Why DIY divorce may not be the money saver you think it is

In April 2022 the UK’s divorce laws removed the requirement to attribute blame to one party before a divorce could be granted. Prior to this change there were five grounds for divorce:
• adultery
• unreasonable behaviour
• separation for more than 2 years (with the agreement of both parties)
• separation for more than 5 years (without agreement of both parties)
• desertion

As well as the introduction of “no-fault” divorces, couples can now apply directly to the Court for their divorce using an online Government portal. No solicitor is required. Just complete the form, pay the fee, and move on with your life. Unfortunately, things are rarely that simple.

Few would argue that “no-fault” divorce is a bad thing. Attributing blame – however justified – focuses attention on the negative experiences of the past. At Pilgrim Hope Solicitors we believe that divorce is very much about planning for your new future and allowing you to move forward with your life. Key to being able to rebuild your life is achieving a fair financial settlement that will ensure you and your children are taken care of. More importantly, that the settlement is clear in what is expected of each party and that the agreement is approved by the Court. This is where DIY divorces can lead to serious problems.

Even if you and your partner agree a financial settlement, a divorce does not automatically separate you financially in the eyes of the Law. This means your ex-partner could attempt to claim against you at a future date. For example, if you inherit a sum of money or a family property at some point in the future, your ex-husband or wife may feel they are entitled to a share. Even if their claim is unsuccessful, this is an expense that could have been avoided.

If one partner (often the wife) has given up their career to raise the children they may be entitled to a share of their ex-husband’s pension. Similarly, a wife may be a shareholder in their husband’s business. Not only does this give them a claim against the value of the business but also entitles them to future dividend payments.

At Pilgrim Hope Solicitors our highly experienced solicitors will help you achieve a fair settlement and protect you against future financial claims from your ex-partner. We offer fixed fee divorce packages, whether you are the petitioner or the respondent. To arrange a free 30 minute consultation call us on 01257 422 500. Lines are open 8.00am to 9.00pm Monday to Friday and 9.00am to 7.00pm on weekends.