Published On: Wed, Oct 11th, 2023

Do You Need A Lawyer For A Divorce?

Some people are not aware of this, but no, you do not need a solicitor to get a divorce. That said, there are instances where it’s advisable to enlist professional support.

Photo by Gerd Altmann

Doing it yourself 

The main reason divorcing couples choose not to have a family lawyer  is the perception that it will incur greater expense. Although there are fees involved, in situations where there are crucial financial and family decisions to be made, it can be financially advantageous to have a knowledgeable lawyer in your corner. 

If you want to go it alone with your divorce, make sure you are on reasonable terms with your ex as this will make reaching a final settlement much easier. When you have a solicitor involved, they will be communicating on your behalf. This form of communication is official and factual and could give rise to greater conflict in some cases. If you have time, you can research the legal facts relevant to your case and find out how you should conduct your divorce. This can help you stay more in control of communication too. 

When should I get a solicitor for my divorce? 

Many couples opt for family lawyer support in their divorce to ensure they have all the up-to-date knowledge and information they need. In some cases, it can be essential that you seek professional advice. We have listed these below: 

  • If your ex refuses to cooperate 

Sometimes, spouses refuse to accept the divorce and will not communicate. This can be very frustrating to deal with if you are handling your divorce alone. An experienced divorce lawyer is best placed to advise you of your options to get your divorce moving. For example, whether you should make an application for a deemed service, if you should pay the court for a bailiff to re-serve the divorce papers or whether you should instruct a process server

  • If there is domestic abuse

Unfortunately, some divorces involve violence and domestic abuse. This behaviour can become more intense when proceedings get underway. If you are worried about the behaviour of your ex, then having a solicitor to shield you from their negative communication or threats can alleviate some anxiety. Your legal team can advise further on this and make an application to the court to further safeguard yourself and your children if necessary. 

  • If you think your ex is concealing financial assets 

When money is involved in your divorce it can cause some parties to find dishonest ways of hiding assets and financial information. If you suspect this is what your former spouse is doing or will do, then a family solicitor is again helpful. They can get a freezing order (or an interim freezing injunction) approved by the court to stop them from dissipating assets which you may have a rightful claim on in a divorce. 

  • If your case is complex 

As well as hiding assets and lack of cooperation, other complexities in divorce can arise. The higher the value of financial assets in a divorce, the more complicated it becomes. Trust funds, property abroad and family businesses can all contribute. On the other side of the coin, if there are debts involved it can be difficult to ascertain how to divide responsibility between both parties. Decisions on child living arrangements and maintenance can also create animosity to the extent where communication has broken down completely and it is impossible to arrange matters without professional help.

Author: Paul Gordon

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