Reconciliation or divorce - Do you need a solicitor?

Divorce by the special procedure is straightforward and it is quite possible for you to deal with the process and obtain a decree of divorce yourself. (search

All county courts with divorce jurisdiction will supply you with the appropriate forms and written explanation as to how to go about petitioning for a divorce and obtaining a final decree of divorce without consulting a solicitor.

However, first a word of warning: consider carefully the value of consulting a solicitor for basic advice as to your rights and duties on separation and divorce.

Even if you are in full agreement with your spouse with regard to the divorce proceedings, the financial arrangements and the arrangements for the children, it would be wise for both of you to consult solicitors who will check the agreement that the two of you have reached and ensure that both of you are aware of any pitfalls or unforeseen possibilities.

Most importantly of all, the solicitors will check that the agreement has been reached between you with full knowledge of each other's financial position.

If you intend the financial agreement reached between you and your spouse to be binding, it is vital that there has been a full disclosure on both sides as to your income and capital position.

Without this, there is always the possibility that the agreement may be reopened by the court if a material fact which has not been disclosed subsequently comes to light.

Your solicitor will advise you as to whether the financial agreement reached between you should be incorporated into a court order or into a deed of separation; and should also be able to advise you how to proceed.

One fact to bear in mind if you choose not to consult a solicitor is that if things go wrong at a later date, you may find yourselves with greater legal costs to bear than you would had you consulted a solicitor in the first place.

An hour with a solicitor seeking advice over the arrangements reached between you and your spouse may save you much time, emotional energy and expense at a later date.

Many people fear that consulting a solicitor may disrupt the delicately balanced agreement which they have reached with their spouse.

To ensure this does not happen it is important to choose a solicitor who is a regular practitioner in the field of family law.

Most good solicitors will be happy to find that you have dealt with many of the matters between yourselves on a friendly basis and will not seek to disrupt the agreement which you have reached or to drive a wedge between you and your spouse.

Your solicitor cannot force you to take his advice and if, after listening to your solicitor's advice, you wish to disregard it you may of course do so.

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Reconciliation or divorce - How to find a suitable solicitor

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