Online Divorce 31 March 2020
Applying for divorce online can seem like the more straightforward and cost-effective route - but be careful as online divorce can be costly in the long run.
Divorce is an individual, personal process and should be approached differently for every couple. Sadly, online divorce is not designed to be unique in its offering, which is why it can end up costing divorcing spouses significantly more in the long term.
In May 2018, the Ministry of Justice introduced an online application process for divorce and since then more than 70,000 people have chosen to divorce online.
This way of divorce may save you money in the short-term with legal costs but could end up costing far more in the long run.
Online Divorce Process
Completing an online divorce application will end your marriage but won't take into account your financial arrangements with your spouse.
Your financial situation if you're divorcing your spouse is often complex and always personal, and you need expert legal advice to help with this aspect of your divorce.
Online Divorce Process: What Can Go Wrong?
If you divorce online without dealing with your financial situation and arrangements with your spouse, and complete your divorce without a Court Order that clarifies your financial situation, then your spouse could make a financial claim against you, even long into the future. Time makes no difference to the validity of such a claim.
Courts have experienced financial claims being made more than 25 years after a couple has divorced. These cases have been settled based on the value of the assets at the time of the claim, rather than the asset value 25 years ago - and a lot can happen in this timeframe.
This means that a spouse could claim years later and benefit from any assets that may have been built up or acquired in the years after your divorce - and a long time since your divorce.
Online Divorce Process: How Can You Protect Yourself?
Our professional advice is to not simply follow the online divorce process and apply for Decree Absolute without having first received legal advice - or you leave yourself vulnerable to potential financial claims in the future.
On the pronouncement of the final decree of divorce, the petitioner may inadvertently have prejudiced their position with regards to pensions rights on the death of the other spouse.
Having an informal financial agreement in place with your spouse will not be legally binding or of any use should a disagreement arise in the future.
A Court Order is needed to protect both you and your spouse during the divorce process.
Make sure you speak to a family law specialist before starting the online divorce process or during it. This way, your financial arrangements will be dealt with properly, giving you peace of mind today and preventing your spouse from making future claims against your finances.
Helping You With Online Divorce
Our experienced family lawyers have the legal expertise to provide a personal approach to clients considering a divorce or already going through the divorce process, whether that be online or through the courts.
We appreciate what an emotionally difficult time divorce is for most people and offer a free initial consultation in order to understand every aspect of your situation and financial arrangements. Once we understand your circumstances, we can advise you of your rights and the best ways for you to protect your finances, today and in the future.
To speak to one of our specialist family solicitors about your online divorce or for guidance on the divorce process you're currently going through, please contact us at our Failsworth office on 0161 681 4005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or our Chorlton office on 0161 860 7123 or email email@example.com