STAFF from a Worcester law firm have been taking part in a brand new scheme designed to make divorces less complex and stressful.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys has been asked to take part in the scheme, which allows couples to sort out their finances online in less than half the time it currently takes on paper.

The project, run by the Courts and Tribunal Service for the Ministry of Justice, is part of a larger scheme to enable people to eventually apply for and process their divorce online.

The next step in the scheme, in which HCR is involved, for couples to sort out their finances online through consent orders, is being piloted and is likely to be open for public use towards the end of the year.

Andy Caldicott, head of family law at Harrison Clark Rickerbys, said: "We were asked to take part because we have a large and established family law team and we file a high volume of these orders.

"Taking this system online will make the process quicker and easier for all concerned.

"Divorce is quite stressful and difficult enough and cuts to central funding have made it worse, but the pilot means that the process moves much more smoothly for our clients."

The pilot scheme aims to overcome barriers in the existing system which make the process harder for people to handle.

Mr Caldicott added: “It is a real advantage for our clients to be able to use this system ahead of its public launch and we hope that our, and their experience, helps to inform and improve it ahead of its roll-out.

"We also now use the online divorce system which has been piloted, which makes life much simpler for our clients and us."

Harrison Clark Rickerbys has more than 500 staff and partners based at offices in Worcester, Hereford, Birmingham, Cheltenham, the Wye Valley, the Thames Valley, Cambridge and central London, providing legal services to both business and private clients, regionally and nationwide.

The firm also has a number of teams specialising in individual market sectors, including health and social care, education, advanced manufacturing, agricultural and rural affairs, defence, security and the forces, and construction.