Online divorces – what you need to know
The court service has been undergoing a phase of modernisation and upgrading their IT systems to meet the demands of the modern world. Whilst not all of this has been successful, one recent introduction is the ability for parties to apply for a divorce online. This is currently in a trial period but seems to be working reasonably well.
The system is straightforward and takes you through a series of questions – some of them seem a little random but they are ticking the relevant boxes that need to be covered.
You need to register with your email address at the end and if you are not ready to proceed straight away you can come back to the petition within 6 months.
Does this mean that we do not need solicitors?
Firstly, it is always best to take legal advice on your specific circumstances. I have on at least one occasion advised a client that she would be better off remaining married and continuing to live separately.
It is helpful to have some insight into the process and the issues that can arise if the fact for the divorce is chosen unwisely.
More importantly, there are usually finances to be resolved. It is essential that these are flagged up at the outset and that action is taken to deal with them fairly promptly. Cases where assets have not been dealt with for years and we have to consider historic events are difficult, and more costly, to deal with.
Individual circumstances require individual advice. There is much that can be done by divorcing spouses themselves, but it is highly likely they will need legal input to obtain that all-important finality within a divorce and ensure that all the loose ends have been tied up.
Solicitors add value to the process, through their experience of the likely settlement and the processes. This can help to shortcut long-running arguments.
Most solicitors will offer an initial interview free of charge so that you can discuss your situation and they can advise on the best course of action, whether this involves a Solicitor or whether you can do it yourself online.
To arrange an initial interview to discuss your needs, please contact Coles on 0800 160 10 10.