Online divorces rise – but what are the alternatives?

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have indicated that there has been a significant rise in the number of opposite-sex divorces.

At the same time, the number of online divorces has also increased, with the introduction of the HM Courts and Tribunal Service’s (HMCTS) online portal.

But what are the alternatives?

It is expected that 2021 will see further increases in the divorce rates, while the full picture for 2020 is still to be seen, with the latest ONS figures dating back to 2019.

The increased pressure on couples throughout the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have brought challenges for all of us, whether that is financial challenges or the reality of living in a confined space when working from home or perhaps on furlough with a partner when a relationship has broken down.

The HMCTS online portal offers the option for divorce proceedings to be started online, as well as quick approval of financial remedy orders once a financial settlement has been agreed upon.

However, with divorces rising and the pressure on the courts increasing due to high demand and restrictions due to the coronavirus, there are alternative options that could be more suitable.

The value of mediation as an alternative

If you and your partner have decided to separate or divorce, then you may think that the court route is your only option.

However, having an objective conversation about practical matters such as your finances or children, in a neutral setting, can be very helpful.

Mediators are not relationship counsellors and a couple usually seek mediation following the irrevocable breakdown of a relationship, to deal with the practical issues around separation or divorce, without the need for a costly and difficult court battle.

Mediation is not usually suitable if you have suffered domestic violence or abuse from your partner, however.

Getting started with mediation

At an initial meeting, our expert team will then discuss whether mediation might be an appropriate avenue for you, taking into consideration your personal circumstances and whether a different option may be more suitable for you.

To find out whether mediation may be a potential option for you, or for more information, contact a member of our expert team today.