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I read somewhere that it is easier, faster and cheaper to do my own divorce. Is that true?

A photo of Nicola Starbuck
15th December 2022

When you separate from your spouse, there are a number of things to consider. A divorce is only one part of your separation and is usually the most straight-forward. It is important to think about financial matters and, if you have children with your spouse, what the arrangements for them will be.

Whilst there are aspects of your separation that you can certainly deal with by yourself, there are others where it may be useful – and even essential – to get proper legal advice.


Since 6 April 2022, changes to existing divorce laws means that it is now easier for separated couples to get a divorce. There is no longer a requirement to assign blame or wait for a period of 2 years. Where a couple considers their marriage has broken down irretrievably, a divorce application can be made online with little fuss and minimal expense. The new divorce process is certainly simpler than it was before and by doing it yourself the only cost to you will be the *court fee. A divorce will take a minimum of 26 weeks and this is the same whether you do it yourself or instruct a solicitor.

A divorce has the effect of dissolving your marriage; it does not conclude financial matters between you.


One aspect of your separation where it will be essential to speak to a solicitor is when dealing with financial settlement. If you have agreed a financial settlement with your spouse, it is important to ensure that the agreement reached is fair and that all assets of the marriage have been taken into account, including pensions. Do not assume that 50/50 is the fairest way to divide the assets. You may have agreed that one party keeps the family home and the other his or her pension. This is known as ‘offsetting’ and is not always appropriate.

To have your financial settlement become legally binding, you will need to ask your solicitor to prepare a financial remedy consent order, which reflects the agreement you have reached with your spouse. Even where there are no assets of your marriage, you should consider having a consent order prepared which provides a ‘clean break’ between you. Without a consent order, it may be possible for either spouse to make a financial claim in the future even long after your divorce.


If you have children with your spouse, you should try to agree the arrangements between yourselves. If it is safe to do so, your children should spend time with both parents as this is usually considered to be in their best interests. There are no hard and fast rules as to what those arrangements should look like and so you are encouraged to agree with your spouse an arrangement that works for you and your children. If you cannot agree the arrangements with your spouse, you may wish to consider mediation as an alternative. If that is unsuccessful, or there are genuine safeguarding concerns, then it is likely to be appropriate to seek legal advice at that stage.

If you are separating from your spouse, it is important to obtain early legal advice to understand your options. At Thomas Flavell & Sons, our experienced Family Team are on hand to help you.

*£593 as at December 2022