Can I Get a Divorce Online?
Yes, of course. The options are:
- a DIY online divorce, see my recent blog How to file for divorce in the UK
- one of the many online businesses offering a quick and cheap divorce
But did you know that a solicitor can do your divorce for you, often for less than you think?
I want a quick and cheap online divorce
Things to watch out for:
- Are they properly qualified? Don’t rely on untrained and unqualified people
- Don’t go so quickly that you forget to protect your share of the matrimonial finances. There’s the family home, and you don’t want to miss out on pensions or the family business either. See my blog Quick divorce or safe divorce?
- Have you agreed the arrangements for the children?
- Neither arrangements for the children nor matrimonial finances are addressed in divorce proceedings. Check out your rights with a properly qualified family lawyer. Fixed fees or pay as you go costs are available.
How do I know the online service providers are properly qualified?
Good question. Expert legal help is important but the terminology is confusing: lawyer, solicitor, barrister, paralegal, chartered legal executive, collaborative lawyer, mediator. What does it all mean?
“Lawyer” can mean solicitor, barrister, or indeed any of the above.
A solicitor is highly qualified and experienced and can advise you and represent you in Court. You can find a good one online at Resolution, an organisation of family lawyers who believe in a constructive, non-confrontational approach.
A barrister can advise you and represent you, but usually your solicitor instructs them, rather than you.
A collaborative lawyer works with you, your partner and their lawyer in face to face negotiations to resolve your family disputes. Collaborative family law can help you shape your own future after divorce, and avoid the heartbreak of Court proceedings.
A mediator can help you and your partner work things out together. They can help you identify the issues between you and help you resolve them. Find a good one at Resolution
A chartered legal executive is similar to a solicitor but tends to have trained in only one area of the law, and must be supervised. Find a chartered legal executive on the CILEx website. Incidentally, the title “legal executive” can be misleading. Check whether they are actually chartered or not.
A paralegal has some legal training but is not a solicitor or chartered legal executive. Find a paralegal on the Professional Paralegal Register
You say go to a solicitor, but they cost too much
Not always! Family solicitors usually offer initially free advice, fixed fees, payment plans or pay as you go. See the How we charge page on our website. Compare these to the charges for online divorce – you might be pleasantly surprised. You will have the assistance of a properly qualified and experienced solicitor with personal knowledge of your case. And if your solicitor is local, you can actually meet her.
Why should I consult a solicitor?
- A divorce doesn’t sort out the finances or the children. These are separate.
- Things can get complicated – hidden assets, the risk of child abduction
- A family solicitor will drop everything to protect you and your children
- Decisions about property, pensions etc will affect the rest of your life
Can I talk to a proper solicitor please?
Yes, of course. Joanne Houston at Just Family Law would be delighted to help you. And talking to a solicitor doesn’t mean you can’t have a DIY divorce.
I want a life beyond divorce
Family consultants who practise as counsellors or life coaches can help manage the separation and can be directly involved in the collaborative law process too.
Everyone is entitled to expert, professional advice
So certainly look online, but don’t forget to protect your future and the future of your children by organising a free or fixed cost interview with a family law solicitor.
It’s like when you’re organising a holiday. However independent you want to be in your travel plans, you don’t want to fly the plane yourself. There’s an experienced pilot for that.
Can I Get a Divorce Online?
Contact Family Lawyer Joanne Houston on 01962 217640 for an initial free of charge consultation on the question Can I Get a Divorce Online? In this 20 minute session she will review your situation and how you can achieve your objectives.
The topics covered in this blog post Can I Get a Divorce Online? are complex. They are provided for general guidance only. If any of the circumstances mentioned in this blog apply to you, seek expert legal advice.
image Una luz entre las sombras by Andres Nieto Porras on Wikimedia