• Lee Wilcockson, Jaime-Lee Johns and Lorraine Davis are supporting Resolution’s Good Divorce Week which is highlighting why the Government must support better advice for separating families
  • Exclusive research from Resolution lays bare the human suffering and cost caused by family court delays
  • BTMK Solicitors (Southend-on-Sea), BTMK Todmans (Rayleigh) and BTMK Alan Simpson (Rayleigh) are offering free advice sessions to local people during Good Divorce Week to promote the benefits of early intervention in family matters.

A South Essex based law firm is supporting Good Divorce Week (28 Nov – 2 Dec), an annual awareness campaign run by Resolution, an organisation that represents over 6500 family professionals, which helps people find a better way to divorce.

Divorces are on the increase again with the most recent statistics showing 113,000 divorces in 2021 – up nearly 10% on the previous year – and the impact on wait times is stark. On average it now takes 52 weeks to conclude divorce proceedings (not including Financial or Children matters upon Divorce).

In addition, official figures show that while private children cases were down by 7% during the last year, they are taking on average six weeks longer to reach a conclusion. And estimates suggest it takes nearly two years to resolve financial matters.
That leaves many families in limbo for over a year. That has a knock-on effect on children’s schooling and family finances.
Resolution surveyed its members on the current court backlogs and found:

  • 20% said court delays caused clients to rely on benefits
  • 34% said they’d referred a client to a counsellor or therapist to help them cope with the stress of ongoing court delays
  • 90% said court backlogs were causing additional and unnecessary stress and pressure for clients

Lee Wilcockson, of BTMK, said: “Backlogs are wreaking havoc on local families. Even couples who want to separate amicably are having their patience and their continued relationship tested to breaking point by long delays. When it comes to resolving children arrangements and finances after divorce, the situation is even bleaker.

“Children are waiting over a year for the courts to determine which parent they live with, what school they go to, how much time they spend with the other parent – putting the whole family’s life on hold. This is simply unacceptable and another reason why getting early professional advice is so important for families.

“We are proud to be offering 30-minute free advice sessions during Good Divorce Week so families get the benefit of early professional advice. We can offer these sessions in person, or by telephone or video-call to suit the clients’ needs or preferences.”

Juliet Harvey, national chair of Resolution, said: “Under resourcing the family courts system is a false economy inflicting unnecessary pressure on the public purse and unconscionable stress on families at an already stressful time in their lives. A study of the impact of funding legal advice in Scotland found that, every £1 spent by government on legal aid in family cases saw a return of around £5 elsewhere.

“If the government were to focus more on encouraging early advice for separating couples and including information about all out of court options it could ease the pressure on family courts. Resolution members like Lee Wilcockson are doing their best to help families achieve better outcomes and find long-lasting resolutions.”

    1. Resolution is a membership association of 6,500 family justice professionals promoting a non-confrontational approach to resolving family issues and campaigning for a fairer family justice system.
    2. Resolution members commit to a Code of Practice that promotes a constructive approach to family issues and considers the needs of the whole family, in particular the best interests of children.
    3. Further updates about Resolution’s work can be found via our official twitter handle: @ResFamilyLaw and on our website:

The following text – “BTMK are proud to be supporting Good Divorce Week. We want to shine a light on the different ways that families can resolve their disputes out of the Court system, saving time, expense and very often, important family relationships for the future.”

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