Last week the MoJ launched a Practice Direction, PD36D, published to support the first small online divorce pilot. Today an MoJ spokesperson has said, “I can confirm that it is being run at the East Midlands divorce centre”.
The purpose of this Pilot Scheme is to assess new practices and procedures to allow for certain applications for certain matrimonial orders to be generated via the online system. For the purposes of this Online Divorce Pilot Scheme, once the application has been generated the applicant will need to save or print off the generated application. It will then need to be filed at court, in accordance with the procedure currently provided for in the FPR and Practice Directions.
It is intended that future Practice Directions will establish other Pilot Schemes which will allow for later stages in matrimonial proceedings to take place via the online system, for example for making the application online.
The Pilot Scheme applies to applications where all of the following conditions are met:
- the application is for a matrimonial order which is a decree of divorce made under section 1 of the 1973 Act;
- access to the online system for making such applications is permitted;
- all stages of the process provided for in the online system can be fully completed;
- the application is started in the family court; and
- the application is filed in the period commencing 25 January 2017 and ending 28 July 2017.
The online divorce pilot began last week – Brighton & Hove Law will keep the website updated as to progress and how this will affect divorce applications. To see the practice direction that this relates to please visit the Justice website.