Online Divorces: The Easy Way Forward?
Posted on 9th August 2018 at 09:39
Recently, the Family Court could be argued to be making a conscious effort to move into the 21st Century. Whilst the prospect of an online divorce seems quite obvious to some, Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service has only just rolled the pilot scheme out to four solicitors' firms. Currently, Solicitors must complete the documentation either by hand or on the computer, and then sign the same (or ask their client to approve and sign the petition).
The new system allows users to complete the petition online, through a series of tick boxes and free-text fields which have to be completed, and then share the petition electronically with their client. Once approved, the petition is submitted online, with a Marriage Certificate being sent as a PDF document, and payment to be made either by cheque (unfortunately, this still has to be posted) or through the Pay by Account (PBA) system in place.
Although this method of divorce petition submission has been around for litigants in person for some months, it is only expected to be rolled out to all solicitors' firms in Autumn 2018, once it has been fully piloted by a further 16 firms.
And, not content with just the initial stages, HMCTS have said that they hope the system will eventually support the whole divorce process (from the divorce petition, to the first Decree of divorce, all the way through to the granting of the final Decree), effectively making divorces paperless (well, for the Courts, at least).
Whilst the petition itself has not necessarily been changed (meaning that litigants in person can still struggle with some questions without expert help), it should make the process quicker for solicitors who can deal with the majority of documents a lot quicker, and without the worry of the postal system.
So, for all of your divorce queries, contact our expert Lancaster Family Solicitors on 01524 581 306 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MG Legal - Your Lancaster Family Solicitors
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