Do You Need a Divorce Solicitor?
Probably the first question anyone facing diorce will ask themselves is, do I need a divorce lawyer to handle everything for me? Have you ever searched for ‘divorce solicitors’ on Google? Well try it and see what comes up. Thousands upon thousands of divorce service providers ranging from expert family law solicitors through to cheapie online divorce sites offering a do-it-yourself divorce for less money than an outdated second hand mobile phone. It’s horses for courses out there! In some cases, these cheapie online form fillers might be a viable option for you and one that just may save you money. In most cases though they will frustrate you, complicate issues, never be accessible by phone, answer emails in obscure terms and surely demand more money from you for asking questions. Also, most of the cheapest of the cheap are not even lawyers, so as soon as the divorce starts getting remotely complicated, they will quickly send you and email advising you to take your case elsewhere. That’s where we solicitors come in. We are the experts in family law. You may not like it, but cost usually defines quality. Cheap is cheap for a reason! However; please don’t getthe impression that we mind all that much. After all, as specialists we prefer to provide our services to clients who can differentiate between solicitors and online form sellers.
Nevertheless, we accept that there are situations when you just might get the result you want without a solicitor, so we are providing this short guide to help you decide for yourself whether you need a lawyer or you can just do-it-yourself.
Do You Absolutely Need a Lawyer or Solicitor for Your Divorce or Custody Case?
The fact is your interests will always be better represented by a solicitor. You already know that. Just like your car will always be better serviced by a mechanic rather than a butcher. But are there times when self-representation is, perhaps, “good enough“.
The following are some very general guidelines about the safest situations in which you might choose to represent yourself and the riskiest situations where self-representation is likely to result in problems. Remember, only you can decide ultimately what is best for you. Don’t buy a product because it is cheap, buy it because you need it and you know that it is fit for it’s purpose.
Safest do-it-yourself cases:
- A short marriage where both parties worked throughout the marriage, earn similar salaries, have no minor children together and have accumulated no property together�
- A short marriage in which neither partner worked steadily or earns much money, there are no minor children together and the parties have accumulated no property�
- A marriage in which both partners worked throughout the marriage and earn similar salaries, have accumulated limited property together and where both parties are on decent talking terms and are excellent, involved parents to their minor children and, each parent wants the other parent to stay very involved in the life of their children
- A marriage in which neither partner works steadily or earns much money, they have accumulated no property and both parties are excellent, involved parents to their minor children and, each parent wants the other parent to stay very involved in the life of their children
- Any marriage in which the partners have no children together and they are aware of and able to agree on how to divide all property�
- Any marriage in which the parties are able to agree on how to divide all property, their agreement provides adequately for the care of the children and reasonable contact arrangements are agreed�
Riskiest do-it-yourself cases (or Do Yourself a Big Favour and Figure Out A Way to Retain an Expert Solicitor):
- the matrimonial assets are considerable
- the parties cannot agree on anything
- the parties own more than one property
- there are allegations of fraud, deceipt or misconduct by either partner
- there are overseas properties or assets or income
- the marriage has been a long marriage
- either partner has contributed disproportionately to the marriage
- either partner owns or runs a business or has a limited company
- either partner stands to inherit or has inherited under a Will
- either partner has a criminal record
- either partner is accused of domestic violence
- either partner is accused of sexual abuse
- either partner is accused of non-physical abuse or harassment (verbal, emotional, psychological, psychic, etc.)
- either partner is neglectful and/or irresponsible
- either partner suffers from mental illness
- either partner has a physical disability or other significant health issue
- either partner does not have mental capacity
- either partner abuses legal or illegal substances
- either partner is accused of poor parenting
- either partner has an uncertain immigration status
- either partner is on the verge of bankruptcy
- either partner owns a privately held business
- either partner has a history of avoiding financial obligations
- either partner is believed to be hiding assets orthere are allegations of financial impropriety
- either partner is believed to work for cash payments
- either partner has a history of refusal to work for a living
- either partner is planning to move to another country
- either partner has threatened to abduct the children
- either partner has tried to limit or interfere with custody or contact with the children
- either partner has badmouthed the other to the children
- either partner has stated that the other is able to support the children without assistance
- either partner has indicated that they will avoid providing any financial support, even if the court orders it
- either partner is just painfully disagreeable just for the sake of it
- the other partner’s lawyer is consistently extremely aggressive, contentious and intimidating
- the case has already started and the judge has strongly advised you to seek legal representation
- the case has already started and the judge really doesn’t seem to be seeing things your way at all
- or; you just simply feel overwhelmed and confused…
Please note that this article contains only general information and does not comprise specific legal advice. If you wish to discuss any aspect of your matter with an expert family law solicitor, we offer a free 30 minute telephone consultation on 020 8401 7352 which may prove to be the best call you ever made. It’s not cheap, it is simply free! By the end of the consultation you will know pretty well where you stand and what, if anything, you have to gain from instructing an expert family law solicitor over an online divorce form filler.