Divorce applications go online from today

From today all applications for divorce must be submitted online using MyHMCTS.

The only exceptions are applications for civil partnership dissolution, judicial separation and nullity, which should be filed at the Bury St. Edmunds Regional Divorce Centre.

HMCTS have confirmed they will continue to process paper applications during a transition period between Tuesday 14th September and Monday 4th October, but thereafter all applications must be submitted online. The change follows an update to the Family Procedure Rules made by the President of the Family Division in August.

MyHMCTS was launched in 2018 to digitise issuing, paying for and managing applications in the civil and family courts, and tribunals. It offers users the ability to submit and monitor progress through the online hub and has to date completed 150,000 divorce applications.

Adam Lennon, Deputy Director, Family at HMCTS, commented:

COVID-19 has shown how MyHMCTS helps us to provide a modern, reliable service. Applications are proceeding more smoothly, and we now return fewer than 1% of online applications compared to around 20% of paper applications for legal representatives to amend or provide more information. That means divorcing couples can move forward with their lives faster.

We’re really pleased with the way the service has been adopted. Around 70% of all divorce applications are now being made using MyHMCTS and it’s helping us to finalise divorces in an average of 20 weeks compared to around 60 weeks for paper applications.

By mandating the service now, we can begin preparing MyHMCTS to meet the requirements of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 which come into force on 6 April 2022.

You can sign up to MyHMCTS using the information below.

Signing up to MyHMCTS

HMCTS strongly encourages signing up to MyHMCTS in good time for September by following these steps:

  • check that your firm is not already signed up to MyHMCTS (firms with probate departments may already have accounts); if your firm is using MyHMCTS, request a username and password from your administrator
  • if your firm has not signed up, register for the service – your firm needs to nominate an administrator to set the organisation up and manage the account
  • to register, organisations must have an active fee account (also known as payment by account, or PBA); registering for an account is easy and accounts are usually confirmed within three working days – if you have any questions about setting up an account, email [email protected]
  • once an account has been created, the administrator will be able to manage the account, add additional users and manage permissions

Help and support

Guidance on applying for a divorce on MyHMCTS is available from the GOV.UK website.

You can also download the guide: ‘MyHMCTS: online case management for legal professionals’ (PDF 585 KB).

For further support, contact [email protected].

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