Bulletins | August 15, 2019

Online financial remedy consent order pilot

From 6 August 2018, certain matrimonial consent Orders could be filed online, as part of a pilot scheme. Following that time, HMCTS have been working with solicitors and other interested parties, to create and test this service.

To explain how this works, a Consent Order setting out an agreement reached between divorcing parties in respect of the overall financial settlement can be filed online. Also filed are the Statement of Information forms which set out the background information (asset values, net income, date of marriage and other relevant information) for the Judge to consider so that he or she can consider the Consent Order to determine whether it is fair and therefore whether they should approved the relevant Order so that it becomes an Order of the Court and legally binding.

The aforementioned documents, following being scanned in to the online system, appear online in the Judge’s list. The Judge receives an email to indicate to them that they have a case to consider and the relevant Judge can log on and take a look at what they have received.

The documents have drop down boxes and comments so that this can be easily actioned by the Judge.   Orders can then be generated on the back of it and the Orders produced – which may be approving the Order or asking for further information, etc.

The project turnaround time has been circa 7 days for Consent Orders from when they were submitted online, which is extremely quick.

I understand that the feedback on the above pilot scheme so far has been extremely positive so I anticipate that this is likely to be “rolled out” and that many are likely to want to make use of the service in the future.