Posted on May 9, 2018 by staff

My digital divorce put me back in control


The government is testing a new, digitised version of the divorce process.

The online service is in testing phase and has contributed to a 95 per cent drop in number of applications being returned because of mistakes.

But another feature of the new online process is improved accessibility.

We spoke with Rebecca, who wanted to remain anonymous, about her experiences. Rebecca is a wheelchair user who suffers from Fibromyalgia, which can periodically compromise her ability to think and form sentences clearly.

Rebecca wanted to begin the process of divorcing her husband, but her disabilities made it difficult to get a hard copy of the divorce papers, fill them in and return them.

“I was divorcing my husband, who I’d had to have the police involved with. Being able to quickly and relatively painlessly severe the remaining ties was a lifeline,” she told BusinessCloud.

“It gave me back control over my life and my choices, which was very empowering.”

The divorce process can be completed with an online payment and uploaded supporting evidence.

“The online process reduced the mental load significantly, and thus my recovery time, such that when I did need to interact with the staff via email, I could,” she continued.

“If I couldn’t do this online at 3am from my bed, when my brain cleared, it simply wouldn’t have happened at all.”

Rebecca said that friends who have gone through the process of filling in and posting evidence and divorce papers have found it difficult.

“I have one friend who gave up on the process all together because she simply couldn’t get through the first hurdle of getting the form filled in properly,” she said.

Happy with the new digital process, Rebecca believes that the only improvement would be the option of a ‘digital signature’.

I had to print, sign and scan one of the documents,” she said. “But I believe they’re seeing if they can digitise all the signatory parts.

“Anything that can ease that transition [is a great help].”