According to the definition, we can find in any dictionary, marriage is “the legally or formally recognized union, usually between a man and a woman as partners in a personal relationship”. And indeed, marriage is a community, or union, that requires many different aspects in order to be successful and to last.
Marriage usually begins with the wedding that so many couples around the world dream of. For a wedding day, many couples say it’s the happiest day of their lives. Of course, there are vows as well as the famous sentence that ends “until death do us part”.
However, that sentence-ending seems to make less and less sense in the modern world. According to some statistics, the average marriage in the world lasts 11 years, while the divorce rate is 31.2 percent. So, on average, marriages start with so much love, passion and whatnot, and end after a little over a decade.
There are various reasons for this scenario, and some of the most common are infidelity, lack of attention, lack of mutual respect, sometimes health problems, and even abuse and financial problems.
Speaking of finances, we believe that every person knows that a legal divorce isn’t cheap. Prices can range from a few thousand to a few tens of thousands of dollars, of course depending on the case.
It is the cost of divorce, division of property, hiring a lawyer, etc., that can be the main reason and trigger to consider a DIY divorce.
What is DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Divorce?
No, it’s not something you can find a video for on YouTube, or maybe some perfect crime where you get rid of your spouse without consequences. A DIY divorce is a procedure in which each party (husband and wife) represents themselves in a divorce lawsuit.
Unlike standard divorces, where the presence of a lawyer is required, this isn’t the case here. This automatically means that there aren’t as many of the previously mentioned costs, the procedure can take much shorter, and there are many other advantages of DIY divorce.
This method of divorce is especially characteristic of English and Welsh law, i.e. Great Britain. When it comes to costs, they are certainly lower and for around £400, which is a petition fee, you can get the necessary documents, forms, etc.
It’s also worth mentioning that, if you have a low income, then it is very likely that you’ll be exempt from taxes.
However, another thing that is important to note is that DIY divorce is not always a good solution. Depending on the case, it may happen that this way of divorce isn’t recommended and it is better to go the standard way.
In that situation, it is best to turn to legal experts who will best advise you on what to do. If you are reading this from the UK, our advice is to check out kabirfamilylaw.co.uk. These people are experts in divorce and family matters, so you can be assured of professionalism and quality service.
In case you have already learned that DIY divorce is the right thing for you, then go ahead. In the next part, we will talk in more detail about the pros and cons of this method of divorce.
1. Low Costs
As we said earlier, divorce is not cheap. In some cases, it can cost a few thousand, and in more complex even a few tens of thousands of dollars or pounds. Therefore, any savings are welcome.
We also mentioned that the cause of some divorces is financial problems. In such situations, DIY divorce is a very good solution, if the complexity of the case allows it.
With a DIY divorce, not only you won’t have to pay lawyers, counselors, various other professionals, but for less than £500 you will be able to solve the problem if divorce is the only solution.
When we say flexibility, we primarily mean the time needed to process and finalize divorce documentation. It may take a long time for a lawyer to do this, and then you would have to wait for a court decision.
In the case of a DIY divorce, the truth is, you’ll have to set aside a certain number of hours to go through all the details and check all the documentation. However, you can do it very flexibly, either in a week, two, a month, or more.
In fact, the only thing that won’t depend on you and your schedules is the time it will take the court to process the divorce petition.
3. Great simplicity
As can be the case with legal problems, sometimes it is very confusing and difficult to understand what paperwork you need, what fees to pay, you have to consult with lawyers several times, etc. It can all be extremely tiring and time-consuming.
On the other hand, with a DIY divorce, as the name suggests, you can do it yourself.
This solution brings all the necessary documentation and explanations, so you don’t have to think too much. Of course, you will not go through the documentation (which is not “just a few papers”) without a brain, you need to think a little, but it is not complicated.
If you even need some help, there is a so-called PSU (Personal Support Unit) in court, where you can get the advice you need.
1. There’s no legal expertise
As we have mentioned many times, the good side is that you save money by not hiring a lawyer. However, at the same time, it can be a negative thing. For example, regarding the division of property, or similar issues, you can create a problem yourself, and do the division unfairly.
In the case of hiring a lawyer, a legal expert will certainly tell you the most favorable terms and outcomes for both parties, so you can save time considering these options.
2. Pro Se
The so-called “Pro Se”, i.e. self-representation, in a way, seems like a good option. As we have said many times, there is no cost of legal advice.
However, if the outcome of a divorce lawsuit is not in line with your expectations, and you were not properly acquainted with all the court proceedings, an error can occur that is neither cheap nor easy to correct.
Therefore, without good legal advice and familiarity with court proceedings, it may not be best to use a DIY divorce.
3. Only for simple situations
Usually, the problem in divorce lawsuits arises when there is a division, either of property or something else. DIY is a good solution, but only for simple cases, not for complex ones.
Finding a solution that suits both you and your spouse regarding rights and divisions can be inconvenient and difficult. If this is exactly the case with you, then it is better to leave things to legal experts, because otherwise, both parties may have consequences that, as we mentioned earlier, are difficult to correct.
Do-It-Yourself divorce is a great thing in certain situations. It allows you to save money, more flexibility, it is very simple, etc.
On the other hand, lack of professional expertise, knowledge of court procedures, and similar things can lead to unfavorable divorce outcomes, both for you and your partner.
So, although a good option in certain (simpler) cases, DIY divorce should not be the solution to complex divorce lawsuits.