17-07-2019

Online divorce advice - the pros and cons

We know that the speed and convenience of online divorce is appealing. Adam Kidd, from our family law team in Chesterfield, explains when it is appropriate and when it is not.

What is online divorce?

Launched in May 2018, the online divorce platform allows members of the public to be able to petition for a divorce themselves.

You will be guided through a series of questions and will be asked to upload several documents. The forms are available for free, along with guides at www.gov.uk/divorce.

The court fee is then paid for online.

When is online divorce appropriate?

The online process may work for straightforward divorces where you can agree the grounds for divorce between yourselves, where both parties are co-operating with the divorce and where there are no issues over costs.

However, do bear in mind that the divorce process can become complicated, especially where there are children to make arrangements for and properties and pensions to divide.  We would advise that in these circumstances getting legal advice is essential to ensure that there is a fair division of assets and that you get what you are entitled to.

When is online divorce not appropriate?

  • If you think there will be a disagreement over the grounds for divorce.
  • If you want to claim costs from your former partner.
  • Judicial separation – if you wish to be legally separated but not divorced.
  • If you are presenting a petition for annulments – there are various different categories you can fall in to.
  • If you have been married for less than 12 months.
  • If you are in a civil partnership.

What value can solicitors add to a divorce?

Solicitors can advise and assist on any additional matters outside of the divorce itself, such as negotiating agreements to do with children and finances on your behalf.

Having a solicitor providing legal advice ensures that you are supported throughout the process which can help to reduce the emotional burden. A solicitor can also ensure that the forms are completed correctly so that there are no delays and increased costs incurred by errors made on the forms.

Here at Banner Jones, we offer a fixed fee consultation at our offices in Chesterfield, Dronfield, Mansfield and Sheffield where we can talk through all of the options with you. We can deal with any issues that you may have with your case and come up with the best way forward for you.

To find out more, talk to our team on: 0330 017 6302 or visit our divorce page for more information.