Harlow: 01279 799598 contact@spectrumfamilylaw.com


05 October 2021
The Move to Digital Divorce and Financial Remedy Processes 

From Monday 13 September it became mandatory for legal representatives in England and Wales to submit all applications for divorce via the HMCTS online portal. Paper applications are no longer permitted. The HMCTS online divorce and financial remedy portal was first launched in May 2018 but has come a long way since then now providing a digital solution for use in divorce and financial remedy cases.  Since its launch it has dealt with over 150,000 applications.

At the moment there are certain exclusions which include applications for civil partnership dissolution, judicial separation and nullity.

‘My HMCTS’ forms the basis of an online service for issuing, paying for and managing applications in the civil and family courts, and tribunals.  It allows representatives to submit applications at any time of the day and monitor progress easily from any device and location providing a speedy, modern and reliable service.

It is not only the court system that has made major changes to the way it works but law firms have adapted their processes and methods of work to become digital.  Over recent years Spectrum Family Law have invested in software and technology which has allowed it to move to a virtually paper free environment.   Never has this been more important than during the Covid-19 pandemic.   At Spectrum Family Law we were able to move seamlessly to working remotely from home utilizing all the systems that were used within the traditional office environment via the cloud.  Client meetings were and still are conducted via video links or telephone links to offer clients a full service in all aspects of family law. Where clients request face to face meetings these are, of course, now available.  The advantage is that clients now have a choice.  Trials have also been conducted remotely.  Historically, legal work has necessitated vast volumes of paper particularly in difficult litigious matters and moving to a paperless environment has been a major step forward in streamlining our processes.

This all adds up to a speedier and more sophisticated process allowing those couples going through the divorce process to move forward with their lives faster. 

The portal is part of the government’s £1billion project to update the court system and will allow it to meet the requirements of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 which is now due to come into force on 6 April 2022.

The new divorce process is set to put an end to the blame game and speed up the process.  The new process will take a minimum of 6 months from start to finish.  The applicant will need to wait 20 weeks before applying for the ‘conditional order’ (decree nisi) and then after this has been granted they will need to wait a further 6 weeks before applying for the ‘final order’ (decree absolute) to officially dissolve the marriage.

It is anticipated that there will be further developments to the portal before the 6 April 2022.

For further information on any aspect of family law telephone 01279 799598 or email contact@spectrumfamilylaw.com

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