Recent statistics show there’s been a 30% year on year increase in divorces started online. With many turning to the internet for help with their divorce, what are the pitfalls, if any and what do you need to be aware of?

When I meet with clients for the first time, they’re often surprised to hear that you don’t have to attend court to get divorced. Rather, the divorce process is a paperwork exercise, which although has to go through the Court doesn’t involve Court hearings (provided their spouse agrees).

Every case I have is unique and some clients need more help with the process than others. Some of my clients are happy to prepare the paperwork themselves, whilst others prefer that I deal with it, as understandably they can find it too emotional and too stressful.

But, whether the client or I prepare the paperwork, the divorce itself doesn’t finalise a couple’s finances. That is dealt with entirely separately and that’s one of the dangers of doing a divorce online yourself.

Many of my clients haven’t been aware that by divorcing, they haven’t dealt with their financial claims. That means that there’s nothing to stop their ex-spouse making a financial claim against them even after they have divorced!

The only way you can deal with financial claims is by putting a couple’s financial agreement into a document called a Financial Consent Order, which a Judge can approve once the divorce is at the first, formal stage called Decree Nisi.

So the moral of the story, is to make sure you seek approporiate legal advice before starting a divorce and be sure that you also deal with the finances.

If you’d like more information on this article please contact me on either elizabeth.marsh@henmansfreeth.co.uk or 01865 781183.