Hold onto your hats, there is a new administrative procedure being rolled out by the courts starting on 19 June 2017... separate files for the divorce and the financial proceedings. 

Given the ongoing delays in the system, it is good to hear that they hope this will mean a reduction of 2 weeks on the usual time it takes to transfer contested cases from the regional divorce centres to the local court so that they can be heard by judges.

Under the old system the divorce would have been issued at the local court in the first place so most cases were just heard by that court where necessary, no transfer required.

With the current system still a 'work in progress', it makes sense to instruct solicitors who get ahead of the time frames as far as possible.  

Where it is clear that court proceedings are necessary, I find some solicitors just throw their hands in the air and wait for the court to issue a timetable for the steps needed to resolve matters.    

There is nothing stopping us from agreeing and working towards our own timetables whilst we wait to hear from the court.  My clients appreciate this as it can save them time and legal costs.

For example we can arrange the valuations that we know a judge will want rather than waiting for the judge to give directions for it to happen after the first hearing.  

In turn, this makes it more likely that we can use that first court hearing as an opportunity for us to negotiate a settlement with the judge giving initial indications/views, rather than just a timetabling exercise.

If you or anyone you know would like advice about getting ahead, please do contact me on 01865 781115 or gemma.nicholls-webber@freeths.co.uk.

You can find more information about court proceedings and all of the other ways that I help clients to reach an agreement without those proceedings at http://www.freethsoxford.co.uk/how_do_i_resolve_financial_issues http://www.freethsoxford.co.uk/court