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Should the Divorce Process be Simplified for Litigants in Person?

March 22 2019

In legal terms, those representing themselves in court are usually referred to as ‘Litigants in Person’. During cases of divorce, many parties tend to go through the process without a divorce lawyer or solicitor. Other terms include ‘applicant’, ‘defendant’ or ‘respondent’.

In a report published by The Nuffield Foundation, it has been stated that the number of mandatory steps to complete a divorce settlement in the UK is higher than anywhere else in the world. As a result of this report, the Ministry of Justice have said that plans on how to reform the legal proceedings for divorce will soon be announced.

 The report titled, ‘Reforming the Ground for Divorce: Experiences from Other Jurisdictions’ highlights the ease at which litigants in person can complete a divorce settlement in other countries such as the United States and New Zealand.

In the UK, defendants have to reiterate their desire to divorce at various stages; during the original application for divorce, the application for decree nisi and the application for decree absolute.

The emotion surrounding divorce can already be extremely stressful, so with these mandatory stages complicating the process, it is no doubt that changes are soon to be made.

The Nuffield Foundation funds research, analysis, and student programmes that advance educational opportunity and social well-being across the United Kingdom. You can read the full report via this link.

If you are considering divorce but require legal assistance as opposed to representing yourself, at Grahame Stowe Bateson we have a team of experienced divorce lawyers who may be able to help. Visit our contact page to find the details of your local office.


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