Digital divorce now available to Litigants in Person

HMCTS has now launched its £1bn online divorce process, which seeks to modernise the court system.

HMCTS has now launched its £1bn online divorce process, which seeks to modernise the court system. This simplified and accessible digital divorce format, available to litigants in person only at present, is aimed at making the process easier for separating couples.

The scheme now allows for the divorce petition to be submitted online, together with making the payment of the court fee and uploading the necessary documentation.

We are informed that the online application has been tailored to reflect feedback received from pilot schemes.

It is understood that the ultimate aim is digitalise the whole process; from the acknowledgment of service right through to the decree absolute, which seems to turn divorce into a purely administrative process with little or no judicial involvement. It has however, been raised that this plays into the hands of the current talks about divorce reform, as currently judicial intervention is required within the current fault based divorce system.

See our recent write up on the case of Owens v Owens.

Family lawyers hope that this move pursuant to modern technological advances brings with it a move pursuant to modern day thinking on divorce and helps usher through reform.

Whilst the online system is currently only available to litigants in person and not legal professionals, it is hoped this service will be extended rapidly making the process smoother for family lawyers, who complete such forms and engage in this process on a daily basis.

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