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Divorce myth: I’ll save money the DIY route

23 Feb 2022

A do-it-yourself (‘DIY’) divorce is where you and your ex‑partner take on the process of legal separation with little to no help from a legal professional.

DIY divorces are becoming increasingly popular as people want to save money wherever they can. The largest cause for the increase is that applications and divorce papers can now be filed online. This has made it much easier for divorcing parties to easily submit the papers themselves.

Although perhaps initially appearing more cost efficient, a DIY divorce may result in legal issues being missed and mistakes being made, which could ultimately impact the divorce later – and increase costs overall. The law surrounding divorce and family is complicated and legal help is strongly advised. Some of the issues that arise during DIY applications are outlined below.

How could a DIY divorce affect you in the future?

Sometimes, parties may wish to remarry which could result in a loss of financial support from their ex-spouse. A specialist family lawyer would be able to advise you on the risks of remarriage, and how to correctly complete the divorce petition to best avoid mistakes coming back to haunt you later down the line.

In addition, when completing the papers to file your divorce and the grounds for it, parties need to be aware of the legal implications surrounding these. For example, when filing a divorce based on a claim of adultery, the adultery will need to be either proven or admitted by the ex-spouse. Or, when submitting a divorce application citing unreasonable behaviour, the examples of behaviour referred to must not be too old.

If there is not a sufficiently recent event referred to, the judge may not grant the divorce.

Parties may not know about these issues, which in some circumstances could result in divorce applications being rejected by the court or defended by the other party, which can lead to delay and increased cost for all involved.

Finally, consideration also needs to be given to the split of finances and future financial provision when filing for divorce. The act of divorce itself is very rarely the ‘end of it’, especially where children are involved.

How we can help

Our expert family team are here to help you and advise whatever your situation may be. Find out more about our family law areas of expertise or contact us when you are ready.

Charlotte Spendley

Solicitor Apprentice

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