With the increasing number of online websites that sell you the tools to file for your own divorce, many people are now trying to take the more 'cost effective' route in gaining a separation from their ex-partner. This is un-surprising, the recent cuts in legal aid make DIY divorce seem like the only available option to many. The websites depict a straight-forward and accessible divorce process, and for the lucky few, this may be the case, however it's certainly not a 'one stop shop' for all.
Family law solicitors spend years training to be able to negotiate divorce settlements, draft successful divorce petitions and consent orders, and navigate their way through the many-staged process. Therefore, is it realistic that you can 'do it yourself?' Many websites selling such products may offer you a low fixed fee, however they are unable to offer legal advice, and therefore are unable to answer the majority of your divorce-related questions.
The divorce forms can be complicated and long winded, and a small mistake on your behalf could be the difference between the courts accepting or rejecting your divorce petition. This may prolong the process, resulting in further costs and stress. Solicitors are well-familiarised with the process, and will complete all the paper work for you, ensuring that it's correct and the proceedings are progressed quickly and without problems. With some law firms offering a fixed fee solution whenever possible, getting help with your divorce may not be as costly as you think. After all, it's normally the one-off 'horror story' that you get to hear about someone's costly experience with a solicitor, not all the stories where the divorces have been settled quickly, efficiently, and at the quoted cost.
The DIY forms also don't address possible procedural problems during the divorce process. What if your ex-partner refuses to acknowledge the receipt of court papers, and therefore you can't move forward? Or you've worded your petition in a manner that doesn't persuade the judge that you should be granted a divorce? Also, what about finances? A divorce may bring a legal end to the marriage, but it does not end your financial obligations to one another. Imagine if you scoop a lottery win, but due to your financial matters not being finalised with a Consent Order your ex-partner is entitled to a share? These are all issues that could arise, and issues that a family solicitor is trained to handle, acting in your best interests.
There are clearly many drawbacks to DIY divorces. Although it may at first seem cost effective, you must consider the problems that could arise during the process, and the extra costs they may bring. By speaking to a family law solicitor at Endeavour Law, we will ensure that your divorce is handled professionally, swiftly, in the most cost-effective manner. As we deal with most of our clients over the telephone, there are no lengthy meetings, just a quick and friendly phone call at a time convenient to you.