The Pros and Cons of the Government’s New Online Divorce System

This week the government launched a nationwide way for couples to apply for a divorce online. The catalyst for this change? 40% of divorce applications are rejected due to errors. If you’re considering an online divorce, here are the pros and cons of this new way to divorce online so that you can decide if this way to divorce is the right one for you and your family.

PROS

  • It’s relatively easy to do online, you’ll need a reason for divorce, address of person you are divorcing, the £550 court fees (if you’re not exempt) and an understanding of the legal documents, which is easily googled if you know what you’re looking for.
  • You don’t need to be a legal expert. The online system is a lot easier for people to navigate, reducing the need for lawyers and solicitors. This ultimately reduces the cost which can spiral quickly when you’re using a lawyer who charges an hourly rate.
  • You don’t have to worry about things getting lost in the post, everything is tracked online.

CONS

  • Court stats show that four out of ten people have their divorce application rejected because there is an error on the form. This prolongs the process and adds stress. The most frequent question we get asked is ‘how do I draft the unreasonable behaviour examples’. If you’re not sure on the legal jargon, I recommend you seek advice before filling out the form.
  • It doesn’t help with the important bits i.e. childcare arrangements and the emotional journey. Although the divorce bit has been made simpler with the online system, it still doesn’t help families come to arrangements about their futures. This is why amicable exists, to support with transitioning from one to two homes and from parents to co-parents.
  • It doesn’t help with the financial separation. Most couples don’t realise that you and your ex can still make a claim against each other, even if you’re divorced. A separation agreement is not legally binding, and a divorce doesn’t cut all your financial ties. You’ll still need to sort a consent order as this will make your financial split, legal.

I hope the above helps you to work out what option is better for you. If you’d like a 15-minute free advice call, with a divorce expert, please click here.

 

 

Having experienced her own protracted and expensive divorce, Emma has spent the past 5 years working as a Divorce Mentor. Emma works with divorcing couples to find a pragmatic approach, thereby minimising conflict and costs.

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