Can I deal with my divorce myself?
Dealing with your divorce yourself may be tempting if your divorce seems straightforward. If you and your spouse have managed to maintain an amicable relationship and are broadly in agreement over how to split your finances and arrangements for any children, you might wonder why you need to pay for a solicitor.
The reality is, divorce is complicated. Each situation is unique, and it is unlikely you will fully understand all the issues you need to consider and potential problems that can arise.
While the legal process of ending your marriage is now relatively straightforward, it is the division of finances and arrangements for children that tend to be trickier to get right. Without proper advice you risk failing to deal with the important issues, such as pension rights or inheritances. This could mean you do not get the best settlement and could open up an increased risk of future disputes. There is also the risk that unless matters are reflected in a legally binding Order, you will always be financially tied to your ex-partner as there is no time limit on them being able to make financial claims against you.
Increased likelihood of conflict
Even if your relationship has remained friendly, you should not assume you will simply be able to agree on issues such as splitting your finances and where your children will live amicably. Once the time comes to make these decisions and commit to them, conflict can arise.
Without the support and calming presence of experienced professionals to guide you, it can be very easy for conflict to escalate, causing your relationship to deteriorate. This can be a particular problem if you have children together that you need to co-parent.
You may miss out on what you are entitled to
Dividing your assets is often the most technically challenging part of divorce. Many people do not realise the full range of assets they or their spouse have that should be included in a settlement. It is, therefore, common for people not to realise that they may, for example, be entitled to a share of their spouse’s pension.
Failing to seek legal advice can mean that you do not get what you are entitled to in a settlement. This can leave you struggling to meet your needs or maintain the standard of living you are used to.
You open yourself up to the risk of future financial claims
The single biggest risk for people who attempt to deal with divorce themselves is that they fail to properly cut financial ties with their former spouse. If you do not have a financial order in place and approved by the court, then there is nothing to stop your spouse from making future claims against your assets.
It is, unfortunately, all too common for people to make claims against their spouse’s assets after divorce – often years later. In the high-profile case of Ecotricity founder Dale Vince, his ex-wife, Kathleen Wyatt, was able to make a financial claim against him almost 20 years after they had divorced. Mr Vince ended up having to pay Ms Wyatt a settlement of £300,000.
This could have been avoided if Mr Vince had secured a court order at the time of the divorce to cut financial ties with his ex-wife.
How we can help with your divorce
There are various ways Wolferstans can help with your divorce, including:
• Giving clear advice on your rights and the full implications of your divorce
• Helping the divorce process to go ahead smoothly and promptly
• Making sure you get the best possible settlement for you and your loved ones
• Protecting you against the risk of future financial claims from your former spouse
• Making sure you get the right arrangements in place for any children you have
• Keeping conflict to a minimum by focusing on collaborative methods of dispute resolution, such as constructive negotiation and mediation
• Making sure your case is prepared effectively, and you have the best possible representation if court proceedings are required
Get in touch with our highly experienced divorce solicitors
At Wolferstans, we deal with these issues every day and can advise you on everything you need to think about and plan for, helping to keep you protected and make sure you get the best possible divorce terms for you and your loved ones.
For clear, pragmatic advice to protect yourself during divorce, please get in touch with our specialist divorce solicitors today. We can ensure your divorce goes as smoothly as possible, while making sure you get a fair financial settlement, the right arrangements for your children and that you are protected against future financial claims.