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This article was published on March 11th, 2022
HMCTS is an online case management tool managed by HM Courts and Tribunals. From the 31st March 2022, HMCTS will be switching off the old divorce portal meaning solicitors will not be able to apply for a divorce on behalf of their clients for one week, aside from urgent cases.
If you have a saved application, you must submit it by 4 pm on 31st March. Otherwise, you will have to start again. However, If you have not started an application yet, it is advisable to wait until the new service is available because the portal will not be accepting new applications during this time.
Urgent applications will still be accepted when the matter of the divorce petition is time-sensitive.
The old divorce portal will be replaced by a new updated system on 6th April. The introduction of ‘no-fault’ divorce in April 2022 means an update in Family Procedure Rules, and therefore changes to the portal are necessary. The new legislation is the most significant shift in divorce law in more than 50 years. As the name implies, it eliminates the necessity for the issuing party to prove the other spouse’s wrongdoing, making the process more peaceful and lessening the impact of conflict on any children involved.
HMCTS has confirmed that it has conducted interviews, focus groups, demonstrations, and discussions with practitioners about the new system to explain and test the upcoming changes and receive feedback.
For more information about the changes to the HMCTS divorce portal and how the temporary closure may affect you, contact [email protected]