HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has announced a three-week transition period to enable a smoother conversion to online divorce filing when it becomes mandatory on 13 September 2021.

Law companies and representatives are being encouraged to sign up to MyHMCTS so they can file what is known as a D8 form (filing a divorce) electronically. HMCTS said that it would extend the deadline for accepting paper D8 forms until 4 October.

It is important to note that the service cannot process the electronic filing of civil partnership, judicial separation and nullity, a flaw the Law Society has criticised.

Should law firms deal with probate, it is likely that they will have an existing MyHMCTS account. If they do not have an account HMCTS recommends law firms need to apply as soon as possible.


  • The law company should nominate an account administrator.
  • When applying for a MyHMCTS account, the administrator must ensure to also have an active fee account. This can take up to three working days.
  • The administrator should manage the account, add additional users and manage permissions. 

In June 2021, the government announced that the 'Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020' would be delayed until April 2022. Poor development of a fully digital online system and flaws in the existing system were attributed for creating the delay.

Useful guides on this topic

Divorce & Separation: toolkit
A summary of the tax implications which can arise on divorce and separation. 

Married couple v. unmarried couple (taxation of couples)
What differences are there in how married couples are taxed compared to unmarried couples?

Family Investment Companies
What is a Family Investment Company? Why use a Family Investment Company? What is the tax treatment of a Family Investment Company?

Trusts & Tax planning
What is a trust? How can trusts be used in tax planning? What are the advantages and what are the pitfalls?

External links

Family Procedure Rules (Practice Direction 36X)

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