The Courts and Tribunals Service Centre and divorce centres
The Courts and Tribunals Service Centre and divorce centres

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The Courts and Tribunals Service Centre and divorce centres
  • Divorce centres and the Courts and Tribunals Service Centre
  • Financial remedy applications

This Practice Note sets out the current practice regarding the issue of divorce petitions, the phasing out of the regional divorce centres and the introduction of the Courts and Tribunals Service Centres (CTSC). It also provides guidance on the de-linking of divorce and financial remedy applications.

Divorce centres and the Courts and Tribunals Service Centre

HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) announced in February 2020 that it is closing, or has closed, some of the regional divorce centres (also referred to as regional divorce units (RDUs)) as a consequence of the move to issue divorce proceedings online. The divorce centres are to be phased out and replaced by an online system based at the new national Courts and Tribunals Service Centre (CTSC) at Stoke on Trent. While HMCTS has referred to plans for additional CTSCs (at Birmingham and Loughborough), it appears at present that all family work is to be dealt with at the Stoke on Trent CTSC.

Previously, in 2015, HMCTS established a network of regional divorce centres within England and Wales to be the main point of entry across the single Family Court for the issue of:

  1. divorce petitions, and

  2. financial remedy applications

All divorce petitions and financial remedy applications had to be sent by post to one of the centres rather than the local Family Court, with the exception of urgent applications that