Covid changed a lot of things.
Every cough must be “corona”. And we appreciate hugs a lot more. The pandemic also increased the amount of things we do virtually/online. Included in those things is writing up your will. And even getting a divorce. Strange times indeed. There are concerns about these services being unregulated and possibly breaching consumer protection law.
As a result, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently said it would be looking into claims made by online divorce and will-writing services. In the UK, taking the online route with these matters may be risky, depending on your individual circumstances.
Here are some factors to consider when making your decision about whether to go online with your divorce:
- Cost-Effective: Online divorce services tend to be more affordable than hiring a solicitor, as they usually charge lower fees.
- Convenience: You can complete the process from the comfort of your home, avoiding the need for in-person appointments.
- Speed: Online divorces can sometimes be processed more quickly since you can work at your own pace, without waiting for appointments or court dates.
- Simplicity: If you have a straightforward situation with no major disputes over assets, property, or children, an online divorce might be sufficient.
- Complexity: If your divorce involves complex financial matters, child custody arrangements, or disputes over assets, an online service might not adequately address these complexities.
- Legal Knowledge: You need to have a good understanding of the legal process and the forms required. Mistakes in the paperwork can lead to delays or complications.
- Support: Online services might not provide the same level of legal advice and support that a solicitor would. If you’re unfamiliar with the legal system, you could feel overwhelmed.
- Mediation: In some cases, mediation can help couples reach agreements on issues like child custody and financial matters. Online services might not provide this type of support.
- Personalization: Every divorce is unique. An online service might not be able to tailor the process to your specific needs as effectively as a solicitor could.
When might an online divorce be suitable?
- Amicable Separation: If you and your spouse are on good terms and can agree on most aspects of the divorce, an online service might work.
- Simplicity: If you have no children, minimal assets, and a straightforward financial situation, an online divorce could be more manageable.
- Cost Considerations: If hiring a solicitor is financially challenging, an online service might be a more affordable option.
When might it not be a good idea?
- Complex Issues: If your divorce involves complex financial matters, children, significant assets, or disagreements, seeking legal counsel is generally advised.
- Unresolved Disputes: If you and your spouse are unable to reach agreements on key issues, a solicitor’s guidance might be essential.
- Legal Protection: If you’re concerned about your rights not being adequately protected, a solicitor can provide the legal expertise needed.
When it comes to financial separation it’s especially important to note that online divorce does not address this. Couples will need to do that independently and take a proactive approach on it.
All things considered, we highly recommend at least consulting with a legal professional to understand the implications of your choices before making any decisions.
They will be able to help you determine the best approach based on your situation.
Keep an eye out for our next post where we will have a look at the pros and cons of online will-writing.
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