06 December 2017
New financial court to hear divorce cases of wealthy couples
A plan to introduce a new specialist court for extremely wealthy divorcing couples has been broadly welcomed by the legal sector.
New "Financial Remedies Courts" are to be piloted from February 2018 in London, the West Midlands and South Wales, Sir James Mumby said.
The courts will hear divorce cases where money is being disputed, to free up time in regular courts to deal with common cases.
Experts say the new court will speed up the system.
The president of the Family Division of the High Court, the most senior family court judge in England and Wales, has said previously that it is time divorce and money are "de-linked".
In May 2017, Sir James said: "Has the time not come to bring about a complete de-linking - separation - of divorce and 'money', so that they are started and pursued by completely separate processes, albeit, of course, that the timeline for ancillary [financial] relief is determined by the progress of the divorce?"
Divorce lawyers say the proposal is a step in the right direction.
It takes almost 49 weeks from filing for divorce for a couple to receive their decree absolute, 2016 figures released by the Ministry of Justice show.
This number has risen from the 32 weeks recorded in 2006.