Divorce online: major changes in divorce law due this month
It’s been a long time coming, but the new online divorce petition forms are set to be reviewed and (hopefully) finalised during Spring 2017.
The Family Procedure Rule Committee (FPRC) are making good progress towards enabling couples to divorce online. A pilot scheme will be undertaken in 2017 to check it all works properly and is robust in use.
The current divorce petition form (Form D8) will also be simplified rather than completely overhauled. Again, there will be pilot schemes to ensure the new form is working best for clients and lawyers alike.
Are we concerned about online divorce?
Given that we are specialist divorce lawyers for Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire, you might think we would be concerned about online divorces. In truth, we are not, simply because many divorces don’t suit a ‘one form fits all’ approach. Every divorce case is different, and there are a multitude of factors involved in reaching a solution that is agreeable to all parties, and in the best interests of any children.
Online divorces will suit some cases and some couples, but by no means all. A so-called “DIY divorce” can lead to errors, stress – and can cost more. Also, sometimes people simply don’t have the time and headspace with work and family commitments.
Enabling the divorce process online will certainly free up court time for more complex cases and issues. This will also reduce the time some couples have to wait for important hearings, and that will definitely be a move for the better.
Professional advice and years of experience
Our experience has shown time and time again that the involvement of professional divorce lawyers such as LGFL, secures the best possible outcome for our clients both personally and financially. Our knowledge, experience and sympathetic approach ensures your divorce proceeds as smoothly as possible, and you are always kept in the loop.
Talk to LGFL, not a website!
If you’d like to consult us about your impending divorce, or are thinking of filing for divorce, do call us. We offer a free, confidential 30-minute appointment to discuss your circumstances, and to assess the best way forward for you and your family.
Other divorce procedures under review
It’s going to be a busy spring for the FPRC. The committee will also be examining the separation of divorce and financial remedy proceedings (‘de-linking’). The aim here is to make the process simpler and tie in with the online divorce initiatives.
The committee has also suggested that the accelerated (shortened) financial remedy procedure might be extended to applications for an order for periodical payment, varying an existing periodical payment, and a lump sum order for less than £25,000. To be honest, these FPR 2010, 9.9B changes are a bit legal/technical and involve the number and type of hearings involved, but ultimately it is to speed the resolution of straightforward financial remedies. And once again, it won’t apply to many high-worth or business-owning couples, where finances can be difficult to untangle.
At LGFL, we’re highly experienced in untangling financial knots and ensuring a fair and acceptable financial settlement whatever the sums involved. For more details, call us for an appointment.