Do you need a solicitor to get divorced?



Nobody wants to experience the trauma of a relationship breaking down. When you walk down the aisle, you don’t expect to have to consider the logistics of separating and deciding who gets the house and who gets the dog. However, divorce is a frequent occurrence in society. In the first 3 months of 2021, there were over 30,000 petitions for divorce in the UK and this was similar in the same period for 2022, although there was a modest 2% drop in the latter period. However, this was an increase of 30% from the period October to December 2021. Ultimately, whatever the divorce rates, there is no escaping that getting a divorce can be an emotionally challenging and stressful process. While it is obviously a sad time for the couple and the rest of the family, it also involves making important decisions about the division of assets, financial settlements, and arrangements for children and, while it is not a legal requirement to hire a solicitor when getting divorced, having divorce solicitors in Weybridge by your side can provide invaluable guidance and support throughout the process to ensure that the pressure is limited as much as possible.

What does a divorce solicitor do?

A divorce solicitor is a legal professional who specialises in family law and is experienced in handling divorce cases. Their primary role is to provide expert advice and representation to their clients during the divorce process. While you may be feeling overwhelmed by the emotions of the situation, a divorce solicitor can take control of the legalities and guide you through what needs to be done, helping you understand your rights and obligations. They will explain the relevant laws and procedures, ensuring that you make informed decisions regarding the division of assets, financial settlements, and child arrangements, ensuring that you get a fair outcome and putting the needs of any children you may have at the centre of everything to ensure that they are also protected.

Another aspect of a divorce solicitor’s work is handling paperwork. Divorce involves a significant amount of paperwork, including petitions, financial disclosure forms, and consent orders. A solicitor can help you complete and file these documents accurately and on time, ensuring compliance with legal requirements and minimising the risk of errors or omissions.  A further way that divorce solicitors can help is when negotiations between the parties are necessary to reach a fair settlement. A divorce solicitor can act as your advocate during these negotiations, ensuring that your interests are represented and that you receive a fair share of assets and support. They can also facilitate mediation sessions to help resolve disputes amicably, reducing the need for lengthy court battles.


Assisting with finances and arrangements for children

Many people think that getting divorced involves dealing with finances as well. However, the process of getting divorced is separate from everything else that needs to be sorted out. One of the most complex aspects of divorce is determining the division of finances and assets. A divorce solicitor can assist you in gathering and assessing financial information, valuing assets, and negotiating a fair financial settlement with your spouse. They can help protect your financial interests and ensure that you are not left at a disadvantage after the divorce.

If you have children, a divorce solicitor can help you navigate the sensitive issues related to child custody, visitation rights, and child support. They can guide you in creating a parenting plan that prioritises the best interests of the children and helps establish a stable and supportive environment for them post-divorce.


Should I do my own divorce paperwork?

While it is possible to complete the paperwork for a divorce yourself, engaging a solicitor offers several advantages. Firstly, they have expert knowledge of family law and can provide personalised advice tailored to your specific situation. They can help you understand your legal rights and entitlements, ensuring that you make informed decisions. Secondly, a solicitor can alleviate some of the emotional burden by handling the legal aspects of the divorce on your behalf. The law surrounding divorce changed in 2020 to no-fault divorce, which was widely welcomed as it means that no party needs to accept blame for the relationship breaking down. As such, a solicitor can complete the paperwork without the acrimony that sometimes arose from having to apportion blame to somebody. This allows you to concentrate on getting over the relationship breaking down and moving forward with your life. 

Moreover, a divorce solicitor’s experience in negotiation and mediation can be instrumental in achieving a favourable outcome. They can help facilitate productive communication between you and your spouse, fostering a cooperative environment that may lead to mutually satisfactory agreements.

So, while it is not mandatory to hire a solicitor when getting divorced, their expertise can greatly benefit you during this challenging time. A divorce solicitor can provide essential legal guidance, assist with paperwork and negotiations, and help secure fair settlements for finances and child arrangements. Ultimately, the decision to hire a solicitor depends on your personal circumstances, but their support can significantly reduce the stress and uncertainty associated with the divorce process.

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