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The country’s biggest regional divorce centre is taking 20 weeks to deal with consent orders, the Gazette has learned. One family lawyer says the long wait could have negative consequences for their clients. However, HM Courts & Tribunals Service insists the delay is temporary, caused by social distancing measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Processing dates and times for divorce work for Bury St Edmunds, the main centre for divorces from London and the south-east, state that district judge consideration of consent orders from date of receipt are taking 20 weeks.

Consent orders are legally binding agreements for dividing assets such as money, property, savings and investments.

Lisa Pepper, a family partner at London firm Osbornes Law, said consent orders are often about the family home. To reach settlement, clients will need a mortgage offer - but the offer will expire within six months and clients will have to reapply. ‘Some clients will be worried if their financial situation changes. What if income, given Covid-19, is not what it was a few months ago?’

Read the full article here: Law Gazette

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