Tens Of Thousands Apply To Divorce Online

Over 70,000 people have applied to divorce online, according to information from HM Courts and Tribunal Services (HMCTS) given to Tony Roe, a consultant at Penningtons Manches Cooper in Reading.

Following the president of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane’s, revelation on the HMCTS reform program, Roe contacted HMCTS for figures.

In McFarlane’s ‘December’s View from the President’s Chamber’, he stated:

“The HMCTS Reform Programme continues to deliver changes that are helping to relieve the pressure on the court system and improve the way we operate. Since the summer, litigants in person have been able to start and finish their entire divorce proceedings online and almost 80% of them are choosing the use the new system over the old paper route.”

“The online private law C100 application is now available to all unrepresented parents throughout England and Wales. In addition to ensuring that the form is completed accurately, the program provides ‘nudges’ towards mediation and other forms of dispute resolution, and advice on safety concerns together with sources of support and advice.”

In the latest figures released by the Ministry of Justice it was stated that there had been 29,531 divorce petitions between July and September 2019, a reduction of 3% on the same quarter in 2018.

Of the total divorce petitions, there had been an increase however in the amount made digitally. In 2019 the amount had increased 11% from 28% in 2018 to 39% in 2019.

Speaking about the reforms, Roe said:

“Extending the online service to all law firms is a great step forward and means that practitioners can take advantage of the speed and efficiency of online divorce. I understand that next steps in relation to the divorce online service will be to expand it so applications can be made for bailiff service, deemed service and dispensed with service.”

Do you think the increase in online divorce petitions have helped ease ‘pressure on the court system and improve the way we operate it’?

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