Many people believe they can take the easy option and complete a ‘DIY’ divorce themselves. The main benefit is reduction in cost, but the reality is that it can be very easy to not ‘tick’ a box resulting in a major consequence. Consider the following points and decide for yourself if you should consult a solicitor… it is after all their profession to help people like yourself.
Before commencing divorce proceedings, you have to prove one of the five grounds which is a legal requirement. Click to see our page about grounds for divorce. Even if you decide to draft the divorce petition it might be wise to ask a solicitor to cast an eye over it before issuing it to the Court.
Another element in deciding whether to consult a solicitor is if the procedure is going to be straightforward. If your ex-partner is unwilling to agree to a divorce then it would be best to gain advice from a solicitor to determine if the grounds are met. If your ex-partner agrees to a divorce, it might be helpful to obtain legal advice if there are children or substantial property owned.
With children, the Court has their best interests especially regarding custody and access. Therefore when drafting the divorce petition it would be efficient if the agreements concerning your children were appropriate, and an experienced solicitor can help guide you. This also applies in situations if you expect to be financially dependent on your ex-partner after the divorce, as a solicitor can help to negotiate periodical payments and the Court can make this obligation binding upon your ex-partner.
If the divorce concerns property such as a pet cat or £50.00 in a joint account, then you will be able to resolve these issues without a solicitor. But to ensure that 2 years after the divorce, your ex-partner obtains a financial claim against you, it is advised to get a financial order to prevent this from happening.
If you and your ex-partner own a large amount of property, it is best to consult a solicitor to ensure that you receive your full share and entitlement. It is also advisable because there may be tax to pay on the property if it is sold and at least you would know and be paying an equal amount. The main reason to refer to legal advice is because decisions in the Court are final and cannot be revisited.
So to sum up, you probably will not need the aid of a solicitor if;
- You and your ex-partner both want the divorce and have decided how to divide your property.
- There are no children involved.
- You do not own substantial property.
- You are certain that you can satisfy the grounds for divorce.
These are the main circumstances when you should consult a solicitor to aid you through the difficulty and stress of a divorce. If you do need legal advice then please contact us on 01536 276300 or 01536 311690 for a professional and friendly service.