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DIY Divorce: Can you change a lightbulb?

A photo of Judith Wheeler
10th November 2023

The answer to this is likely to be “yes” but would you feel confident that you could rewire your home? Unless you’re a qualified electrician then probably not. It might be said that the same goes for Divorce and agreeing a financial settlement.

April 2022 hailed significant changes to the way in which marriages and civil partnerships are dissolved and all for the better. After decades of having to either attribute blame to one party to the relationship or waiting for two or more years to dissolve the marriage, it’s now possible for one or both parties to the marriage to apply either solely or jointly to the Court upon the basis that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

This is great news for our family clients as it removes the unnecessary conflict in respect of the legal divorce/dissolution process. The procedure is now primarily undertaken online and can easily be managed, if you wish, without the help of a solicitor.

The only cost associated with the process is the Court fee of £593.00 payable when the application is submitted to the Court unless you are entitled to apply for “Help With Fees”

Of course, it’s also possible for your family solicitor to manage your Divorce Proceedings upon your behalf in parallel to other advice that you may require regarding your separation, however, the costs associated with the Divorce procedure are likely to be modest if the proceedings are straightforward.

Perhaps this procedure is now so simple that you could liken it to changing a light bulb, in other words most of us can do it without professional help, but what about resolving financial matters and ensuring that any settlement is fair, meets your needs and is legally binding?

For some couples the amount of professional legal input might be minimal to secure this but for other couples less so. You might need a new circuit board or a full rewire, but how would you know unless you sought the advice of an electrician?

No one wants to have to meet legal costs which are usually associated with emotional and distressing circumstances, however, the need for legal advice from an experienced family solicitor cannot be underestimated. At the very least, seek advice at an early stage which allows you to understand your options and make decisions which impact so significantly upon yours and your family’s financial future.

If you require legal advice regarding any aspect of your relationship breakdown, please contact our Family Team who would be happy to help.