Spotlight
Family Court Practice, The
Order the 2021 edition due out in May
Court of Protection Practice 2021
'Court of Protection Practice goes from strength to strength, having...
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance Tenth Edition
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance is an authoritative specialist text...
Spotlight
Latest articles
JM v RM [2021] EWHC 315 (Fam)
(Family Division, Mostyn J, 22 February 2021)Abduction – Wrongful retention – Hague Convention application – Mother decided not to return to Australia with children – COVID 19...
Re A (A Child) (Hague Convention 1980: Set Aside) [2021] EWCA Civ 194
(Court of Appeal (Civil Division), Moylan, Asplin LJJ, Hayden J, 23 February 2021)Abduction – Hague Convention 1980 – Return order made – Mother successfully applied to set aside due...
Disabled women more than twice as likely to experience domestic abuse
The latest data from the Office of National Statistics shows that, in the year ending March 2020, around 1 in 7 (14.3%) disabled people aged 16 to 59 years experienced any form of domestic abuse in...
The President of the Family Division endorses Public Law Working Group report
The Courts and Tribunals Judiciary has published a message from the President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, in which the President endorses the publication of the President’s...
HMCTS updates online divorce services guidance
HM Courts and Tribunals Service have recently updated the online divorce services guidance with the addition of guides for deemed and dispensed service applications, alternative service...
View all articles
Authors

HMCTS reform divorce project legal professionals' event

Sep 29, 2018, 22:16 PM
Family Law, divorce, family proceedings HMCTS, online divorce, workshop, digital divorce application form, litigants in person
In March 2017, I attended a Court Service (HMCTS) workshop about its online divorce project. HMCTS promised a follow up to demonstrate the progress the project has made. This subsequent legal professionals' event took place on 8 February 2017 and, once again, I was fortunate enough to attend it. The event was led by service manager Isabel Syred, supported by colleagues, who explained the background to the project.
Slug : hmcts-reform-divorce-project-legal-professionals-event
Meta Title : HMCTS Reform Divorce Project Legal Professionals’ Event
Meta Keywords :
Canonical URL :
Trending Article : No
Prioritise In Trending Articles : No
Date : Mar 20, 2018, 07:30 AM
Article ID : 116413

In March 2017, I attended a Court Service (HMCTS) workshop about its online divorce project. HMCTS promised a follow up to demonstrate the progress the project has made. This subsequent legal professionals' event took place on 8 February 2017 and, once again, I was fortunate enough to attend it.

The event was led by service manager Isabel Syred, supported by colleagues, who explained the background to the project.

HMCTS told us that it wanted to ensure that users were at the heart of the design of the new service and that it continued to improve the service based on feedback. It wants to improve the process 'to create a better experience for those people going through a divorce and ensure the court system does not add unnecessary distress of complexity to what is already a very stressful time in their lives'. The project will enable users to process their undefended divorce entirely online such that they will be able to manage their case electronically.

HMCTS offered a project update, setting out what had been achieved since the March 2017 meeting, summarised below:

  • On July 31 the project released for testing a digital divorce application form for litigants in person wishing to divorce their spouse across England and Wales. Users would then print off the form and send it to the court with their payment.
  • Between July 2017 and January 2018, almost 400 applications were issued using the new service.
  • During 2017 the pilot was extended to include four regional divorce centres (RDCs) which now process digital divorce applications – East Midlands, West Midlands, South West and North West RDC’s.
  • The online system has drastically cut the number of applications being returned because of errors, showing a 90% improvement from paper forms.
  • On 16 January 2018 the service was improved so that the application is now fully digital, with applicants being able to submit their form, pay and upload supporting documents online.
  • Since 16 January, approximately 100 applications are being issued each week using the new service.
  • The vast majority of applications are submitted with a digital image of their marriage certificate with only a handful choosing the option to post their certificate to the court.

Ultimately, an extension of the pilot is intended to apply to civil partnership dissolution, nullity and judicial separation, albeit divorce is the only process currently being piloted.

Personally, I was particularly impressed at the amount of progress HMCTS has made in the intervening 11 months or so between its original workshop last year and this February event. It is apparent that this is a fast moving project. Those solicitors who volunteered to take part in the forthcoming trial will get much more of an idea of how the pilot works in progress.


Tony’s full account of this event appears in the April 2018 issue of Family Law

Find out more or request a free 1-week trial of Family Law journal. Please quote: 100482.
Categories :
  • Articles
  • News
Tags :
HMCTS
Authors
Product Bucket :
Load more comments
Comment by from