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“Practitioners should be aware of the developments in the Digitised Consent Order system, which is now fully up and running. Solicitors wishing to have a financial remedies consent order approved by the court have for some time been able to submit the draft to HMCTS in electronic form. The acting President, Lucy Theis J, has now approved a new FPR 2010 PD36T which, by amending PD41B, means that, with effect from 24th August 2020, Solicitors making such applications will only be able to make such applications via the Digitised Consent Order system. The old system of these applications being sent on paper to the Regional Divorce Centres will come to an end. Many Solicitors are already familiar with making such applications electronically, but those who are not are requested to take immediate steps to set up a “Payment by Account (PBA) and register for ‘My HMCTS’ account by visiting the following website:

 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hmcts-online-services-for-legal-professionals

Once an account is set up Solicitors will be able to follow simple instructions to submit financial remedies consent orders for approval electronically. A large number of FRC ticketed Judges are already trained to approve orders under the Digitised Consent Order system and there is a training programme in place to train the remainder in the months ahead. Waiting times for approval of orders are currently significantly shorter than for those using the old paper system, typically a few weeks rather than many months. I commend this system to all Solicitors doing financial remedies work as a significant improvement in the service offered by the court.”

HHJ Edward Hess,

FRC Deputy National Lead Judge

3rd July 2020

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