Beware cheap online divorces
But while such services may sound tempting, you need to tread very carefully in order to have all your paperwork in order when you go to court.
Online divorce services in the UK include Quickie-Divorce. com where prices start from £37, Divorce-Online.co.uk, which offers a range of services costing between £59 and £419, and IntelligentDivorce.co.uk which offers a fixed-cost option with prices starting from £500.
Online services may save you time and money, but experts warn that unless couples take proper legal advice before divorcing, they could end up facing a very insecure financial future.
“I’ve helped clients in the past who have used online services and found they haven’t worked,” says Jonathan da Costa, solicitor and partner at Boys & Maughan. “If forms are not professionally prepared, you risk a district judge refusing to grant the divorce. We may all interact online, but there’s no substitute for speaking to a professional face to face.”
Craig Palfrey, managing partner at adviser Penguin Wealth, adds: “Divorcing is such a personal matter – it does not lend itself to the impersonal nature of an online service.”
According to the Law Society, even the most straightforward divorce cases can develop into complicated and stressful legal actions.
Read our article 'How to divorce with a clean break'.
A spokesperson for the Law Society says: “An online divorce is not suitable in cases where there is an imbalance of power in the relationship, or if one side is being obstructive or withholding information. The cheapest option is not always the best.”
Seeing a solicitor could even save you time and money in the long run, the spokesperson adds.
“Sorting out the practical issues – such as where each person will live and who gets what – can get very complicated and stressful.
“Before agreeing anything with your former partner, consult a family solicitor who will advise you about your rights and options. Your solicitor is on your side. If you do need to go to court, they will help you identify the issues the court will consider.”
If you are going through a divorce, it is well worth seeking specialist advice from both financial and legal professionals as early as possible to help you navigate your way through the process.
Visit Solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk and Resolution. org.uk to find a solicitor.
To find an adviser, visit Unbiased.co.uk and Vouchedfor.co.uk.