Like anything in life, there is always the temptation to have a go at it yourself whether that is putting shelves on a wall or repairing a car. Why should a DIY divorce be any different?
To a certain extent some problems can be relatively straightforward to fix and divorce itself can be a relatively straightforward procedure.
Some online divorce websites will advertise certain packages at relatively low fees but, subject to certain exemptions, the Court fees need to be paid and, in any event, the relevant Court forms are available from the HM Courts and Tribunals Service website for free.
But if your fuse box is broken then it is unlikely that you would want to tamper with it. Equally, when parties separate or divorce, the actual divorce procedure could be straightforward but, in reality, it can be the financial issues which require the expert and specialist pension from a divorce solicitor and that is not to mention any relevant issues concerning the children.
We have also encountered many cases where husband and wife believe they have resolved matters between them only for it then to transpire that there is not a proper financial agreement and, in turn, this allows everything to unravel and such cases can actually be quite problematic and more expensive than it would have been had the parties sought legal advice from the start.
In the end, whatever the job, a person will attempt a DIY approach to save monies. There is a perception that a divorce solicitor might be expensive but there are a variety of ways within which costs can be saved by working as a team with your solicitor; and it is always important to keep any legal costs in proportion to what is at stake.
There is a common adage amongst divorce lawyers that a “man who acts for himself has a fool for a client”. This really means that their lack of objectivity prevents them from dealing with the legal issues properly and reasonably; which in the end may only serve to cause further dispute, delay and in the worst case a poor financial settlement on divorce.
Like anything in life, there needs to be a balance between cutting too many corners, paying for professional advice for the job to be done properly, fairly and proportionately; and not only to save costs but also to save time and give peace of mind.