Beware of the pitfalls of “DIY” Divorce

    Beware of the pitfalls of “DIY” Divorce

    Following the implementation of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 in April this year, many people are choosing to issue their own applications for divorce without using a solicitor. This is perhaps understandable in light of the cost of living crisis and where the process has been simplified with no fault divorce and where proceedings are issued online.

    Unfortunately, however, some people are not correctly completing the Divorce Application including by not protecting themselves needing to apply to the Court for a Financial Order if this becomes necessary in the future. As a result some people may find themselves fall into the “re-marriage trap” unable to bring a financial claim to resolve financial matters if they have re-married and they did not protect themselves in the divorce proceedings.

    Many people wrongly believe that agreements made between themselves are legally binding and it is divorce itself which brings about an end to the possibility of one party being able to make a future financial claim against the other. The reality, however, is that, in the absence of a Financial Order being made within the divorce proceedings, potential financial claims remain open even long after the divorce.

    It is also very important not to apply for the Final Order of Divorce too early, for example in cases involving pensions, where spousal benefits may be lost.

    It is always sensible to obtain legal advice in respect of divorce even if amicable agreements are reached. It is advisable to have a Consent Order drawn up making the agreement reached legally binding providing you with certainty and security for the future.

    If you are concerned about any of these issues, speak to one of our specialist family lawyers.

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