Lady Hale, the President of the Supreme Court, has proposed that there be an online ‘one stop shop’ to deal with all aspects of divorce cases.
In a speech given to the annual conference of Resolution, the association of family lawyers, Lady Hale said that under the current system it can then take a long time to sort out the practical
consequences of divorce, including the arrangements for property, finance and above all children. This, she said, was made worse by the “fragmentation of procedures, so that each issue is dealt with separately, with different pieces of paper and often before different judges. One family may have to engage in (i) applications for short term arrangements about the matrimonial home or domestic abuse; (ii) the divorce petition; (iii) financial remedies proceedings; (iv) proceedings about the arrangements for the children; and (v) child support ‘proceedings’.”
The answer, she proposed, would be:
“…to introduce a one stop shop in family cases – where instead of having to navigate possibly five different processes a separating party could file one form telling one story and asking for whichever relief they wanted at the time – and preferably available on-line.”
Family Law Cafe welcomes Lady Hale’s proposal, especially that it should be possible for all aspects of a divorce to be dealt with together, rather than separately. Such a system would be simpler and easier to use for all, especially those without the benefit of legal assistance.
You can read Lady Hale’s full speech here.
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Image of Lady Hale reproduced from the Supreme Court website, Crown copyright, licensed under the Open Government Licence.