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Divorce through Bury St Edmunds

(79 Posts)
Smiler06 Wed 20-Jun-18 07:22:00


I was wondering if anybody else is currently using this divorce court and can give me an idea of timings please as they are very vague....

The petition was accepted and paid for beginning of May

The respondent signed her bit and returned end of May but they are still saying it is not registered in the system and i should give them another 3 weeks before calling back...?

I also asked how long a DIY divorce takes (no children or financial affairs and have been separated over 5 years) and they were very vague quoting anywhere from 6 months to a year!!?

Anybody got first hand experience please?

MrsBertBibby Wed 20-Jun-18 07:38:54

About a month to turn correspondence around (like sending you the acknowledgement)

3 months to consider Decree Nisi application, then another month before the date.

Decree Absolute is a few days.

MrsBertBibby Wed 20-Jun-18 07:40:17

So if the acknowledgement reaches you in a week or so, you have about 6 months to go.

Worth the £550 you paid the robdogs, eh?

Smiler06 Wed 20-Jun-18 07:49:28

Haha - hmmm

Thank you very much for your answer....!

Gohackyourself Thu 21-Jun-18 08:44:26

DIY divorce through bury has taken me nearly a year.
Admittedly there was a mistake made by ex h on the forms twice- but because the turnaround to get the forms into system is at least 6 weeks each time- you can see the issue.
Bury has a massive massive backlog so they told me on phone !

ballsballsballs Thu 21-Jun-18 09:17:23

My solicitor told me they'd closed loads of courts and that BE hadn't been given lots of extra resources, hence the delays.

My nisi application went in about 3 weeks ago.

Smiler06 Thu 21-Jun-18 11:48:54

When did you send in the initial form and payment if you don’t mind me asking?

ohamIreally Fri 22-Jun-18 19:01:08

Yes BSE has a massive backlog couldn't even get through to them on the phone.

MissTeBe Sun 24-Jun-18 08:31:46

Mine took 8 months from the point I applied to gettingbtge absolute back

It took about 3 months to get my XH to sign the paperwork though

Smiler06 Sun 24-Jun-18 09:21:50

Ok thank you very much

whysolong Fri 29-Jun-18 18:58:42

Launched back in 2015 to take proceedings out of courts, the Divorce Centres promised a staggering 48 hours turnaround time. In reality, due to staff shortages, it takes six months for cases to reach the decree nisi stage at Bury St Edmunds, the largest centre in the UK.
John Bolch shares his thoughts…
I don’t like to say “I told you so” but… I told you so.
In the last week or so stories have emerged from various sources relating to delays at the largest divorce centre in the country, at Bury St Edmunds.
Unfortunately, these stories come as no surprise to me or, it seems, to many family lawyers, who are now having to struggle to explain to their clients why their divorce is taking so long.
Just to recap for the benefit of those who don’t know, divorce centres were established in 2015, with the aim of streamlining the process of divorce. Instead of having divorces dealt with by some 110 divorce county courts spread around England and Wales, all divorces would be handled by just eleven divorce centres. The primary aim, of course, was to save costs, by using the age-old method of economies of scale: divorces would be churned out on a production line.
Now, despite that choice of words, I don’t have any basic problem with the concept of divorce centres. The worry that I and many others had at the outset was that if a large part of the savings were to come from having far fewer court staff dealing with divorces, there would always be a high likelihood that the centres, or at least some of them, would not be provided with the staff numbers necessary to handle their high workloads.
And so it has turned out to be the case, at least in respect of the centre at Bury St Edmunds.
Let us just take a moment to consider the workload of the Bury St Edmunds divorce centre. It was established to cover the whole of London and the South-East of England, an area including some 17 million people, which used to be covered by about 45 divorce county courts, including the Principal Registry in London, which alone had a very large caseload.
My understanding from HM Courts and Tribunals Service was that Bury St Edmunds would handle about 40% of all divorces in England and Wales, although I note that when she gave evidence to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee recently Jo Edwards, representing Resolution, put the figure at 45%. Even if we accept the 40% figure, that still means that this one centre would handle a staggering 40,000 petitions a year.
Obviously, in some years that figure may be considerably higher than that – last year some 109,000 divorce petitions were issued in England and Wales, and that was the lowest figure for some years. Back in 2006, for example, the figure was 148,000, which would leave Bury St Edmunds having to cope with some 60,000 petitions a year.
So what has been happening at Bury St Edmunds? Jo Edwards told the Public Accounts Committee that there has been a doubling in the amount of time it takes the centre to process petitions, going from about three to six months for cases to reach the decree nisi stage.
To go into more detail, on the 15th of June the centre said that it was processing petitions received on the 30th of May (when the centres were first established the government claimed that divorce petitions could be handled in as little as 48 hours), and that they were processing applications for decree nisi received on the 4th of May.
It gets worse. The judiciary was processing applications for decree nisi received on the 19th of April. The Judiciary would then take approximately 29 days to deal with them, after which the administration staff would then process the decision within 28 days. If the application was granted a pronouncement date would be set for a further 4-5 weeks on from processing.
The reason for all these delays? You’ve guessed it: staff shortages.
Susan Acland-Hood, CEO of HM Courts & Tribunals Service, responded to the figures on Twitter with this:
“We know this is not good enough – we have been short of staff in Bury, but should have picked up the issues earlier – we are now using the extra staff (and help from other divorce centres) to sort this, and you should start to see improvement soon.”
OK, that’s good to know, and let us hope there is a significant improvement, although it’s worrying that HMCTS didn’t pick up the issue earlier, particularly as it was just what so many of us were concerned about at the outset.
Meanwhile, people across London and the South East are having to wait twice as long for their divorces. That may not seem too much of an issue, but as Jo Edwards pointed out to the PAC, those people may not be able to access financial remedies for all of that time, causing real hardship.

