Online divorce – a new era?


Last month, as part of a £1bn modernisation programme, the UK’s Ministry of Justice rolled out digital divorce across England and Wales, meaning that couples can now apply for a divorce from the comfort of their own living room.

But is this really the best way?

The scheme enables couples to apply for an uncontested divorce digitally via smart forms, and completely removes the need to fill in paper forms and post them to court.

At present the online divorce service is only available to parties acting in person. There are plans to introduce a scheme that can be used by solicitors to enable them to submit forms online on behalf of their clients, but the scheme currently only provides for those acting without representation.

The new system has been heralded as helping to reduce the stress of going through a separation as it lets couples upload documentation, reducing time and keeping pace with modern day life. The language has also been simplified for the digital application and individuals can make payments and upload evidence.

However, it is still of huge importance that parties seek advice regarding finances. Failure to do so could mean they are missing out on their share of assets or are leaving themselves open to financial claims.

Currently, to obtain a divorce quickly one of the parties must allege that the other is at fault. No fault divorce has been widely campaigned for and most agree, is fundamental to a more manageable, painless and generally improved divorce process. Online accessibility is important for keeping pace with modern times however, no fault divorce must become a priority.

Seeking professional legal advice at an early stage still remains crucial, even if the parties then decide to prepare the papers themselves as taking these steps could save problems in the future.

For reassurance and confidential advice, contact our specialist family law team on 01792 468684 or email enquiries@pgmsolicitors.co.uk.

 

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