Divorce is a painful and difficult process for everyone involved and most couples want to get through it as quickly as possible. In the wake of the Covid-19 lockdowns, the UK has seen a surge in the popularity of online services offering ‘quickie divorces’. However, the rise of these services has prompted the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to launch an investigation, focusing on the claims made by these online platforms as well as vulnerable customers.
Read on for more details on these services, starting with the benefits.
The pros of online divorce services
Online divorce services offer several advantages:
Online divorce services are usually cheaper than traditional lawyer-led divorces. This makes them more accessible for those who can’t afford high legal fees and can alleviate financial stress during an already challenging time.
These services allow individuals to complete divorce paperwork at their own pace and comfort, a significant advantage especially during busy periods in daily life. This convenience also means less disruption to any family responsibilities.
Online services are the best option for quickie divorces as they reduce the need for in-person meetings, speeding up paperwork and processes. This quicker resolution allows individuals to move forward with their lives more rapidly.
The cons of online divorce services
When considering online divorce services, it’s important to be aware of their limitations, including challenges in complex cases and the absence of personalised legal support.
Let’s look at the cons in more detail…
Not suitable for complex cases
Online quickie divorces are not ideal for cases with complex financial issues, child custody disputes, or where there’s a big power or knowledge gap between spouses. This can result in unfair settlements or unresolved disputes, making it important to seek more comprehensive legal support.
Lack of personalised legal advice
These services usually provide general guidance and standard forms, which may not meet the specific legal needs or provide advice tailored to unique personal situations. This lack of personalised advice can be particularly detrimental in cases that require nuanced legal understanding.
Potential for mistakes
Without a legal professional’s oversight, there’s a greater risk of making paperwork errors or misinterpreting legal requirements, possibly causing delays or problems in the divorce process. These mistakes can lead to long-term legal complications and may require additional time and resources to correct.
No representation in court
In cases that end up in court, individuals using online quickie divorce services don’t have legal representation, unless they hire a lawyer separately, which can be a significant disadvantage. This lack of representation can lead to a less favourable outcome, especially against a spouse with professional legal support.
The importance of legal scrutiny
Online divorce services in the UK are being investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) due to several complaints. Customers have reported misleading claims regarding the ease and cost of these services.
The CMA’s role is to look into issues like poor quality in online divorces and hidden fees in will-writing and is inviting feedback from people who’ve used these services. If they find that these companies have broken the law, the CMA might take legal action against them.
Sarah Cardell, CMA Chief Executive, emphasises the importance of these services being monitored, especially as they relate to challenging times in people’s lives.
“These may not be frequent purchases, but they are life-changing. That’s why it’s so important that we investigate so that people can select the right legal service for them – for divorce or probate or will-writing – with confidence. It’s essential that firms get the basics right, including complying with general consumer law which applies to all traders. Customers must get a fair deal.”
Navigate your divorce with expert help
Are you considering a quickie divorce but feeling overwhelmed by the complexities involved? Take the first step towards a smoother, more manageable process with Osbourne Pinner. Our team of experts understands the emotional toll and intricacies of divorce and is dedicated to providing you with the divorce support and advice you need.
We invite you to take advantage of our complimentary consultation. During this session, we’ll discuss your options in detail, helping you navigate this challenging time with confidence and clarity.
Contact us on 0203 983 5080, email [email protected] or submit this contact form to find out how we can help.