Welcome to the section of the DYJ site dedicated to the process of divorce. On the following pages you should find all the guidance you will need to either give you the help to do it yourself or to give you a better understanding of what your solicitor is doing on your behalf.
First of all we would recommend that you have a look at our brief introduction to the Divorce process itself. There may be more suitable alternatives to Divorce which you haven’t yet considered or alternatively you may find that things are more complicated than you think and this isn’t something you would like to try without legal advice.
Do it Myself?
The answer is quite simple…er….maybe. As you will see from the Divorce routemap getting a divorce is a relatively cheap straightforward process which can be completed in a few months and which only requires you to fill in about four forms, even less if you are the person being divorced (the respondent). It is therefore perfectly possible to get a divorce without even going near a solicitors office. However, although this is fine in theory, in practice the reality is often very different.
Getting a divorce without consulting a solicitor should only really be attempted if the following three criteria are met:
- It truly is an amicable separation;
- There are no financial arrangements to resolve;
- There are no children in the marriage;
If any of the above three rules don’t apply to you then you should consider instructing a solicitor to act for you or at the very least try and book an initial free appointment so you can discuss matters and decide the best way forward. What you don’t want is to be stuck in a situation where your partner is refusing to return the papers or is objecting to something you’ve put in the divorce petition and you are having to deal with it on your own. You certainly do not want to be trying to sort out matters to do with finances or children without professional help. It really is too important to try and save money on.
Dealing with those kind of problems are exactly what a solicitor is trained and paid to do and don’t forget, legal aid (or public funding as it is properly called) is available to pay for legal advice during a divorce so it may be that you’re worrying about what a divorce might cost unnecessarily. Why not check out this link to the legal aid calculator which will give you a rough idea of whether or not you qualify. If you don’t but you still want to keep your legal fees to a minimum discuss this with your solicitor, they may well be willing to be flexible with when payments are made or be willing for you to put a cap on how much your fees will be.