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Can You Get Divorced Without a Solicitor? – Advice from Jefferies

Posted on May 21, 2019
Can you divorce without a solicitor

‘Do It Yourself’ divorces have become increasingly appealing, often thought of as ‘quick-fix convenience’ services. However, while the legal forms for a DIY divorce have been simplified in recent years, filling them in haste or without understanding the documents could end up taking more time to resolve matters, being more costly and damaging for all involved.

Whatever the scenario, the Family Law team at Jefferies believe everyone should be informed to make the right choice for them. So, while every divorce will be different, we highlight some of the most common reasons that people look to divorce without seeking advice from a professional Solicitor in the first instance.

‘We’ve already come to a divorce agreement… we will divorce without court!’

We understand that divorce proceedings can be a stressful time for everyone involved, especially for any children caught in the middle. The last thing we want is to ‘add fire’ to any relationship or divorce arrangement, so our priority is to keep things as smooth and as amicable as possible. If you and your spouse have agreed the incidents, which you believe led to the breakdown of the marriage or alternatively, have agreed the date for separation, we can do the tedious task of preparing all of the paperwork, which is always a plus point if you are not good with paperwork and do not have the time to deal with it. It is always hard to take the first step, but once you do and once you have an experienced Solicitor by your side, to help you do so, it all seems ‘like a breeze’.

It is also, extremely important to be aware that while divorce legally ends your marriage, you still need to be able to communicate with each other and work out what to do with your money, property and children. Again, rather than thinking of this as a battle of ‘who gets what’, our team will assist in helping you reach a fair agreement. One that is best for everyone, and one that has the best interests of the children at heart.

It may be the case that you’ve agreed to ‘split everything 50/50’, after having read on a dozen online websites that, that will be a ‘fair’ agreement. Sometimes it is advisable to sit back and think ‘is this really a fair agreement?’ and ‘Do I need a Solicitor to look at this agreement, to make sure it is really fair?’. This is because even before you begin filling in forms, there may be arrangements you’re unaware of, or assets which may not have yet been accounted for. Unfortunately, while an agreement may seem fair from the start, this can sometimes lead to unexpected disputes or issues further down the line.

Whether or not you have already come to an agreement, a Solicitor can help get to the bottom of what will and will not form part of the ‘matrimonial pot’ and even advise you of what to do, in the event your spouse is trying to defeat your claim to finances by selling or transferring matrimonial assets.

Instructing a Solicitor does not mean you will have to incur the time and expense of going to Court, as they will advise you of the other options that will be available to you and will only advise you to go to Court, if you have exhausted all the other options and therefore that really is your last option.

 ‘I can do DIY divorce forms… or instruct an online divorce service to do them for me’

Despite efforts to simplify the divorce process, there is still a lot of paperwork involved, with much legal jargon that’s easily misunderstood. These forms can be very complicated and there are many things that you and your ex-partner will need to carefully consider throughout the application.

Although more people are now instructing online companies to act on their behalf to complete these forms, they later find that they need to see a Solicitor to rectify mistakes made and or assist them with financial matters. This duplicates costs and prolongs the resolution of the proceedings. More importantly, the ‘online divorce service’ does not provide you with the personal and tailor-made service offered by a personal Solicitor, such as one of the Jefferies team, to take some of the stress and pressure away from you. when going through an ‘emotional roller-coaster’. It’s very important to have a Solicitor that gets things right the first time, are qualified to do so, and are contactable via phone, e-mail or letter, which is not always the case when instructing an online company to help you with your personal matters.

We highly recommend having a professional Solicitor by your side to help you understand everything clearly and ensure both parties are on the ‘same page’. An expert Solicitor will diligently check any divorce documents to ensure it has been prepared correctly before submitting to court. It’s all in the detail!

 ‘I don’t think I can afford a professional divorce solicitor…’

There are higher financial risks by not getting an expert Solicitor by your side during divorce proceedings, especially when it comes to arranging the division of assets. Our team have extensive experience in successfully advising clients how to achieve the best result for both parties, including any dependent children of the family.

No two divorces are alike, and an ‘online service’ will not have the same intimate approach as a professional Solicitor and can easily miss fundamental details about your unique circumstances. An experienced Solicitor will also offer a higher degree of support and will look through the finer details to spot any hidden or forgotten assets. Providing these personal details online can also open you up to identity fraud.

At Jefferies, we appreciate people do not want to spend a lot of money on legal fees and we would much rather they keen the money to help them get on with their lives. We offer competitive fixed fee packages for the divorce proceedings to help you get things underway.

In some cases, ex-partners have been known to pursue assets years later after the divorce proceedings have been finalised, which they may be able to do in the absence of a consent order.

Having a Solicitor to support you throughout the process ensures someone is there to keep an eye on your best interests, while navigating any financial risks and ensuring the future of your loved ones is protected.

How Jefferies can advise with divorce

Our Specialist family law team understand that every divorce is different, and so needs to be dealt with on a ‘case by case’ basis. Whatever the facts of your case, we strongly recommend you meet with a Solicitor for an initial meeting to discuss your divorce and any related concerns you may have.

No matter which stage you are at in your divorce proceedings, or how you feel you are dealing with it, we can help. Some of our common services include:

  • An initial one hours fixed fee consultation to discuss your divorce and other family matters
  • Fixed fee packages for divorce proceedings.
  • Mediation services to resolve any agreement conflicts before proceeding with the divorce
  • Reaching an agreement by negotiating through solicitors.
  • Proceeding to court – having a Solicitor by your side to ensure you are represented fairly

Don’t take a gamble on your future or wait to find the skeletons hidden in the closet, contact our divorce team to arrange a fixed-fee one hours initial consultation to discuss your matter, so we can provide you with  the best results for you. If you need further advice, speak to one of our friendly family lawyers on 01702 332 311 or contact us on our website.


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