Posted by Emma Hawkins on 19th October 2021
Last updated 31st March 2022
Divorce goes digital

The legal justice system has made changes with divorce applications now all filed online.

The development of the divorce reform project has been long awaited amongst family lawyers. The project has been developing since April 2018 and now with the incorporation of Practice Direction 36X has been expedited due to 86% of people working from home as a result of the COVID-19.

The submission of online divorce Applications became mandatory as at 13 September 2021, with a transitional period that ran until 4 October 2021. This process hasn’t been without disruption but it is hoped that future developments will only improve the process, something that HM Courts & Tribunals Service are keen to do.

What does this mean?

With the exception of applications for civil partnership, judicial separation and nullity all divorce applications are to now be filed online. A programme that was originally designed with litigants in persons (applicants with no legal representative) as the sole users, the platform has now been re-developed and enhanced for lawyers to use, which means you are able to instruct lawyers to act on your behalf in your divorce, using this platform whilst receiving appropriate legal advice.

How does this benefit you?

As the portal was first developed with litigants in person in mind, the process is somewhat simplified making a stressful time for many clients a little bit easier. The use of the online divorce portal, removes the lengthy administrative duties that were associated with paper applications, as the majority of cases, when filed online are now paperless. Therefore, your application should be considered and reviewed much faster and delays that occurred previously are now removed. This has seen a significant reduction in application errors from 40% to less than 1%.

With the development of the online divorce portal, lawyers are now able to submit and lodge applications online using this streamlined service to create a better, quicker service and experience for those involved.

Need some advice? Get in touch today

Emma Hawkins is a Paralegal at The Family Law Company. She specialises is Divorce and Finance with an element of Children Law work. She works closely with Joint Managing Director, Rachel Buckley, on complex divorce and financial issues.

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