As of Monday 13th September, all divorce applications must be processed via the online portal, and the paper-based divorce procedure is no more (subject to a few exceptions and a small grace period)!
As with any new process, there were some teething problems when the new online divorce process was first introduced, but I think the figures below speak for themselves. The online divorce portal has reduced the average time to finalise a divorce from well over a year to around 5 months, which can only be a positive thing for those involved.
I agree entirely with the comments made in this article about the portal being user-friendly for litigants in person: it rightly allows those who wish to do so to take on the more straightforward part of a divorce themselves, enabling their lawyer to focus on the, often trickier, and inevitably more costly, financial aspects of their divorce.
Great to see the legal world racing to catch up with 21st century tech!
Latest figures show that 70% of applications are submitted and completed online, which HMCTS said helps the agency to finalise divorces in an average of 20 weeks compared with around 60 weeks for paper applications. Staff are returning fewer than 1% of online applications, compared with around 20% of paper applications, for legal representatives to amend.