Separated parents able to use new online court service  

A new online service launched by HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) allows separated parents and their legal representatives the option to apply to the court digitally in order to determine child arrangements.

Until now, applications could only be submitted on paper with applicants often having to submit paperwork exceeding 30 pages. Postal delays and errors in drafting the forms led to matters not reaching Court and being resolved as swiftly as intended.

The electronic system allows applications to be submitted in as few as seven online pages and streamlines the process, making it easier to navigate. It is hoped that this simplified procedure will enable a quicker and less stressful route for parents trying to resolve disagreements about spending time with their children.

Of the approximately 8,000 people that have used the digital system in its pilot phase, 93% of them have reported that they were ‘’satisfied’’ or ‘’very satisfied’’, with a number of them mentioning how easy and quick they found the new application to be.

HMCTS and the Ministry of Justice continue actively to work towards reforming the Court system; over the past 4 years more than 300,000 people are understood to have used online justice services in a variety of areas, including applying for probate, replying to a civil money claim and initiating divorce proceedings. The investment into digital ways of working is a step in the right direction and should increase access to justice for court users across the country.

It can be stressful and complicated when relationships break down. Bretherton Law’s experienced Family and Child Law Solicitors have been helping people with changes in their circumstances for over 50 years. We are members of Resolution and Accredited in Family Law by the Law Society. For honest, sympathetic advice call Atifha Aftab on 01727 869293, email her at or make an appointment via our website:



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