First 'fully digital' divorce applications are submitted

The first "fully digital" divorce applications have been submitted in England and Wales, the Government has revealed.

Spouses seeking to end their marriage can fill in the required documents and pay on the internet without sending off any paperwork under a new pilot scheme.

More than 100 online-only applications have already been lodged.

The first step towards the approach came last year when a system was introduced in which internet users were offered prompts and guidance to help them complete the application.

However, they would still then print off the form and send it to the court.

Earlier this month, HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) extended the service so that the application is now fully digital - submitting the form, sending the relevant documents, and payment.

In the first week, 130 online applications were received.

The changes form part of a £1billion-plus programme to modernise the courts system.

Susan Acland-Hood, chief executive of HMCTS, said: "These measures are drastically cutting the number of applications returned because of errors - streamlining the process and ensuring we are best supporting people going through a difficult and often painful time."