On-line family law, discussion continues

“English family breakdown law has four components: children (where they are still dependant); money (income and capital); domestic abuse; and status (if a couple are married or in a civil partnership). These will be replicated in various ways in most other jurisdictions, with money and divorce varying most in all probability. In English law divorce (save where defended) is already an administrative arrangement, one the decision is taken, and is ripe for on-line disposal. Money proceedings may be easy for those with a more modest income – and no doubt crying out for help from a simpler procedure where lawyers are still very expensive. Save for the end result welfare test, child law procedure presents greater challenges; as does – perhaps – domestic abuse.

The demand is to redraft a fair set of procedural rules which (a) lay readers can understand and (b) which will work with technology, as it develops. And throughout it must be done in a way which is not designed for geeks (techno enthusiast and lawyers). The comfortable level of understanding of the lay party to a family breakdown must always be kept in mind.”


Hello Roger

Many thanks for your prompt reply. I do understand your wish to increase understanding of changes which are happening around lawyers (and our clients), in terms of technology.

I would like to deal with the changes by saying that they provide a real chance to look at family law procedure afresh.

The end result which the process must aim to produce is a fair determination for the parties. How best can this be achieved? It must use a combination of existing substantive law and rights in parallel with technology. Law is the master/mistress. Technology is the willing servant. If procedure, as I believe it is, is the means to achieve justice, how far can if work with technology and clarify the process.

In your reply you mention a scheme in California derived from Canada. This seemed to you:

‘…a good example of how technology is international even if…

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