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Divorce

Mr. Dawson: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many couples had begun though not concluded divorce or nullity proceedings on 1 December. [144015]

8 Jan 2001 : Column: 476W

Jane Kennedy: Information on the number of divorce proceedings begun though not concluded is not collected and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Dawson: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what estimate he has made of the number of couples who will commence divorce or nullity proceedings in the 12 months after the introduction of pension sharing on 1 December. [144011]

Jane Kennedy: The provisional figures for the number of decrees of nullity and decrees absolute granted in 1999 were 323 and 144,233 respectively. The trend is downward; for example the numbers were 444 and 158,301 in 1991. The Government do not anticipate any significant change following the introduction of pension sharing arrangements on 1 December 2000.

Judges' Lodgings

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department in each of the last three years, and over this year, (a) how many High Court judges exceeded their allowance for staying in lodgings, (b) how many underspent on the allowance by 10 per cent. or more and (c) what was the (i) highest overspend, (ii) average overspend, (iii) lowest underspend and (iv) average underspend; and if he will make a statement. [143596]

Jane Kennedy: To provide the information requested would require a search of data held in manual form at local level and would incur disproportionate cost.