Why instruct a solicitor to deal with your divorce?

Divorce can be one of the most difficult and challenging experiences in a person’s life. The process of initiating divorce proceedings can be overwhelming and technical, at an already stressful and highly emotional time. Instructing a solicitor to deal with your divorce can remove some of this stress and hassle, as they can handle the court process and paperwork on your behalf, leaving you more time to focus on yourself and your family.

Topics to be answered in this article

Do I need a solicitor to get divorced?

It is possible to get divorced without using a solicitor. Since the move to ‘No Fault’ divorce in April 2022, the necessary forms are accessed via the HMCTS portal and require one or both of the parties to the application to confirm that that marriage has irretrievably broken down.

However, some people encounter barriers that they hadn’t anticipated or get stuck along the way. This is where instructing a solicitor is vital to ensuring that your divorce is handled as seamlessly and smoothly as is possible.

Why instruct a solicitor to deal with your divorce?

The concept of divorce can be daunting and overwhelming. Instructing a solicitor allows you to understand where you stand and your rights, as well as your ex-partners rights, to ensure you have and appreciate the full picture. A solicitor listens to you, your worries and concerns and can discuss your options with you to ensure the solution reached is right for you and your family. There are many reasons to instruct a solicitor to deal with your divorce.

1. Reduces stress and worry

Although the divorce process is now far simpler, the fact remains that the breakdown of a marriage and separation can be incredibly stressful and emotional. Instructing a solicitor helps ease some of that stress and worry, by dealing with the legal process and paperwork on your behalf. This leaves you with more time to focus on yourself and your family at this difficult time and offers you support throughout the process.

2. Saves time and avoids stagnation

Instructing a solicitor ensures that, with their knowledge and expertise, your divorce is done right, first time.

Solicitors are familiar with the HMCTS portal, its nuances and technicalities, and therefore the correct information needed for the divorce. This means that the application is submitted right, first time, and the whole process is as seamless as can be. A solicitor can ensure that the correct procedure is followed and that you do not incur extra costs and time spent.

Additionally, if your ex-partner does not co-operate or engage with the proceedings, solicitors know the procedure and action necessary to push through with the divorce. Again, this ultimately saves time as it avoids stagnation and prevents further delay in the proceedings.

3. Your best interests are considered

Instructing a solicitor means that you benefit from impartial advice which focuses on your best interests and legal entitlements. This allows you to understand your position and the balance of knowledge and power is more equal when both parties are well informed. Such advice is especially necessary where there is an imbalance of power between parties, or there is a history of domestic abuse.

4. Potential issues identified sooner rather than later

Instructing a solicitor for your divorce enables them to identify and extract information that could become issues in the future, which you may not have considered, such as pensions, inheritance and arrangements for dependent children.

5. Financial matters sorted

Did you know that divorce proceedings do not sever financial ties and obligations to your ex-spouse? A Financial Remedy Order is needed to do this. Dividing finances, at an already emotional time, can be challenging and complex to navigate. Instructing a solicitor often removes some of the emotion from the process and assists you in understanding your financial entitlements and rights upon divorce.

Separating finances on divorce is governed by legislation and case law. As such, there is no set formula for what is ‘fair’ when dividing marital assets. A solicitor can ensure that any settlement reached is ‘fair’ to you and that you and your family are provided for now and in later life.

Separating parties are free to negotiate and settle finances between themselves, using a solicitor in the final stages to draw up a consent order, or utilise a solicitor throughout, for negotiations or court proceedings. Regardless of how the settlement is reached, a solicitor is usually necessary to draw up the agreement into a Consent Order so that financial separation is final and legally enforceable. Drafting such an Order is challenging without expert legal advice.

6. Child arrangements sorted

Did you also know that your divorce does not provide for arrangements for dependent children? For most families, concerns relating to the children can be decided between yourselves or, where an independent third-party is needed, via mediation. Where communication is difficult or mediation proves unsuccessful, solicitors can be utilised to negotiate on your behalf or assist you through the court process, where this becomes necessary.

Instructing a solicitor therefore ensures that you are aware of this at the outset, fully understand your legal position with regards to your children and obtain appropriate advice where arrangements have not been sorted or are proving problematic.

7. You want to defend proceedings

Under the new ‘No Fault’ divorce, it is very difficult to defend divorce proceedings. If you are considering doing so, the reasons you can defend a divorce are minimal, highly technical and if done incorrectly, can result in a lot of trouble. Legal advice and instructing a solicitor is therefore essential if you wish to defend divorce proceedings.

How can Goughs help?

Divorce doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems. Allow us to take some of the stress and worry away from your divorce. Our trusted divorce solicitors will be with you every step of the way, leaving you free to focus on yourself and your family at this difficult and highly emotive time.

Get in contact with us today to discuss your situation and how we can support and assist you through your divorce.

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Megan Solomon

I was interested in Law after completing my undergraduate degree in Law & English. Although I enjoyed both disciplines, I found the Law-side both engaging and fast-paced. I enjoyed its relevance to real life and how you can make an impact on the world. Before joining Goughs, I completed the GDL and then LPC MSc at the University of Law, Bristol, alongside working two part-time jobs.

I was first introduced to Goughs at a University Careers Fair, where the approachability and friendliness of the representatives stood out to me. Throughout the application process, I enjoyed the fact that I could be myself and I look forward to being part of the firm.

I also enjoy running, long walks, going to the gym, reading and listening to podcasts. My favourite book is Dracula and favourite podcast is The Diary of a CEO.

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