DO BOTH PARTIES NEED A DIVORCE SOLICITOR? CLARIFYING LEGAL REQUIREMENTS

In some cases, both parties may choose to hire their own solicitor to represent their interests. This is typically recommended in situations where substantial marital assets are involved or when there are disputes regarding child custody arrangements. However, in more straightforward separations, it is possible for couples to handle their divorce application without legal representation, but it’s crucial to weigh the benefits and drawbacks beforehand.

Deciding whether to hire divorce solicitors is a common question that arises when a couple decides to end their marriage. It’s essential to understand the value a solicitor can bring to the process, especially when dealing with complex issues such as child custody, financial settlements, and property distribution. While not always necessary, having a solicitor can provide the knowledge and guidance needed to navigate the legal proceedings involved in a divorce or separation.

Seeking legal advice from a solicitor can help you understand the divorce process, your rights, and obligations. A solicitor’s expertise and guidance can ensure that all necessary paperwork is completed accurately and on time, avoiding potential delays or complications. Additionally, solicitors can negotiate on your behalf with your spouse’s legal representative, aiming for a fair and mutually acceptable divorce settlement.

Key Takeaways

  • Solicitors can provide valuable guidance throughout the divorce process, especially when complex issues are involved.
  • Both parties may choose to hire a solicitor depending on their unique situation and the complexity of the divorce.
  • Seeking legal advice early on can help ensure a smoother and more equitable divorce process.

Key Factors in Deciding Whether to Hire a Solicitor

For Amicable Divorces

If you and your spouse are going through an amicable divorce, you might wonder if you both need a solicitor. In some cases, it can be beneficial for both parties to have their own legal representation, even if the divorce process seems straightforward. Solicitors can ensure that all necessary paperwork is completed correctly and help you navigate through the legal process, including applying for a conditional order and final order.

However, if you both agree on the divorce and can resolve issues like financial settlements or property distribution on your own, you might choose to save on costs by not hiring a solicitor. Instead, you can use alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or arbitration, to reach an agreement and draft a consent order to submit to the court.

For Disputed Divorces

In cases where one party is disputing the divorce, or when there are contentious issues like fault or domestic abuse, it is essential for both parties to have their own solicitor. When emotions run high, negotiations can become complicated, and you’ll need a legal expert to fight for your rights and interests.

Solicitors provide valuable guidance in navigating the divorce process, such as advising on evidence needed, handling court hearings, and managing time-sensitive matters. They also can help you explore other dispute resolution options if you wish to avoid court, including mediation or arbitration.

For Complex Financial Settlements

When dealing with a divorce involving complex financial settlements, such as high-value property, shared assets, pensions, or business interests, hiring a solicitor becomes even more crucial. Solicitors specialised in family law can offer expert advice on financial settlements, property distribution, and potential tax implications.

Here’s a brief overview of how a solicitor can help in complex financial settlements:

  • Property: They can assist in calculating the worth of properties, identifying whether they are matrimonial or non-matrimonial assets, and advising on the best way to divide them.
  • Finances: Solicitors can help to untangle joint finances and propose fair financial settlement options while considering each party’s needs and future financial security.
  • Pensions: Legal experts can assess the value of any pension schemes, advise on pension sharing or attachment orders, and ensure you receive a fair settlement.

In conclusion, while not every divorce requires both parties to have a solicitor, it’s essential to carefully consider your unique situation and weigh the benefits of legal assistance when making this decision.

Understanding the Divorce Process

Starting a Divorce

To initiate the divorce process in England and Wales, you can either file a sole application or choose to proceed with a joint application. With the new Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 coming into effect, no-fault divorces are now possible. If you’re seeking to end a civil partnership, you can apply for a dissolution, following the same process.

Preparing and Sending the Divorce Application

When preparing your divorce application, you’ll need to consider whether or not to involve a divorce solicitor. If you believe your case is straightforward, you might choose to handle the paperwork without legal assistance.

When submitting the application, keep in mind the court fee and ensure to include relevant information about your marriage or civil partnership. The applicant is the individual filing for the divorce, while the respondent is the other party. In the case of a joint application, both parties act as applicants.

Applying for a Conditional Order

After submitting the divorce application, the respondent must acknowledge its receipt. To move forward in the process, you’ll need to apply for a decree nisi or a conditional order by submitting the appropriate forms and evidence. The conditional order is granted if the court believes there is valid reason for the divorce or dissolution.

Applying for a Final Order

Once you receive your conditional order, you must wait a specific period before applying for the final order – the decree absolute or the final dissolution order. Keep in mind that issues about finances and child arrangements must be resolved before getting the decree absolute.

It’s essential to seek independent legal advice before finalising your divorce, as it may impact your rights and entitlements in property, finances, and child arrangements. Remember that a divorce solicitor plays a crucial role in providing guidance and expertise, especially in more complex cases.

Thinking about hiring family lawyers UK?  WLS Solicitors are experienced solicitors specializing in all kinds of relationship and family law including child custody, cohabitation, prenuptial agreement, domestic violence etc. Get in touch today to find out how we can help!