The problems with a DIY divorce


More and more people faced with divorce are attempting to cut out lawyers and just do it themselves these days. Cuts in legal aid and uncapped Solicitor`s fees means that some people cannot and will not instruct Solicitors in order to guide them through such a difficult stage in their lives. Whilst this is quite understandable, especially in the current economic climate, some of these amateur litigants may not be aware of the dangers of representing themselves.

First things first then, form filling! We all hate form filling. Your tax accountant, he just loves filling in forms, so do the lovely people who work for Her Majesties Revenue and Customs. We don`t particularly enjoy form filling, but we’ve got damn good at doing it!

Filling out Court documents is a laborious task which often leads to errors due its tedious nature and guess where errors lead? You guessed it, delay, increased costs and probably not your desired outcome. In fact a simple error can often postpone an unhappy marriage by a few extra months! In all seriousness, your mistakes could lead to having a quite serious knock on effect meaning you suffer financial detriment in the long run.

It’s really sad to see the cuts in legal aid because some people genuinely need financial support when going through such a difficult period in their lives, especially when their husband or wife can afford legal representation. So it`s quite understandable that some people attempt the legal process themselves, but unless they are legally trained and know what they are doing, I would certainly advise against this.

Take Form ‘E’ , the granddaddy of all court forms. You are required to fill this in when going through the process of financial proceedings ancillary to divorce. Not only is the form itself something of a headache, but an error could be construed as perjury. The whole process can feel as though it is designed to be quite intrusive, but as with most court forms it can also be quite opaque. So I can’t stress how important it is that you get the information correct on this form.

Here at Laker Legal Solicitors we understand that people can’t afford to pay ridiculous hourly rates, which is why our fees are the lowest around! We also provide low cost fixed fees for our clients therefore providing further piece of mind when it comes to legal costs. Most people worry about how their assets are to be divided when they separate from their partner, they also do not want to give half of everything they own to their Solicitor before the case is even decided!

If you do go it alone, then my advice is to take your time and do as much research as you can before filling in the forms. Alternatively, instruct us, let us do the hard work and put your feet up!

All information is correct on the date of posting.