Back in the early 1990’s when the author of this blog was but a young starry eyed solicitor, the practice of law and the provision of legal services to clients was vastly different. Solicitors did not have computers on their desks, electric typewriters were still in use and word processing of basically all documents had just started taking hold. There were no emails, our firm letterhead still contained the telex address and the facsimile was the critical method for the fast exchange of correspondence and legal documents. Indeed, many legal disputes often arose as to whether a document was served by facsimile at 4:59pm or 5:01pm because of 5:00pm deadlines in contracts.
Divorces in the 1990’s
When we look at how a divorce was undertaken until recently, what would usually occur is that a client would attend upon their solicitor and asked for the divorce documents to be prepared. Information would be gathered as necessary and using the word processor a Divorce Application would be typed and printed. The client would then reattend with their solicitor to sign the Divorce Application and hand over either cash or a cheque to pay for the cost involved. I can’t specifically recall the then filing fee, but it was likely to be well under $100.00 at the time.
Once the documents had been signed by the client, either the documents would be photocopied and then posted to the court in triplicate, or if the legal firm was in the CBD of a major city a clerk would physically walk the documents to the court registry and hand them over the counter.
Eventually, sometimes weeks later, those documents would be manually processed with a court date allocated and the documents would be returned to the solicitors to enable service of the Application on the Respondent spouse.
Once the Spouse had been served with the documents, potentially by post (which strangely was probably much quicker in those days) the solicitor and the client would trudge down to the court on the hearing day and the Registrar of the court would review the documents and if they were in order, grant the divorce.
How Times Have Changed
The Legal Revolution
With the vast advances in computing power, the seeking by both client and indeed the court to reduce costs, there has been a revolution in how a divorce can be undertaken, particularly through electronic means.
The team at Your Divorce have looked at how technology could be best utilised to change the original process of the 1990’s into a much simpler and straightforward process. To make this occur, we thought:
- Why can’t a client simply sit on their couch and spend a few minutes filling in an electronic form, scan and send us a few documents and get the divorce underway.
- Is it possible for us to communicate by email with the Respondent spouse to confirm that they have received the court documents once the Application has been filed.
- Once the Application is prepared to lodge it electronically now with the assistance of the Court to avoid the old postal or physical trudging of the documents to the court and now be given an immediate hearing date.
- To continue to communicate electronically with the client at any time they are available to finalise other remaining paperwork.
- To attend the hearing on our client’s behalf.
- The Divorce Certificate can be electronically made available and we send it to you to complete the matter.
How Times Have Changed
It is sometimes difficult to ascertain whether how divorces are now undertaken has been an evolution driven by technology or a people driven revolution. What can be said is that it is certainly different from when the writer started all those years ago.
If you wish to take advantage of the electronic revolution and simplicity of using Your Divorce. click on the Start your Application Now on our website www.your-divorce.com.au or send us an email at your-divorce.com.au and we will get the matter underway.
PS – Unfortunately, whilst technology has jumped ahead in legal leaps and bounds, the cost charged by the government for you to file your Divorce Application has also gone up. Is this “user pays” or a “tax by steath”. You decide.