Data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shown a massive increase in divorces in England and Wales, the biggest increase since 1972.
, the number of divorces registered in 2019 was 107,599 for opposite-sex couples, and 822 for same-sex couples. This is a rise of 18.4 per cent on 2018 figures for opposite-sex couples and 7.5 per cent for same-sex couples.
ONS said this is partly due to a backlog processed in early 2018 which resulted in the majority of divorces completing in 2019.
It has been suggested that with the legal system being slowed in 2020 down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a similar delay may show as another significant rise in divorce cases in 2021. However, the situation for legal professionals working on divorce cases has changed significantly, meaning in many cases the system is much quicker.
The new digital process introduced in March underlines the need to appoint a professional, up-to-date firm to handle legal work. An online portal where solicitors can deal with matters digitally has removed the need for paperwork filling in and filing.
Once a divorce petition is issued, it is then emailed to the respondent who can log in and confirm if they are happy to proceed. The application for decree nisi can then be applied for and processed by a Judge anywhere in the country due to the fact that it is all online.
Traditionally it would only be processed by a few people, with everything being completed and handled by hand through the postal system, which would often cause delays. People are now much more used to dealing with online processes for many aspects of everyday life.
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