Should you instruct a solicitor for your divorce?
For many people, the start of a new year is often the perfect time for change. This change can relate to all sorts of things, but for many married couples the change is to go their separate ways and begin rebuilding a new life with a fresh and happier mindset. So much so, January is in fact the month that historically has the highest number of couples filing for divorce, with the first working Monday of the year typically seeing the highest spike for divorce lawyers. This is likely due to couples putting it off in November and December in an attempt to simply get through the Christmas and new year period for the benefit of their children and other family members.
Filing for divorce online
April 2018 saw the introduction of the divorce process online, meaning separating couples have been able to file for divorce online without the need for solicitors ever since. The BBC reported that in England and Wales, 13 people had actually filed for divorce on the first Christmas day the online process was available back in 2018. In total, there were 455 online divorce applications submitted to HM Courts and Tribunal service between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day that year.
But if it’s that simple, why should you need to use a solicitor during a divorce?
Here are 10 reasons why instructing a solicitor may be a sensible option:
- You may think it’s surely a simple task to fill out the divorce forms, but people make common mistakes such as choosing the wrong or multiple ‘grounds’ for divorce. This can potentially delay the process for a lengthy spell and may even result in further fees having to be paid.
- Divorce papers can take quite some time to complete accurately in full.
- You may think that completing the divorce petition yourself and receiving your Decree Absolute in quick time without a solicitor will help you save money, but it may cost in the long run. This is because a solicitor can advise on other financial aspects and things that can cause serious implications, such as pensions and inheritance. It would be a very good idea to receive this advice from a solicitor before the divorce procedure begins.
- Even if you have both amicably agreed on a financial settlement, a solicitor will still be able to ensure the language on the order is correct, which will prevent any problems arising further down the line during the divorce application.
- Divorce solicitors are experts in this field and are used to seeing every trick in the book, such as one partner trying to hide assets, for example. They are aware of potential delays you may encounter and will know how to best deal with them, while also looking out for costs order applications and may be able to negotiate these early on.
- If one party is even somewhat uncooperative, this can have a big affect on the chances of successfully completing the divorce. A solicitor will be able to help navigate difficult situations and offer the best advice and assistance to overcome any obstacles.
- If children are involved this can be an emotive area. Agreeing where they should live, when contact should take place, and how finances should be arranged for the children can be difficult things for each person to agree on. A solicitor with a wealth of experience in handling divorces can provide specialist advice.
- Both parties are likely to want to avoid court. It causes stress, it’s costly and it’s time-consuming. Expert solicitors are able to provide objective and clear advice and suggest methods of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, which could save money and stress in the long-term.
- A solicitor can manage all communication between you and your ex-partner to ensure that it doesn’t descent into arguments at any stage. You will still be responsible for instructing your solicitor; they will just be in a position to manage all communication.
- It will give you the chance to focus your mind elsewhere so that you can work on moving on with your life. A solicitor will provide regular updates and you won’t have to worry about the stresses of paperwork or deadlines.
If you’d like advice on how to best move forward with your divorce proceedings or would like to discuss any of the other legal services that we offer here at Fonseca Law, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. You can call us on 01495 303124, e-mail email@example.com or complete our online contact form.