Delays at the country’s biggest regional divorce centre reached unprecedented levels in 2018, figures obtained by the Gazette have revealed.

Average waiting times for each stage of the divorce process at Bury St Edmunds increased markedly last year, confirming many lawyers’ long-held fears about the centre’s ability to cope.

Bury St Edmunds is the main centre for divorces from London and the south-east. But since opening as one of 11 regional centres in 2015, the site has been a constant source of frustration for divorcing couples and their lawyers.

Figures provided by HM Courts & Tribunals Service, in response to a freedom of information request, reveal it took 373 days on average from the issue of petition to decree absolute in 2018 (up to the end of September). This was a 9% increase from 2017. 

We think that this delay is unacceptable for our clients so we are working with other firms to try and press for change.