Family Proceedings: Divorce

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 17th October 2018.

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Photo of Yasmin Qureshi Yasmin Qureshi Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that the rise in the number of couples seeking divorce does not lead to delays in the family justice system.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The divorce rates for both men and women remain below the most recent peaks in 2003 and 2004 and the overall trend since 1993 has been for fewer, not more, divorces. In 2017, the number of divorces among opposite-sex couples in England and Wales decreased by 4.9% compared with the previous year.

As part of a programme of court reform, Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service have introduced an online divorce application service to digitise inefficient paper-based processes and reduce delays in matrimonial proceedings. The remaining stages in the process will also be digitised to provide a fully paperless service to court users.

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