Divorce applications get digital touch

Family law professionals can now make an application for a divorce online on behalf of clients to reduce delays in proceedings.

Announcing the new system, the Law Society for England and Wales said online divorce applications process much faster than those traditionally petitioned with a local court.

The major benefits of online divorce applications are instant updates and live error feedback. Rather than contact the court directly, lawyers can check on the status of a divorce by logging into a secure portal and checking progress online.

The new system, meanwhile, will instantly relay back any errors present in the divorce application, such as missing information. Comparatively, errors in a paper petition could take weeks to be remedied.

Only online divorce applications can be lodged with the system for now, but there is currently a pilot for both consented and contested financial remedy applications to be made and progressed online.

Commenting on the new system, Law Society member and product tester Stuart Clark said: “Overall, we have been impressed by the service. The interface meant that immediate feedback was given in the event of any errors on divorce petitions and, once finalised, issuing took place very quickly compared to a paper petition with a local court.

“Part of the positives is the ability to check progress online. With paper applications you would need to call the courts and would often sit in the call-queue. The online process allows for instant updates.”

He added: “Similarly, the consent order pilot allowed us to see where our applications were in the process. If an order was rejected for any reason, the online process allowed for instant updates.”

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