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Read more articles in: Blog, Family Law

The dangers of DIY divorce

Whilst the number of divorces in the UK continues to rise, Google searches for the term “DIY divorce” have also gone up by 60 per cent, just in the last month.

In fact, the number of couples divorcing without legal representation entirely, rose by 39 per cent in the last ten years.

This new interest in DIY divorces has probably been spurred on by the perceived savings that a couple might make in solicitor’s fees if they decide to do it themselves.

However, performing legal work without formal training or advice from a solicitor is always risky.

DIY divorce proceedings come with several risks including:

  • Legal complexities: The UK legal system is highly complicated, with specific procedures and legal terminologies that can be very confusing to the untrained eye. Getting something wrong, therefore, is a high stakes gamble you take during DIY divorces.
  • Financial repercussions: Without a solicitor’s advice, you may overlook significant assets, leading to financial losses in the long run.
  • Child custody: Solicitors can help ensure that the welfare of children is prioritised, facilitating agreements that are in their best interest, rather than the interests of the parents.
  • Emotional support: Going through a divorce is emotionally taxing; having a solicitor can provide a support system, helping you navigate the process with empathy and understanding.
  • Time-consuming: DIY divorces can be incredibly time-consuming, especially if disputes arise; a solicitor can help streamline the process, saving you time and stress.

Family Law is complex, with legal jargon and complicated procedures to adhere to. A simple mistake in the paperwork can lead to delays, or worse, financial repercussions that far outweigh the initial savings of a DIY divorce.

Without expert advice on how to adequately protect your assets you put your long-term financial security at risk.

A solicitor can help you negotiate a fair settlement, ensuring that assets such as pensions, properties, and investments are divided equitably.

Without their guidance, you risk overlooking substantial assets, potentially leading to an unjust settlement.

When children are involved, reaching an agreement on custody and visitation rights can be emotionally charged and getting it wrong can be devastating for both parties.

Divorce is a stressful and emotionally draining process; having a solicitor by your side can be a pillar of support, helping you navigate the emotional turmoil with professionalism and empathy.

Whilst a DIY divorce may seem like a cost-effective solution, it carries significant risks, and the long-term effects can often outweigh the short-term costs.

As solicitors, we strongly advise seeking professional advice to navigate the legal intricacies and emotional challenges of a divorce, ensuring a fair and just outcome for all parties involved.

To speak to one of our expert solicitors, please get in touch.

Stuart Daniel

Head of Family Department

I qualified as a Solicitor in 2006 and now specialise in divorce, financial settlements, childcare arrangements and Pre Nuptial Agreements. I have many years’ experience as a private family lawyer having worked with two other local firms before returning to Mander Hadley, where I first undertook work experience during my university studies.