DIY divorce; Lots of divorcing couples are put off going down a ‘legal route’ and engaging lawyers for fear of massive costs. They simply cannot afford it ….In addition, the internet is steeped with information about DIY divorces, quick and cheap fixes to ending your marriage. And anyway, it can’t be that tricky can it? I mean, we are sort of talking things through and we don’t want to spend lots of time and money we just don’t have.
So where does that leave you?
Even those who can afford it are opting for a quick online no fuss divorce – only recently we have read about Gary Lineker forking out the princely sum of £410 (narrowly escaping the rise in fee to £550.00 to issue a petition) for a straight forward divorce. Sounds pretty easy doesn’t it? Possibly, in parts – but anything which claims to be ‘straight forward’ should come with a bit of a health warning….
There are usually three essential components to divorcing legally in England and Wales; you will need to:
1) bring your marriage (or civil partnership) to an end; by way of divorce or dissolution; 2) sort of the finances and ; 3) sort out a co-parenting plan for now and for the future if you have children
A divorce or dissolution is simply the legal step taken to formally ending a marriage or civil partnership. It can (sadly) be seen as just an administrative process – a ‘means to an end’. If you both are fairly cooperative and there are no dramatic time lapses, then this process can take 4 – 6 months , if not slightly less if you are really strict with the timescales for each step you’ll need to take. Here there is a specific procedure to be followed and mostly this really is a straightforward process! In fact, lots of people now do their own divorce or dissolution with little or no formal legal assistance of any sort.
So that’s the first essential component.
But what about finances?
Most of the trickier discussions surrounding divorce or dissolution involve dividing up the family’s finances. It’s like any thing in life, when you are very close to the subject matter and you are emotionally involved in it, sometimes negotiating your own agreement is more complex than you would perhaps first think. If you can sort the finances out yourselves, this could be the cheapest way to a settlement and can seem the easiest. But it can also be a complex process with many aspects you and your husband, wife or partner needing to consider.
Knowing the legal landscape and the parameters involved will help you to forge an agreement which is fair to you both, which is really important so that you get an outcome you know is fair. Here at New Landscape Mediation, we encourage clients to get legal advice, and we will help by answering as many questions on this as we can.
Going to court can take a long time – anywhere from around 9 months to 2 years. You could choose to appoint an arbitrator, or private judge, but in essence you would be asking them to make a decision on your behalves.
And we haven’t mentioned children – but there are usually a number of very important practical and emotional issues to also sort out …. to make sure that you as parents can rely on a workable parenting plan.
So if you want to stay in control of the decision making yourselves, it’s worth taking a closer look at how mediation can help.
At New Landscape Mediation we recognize the dual desire to find workable, lasting solutions which meet the personal needs of those involved, which fit with their financial resources. If you would like to find out more information as to how mediation can keep the costs of sorting out the problem to a minimum, then please call on 01279 211 657 to speak to one of our accredited mediators for a free, no obligation discussion of your needs.