‘DIY’ divorces, where separating couples represent themselves with little or no assistance from family law experts, have grown in popularity since the introduction of an online divorce application system. But is this a cost-effective solution? The divorce petition is not as straightforward as it appears and a small mistake can result in the petition getting rejected by the court, leading to further delay.
Divorce is often used as a general term to mean everything to do with a relationship breaking down, i.e. formally ending the marriage, dividing the family’s finances or making arrangements for any children. However, getting a divorce does not end a spouse’s financial obligations to their former partner and it will not address the child arrangements.
In certain circumstances – for example, where there are no assets, no children and each party is able to manage their own outgoings without financial support from the other – a clean break consent order may suffice to end the parties’ financial obligations to one another. This is reasonably straightforward and may not always require the involvement of a family lawyer. However, most cases do involve assets of some kind and whilst it may be tempting for couples to try to save money by sorting things out between themselves, via a ‘DIY’ divorce, this can lead to costly mistakes.
There is no substitute for tailored independent legal advice to ensure that a fair settlement is achieved and the consequences of an agreement are fully understood before it becomes legally binding. This is particularly important where:
- There are children under the age of 18;
- A valuable home;
- A business;
- Pensions; or
- Complicated finances.
It is also important that any financial consent order is drafted properly by a family law expert as the court will only accept orders in the correct, specified format.
Divorce costs: how we can help
At Hamers Solicitors, we are sympathetic and supportive when it comes to divorce and separation. We’ll provide you with the best legal advice and step-by-step guidance to make the process as pain-free as possible.
If the legal cost of a divorce is a concern, then there are different ways in which we can advise and assist you. For example, at Hamers we offer competitive fixed-fee packages and also offer a “pay as you go” option so that you are fully in control of your legal costs. We also offer a no-obligation, preliminary advice meeting, for £150, inclusive of VAT, where we can give you an overview of your options, how the law applies to your particular circumstances and what to expect from your financial settlement.
Alternatively, our family mediation service is an economical way of reaching an agreement with your spouse, which can then be converted into a legally binding order if necessary.
The mediation process is far quicker than going through court proceedings and supports a collaborative approach rather than an adversarial one. Mediation empowers participants to make joint decisions on the issues that concern them, rather than handing over control to a judge.
If you are considering whether to embark on an online divorce application, or seek the advice of a family law solicitor or family mediator, contact our friendly team today to discuss your options. Call 01482 326666 or email email@example.com.
05 August, 2021
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