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All change to the divorce petition

Posted on July 20, 2017

What’s in the news? On 17 July 2017, it was rather quietly announced that the court rules that govern the conduct of family proceedings were changed. The main impact was on how divorce and financial matters were dealt with.

So what’s happening with the divorce petition?  It is being completely changed. It is not just a little bit of amending but wholesale re-write of the divorce petition as we know it. The new format will follow the line of the new on-line pilot project, echoing the way that the questions are asked on-line. We speculate this is to get everyone ready for the on-line pilot being rolled out across all of the courts in England and Wales. At the moment, the on-line pilot is being trialled in Nottingham. They are on the twentieth re-write of the programme and that gives an indication of how tricky the project is.

When do we have to use the new form? We can start to use it from 7 August 2017 and it has to be used from 4 September 2017. The court have been told to reject any ‘old form’ petitions after that date, and from past experience, that can mean anything the court are processing after 4 September 2017, even if it was dated before 4 September 2017. At Jefferies, we are dedicated to keeping up to date with all of the changes to the law and court rules. We will be using the new petition as soon as we can so as to ensure there are no delays for our clients.

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