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Broken Family Court system

Published by Mark Tattersall in Court system · 22/8/2018 12:13:00

Here is an extract from a report in the Law Society Gazette under the headline “Broken Family”, setting out one “user’s” experience (which will chime with the experience of most “users”). ‘I went to my local court to raise a query at the counter. I was refused entry by security staff, who gave me a piece of paper with three telephone numbers: one was dead, one was permanently engaged, and when the third was finally answered, I was told I couldn’t speak to anyone.’ Jo Edwards, head of family at Forsters, was so frustrated by delays affecting a mediation client she tweeted HM Courts & Tribunals Service to get a response. The courts service tweeted back: ‘Hi Jo, we’re sorry for the impact of the delays & are working hard to address these & improve the current level of service across our centres. We’re recruiting extra staff, moving workloads between centres & drafting in additional resources to reduce delays wherever possible.’ Pious words but the system simply gets worse. I have been waiting for 2½ months for the court to process an application that I have made for a client for the court effectively to rubberstamp a financial agreement he has reached with his former wife. This process used to take between two and three weeks. We ring the court regularly and are assured that it is being dealt with (not that we can get through to the court itself, having to go through a remote call centre). Not fit for purpose. Mark Tattersall, director-solicitor at Chivers Walsh Family Law.

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