The law surrounding the divorce process is complicated and it is
important to obtain legal advice at a very early stage. However,
more and more couples are deciding to deal with their own divorces
without seeking legal advice as they believe they cannot afford a
solicitor. Each divorce is different and your circumstances could
mean that you are entitled to a very different outcome to what you
have heard from friends or what you have read about on the
internet. Doing things quickly and cheaply may prove to be costly
in the future.
It is important that the divorce petition is completed correctly
to ensure that the divorce progresses smoothly. The divorce
petition deals with matters such as the grounds of divorce, costs
order and the initial application for financial orders. It is
standard practice to leave the request for all types of financial
order in the petition so that a decision can be made later
regarding whether the financial claims will be pursued.
In addition, many people believe that once you are divorced,
this deals with financial matters as well. This is not true. Whilst
the divorce process legally ends your marriage, it does not legally
end your financial obligations to each other. Even if you are
divorced, it remains open for your ex spouse to make financial
claims against you at any time in the future. So, if you win or
inherit money or buy a property with a new partner, these things
may not be protected and your ex-spouse could still ask the Court
several years after a divorce for a share of those monies or
Even if you and your spouse are able to agree a financial
settlement on divorce, it is still important to obtain legal advice
to make the agreement legally binding and to ensure that you are
agreeing to a settlement that is in your best interests. The
procedure when matters are agreed is straightforward and, in most
circumstances, does not involve either party attending Court.
A financial agreement should be incorporated into a document
called a Consent Order which is approved by the Court. However, if
you sign a Consent Order without receiving legal advice, you run
the risk of agreeing to a settlement which may not be in your best
interests. In addition, once a Consent Order is obtained, no
further financial applications may be made by either of you against
When dealing with financial matters relating to a relationship
break up, it is always sensible to seek legal advice to ensure that
the issues are properly dealt with. Divorce is an extremely
emotional time and although it may be tempting to just agree
matters so that you can move on with your life, once a Consent
Order has been obtained, it will be very difficult to change your
mind later if you realise you may have been entitled to a greater
share of the matrimonial assets.
Recent cuts in Legal Aid has left many people believing that
they cannot afford a solicitor to obtain legal advice in relation
to a divorce and financial settlement. However, Attwells'
are committed to providing free initial legal advice so that you
can understand your rights and options on divorce.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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A well-meaning friend, relative or even a carer of a deceased person may take what they believe are helpful steps to tidy up a deceased’s affairs in the days following their death to pave the way for those who will carry out the administration of the estate.
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