One thing that has come out of the COVID pandemic is that the digital programme for HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has really notched up a gear.
The next step is now about where to send your financial applications. We know that if it is a consent application, solicitors must send it to the court via the digital portal but what if it is a contested application? Some areas are in a pilot that allows for contested applications to be issued via the digital portal. What if the home court of the applicant is not in those areas?
From the 15th February 2021, HMCTS are asking users to send their Contested Financial Remedy Applications directly to the Financial Remedy Centre (FRC) that is local to the Applicant, rather than sending them to the Regional Divorce Centres (RDC). You should send your application to the FRC, regardless of whether the divorce petition was issued online or on paper.
This is a significant change in process for solicitors dealing in this type of work and moving towards a more centralised system which has to eventually become fully digital from start to end.
The press release is below and the list of FRCs is HERE.