Divorce applications move online

From Monday 13 September 2021 legal representatives must submit all applications for divorce online using MyHMCTS.

The only exceptions are applications for civil partnership dissolution, judicial separation and nullity, which should be filed at the Bury St. Edmunds Regional Divorce Centre.

The change follows an update to the Family Procedure Rules made by the President of the Family Division in August.

MyHMCTS is an online service for issuing, paying for and managing applications in the civil and family courts, and tribunals. Launched in 2018, it has now successfully processed over 150,000 divorce applications. The service allows representatives to submit applications at any time of day and monitor progress easily from any device and location.

Adam Lennon, Deputy Director, Family, commented:

"Covid-19 has shown how MyHMCTS helps us to provide a modern, reliable service. Applications are proceeding more smoothly, and we now return fewer than 1 per cent of online applications compared to around 20 per cent of paper applications for legal representatives to amend or provide more information. That means divorcing couples can move forward with their lives faster.

"We're really pleased with the way the service has been adopted. Around 70% of all divorce applications are now being made using MyHMCTS and it's helping us to finalise divorces in an average of 20 weeks compared to around 60 weeks for paper applications.

"By mandating the service now, we can begin preparing MyHMCTS to meet the requirements of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 which come into force on 6 April 2022."

There will be a transitional period from 14 September 2021 to 4 October 2021 when paper applications will continue to be processed. This gives legal representatives additional time to register for access to MyHMCTS and check the guidance on submitting applications online.

For further support on registering with MyHMCTS contact HMCTSFinancialRemedy@justice.gov.uk