“Divorce”-the word alone for many suggest acrimony, disputes, stress and costs. It does not have to be this way. With the right legal advice and guidance the pain and emotions associated with making the difficult decision to end a marriage can be eased to ensure that parties are able to salvage a working relationship going forward especially where children are involved.
All married couples have been able to start the application process for an uncontested divorce online since October last year with the launch of a new system by the Ministry of Justice. Using a ‘smart form’ that looks at the circumstances for the marriage breakdown, people can complete an online divorce petition, print it off and send the form to the Court. This month the service has been fully digitised in some areas, allowing people to complete all of the divorce application process online.
New laws came into effect in January 2018 that abolished time limits and relaxed the evidence needed to access Legal Aid for those who have suffered because of domestic violence. In December 2017 the Ministry of Justice reviewed the restrictive eligibility criteria for Legal Aid, which as it stood saw a number of genuine victims lose out on vital support.