with the stress of increased court delays that lead to an over-worked and under-managed court system.

Private divorce courts allow for separating couples to select their own judge, and undertake legally-binding arbitration and financial dispute resolution to keep their issues out of the public eye. Particularly as there is no public record of hearings, meaning parties in cases that deal with high net worth divorce settlements can retain privacy.

It is, however, a much more expensive option, starting from around £4,000 up to £10,000 per day depending on experience and stature.

A leading private wealth law firm found that the number of financial settlement hearing enquiries per year has risen 50% since 2017, with recent cuts to the courts and a recent systems malfunction at HM Courts & Tribunal Service has led to delays.

Courts remain most viable option

However for most people, going through the courts is the only viable option.

There are a number of ways to reduce the amount of time divorce can take. Mainly by agreeing things between yourselves in a collaborative way outside of the courts through mediation will allow for the divorce process to go in a smooth and timely fashion.

However, if court hearings are required for financial or child disputes, these would be heard.

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