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Courts Service launches online child arrangement applications


Mark Say Managing Editor

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HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has launched an online system for parents to apply to court to make child arrangements.

Labelled on GOV.UK as ‘Apply to court about arrangements’, it can also be used by legal representatives and is aimed at reducing the stress and errors involved in the paper based process.

It has reduced the number of pages to be filled in from more than 30 in some cases to as few as seven.

HMCTS said that a pilot involving more than 8,000 applications produced a rating of ‘satisfied’ and ‘very satisfied’ from 93% of users.

The system also directs parents to alternatives to applying to court.

Richard Goodman, change director at HMCTS, said: “For parents, it can often be a stressful, challenging time when trying to arrange visits to see children and this system is designed to make that process as straightforward as possible.

“As the court reform programme progresses, we will continue introduce services that make the justice system easier to navigate and more efficient for all those that use it.”

The service is one to emerge from a £1 billion investment in court reforms.

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

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