Dealing with divorce and finances online: what does this mean for me?
HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS), which is responsible for the administration of family courts in England and Wales, has trialled a digital process for dealing with divorce finances online.
The digitisation of the financial remedy process reportedly reduces the time taken to deal with divorce finance cases from three months down to as little as seven days in some cases. So how does this affect divorce proceedings?
What is the financial remedy service?
The financial remedy service enables family lawyers to make divorce, civil partnership dissolution, consent order and financial remedy applications online through MyHMCTS, a case management system. The online service allows separating couples to resolve their associated financial matters in a more efficient way, whilst allowing their lawyers to view the progress of their case online.
Why has the financial remedy service gone digital?
Consented financial remedy cases were taking an average of 77 days (three months) from issue to final order back in 2017/18. HMCTS began work on streamlining and speeding up the process and trialled a new digital system. During the implementation process, HMCTS gathered feedback from family solicitors as well as divorce and financial remedy stakeholders.
By moving the consent order application online, timelines have improved greatly. It now takes an average of just 35 days from issue to final order for consent order cases that are referred to a judge more than once. With more straightforward consent order cases, the average time from issue to final order now averages just seven days.
How will the digital service affect my divorce?
The digitisation of the divorce and financial remedy service is beneficial for individuals wanting to deal with their separation and finances efficiently with clear timelines.
This change has also been revolutionary for divorce lawyers; not only does it save time but the ability to track the progress of a case means that they can better manage their clients’ expectations.
Any new divorce and financial remedy applications will now be dealt with using the digital system and many existing cases are already dealt with online. Individuals can start divorce or dissolution proceedings online by themselves, however, where there are finances (or childcare arrangements) involved, you must seek advice from an experienced family lawyer. Many of our family law clients also benefit from the expert guidance of a lawyer in respect of the divorce process.
The introduction of the online divorce and financial remedy service will enable your family lawyer to deal with your case more efficiently and with increased transparency about the current court timescales.
Get in touch with our divorce and separation solicitors
Our divorce and separation lawyers work with clients across the South West from our offices across Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
Every member of our team is a member of Resolution, an organisation committed to non-confrontational divorce and separation, and we offer cost-effective fixed-fee packages so that you know what you are paying for from the outset.