Solicitors' phase of online divorce pilot given green light
1 August 2018
Jordans Family Law (Lexis Nexis)
The solicitors' application of the online divorce pilot has been approved to go live.
Berkshire-based niche divorce & family law firm, Tony Roe Solicitors, will be in the first cohort of four practices in the new phase of online divorce. Principal, Tony Roe, has been working closely with the Courts Service (HMCTS) in advance of this key extension to Get A Divorce. He said:
'We have today (31 July) been told that HMCTS has been "given both technical and business readiness approval for the solicitor application to go live".
My firm has been issued with access to the digital application and case view screens. Moreover, we have also been sent a copy of PD36E which supports the online filing of applications along with the extension of this PD effective until 29 March 2019.
I have been told that the project has spoken with senior lawyers and policy "who have confirmed that PD36E covers a solicitors ability to access the application and file online". #
From the statistics, we know that clients have been suffering from delays of months, or even a year. Now, clients who instruct our firm in the pilot will see rapid progress within their divorce, something which the paper-based system cannot deliver.'
Launched in January 2017, the original online divorce pilot initially allowed members of the public seeking a divorce to use an online system which offers prompts and guidance to assist them in completing their application. They would then print off the form and send it to the court. In mid-January 2018, HMCTS extended the service so that the application for divorcing couples is now fully digital – submitting the form, sending the relevant documents, and payment. This pilot is now live throughout England & Wales. The solicitors’ pilot is the long-awaited next step.