It is a common scenario – you have recently separated from your husband or wife, money is tight and the last thing you need is to be stretched further by legal fees.  There are many websites offering you a way of getting a quick and cheap divorce so is it necessary to seek the advice and assistance of a specialist family lawyer?

It is true, some cases are very straightforward.  In those cases it is possible that the parties will not suffer any detriment by opting for that online divorce package.  But those cases are in the minority.  Most cases do require some element of careful consideration, particularly where financial matters need to be resolved or there are children involved.  An experienced family lawyer will be able to give you the expert advice and assistance you need.

There is a common misconception that it will cost you thousands of pounds to use a solicitor to get a divorce.  This is rarely the case.  Most divorces are uncontested and whether you use a low cost online divorce package or a solicitor, the court fees are always going to be the same.  The court fee to start divorce proceedings is currently £550.

One thing you should consider, and where online packages fall short, is that mistakes can be made and it can cost you more to rectify this.  A solicitor should give you the right advice and make sure the divorce documentation will not be rejected by the court, saving you further court fees.

In many cases it is important that the divorce process is not completed before a final agreement is reached or an order made in relation to financial matters.  Most online divorce packages do not consider or deal with financial aspects of divorce and can leave you without the right to make a claim – for example, if your husband or wife were to die after the divorce proceedings have concluded but before you had sorted out your finances.

If financial matters do need to be resolved your solicitor will draft an order which can be approved by the court, ensuring that you are protected against future claims.  You usually only get one chance to make sure your financial arrangements meet your needs and it is therefore important to get it right!

Perhaps the most important thing you need to consider in deciding whether to instruct a solicitor to deal with your divorce is that at such an emotionally charged time, your solicitor can adopt a neutral stance and give you the advice and assistance you need to reduce your stress and anxiety.

At E J Coombs Solicitors we are acutely aware that costs can be an issue. We can offer a fixed fee in most cases and will always give you a clear estimate of the costs involved in your case.  We aim to give you sensible, practical advice tailored to meet your individual needs.