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Digital portal to be compulsory for financial remedy services

By Monidipa Fouzder >>

(27 October 2022)

Family lawyers could be required to submit all financial remedy applications through HM Courts & Tribunals Service’s digital portal in the New Year.

HMCTS manager Isabel Syred told a webinar on contested financial remedy applications this week that the agency is working towards mandating financial remedies services on MyHMCTS, the agency’s online case management system, towards the end of January.

More than 200 people who tuned into the session heard that barristers will be able to access the portal from next month and practitioners will soon be able to make applications to vary an order. Recent system improvements include a new tab for hearing bundles.

HMCTS told the Gazette that around 80% of financial remedy applications are already processed digitally. The only cases that cannot currently be completed digitally are schedule 1 applications, which will be completed by the end of the calendar year, and variation order applications, which will be completed next month.

The agency also pointed out that the portal is for legal representatives only. Unrepresented parties will continue to use the paper process.

A spokesperson said: ‘Around 80% of financial remedy applications are already processed digitally and we are improving the system based on user feedback to include notifications for urgent cases and introducing barrister access by the end of the year.’

Answering queries raised by practitioners about the service during the session, HMCTS stressed that practitioners should use the financial remedy case number for applications, not the 16-digit divorce reference number.

Another webinar will be held on 24 November.

(Courtesy: The Law Society Gazette)