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Everything you need to know about online divorce applications, and how our specialist divorce solicitors can guide you through the process. 
As of 13th September 2021, all divorce applications in England and Wales must now be submitted through the online court portal. 
 
This has been an option since April 2018, but only became mandatory earlier this month. Gone are the days of the paper application for divorces being posted to the courts, as all documents must now be digitally uploaded. 

What is the online divorce process? 

If you are beginning a divorce application through the new online portal, and are worried about how the process will go, or have any questions about the process, our divorce solicitors are here to help. 
 
Just as in traditional paper divorce applications, you will need to show, and provide evidence or the fact that the marriage has broken down, to an irretrievable point because of one of five reasons. 

The five reasons accepted as grounds for divorce in England and Wales are: 

Desertion 
Unreasonable behaviour 
Adultery 
2 years of separation (with consent of spouse) 
5 years separation (consent not necessary) 
 
For a full overview on the grounds for divorce in England and Wales, see this here. 

How much does an online divorce application cost? 

In terms of the application alone, the current cost is £550 paid to the court. However, this value is set to increase to £593 from 30 October onwards. 

How long will my online divorce application take? 

After this document has been uploaded, along with a digitalised copy of the marriage certificate, it should take the court around 4 weeks to issue the divorce application. 
 
It is at this point that your spouse, known as the respondent to the application will be informed of your divorce application. 
 
After being notified by the courts, the respondent has 7 business days within which to respond, and state whether or not they plan on defending the application. 
 
From this point onwards, all correspondence with the courts will be done through the online portal and your solicitor or legal representative. 

Can I apply for a divorce online myself? 

Broadly speaking, yes, it is possible to attempt this process yourself, in what is becoming known as a DIY divorce. Many people may falsely think that now divorces are done through an online application, it is easy for them to do it themselves from the comfort of their own home. 
 
However, this is not the case. Divorce applications are far from easy, and a huge amount of legal jargon and complex legal procedures go into them. One simple mistake that you make could have devastating repercussions in the future, and could essentially make the DIY divorce settlement that you have drafted ineffective. 
 
On top of this, our divorce solicitors believe that the new divorce portal might even make it more difficult to make a divorce application, rather than easier. 
 
With new automated emails, with vague descriptions, being sent to clients, it is easier than ever to make a simple mistake that could have serious problems down the line. 
 
The online divorce portal is not easy to use, and does not attempt to make the legal jargon easier to understand in its correspondence, or advise as to what the next necessary step is. 

How can MG Legal’s divorce solicitors help? 

Whether you’re just about to start the process of making your online divorce application, looking to simply obtain a financial consent order for the final stage of your divorce, or struggling to reach an agreement with your spouse in the divorce, MG Legal’s divorce solicitors are here to help, with our services at a clear, fixed-fee rate
 
Simply get in touch with our divorce solicitors online here, or contact us here, and hear back from a specialist divorce solicitor within one working hour. Our team act with care, compassion, and confidentiality with all of our clients, and go above and beyond to ensure that the best outcome is achieved no matter the situation. 
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