Online divorces seemingly offer a quick and cheap way to get a divorce. Numerous websites offer to help you fill in and check your divorce papers for you and send them quickly, touting the advantages of not needing to take time off work or the cost of engaging a legal profession.
With prices starting at around £60 for the DIY option, it can be a very tempting option. However, an online DIY divorce is all too often a false economy. Here’s why
1. Online Divorces; the OK, the bad and the downright messy
No two divorces are the same. Every set of circumstances is unique, every set of child arrangements, home ownership issues or pet guardianship disputes different. There is and never will be a single solution that will suit everyone, and no online solution can replace discussing your personal circumstances in person with an experienced legal professional.
2. Your divorce, your requirements
Online divorces are designed to make divorce quick and easy, but in order to achieve that aim, the online process needs to standardise your circumstances. No computer system, however sophisticated, can ever take into consideration every set of possible circumstances. As a result, these software-based solutions reduce your divorce case to its bare essentials – and you could lose out as a result. By taking legal advice in person, you can ensure you get the right settlement for you, your family and your particular situation.
3. Financial settlements; not just ticking boxes
A major part of your divorce will be the financial settlement agreed by you and your ex spouse. Financial settlements need to take into consideration your past lives together, your current circumstances, and future requirements such as raising and educating children. A proper financial settlement will secure your assets and ensure a stable financial basis so you can move forward with confidence. An online version probably won’t.
At LGFL, we invest time to discover more about our clients in person, to ensure their financial settlement is the very best they can achieve. We have considerable experience in helping high net worth clients secure their hard-earned assets, and equally helping spouses gain the financial recognition their years of support and family life deserve.
Sadly, we also spend considerable time sorting out messy financial settlements for clients who have gone for the online divorce option, and then regretted it. Needless to say, this route costs these clients far more in terms of time, money and hassle than if they had come to us in the first place rather than going online.
4. The personal touch: the human face of divorce
Divorce can be a very lonely process. It’s often not easy to talk to friends and family about it, and you might feel isolated if you try to tackle the whole process on your own. By engaging a specialist divorce laywer, you can talk face to face with someone who won’t judge you, or ‘take sides’, or tell everything you say to all your friends! Your lawyer will instead guide you through the whole divorce process with sympathy, clarity and clear legal advice.
At LGFL, we know from experience in hundreds of divorce cases that this personal touch makes a considerable difference to our clients. They feel more in control of their divorce settlement, and know that our advice is based on their own circumstances, not a series of tick boxes on a form. Our countryside offices provide an exceptional level of discretion, where we can talk in peace and quiet away from possible chance encounters with the one person you don’t want to see when coming out of a lawyer’s offices!
5. What if your soon-to-be-ex has legal representation?
There is no guarantee that if you use an online divorce service that your spouse will want to do the same. If they employ legal representation, and you don’t, you could be placed at a major disadvantage when it comes to negotiating to an agreement over your financial affairs, or if they choose to go to court.
6. Divorce Consent Orders
Consent orders are designed to make sure that once you have come to an agreement with your ex-spouse, neither of you can go back to court and ask for more money or assets. So, it is vital that you actually do consent to your financial agreement before signing.
It can be very hard to resist pressure from ex-spouses to sign if you are dealing with the divorce on your own. So, at LGFL, we make sure the agreement is the best it can be for you, your children and your family, and take the pressure off you by dealing with your souse’s legal team directly. The result is a more professional, less emotive approach that ultimately is better for everyone involved.
7. The personal touch
Sometimes, you just need to talk things though in person, and PCs have very limited conversation skills! So, for more information on how to move forward with a divorce, or to discuss your situation, call us. As part of our ongoing commitment to our community and local area, we offer a free 30-minute in person consultation for potential clients living within a 30 mile radius of our office near Reading. We can also offer this via Skype to local people currently based abroad or away from their family home.