Friday 9th October, 2020
Tempted by an online divorce?
Recently, the BBC have reported on an upwards trend of people looking to get divorced online. Government statistics also show that around 40% of divorces are now being settled online.
CP Law Associates have seen a rise in divorces following COVID – 19's national lockdown, but how legitimate is an online divorce and what are the pitfalls compared to a paper divorce?
In 2018 online divorce was introduced by the Ministry of Justice. The first beta phase of the new system was said to have worked well, and the Ministry of Justice reported that in the first month they received over 2,000 applications and 93% of those applications reported that they were "very satisfied with the service". It became a quick and more efficient way to get divorced, in comparison to a paper based divorce which was taking on average 6 – 12 months to complete.
So what are the pros and cons of an online divorce?
- Quicker – the biggest pro of an online divorce, is of course the time it takes to complete
- Easier to complete – the process is easier than a paper divorce, there is less room for error when filling it in online in comparison to paper
- Stress – those that have completed an online divorce say that the process is a lot less stressful than a paper divorce
- Potential for Fraud – there are a number of sites online that advertise themselves as online divorce experts. It is important to ensure that this is a legitimate law firms, however people fall victim to this scam and in doing so have provided a non-legitimate firm with all their personal and financial information, which can then be used as fraudulent material.
- Technical issues – there may be less on hand support available to you than when dealing with a solicitor face to face
- Leal Advice – although the process is sped up in comparison to a paper divorce, most online divorces will also need the advice of a Law Firm
- Made a mistake when filing for an online divorce? It can become very expensive if mistakes are made!
At CP Law Associates the best advice that we can give regarding an online divorce is that the process is much faster but there are instances where the cons far outweigh the pros and therefore it is worth speaking with a lawyer.
When those going through an online divorce find out that they need to still appoint a solicitor for advice, some begin to explore a DIY route for divorce, without legal advice. If you choose to do this, there are a number of issues that could become hugely worrying, including addressing your financial issues.
When going through a divorce it is important to address financial issues that may arise once you become separated. This includes looking at both party's investments, savings and properties – all of these can be transferred without a court order. When it comes to pensions however, this can become tricky and you most certainly need to appoint a solicitor, to avoid hardship in the future.
The online system has certainly been a welcome change for the team at CP Law Associates, it's a lot quicker and efficient for those that want a quick and simple divorce. However, the online divorce system has only existed for just over two years and with that comes its challenges and hiccups.
If you were tempted by an online divorce but are still weighing up the pro's and cons, or you aren't sure if it is right for you and your own personal situation then please speak with us at CP Law Associates.