Navigating Divorce and Financial Matters: Understanding the Importance of Legal Advice

In recent years, the introduction of “no fault” divorce applications and the rise of “DIY divorces” have made obtaining a divorce more accessible to individuals. While this change has brought about positive outcomes, such as increased autonomy and reduced costs, it has also given rise to some concerning trends. This blog post explores the impact of these changes and highlights the importance of seeking legal advice when navigating divorce and financial matters.

The Rise of “No Fault” Divorce:

For over 49 years, divorce law remained largely unchanged until the introduction of “no fault” divorce applications. This significant change has led to a surge in divorce applications, reaching the highest level in a decade. The ease of initiating a divorce without the need to establish blame has provided individuals with a simpler and less acrimonious path to end their marriages.

The Growing Trend of “DIY Divorces”:

In line with the rise in “no fault” divorce applications, the prevalence of “DIY divorces” has also increased. Many divorcing spouses are opting to handle their divorces independently, often utilizing online services to streamline the process. However, it is crucial to recognise the risks involved in solely relying on these services without seeking legal advice.

The Importance of Financial Settlements:

While divorce itself may bring a marriage to an end, it does not sever the financial ties between the parties. It is paramount for divorcing spouses to understand the significance of obtaining a financial settlement order. Unfortunately, recent data reveals that only 27% of divorce applications included a financial settlement application. This statistic raises concerns regarding the long-term financial security of divorcing individuals and their dependents.

The Risks of Online Consent Orders:

With the increasing market presence of online consent order companies, divorcing spouses may be tempted to save costs by opting for these services to draft their financial consent orders. However, it is crucial to exercise caution and be aware of the potential risks involved. Without seeking advice from a solicitor, parties may inadvertently enter into agreements that do not align with the principles of fairness outlined in the Matrimonial Causes Act 1975.

Avoiding Future Financial Claims:

A common misconception arises when divorcing couples believe that a financial order is unnecessary in situations where there are no significant marital assets. However, failing to obtain a financial order can leave individuals exposed to future claims. Obtaining a Clean Break Order is essential to prevent either party from making a claim against the other in the future, even if they remarry. Failing to address financial matters from a previous marriage can lead to complications and potential financial claims.

Seeking Legal Advice:

Throughout the divorce process, seeking independent legal advice from family law solicitors is vital to ensure that individuals are properly protected from future financial claims. Expert legal guidance can help divorcing spouses navigate the complexities of financial settlements, ensuring their needs and the needs of any relevant children are met, and preventing any unforeseen complications down the line.

Conclusion:

While the recent changes in divorce law have made the process more accessible, it is crucial to understand the importance of obtaining a financial settlement order to secure one’s financial future. Relying solely on online services without seeking legal advice can expose individuals to potential risks and complications. By consulting with experienced family law solicitors, divorcing spouses can navigate the complexities of divorce and financial matters, ensuring their interests are protected throughout the process.

For anyone in need of expert legal advice on divorce or obtaining a financial order, our Family Law Solicitors are here to provide the necessary guidance and support. Contact us at info@thursfields.co.uk or on 03452073728 to schedule a consultation and ensure you are properly protected from any future financial claims.

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