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Beware of the DIY Divorce

View profile for Philip Hoddell
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Beware of the DIY Divorce

What is a DIY divorce?

There are quite a lot of websites offering DIY divorces.  They will sometimes claim that their use makes a divorce quicker, cheaper and/or more straightforward. 

So why should I beware them?

A high court judge has recently ruled that 28 couples who all used a DIY website to try to get their divorces are not entitled to them. 

The decision was made after the Head Divorce Judge at Bury St Edmunds Divorce Centre (which governs the whole of the South East of England and London) became concerned at the cases. 

What was the nature of the judge’s concern?

All of the divorces were based on unreasonable behaviour but they all contained identical allegations.  It was clear to the court that in effect the website had just put the names of the parties in and hadn’t discussed with them why they wanted to get divorced.  

The judge said that it was impossible that 28 couples would all be wanting to get divorced for identical reasons and that therefore all of them would fail. 

So what happens next?

It is likely that all the couples will have to start again making sure that this time the divorce petitions are properly tailored to their individual circumstances.  

They are likely to incur a further court fee and of course their divorces in the meantime have been significantly delayed.  The process is likely to have turned out to be more expensive, slower and more complicated. 

What is the alternative?

If you are going through a difficult marital situation and would like to discuss your legal options then we offer a free 15 minute preliminary chat over the phone to explore how we can best help you.  

You will talk to a qualified solicitor.  There is no obligation and you can decide how you would like to proceed once you have learnt a little bit more about the legal process. 

If you require any more information on this topic please contact Philip Hoddell via philip.hoddell@birkettlong.co.uk  or 01206 217320.

 

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