John Bolch

ballsballsballs Fri 29-Jun-18 19:42:49

Oh my days. I am never going to get a divorce

whysolong Fri 29-Jun-18 21:06:27

Found the post yesterday it seem right as we sent our papers back on the same dates at least it be soon finally over .

Smiler06 Fri 29-Jun-18 21:07:31

Thank you for that info....

MrsBertBibby Sat 30-Jun-18 10:52:33

Fenellapitstop Sat 30-Jun-18 10:59:02

Another problem is bury st Edmunds sometimes lose papers, they've lost my nisi application, it should on their timescales have been processed by now. I'm still stuck married to him instead. Keep copies of everything you send and never bin the postal receipt when you see they've got it all

TheBlueDot Sat 30-Jun-18 11:17:01

They lost my paperwork too, despite postal proof that docs had been signed for. When my ex chased for an update (we took turns calling the centre as it took so bloody long to get through), he was told it was all ok because they’d be asking me as the petitioner to get certified copies and resend forms - as if that absolved them from blame for having lost the forms!

Make sure you have copies of everything you send and keep a log of calls. We needed to refer back to the log several times, and in the end, a supervisor got involved to progress the divorce as it just wasn’t happening.

Fenellapitstop Thu 19-Jul-18 06:19:56

Called them this week to Chase a response to an email I'd sent to get a copy of the papers to reapply for the nisi. They'd found them but couldn't tell me over the phone what had happened with the judge when the papers were reviewed. I'm trying to be positive

whysolong Thu 19-Jul-18 15:44:04

if you send a blank email to
you will get a reply email of daily work .
looks like they dealing with emails sent on 10/05/18

Smiler06 Thu 19-Jul-18 16:27:26

Oh that’s good to know thank you....

We finally got the Nisi application yesterday so looks like they are 6 weeks behind on paperwork.... does anyone know if that works the same for getting the Nisi agreed and getting a court date?

whysolong Fri 03-Aug-18 12:40:50

update my dn sent to judges 15 june and was approved 0n 29 june now waiting to be typed up as of 1 august admin typing up 22 june
should get letter mid week .

PatheticNurse Fri 03-Aug-18 19:45:11

I'm waiting on my Court order via East Midlands. It took two months to be returned....rejected sad .... so added the asked for info and sent it off again. Suppose it'll be another 2 month wait for a response

niceupthedance Fri 03-Aug-18 20:00:52

Posted DN application on June 16 and it was went back a month later as there was a mistake on the form. I'm hoping it will all be done by Xmas - around a year in total. Long!

PatheticNurse Fri 03-Aug-18 20:10:57

Has the East Midlands divorce court got an email service like the one mentioned above?

Smiler06 Fri 03-Aug-18 20:28:38

We are looking at a year too! By the time they finally process the paperwork even when you send it back promptly it just drags on and on!! We sent DN application back in June - hears nothing as yet!!!

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