The document known by many as the ‘Petition’ has been re-named ‘Divorce Application’ and the contents overhauled in an effort to make the application process more user-friendly for litigants in person – invariably those who cannot afford to instruct a solicitor to oversee the divorce process for them.
The system is supposed to become even more user-friendly by digitalising the Application online, with the first online divorces currently being trialled, in an effort to modernise the process and bring it into the 21st century.
There is no doubt about it; the only way to look is to the future and, with the growing number of litigants in person due to economic changes, and the virtual scrapping of legal aid in private family law, it is safe to assume that those numbers are set only to rise.
A word to the wise, however.
On the whole, a reasonably minded lay-person might find the divorce process one which they can master and see through to the end with minimal legal advice – maybe following an initial appointment to provide that helpful initial advice and assistance. The legal world of ‘financial remedy’ (‘ancillary relief’ as it once was) however should not be viewed in the same way. Indeed, it could be costly to do so and legal advice still comes highly recommended.
Family law is complex. It is built upon a foundation of a 45-year-old statute, and a web of case law follows which adds meat to the bones of what lawyers know as the ‘section 25’ considerations of the court. This case law is evolving and a good family lawyer will help you to reach a resolution that properly interprets the law to your case, and reaches a suitable resolution in the interests of you and the children involved.
As Resolution lawyers at Onions & Davies, we are committed to a constructive approach intent on keeping things amicable. We know that the clients who come to us want the best result for themselves and their children, knowing also that they will probably have to continue a parenting relationship with their ex-spouse for a long time after the finances are settled and they have their Decree Absolute.
Watch this space for more information about online divorces as the trial runs out. For advice and assistance about your marital breakdown and the best way forward for you, call Sharon on 01630 652405 for an appointment with family solicitor David Lago.