General Article Digital divorce – how soon?

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Today’s Times ran a piece, “Online divorces to spare couples time and trouble” reporting that couples will be able to divorce online this year under plans that could open the way for the abolition of fault-based grounds for ending marriage.

The piece states that ministers are preparing a pilot project to allow divorce proceedings to be issued digitally for the first time, in a move to save time, paperwork and stress for thousands of people. More than 110,000 divorce proceedings were begun in 2015. It goes on to say that the plan, backed by England’s most senior family judge, Sir James Munby, will be tested before being introduced across England and Wales in June.

So, paperless centralised online divorce will be available within six months in England and Wales then? Not so fast.

The summary of reforms in last September’s Ministry of Justice (MoJ) consultation paper, ‘Transforming our justice system’ said that work had already begun by then to allow divorce applications to be made and...

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