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DIY Divorce - What does that really mean?

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The Ministry of Justice launched their new portal last week, for people seeking to make their divorce applications seemingly without having to go to Court. In theory a ‘Do it Yourself Divorce’. The Ministry of Justice are hailing this as a positive step in the right direction and claiming that this method is far easier and less stressful than the ‘old’ paper system. However, is a DIY divorce really all its cracked up to be?

The modernisation of the Court and Justice system has moved rapidly in the last few years, and the Courts have started to embrace modern technology in even the most simple and straight forward cases. However, there is still a case for visiting a solicitor for advice in these most stressful and often confusing moments when it comes to families and relationships.

  1. Your solicitor is an expert

When you visit a solicitor to complete the divorce petition, you are visiting an expert. Just as your GP is a medical expert, your solicitor is someone who is able to interpret and apply the law to your specific situation, without emotions and feelings clouding their judgement. They will be able to advise what ground for divorce is applicable and correct, based on their experience of the Court system and the law, and will be able to correctly draft the petition, therefore avoiding the stress of having incorrect petitions returned and the process stretched out even further.

  1. Your solicitor will ease your stress and worries

Having a solicitor advise and represent you has the benefit of removing the potential of you attending Court alone, should it reach that stage. It also removes the need for you speaking to the other party as your solicitor is the party in between. It is hoped that this eases stress and tension attached to getting divorced, particularly if it is the case that you have not spoken to or seen the other party for many years. Your solicitor has also seen many cases like these before, and is the best person to speak to, to gain straightforward advice about what it will really be like.

  1. Your solicitor is regulated

Your solicitor has many rules and regulations that they must abide by. These are provided by both the law and the governing body of all solicitors. This means that any advice given to you, or actions taken on your behalf by your solicitor, have to follow a strict protocol ensuring that you are getting the best, most accurate and confidential advice specific to your situation.

While any advancements in the Court and Judicial system are welcomed, visiting a solicitor ensures that you are receiving tailor made advice about your family and your relationship. It will ensure that you have the correct evidence and forms before the Court, without having to make that decision yourself. Your solicitor is there to guide you through, possibly one of the most confusing and emotional times in your life. Some solicitors, including ourselves, acknowledge the high cost attached to seeing a solicitor, and can in certain situations provide fixed fees for certain areas of work – one of them being preparing and filing the divorce petition and any subsequent work that follows.

If you need advice regarding a divorce, or any family matter, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly and experienced family department, please contact us for more information.