Family Law Solicitors Newcastle and Sunderland

The Danger With Online Do It Yourself Divorce Forms

The Danger With Online Do It Yourself Divorce Forms
Family Law Solicitors – Gosforth, Newcastle and Sunderland

You may have read in the newspapers recently that the court service has just released new forms to help you to issue a Divorce Petition yourself. Already Divorce and Family Solicitors are concerned about the forms as they encourage you to name any person with whom your spouse has had an affair. This is often the last thing that you should do. Whilst it may be important to you to do this from an emotional point of view it could be a financial disaster as well as making it even more difficult to obtain your divorce.

Years ago judges started asking Solicitors to discourage their clients from naming Co-Respondents in adultery Divorce Petitions. It takes about six months to obtain a divorce at the best of times. However, if you name a third party as well as your husband or wife then this could add on months. Your husband or wife might accept the divorce papers and sign the return form. What if the third party ignores them? People don’t like to be blamed, they don’t want to be part of your divorce proceedings. So they ignore the paperwork hoping that it will go away. The court can’t ignore this, the person named must respond. So now you have to arrange personal service on the third party, how are you going to achieve that? If you can prove that they have been served and still ignore the paperwork what will you do next? By now you are a few months down the road, no further forward and you have had to pay someone to deal with the personal service of the documents.

Things could get worse, the Co-Respondent might deny the adultery. In which case you have to try to get them to court to give evidence. Or you decide to abandon this divorce petition, but even then you will need the permission of the court. You would then have to start all over again with a new Divorce Petition based upon the Unreasonable Behaviour of your husband or wife. Of course, there is a whole new court fee to pay, running to hundreds of pounds. Another two to three months have gone by and you will be wishing you never started this process on your own. In the meantime, you find out that your friend instructed a solicitor to issue his or her Divorce Petition. Your friend is just waiting for Decree Absolute to arrive, has sorted out all of their Matrimonial Finance and has managed to obtain an order for divorce costs to be paid by his or her husband.

All of your delay and the extra cost is caused by answering two questions on the Divorce Petition the wrong way. You haven’t even reached the more complicated questions yet!

Sometimes it’s a far cheaper option to instruct the expert, it’s also the faster option. I know this, I once tried to cut my own hair!

If you need help with your divorce or separation, then why not contact us for a Next Steps Divorce Advice Session and to see how we can help you. We can be contacted on:

Family Law Specialists Solicitors Newcastle:  0191 284 6989

Family Law Specialists Solicitors Sunderland: 0191 567 6667

or email us:

Or complete our Online Enquiry Form and select Family Law

Nine Reasons Why You Should Instruct a Solicitor To Handle Your Divorce –  (and the pitfalls of a Do-It-Yourself Divorce) Free eGuide.

We are frequently asked about the value of instructing an expert solicitor to handle a divorce. We have put together this useful guide which will answer many of your questions. If you are contemplating a divorce or separation, and wondering whether you need a solicitor to assist you, then our guide will help you to decide.

Click Here to Download your Free eGuide


If you would like to book your Next Steps Divorce session, you can fill out our form, and we’ll be in touch.

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