Should I do my own Divorce?
Is it ok to do your own Divorce?
Times are tough, and we all find ourselves trying to find ways to save money. Is a DIY divorce a good way of saving money or are you making your life harder?
What is a DIY Divorce?
A DIY divorce, is one in which the couple agree the terms of their divorce between themselves without the help of specialist Solicitors. They then draft and file their divorce application.
In a recent survey, over 70% of people said they would consider a DIY divorce.
It will cost less and it may well be more amicable. The Court fee is £593 and you can pay that when you issue your application online.
The introduction of no-fault divorce in April 2022 means that couples are no longer legally required to blame the other for causing the breakdown of the marriage.
Now, it can simply be stated that the marriage has irretrievably broken down irrespective of the reason, significantly reducing conflict in the early stages of separation.
This allows couples to focus on discussing the future, not dwelling on the past.
If you do go ahead and do the divorce yourselves you run the following risks:
- If the process is not dealt with appropriately the divorce may stall. A specialist Solicitor will know how to deal with it.
- It can be stressful. If you’re busy and want to be relieved of the stress of dealing with the process yourself a Solicitor will do it for you. We offer fixed fee divorces so you know what you’re going to pay.
- You need to understand the appropriate financial consequences of the divorce and what you are entitled to. The divorce in itself does not bring an end to the claims you have against each other financially. They will need to be resolved by way of a financial order made by the Court upon Final Decree.
- In complicated, abusive or acrimonious divorces, choosing to move ahead without legal support can leave some vulnerable and at risk of achieving an unfair outcome.
If you don’t deal with the financial matters related to the marriage, the claims you have against each other remain open. Either of you could make a claim in the future. Examples of financial claims made against ex-spouses who haven’t reached a financial agreement include applying for a lump sum, property adjustment, or applying for a spousal maintenance order.
For many, the initial cost savings of a DIY divorce are negated by the future costs of not resolving marital finances formally. Professional legal advice when undertaking DIY divorce papers is extremely important.
The Need for Legal Advice:
Understandably cost is a consideration when instructing a solicitor to handle your divorce, and DIY divorce can save initial costs. However, clear legal advice and support from a family lawyer can help you to avoid mistakes that may cause unnecessary delays or stress.
Whether you have assets to divide or otherwise, consider the potential for financial claims against you. Taking professional advice now will ensure that you reach a financial settlement that meets your needs today, with no unwelcome surprises in the future.
For online applications for divorce see: MyHMCTS: How to use online divorce services – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)