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The Pitfalls of Not Using a Solicitor for Your Divorce

Personal_Finance / Financial Risk Sep 10, 2021 - 02:57 PM GMT

By: Submissions


In all likelihood, the overwhelming majority of adults who have gone through a divorce considered, at some point or another, foregoing a potentially emotional trip to the solicitors in favour of taking a DIY approach and completing the paperwork alone.

It is entirely possible to be granted a divorce by doing it yourself using the government’s online application form, and many people have opted to go down this route as a result. There are, however, a number of potentially significant pitfalls that make it an unadvisable choice for so many of us to go alone with the process.

Here are just a few of the most significant pitfalls to circumventing the solicitors’ offices during your divorce.

Your Claim Could be Rejected More Easily Than You’d Think

At the moment, divorce has to be predicated on one of a few ‘facts’, which are used to justify the dissolution of a marriage. These facts for divorce range from infidelity and behaviour to abandonment and long-term separation, and many unsuccessful marriages will adhere to one of the facts.

Still, any fault-based facts (such as adultery) need to be carefully drafted – and, without a solicitor, it can be difficult to find the correct wording.

Similarly, any mistakes in your application could invalidate it.

Either way, divorce applications come with a non-refundable fee of £550, which means that any rejections could cost you significantly more than working with a solicitor.

You Could Leave Yourself Vulnerable to a Future Financial Claim

Most people presume that, after the decree absolute has been issued – and provided there are no children involved – ex-partners hold no right to any of the other’s finances, nor any financial obligation to the other.

In most cases, this is true, and these people have no reason to get in contact again. In some cases, however, your ex-partner may meet the right criteria to demand money from you in the future – even if that is many, many years down the line.

Sorting a financial order is another complex aspect of going through a divorce, and can be left to fall by the wayside if you’re caught up in other things.

The Process Could Take Much Longer than it Needs to

Many people presume that filing an application online rather than earmarking time to meet with a solicitor and walk through the specifics of their case will make the process of pursuing a divorce much quicker.

And, while the act of filing the application itself may well be completed much faster when you DIY it from home, there are plenty of things that could cause the process to be far more drawn-out in the long run.

From an uncooperative ex to issues with co-parenting, financial support, or providing compelling evidence for the application, there are many pitfalls that can be seen to much faster by a solicitor than by you on your own.

Besides, provided you use a local firm, you don’t need to carve much time out of your schedule to make it through the divorce on strong footing. For example, if you’re living in Gloucestershire, then visiting a Cheltenham divorce solicitors doesn’t need to consume an entire day – and the peace of mind and legal knowledge it can bring you is worth it in the long run.

Even if Things Move Along, You Might Not Get the Best Possible Outcome

As we mentioned above, people can and do manage their own divorces via the government’s online application portal. Still, ‘making it through’ is not the same thing as ‘reaching the best possible outcome’ for you, and your children.

Custody and money are two major issues which, if not dealt with effectively the first time around, can cause major issues for you down the line. At the time, you might be tempted to settle for the sake of peace, but your solicitor will know how to see the bigger picture, and make sure that it is suited to your, and your children’s, needs.

By Mildred Austria

© 2021 Copyright Mildred Austria - All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

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