England’s biggest new divorce 'hub’ returned nearly one in five divorce petitions for correction last month.
Statistics from HM Courts & Tribunals Service show that in September, 18.5% of divorce petitions for issue were returned by Bury St Edmunds, the divorce hub for London and the south-east.
Common errors included the names or place of a marriage differing from the marriage certificate, and the omission of reconciliation certificates in represented cases.
Family solicitor Tony Roe (pictured), who uncovered the figures through Freedom of Information requests, said: ‘It is extremely concerning that up to 240 petitions a week have to be rejected by Bury St Edmonds due to basic errors. I understand that these are not simply divorces filed by litigants in person. They also comprise basic errors made by practitioners.
‘If firms were to adopt a basic double-check mechanism, ensuring that another fee-earner looked over the divorce papers before they were filed, a lot of time and money could be saved, with less potential dissatisfaction for clients.’
HMCTS expects the new Bury St Edmunds hub to issue over 40,000 petitions per year.