Dangers of DIY Divorce Online and Thinking You Get a Quick Divorce

9th August 2016

By Family Law & Divorce Solicitor Tracey Moloney

It can be easy to find online ads for websites that apparently offer DIY Divorce online for less than £40. Many online ads fail to mention that in England & Wales a Court fee of £550 also has to be paid to the Court where you start your divorce proceedings.

Some online ads also claim that DIY Divorce online is a quick way to get a divorce. The fact is that regardless of how you file for divorce, Courts across England & Wales are currently taking up to 12 months to issue a divorce petition, whereas it used to take us 6 months to get the Decree Absolute.

So currently a “quickie divorce” is not available, which could be a blessing in disguise as it will give you time to consider the following, if you are thinking about getting a DIY Divorce online: 

  1. Divorces are as individual as the people involved. Most DIY Divorce online forms do not contain the basic legal protections that should be in place and they do not explain how the laws apply to each spouse and their children.
  2. When you buy a DIY Divorce online you can’t access the expertise of qualified and experienced Divorce Solicitor who is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). 
  3. Unless husband and wife agree to wait until 2 years after separation, then one person “must” blame the other person for the divorce. An experienced Divorce Solicitor would explain to the separating couple that the apportionment of blame is no more than a means to end. Without expert legal assistance the divorce process can easily become much more stressful than it needs to be.
  4. The divorce forms are complicated and if they are not completed 100% correctly they can be returned by the Court causing delays and higher costs.
  5. The current Court delays in dealing with divorce cases can be very difficult to negotiate by individuals who are not used to dealing with the Court process or Court staff. Typically a divorce now takes between 8-12 months and this will not be made any quicker if using a DIY Divorce online service, the reality is that it will probably create further delays.
  6. The person who begins the divorce process is called the Petitioner and the other person is called the Respondent. If the Respondent does not engage in the divorce process then the Petitioner can easily fail to provide effective service to the Court (returning the paperwork), which will result in long delays and additional costs when trying to apply for Decree Nisi.
  7. Other additional divorce costs include the Court fee (£550) and in many cases, the cost of a Bailiff service if the Respondent does not return the signed forms to the Court.
  8. While a divorce legally brings the marriage to an end allowing each person to remarry, it does not end the couple’s existing financial obligations. This means that one person can bring a financial claim against the other years after the divorce has been finalised. A Divorce Solicitor can help to protect your assets in the future, a £40 DIY Divorce online cannot.
  9. If upon receipt of the Decree Absolute, one person re-marries before the financial obligations have been dealt with, the re-marriage then legally stops that person from making a financial claim in the future. However it does not stop the other person from making a financial claim which leaves the remarried person’s assets vulnerable.

See Court Order to Protect Financial Interests, a Divorce Case Study.

While the idea of cheap, quick divorce online may seem like an affordable solution, the advice from the Family Law team at the Co-op is to always consult with a specialist Divorce Solicitor. This may seem more expensive initially, but it will definitely be the most cost effective way of getting a divorce in the long run.

For initial legal advice on divorce call our Divorce Solicitors on 01618558357 or contact us online and we will help you.

Call 01618558357

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