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Digital Divorce Application Process Rolled Out

A fully digital divorce application process has now been rolled out across England and Wales from 1st May 2018. 

The online service offers prompts and guidance to assist people in completing their application, and uses clear, non-technical language. The whole process can be completed online, including payment and uploading supporting evidence.

During the testing phase conducted before the full roll out, more than 1,000 petitions were issued through the new system, with 91% of people saying they were satisfied with the service.

Court staff currently spend 13,000 hours dealing with complex paper divorce forms, but this simpler and less technical online service has already contributed to a 95% drop in the number of applications being returned because of mistakes, when compared with paper forms. This means only 0.6% of forms have been rejected since January.

“Allowing divorce applications to be made online will help make sure we are best supporting people going through an often difficult and painful time,” commented Justice Minister Lucy Frazer.

“More people will have the option of moving from paper-based processes to online systems which will cut waste, speed up services which can be safely expedited, and otherwise better fit with modern day life,” she added.

These changes are part of £1 billion programme to transform the court system - making it quicker, more accessible and easier to use for all. Other examples of the Government’s court reforms include:

  • A digital system which makes it quicker and easier for people to claim money owed, resolve disputes out of court and access mediation.
  • A new service which allows people to submit their tax appeals online – drastically cutting the number of applications being returned as incomplete or inaccurate.

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