Is it Worth Paying a Solicitor to do My Divorce?
23 November 2017
It is always advisable to seek legal advice from a Divorce Solicitor before starting divorce proceedings.
About Quickie Divorces Online
Some people may opt for an online or “quickie” divorce mainly due to the cost which can appear attractive. However, even if you believe that your divorce will be amicable it is unlikely to be free of any complications. Specialist legal advice should be obtained to help you to avoid any pitfalls.
In terms of an online divorce, this cannot be quicker because the divorce procedure in England and Wales has a set timescale, and built in delays. The whole divorce process usually takes about six months, but can take longer in some cases.
Divorce Court Fee
Regardless of the low cost divorce offers you can find online, there is a Court fee of £550 which has to be paid to the Court to start divorce proceedings.
Starting Divorce Proceedings
Within the divorce procedure itself, there can be issues which require legal advice. For example, the person who starts the divorce process will have to work out whether a Court in England and Wales has the legal authority to deal with the divorce proceedings. This is not always straightforward and putting the wrong information into the Divorce Petition can have complications later on in the proceedings.
Separating Marital Finances
When you begin divorce proceedings, you will also need to consider the financial implications of the divorce, and work out how a financial settlement between you and your ex can be reached. This can be where complications occur. What had originally appeared straightforward can become complex if both people are trying to reach an agreement without either obtaining legal advice.
When looking at financial settlements, the Court will consider what is fair and reasonable. Most Solicitors will suggest that the divorcing couple consider voluntary financial disclosure, meaning that each of them fully discloses their salary, savings and other finances to the other. After this information has been disclosed, a Divorce Solicitor can advise you on what is an appropriate financial settlement.
Even if a financial agreement has been reached, it will not be legally binding unless there is a Financial Order which has been approved by the Court. Financial Orders need to be drafted (written) to ensure that the correct wording is used. In order to protect your financial situation both now and in the future, a Divorce Solicitor should be instructed to draft the Financial Order.
The Court will often prefer if both spouses have legal representation before approving any financial settlement. This is because the Courts prefer to know that people have received the correct legal advice about what (if any) rights they may be giving up if they agree to a particular financial settlement.
If the correct legal advice is not received, you could easily increase the costs significantly and delay your divorce. It could also mean that you do not receive the financial settlement that you are entitled to.
At Co-op Legal Services our Divorce Solicitors can help you reach the best possible outcome for you and your family with the least possible distress, both now and in the future.
Our Fixed Fee Divorce includes a Divorce Solicitor to take you through the usual steps to get a divorce. Once we have provided you with a written quote for the agreed work to be done, that price will not change, unless there are additional complications. If any further work is completed on your behalf if will be discussed with you in advance by your Divorce Solicitor.
As part of the Co-op Group our values of openness, honesty, social responsibility and caring for others are core to the service we provide.