At the beginning of May, the Ministry of Justice launched its online divorce service nationwide enabling couples to apply for an uncontested divorce digitally without the need to fill in and file paper forms with the court.
While it is a step forward – caution is still required. The divorce forms may look simple, but in order to ensure that your divorce is granted, great care needs to be taken to answer the questions correctly as errors on the forms will cause delay and in extreme cases the Court could refuse the divorce altogether.
You also need to bear in mind that arrangements for children and decisions on how your finances should be split are not included as part of the divorce process and will therefore need to be dealt with separately – something that is difficult to do without the benefit of legal advice. The divorce process can be a difficult time for you, your spouse and any children you share, emotions may be running high and your judgement could be clouded. You need to be sure that the way your children will be cared for after separation is fair and workable. In relation to financial arrangements, the assets need to be divided in a way that is fair, depending on the circumstances of each individual case. This will need to be formally recorded in a financial consent order that needs to be approved by the court as a fair settlement.
Using a solicitor to help you with your divorce can help to ensure that:
- You understand the circumstances in which a divorce can be granted and the eligibility criteria for each ground.
- You understand the implications of the actions you are taking.
- All the paperwork is completed properly to avoid your application being returned.
- You think about your finances and the arrangements for your children at the same time your divorce, so that all aspects relating to the end of your relationship can be dealt with together.
- You get independent advice on whether the financial settlement you and your ex have agreed upon is fair or if you could be entitled to more.
- You make reasonable and practical arrangements for your children.
The cost of legal representation for divorcing couples does not have to be expensive. Here at Wheelers we offer a number of funding options. In relation to an uncontested divorce, we provide this for a fixed fee of £750+VAT plus a court fee of £550. As well as offering full representation to deal with the finances and children we also offer assistance on a “Pay As You Go” basis. Under this arrangement, you can instruct us to advise and assist only as and when you require it.
If you need to come to talk to us about your next steps or guidance on all family issues then we would be happy to discuss this with you. For a free initial 30 minute consultation, please call us on 01252 316316.