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‘Think carefully before a DIY online divorce’
12:00pm Wednesday 11th September 2013 in Local news
Latest figures from a national divorce website have revealed the average cost of a divorce in Yorkshire is almost £1,600, which has led to people attempting to do it themselves online.
However, Ilkley-based law firm Last Cawthra Feather (LCF) is advising people to think carefully before being enticed into a DIY divorce.
Rachel Spencer Robb, partner and head of family law, says: “Many online divorce services charge from £50 to provide the paperwork, but there are also court fees of up to £400. The DIY Divorce cost packages on offer are very confusing as they only cover the administration and paperwork to dissolve the marriage. The fee does not cover any other related advice about how to divide financial assets or issues in relation to the children and this is usually charged separately at an hourly rate.
“On the surface a DIY online divorce may seem an extremely cheap option, but in reality there is no substitute for a person running through all the options with a solicitor.
“Even if both parties are on good terms and an amicable agreement is likely, there can be complications like pensions or valuations of assets which an online service would not be able to address.”
Despite the national divorce rate falling by two per cent last year to 128,000 in England, Scotland and Wales, legal costs are increasing and changes to Legal Aid rules in April have also affected many couples on low incomes who no longer have access to financial assistance.
Now only those affected by domestic abuse, child protection matters and forced marriages qualify for Legal Aid.
Rachel added: “It’s under-standable that couples want to find the most affordable option when it comes to divorce. However separation and divorce can be an extremely tough and stressful time, especially if children are involved, so it’s important that the process is managed properly and with a personal touch.”