There has been a sharp rise in the number of divorcing couples opting to “go private” in order to avoid the delays and stresses of an over-stretched court system, lawyers have revealed. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. It linked the rise in private hearings for financial… Boodle Hatfield, a leading private wealth legal firm, said the number of private divorce hearings it had scheduled for the first quarter of 2019 is the same as that for the whole of 2018 and 50 per cent more than in 2017. Increasing numbers are paying for both financial dispute resolution (FDR), in which a retired judge gives an indication of the eventual outcome, and arbitration, which is quicker, more personalised and deemed more civilised than attending court.