Divorce is often a difficult process, both emotionally and financially. Many people are drawn to the idea of a DIY divorce to save money and time, wanting to quickly move past this difficult phase of life.
While a DIY divorce could seem like a cost-effective approach, it’s important to consider the potential long-term consequences and hidden costs. This introduction explores why a quick, do-it-yourself divorce might end up being more expensive in the long run.
How much does a divorce cost?
When you decide to file for a divorce, there’s an unavoidable cost involved – the divorce application fee. Currently (December 2023), this fee stands at £593. It’s important to note that this fee is the same whether you’re doing it yourself or with legal help.
Also, remember that this fee isn’t refundable once your divorce application is processed. So, whether online or through traditional methods, this fee is an inescapable part of starting the divorce process.
The costs then start to add up once you add the other elements involved. These include:
- Legal fees: Money paid to solicitors for their services.
- Court costs: Fees for filing divorce papers with the court.
- Mediation costs: If you use a mediator to settle disputes, you’ll have to pay for this service.
- Administrative fees: Costs for things like copying documents and postage.
- Financial advisor fees: In case you need help with complex financial matters.
These costs can be higher or lower depending on the specifics of the divorce, for example, whether it’s contested or uncontested.
Is a DIY divorce a better option?
At first glance, handling the divorce process on your own seems like a great way to save money. No legal fees, no hourly rates for solicitors, just the application fee and it’s done. Not exactly.
Let’s have a look at the hidden costs of a DIY divorce.
· Understanding legal jargon
Legal documents are not the easiest to understand. They are filled with jargon and technical terms. Misinterpreting even one clause can lead to agreements that aren’t in your favour or, worse, legal issues down the road. If in doubt, consult a divorce solicitor expert to avoid any confusion.
· Complications in dividing assets
One of the most challenging aspects of any divorce is the division of assets. Without proper legal guidance, you might undervalue assets or agree to a split that seems fair but isn’t equitable. Remember, fair doesn’t always mean equal.
· Long-term financial impact
In addition to the immediate costs and stresses, a DIY divorce can have a long-lasting financial impact. Over time, overlooked details can lead to ongoing legal expenses and financial strains.
· Child support and custody
If children are involved, the stakes are even higher. Decisions about child support and custody are complex and can have lasting effects on both the children and the parents’ finances.
· Pensions and retirement funds
Poor handling of pension or retirement fund division can result in major long-term financial losses. Since these are typically the largest assets couples own, they need to be divided with great care.
· Future earnings and spousal support
Figuring out and agreeing on spousal support involves knowing both parties’ current and future finances well. Without legal help, you could end up with a deal that isn’t fair.
Why professional help matters
Professional legal help is vital in a divorce. An experienced solicitor can guide you through complicated legal steps, explain your rights and ensure your divorce is fair and complete.
They can handle legal complexities more effectively, saving you time and money. A solicitor offers unbiased advice and can prevent future legal issues by addressing potential conflicts in the divorce agreement.
Expert help to gain a secure financial future
Considering a DIY divorce to save money? You might want to think again. The real costs can be much higher than the initial fee. Let Osbourne Pinner Solicitors help you get it right the first time. Our professional team of expert family law solicitors will guide you through the complexities of the divorce process, helping you gain a secure financial future.