Last year, the Law Gazette announced that UK courts would go digital with divorce and that paperless divorces would be the law of the land in 2017. The idea was to create a user-friendly online system where litigants would begin by filing out an online questionnaire and all interactions with the court and with the divorce judge would be effectuated online. Indeed, only the most complex of cases would ever see the inside of the courtroom and even then, the plan was that that would probably be only for the final hearing and not much else.
There were supposed to be provisions made in the rules to allow judges to get involved in the pre-proceeding phase of the cases as well.
Lawyers were advised to consider offering “fixed fee” packages for clients and also to become more versed in alternative dispute resolution procedures – in particular arbitration.
Now that we are officially in 2017, initial indications were that the roll out of these new divorce would happen sometime in June, but it seems there is some delay but by the end of the year is still the goal.