As we look back over the past year, I think about all the new clients who have instructed me where they have attempted to deal with divorce or financial matters themselves initially. I have had to unpick some absolute nightmares which could have been avoided if early advice had been sought.
I receive instructions at all stages of the process and I cannot emphasise enough the importance of taking early advice. I have set out below some of the problems that my clients have encountered as a result of their DIY skills:
A lot of people now, especially with the rise of the Online Divorce Portal are preparing their own Divorce Petition. Whilst they think this may be saving time, costs and visiting a solicitor, many end up being in a situation where they are far worse off, not only financially but they have created delay or a repetition of work. These clients then find themselves in a position where they are having to instruct a solicitor which is costing them more as the solicitor is having to unpick the problems. The solicitor may have to amend the petition or, worse still, need to present a fresh petition with additional court fees running into the thousands. All of which could have been avoided if they had instructed a solicitor from the start. It is not the client’s fault, we, solicitors have trained for 7 years to be skilled in this area.
Some of the problems my clients have encountered are:
I have many clients who instruct me who have either already:
This can cause no end of problems with parties feeling pressurised into agreeing something because they may have a related purchase which may not go through if they can’t agree how the proceeds of sale of the family home are to be divided or they have no bargaining power because the main asset has already been distributed. Both parties do continue to have live claims against one another by virtue of the marriage which can only be dismissed by way of a Court Order, therefore, they are still able to bring Court proceedings. However, most cases may not get to Court if parties had gone to see solicitors right at the beginning when they had separated and before they had disposed of their assets.
With the introduction of No Fault Divorce becoming law in autumn 2021, it will be easier for parties to start the divorce process but I cannot emphasise enough parties who are married really need to get advice from an accredited family law specialist. At Neves we offer all new clients an initial consultation for £125 plus VAT. During that meeting we will take details from you regarding your circumstances and will provide you with advice which will be invaluable. Should you then wish to instruct us, our hourly rates are very competitive, and our Resolution Solicitors will be with you each step of the way.