The number of family courts at which unhappy couples will be able to apply for divorce is set to be reduced to less than 20.
The government has begun a process of centralising locations authorised to handle divorce and ‘financial remedy’ applications.
There will be three such locations in the north east of England, The Law Society Gazette reports: Doncaster, for South Yorkshire and the Humber region; Durham, for the region surrounding that city, along with Northumberland and Cleveland; and Bradford, for both North and West Yorkshire. All three centres are already operational but not all application work has yet been transferred.
An announcement on divorce centres for north west is expected shortly, the Gazette claims.
The centralisation process is expected to be complete by this time next year. Court hearings will still take place in other family court venues however.
At a September hearing concerning the annulment of 180 fraudulently obtained divorces, Family Division President Sir James Munby said the scam had been facilitated by rules which allowed the applications to be sent to no less than 137 different county courts, even though 179 of the applications had used the same postal address.
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