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A day in the life of a family court - Georgina Chase discusses

When the author of the article, Jon Henley states that, “a contested divorce can easily take 18 months, and swallow £40,000-£50,000”, he is not in fact referring to the Divorce Proceedings, but rather the Financial Proceedings which run parallel to the Divorce.

Divorce is a paper-procedure and usually takes between 4 to 6 months. It is sorting out the Finances upon Divorce which delays matters. A financial settlement can be reached through negotiation (without recourse to the Court), and this is usually a Solicitor’s first step, however, if one party is being difficult and matters are not progressing, then either has the option of making an application to the Court for Financial Remedies, i.e. Financial Proceedings.

In certain circumstances, we advise clients to issue Financial Proceedings in order that they have the benefit of a Court timetable in place going forward. This focuses the parties and ensures issues will be dealt with, rather than time elapsing without any progress being made. It is these proceedings which Mr Henley refers to in his article and it is certainly not always the case that issuing Financial Proceedings means you are going to incur hefty legal fees; both parties are able to negotiate a financial settlement at any time during the Financial Proceedings and many cases settle early on.