An online service that helps divorcing couples draft their own documents and not use lawyers has received a new round of funding to increase the number of people it can help.
Amicable has raised £488,000 in funding from existing and new angel investors at a time when enquiries have rocketed – by 200% in the last month alone, which is said was down to “the lack of high street legal divorce services available during lockdown and a desire amongst Brits to untie the knot amicably”.
The company, which was set up by a divorce counsellor and a tech specialist, aims to help “separating couples part ways on amicable terms, without spending thousands of pounds on lawyers”.
It provides a divorce coach to help both parties agree their financial and children arrangements, and manages the legal documents and court correspondence.
Amicable’s online services include a free app to help with parenting and financial plans, 24/7 support from Alex, it artificial intelligence-driven chatbot, and an online customer dashboard.
Earlier this year, senior High Court judge granted declarations making it clear that amicable did not break conflict of interest rules by acting for both husband and wife, or the Legal Services Act in providing advice and drafting documents.
In a highly unusual ruling, Mr Justice Mostyn said there could be “no doubt” that amicable had “greatly improved access to justice for many people” disenfranchised by the removal of legal aid.
Chief executive and co-founder Pip Wilson said: “There is no doubt there is public appetite for a new way of managing divorce and separation, and amicable offers exactly this.
“The funding will provide huge opportunities to grow the amicable team, while also helping advance our tech capabilities which will result in us being able to help thousands of more people to separate amicably.
“We have always blended the technology and human aspect of our service and this is a continued focus for the future. The funding will help to make our technology smarter and faster while also maintaining the excellent service we pride ourselves on.”
Ms Wilson said their push to change “the narrative around divorce, from one that fosters acrimony and tension, to one that is collaborative and understanding”, would be helped by the introduced of no-fault divorce,
This announcement comes just a week after the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act received Royal Assent, meaning that ‘no fault divorce’ will be introduced from next year.
This “will allow couples to have kinder, more amicable divorces”, Ms Wilson said, by allowing couples to present a joint petition to the court citing irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.