With the new online divorce platform, it has become much more accessible for people to issue divorce or dissolution proceedings themselves.
Recent statistics show that a huge 39% of divorce and dissolution petitions issued between July and September 2019 were issued online.
This modernisation of the process is long overdue, and we hope that in the long run it will come with many benefits including a much-needed decrease in turnaround times. In fact, the most recent statistics already show a decrease with the mean average time from petition to Decree Nisi being 30 weeks, and Decree Absolute 54 weeks which is down one and two weeks respectively compared to the equivalent quarter in 2018. Further statistics can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/family-court-statistics-quarterly-july-to-september-2019
Lower costs and shorter timescales are great benefits to filing for divorce yourself, but it is still vital that you seek legal advice in relation to the financial matters arising from your separation.
Our strong advice is to always ensure that the financial matters are concluded by way of a legally binding financial court order before applying for the final stage of the divorce.
It is important that you do this even if you have little or no assets to divide between you, as it is the only way to achieve a “clean break” - which prevents either of you from making a claim against the other in the future.
Without a legally binding financial order in place, your respective claims will be left open which means there is a risk of your ex coming back in 5, 10 or even 20 years’ time and making a claim against you when your financial position may be much stronger. Whilst there are no guarantees such a claim would have merit; the litigation in itself can be expensive, and it is better to have the finality of knowing that there isn’t such a risk in the future.
It is imperative that you also get a legally binding financial order in the following circumstances:
- If you have reached an agreement on how to divide your assets either between you, at mediation or with the assistance of solicitors; or
- if you disagree on the split and need the court to settle the dispute.
Whilst the divorce and financial process are separate, the financial matters do need to be borne in mind at the same time as initiating the divorce process as both processes run alongside each other.
If you need any further advice on resolving your finances on divorce or dissolution, please get in touch with our Family Team.
Disclaimer: Anything posted on this blog is for general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any general or specific matter. Please refer to our terms and conditions for further information. Please contact the author of the blog if you would like to discuss the issues raised.