Study highlights digital divorce success ahead of major family law reforms

The introduction of the digital divorce application process has helped reduced administrative errors from forty per cent to one per cent, new figures have shown.

The report comes two years after the launch of the digital system which can be used by family law solicitors to process divorce applications online.

It also comes ahead of major divorce reforms which could significantly increase demand for the service.

Introduced in April 2018, the digital divorce system has received several major updates, such as allowing users to process decree nisi applications and decree absolute applications online. The system also features new scanning technology, meaning paperwork can be digitally replicated and placed on the digital court file automatically.

Today, almost 70 per cent of all new divorce applications in England and Wales (representing around 80,000 separations) are submitted online, cutting the time to complete forms by half and reducing total errors to less than one per cent. This is compared to the old paper-based system, where 40 per cent of applications were returned due to clerical errors.

Additionally, more than eight out of 10 users say they were “satisfied or very satisfied with the service” they received, marking a major success for couples wishing to divorce quickly and efficiently.

The study comes ahead of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill, which will remove the requirement to attribute blame to a partner or spouse before a court can grant a divorce.

While removing the need to attribute blame, the new legislation will lengthen the time it takes to get a divorce as there will be a 20 week gap between the issue of the proceedings and those proceedings being able to progress.

It is believed that changes to the divorce legislation will not come into effect until at least Autumn 2021.

For divorce and marital support, please get in touch with our expert family law and relationships team today.

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Alison Green
Alison joined Mackrell.Solicitors in 1989 and qualified as a solicitor in 1991, becoming a partner in the firm in 2010. Her expertise covers matrimonial work, including divorce and the associated financial and children issues; pre and post-nuptial agreements; co-habitation disputes; civil partnership agreements and the breakdown of civil partnerships.