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Common problems with DIY divorce

When we need something done – whether it be putting up some shelves, a spot of gardening, touching up scuffed walls or anything else – we can always save money by doing it ourselves. Sometimes, this makes sense. We can all mow our lawn, for example. At other times, though, trying to get something done without the help of a professional is a false economy. Things like landscaping your own garden, finding and fixing a leaking pipe… or doing your own divorce.

With all of the required forms available for free, we understand how tempting it can be to save yourself a few pounds by completing them yourself. Do this, though, and you’re likely to find it becoming far more expensive than expected because:

The forms aren’t straightforward

You may have heard that completing a Divorce Petition is easy. It isn’t: mistakes are common.

The forms are, to be blunt, complicated. Akin to most legal documents, they use language that many people find confusing. This results in errors and the courts returning the documents to the filing spouse. In the best-case scenario, they’ll be returned following court staff having noticed an error and a new petition will need to be prepared and submitted. Sadly, it’s far more likely that a problem will be identified when the time comes for a judge to review the application. Following this, an amended petition will need to be completed and submitted to the court along with a fee of more than £100.

As we’re sure you can imagine, these fees can quickly add up.

And the process isn’t any easier

The process of successfully applying for a divorce involves deadlines, a plethora of forms and more. In short, it’s convoluted and a regular cause of frustration and delay that can transform an amicable divorce into one so rife with difficulty that spouses become enraged. This can cause irreparable harm to their relationship which may not appear to be a problem (they’re about to end their marriage, after all) but they’re probably going to need to communicate with one another at some point. In fact, if they have children, it’s a certainty.

Finalising a settlement

This, undoubtedly, is the main reason doing your own divorce is so often a false economy. Even after a couple divorce, they remain tied to one another financially. The only way to break these ties is to put a formal and legally binding court order in place.

Yes, even if a couple agree on how everything should be divided, both spouses retain a legal right to claim a portion of their former husband/wife’s future earnings… unless they get a Consent Order (more often referred to as a Clean Break Divorce) approved by a judge.

Now, this poses a problem for those that are doing their own divorce because a Consent Order is not something that you apply for by completing a standard form. Instead, each agreement must be completed by an individual with the appropriate training.

You might think this means couples should always instruct a solicitor, but you’d be wrong! We can manage your divorce and prepare a Consent Order for just £167. Click on the link to find out more today.


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