A rising number of couples are resorting to DIY services in an attempt to reduce the costs of divorce. Filing for a divorce independently can cost as little as £550, which is the court fee for a divorce petition.
However could dealing with a DIY divorce cost more in the long run?
The perceived speed and convenience of a DIY divorce can be appealing, and since 2018 you can now petition for a divorce online. This may be suitable for a straightforward divorce, however the divorce process can be complicated, especially where there are children and assets involved.
It’s also important to remember that amicable decisions reached between yourself and your spouse could change as the divorce process goes on.
When is a DIY divorce not suitable?
A DIY divorce is not suitable for the majority of cases and you should always seek professional legal advice, especially when the following occurs:
- If there is disagreement over the grounds for divorce.
- If you want advice about claiming costs from your spouse.
- If you wish to be legally separated but not divorced.
- If you are presenting a petition for an annulment.
- If you have been married for less than 12 months.
- If you are in a civil partnership.
- If there are assets either jointly owned or owned by one person, for example property, pensions, savings, shares, endowments, trusts, companies.
- If there are disagreements over where a child should live and how much time they should spend with each parent.
How can a Solicitor help with a divorce?
Some online companies will charge a small fee to prepare a divorce petition. Those fees will not cover advice on how finances can be divided.
It is essential that advice is obtained from a specialist at an early stage and important that people who are divorcing become financially as well as legally divorced to ensure claims cannot be made by their spouse against their assets after the divorce.
Instructing a Solicitor to deal with your divorce can help in a number of ways, most importantly to ensure that you:
- Fully understand the ‘legal jargon’ and the implications of the actions you are taking.
- Use the right words in your divorce petition as a judge will need to approve it and choose the most appropriate reasons for ending your marriage or civil partnership.
- Deal with your divorce, financial matters and arrangements for your children all at the same time.
- You gain impartial and professional advice on whether a financial settlement that you and your ex-spouse have agreed upon is fair – you could be entitled to more!
- You receive full advice from a specialist if you don’t know where to start
- Choose the best possible outcome for your children
It is also important to consider the emotional and physical strain a divorce can have. Having someone you can trust on your side can help take some of the worry and pain away, and ensure that the process is as quick and stress free as possible for you.
You do not get this with a DIY divorce.
Read our ‘Do I need a Solicitor to deal with my Divorce‘ article here.
Sharon Lockwood is a Divorce specialist in Howells Solicitors’ Family Law team -. She is an expert at dealing with financial matters and complex cases which involve children. She also offers a free 30 minute consultation.
You can email Howells to make an appointment at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit our website or call us:
Sheffield: 0114 249 66 66
Barnsley: 0122 680 51 90
Rotherham: 0170 936 40 00
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