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| 1 minute read

"Shambolic" transition to no fault divorce?

The court has signaled rather vaguely that the current portal (via which online divorce petitions must be issued), will be closing "soon". The use of the new no fault divorce process is supposed to be available from 6 April 2022 and many couples have been waiting for that date to arrive. That new system will also be an online application.

However, for those who may need to issue a petition in a hurry, closing one system before the other is available will create a problem. For some that problem will be significant if they need to issue to secure jurisdiction and ensure that the courts in England can deal with their divorce. Sending a paper petition to the court is unlikely to help as the administrative backlogs and delays are huge. 

In a telephone call to the court portal yesterday to ask for more details, we were told apologetically that the court staff themselves had no further information on the shut down of the current system and (more worryingly) that they had not yet received any training on the new system - training was going to be at some point in March they had been told.

If the court staff haven't been trained, the transition period (if it actually happens in time for 6 April) threatens to be chaotic. The good intentions of those waiting to use the new "no fault" law may be undermined by the lack of readiness by the MoJ.

'Shambolic': family lawyers told divorce service will close soon


family law