OLS Solicitors Blog

The Dangers of DIY Divorce in a no fault world

By Isabel Gillman on June 12, 2023

the dangers of a diy divorce

As many couples seek to streamline their divorce process and cut costs, the concept of a “Do-It-Yourself” (DIY) divorce has gained traction, following the introduction of no fault divorce in 2022. While it can be a viable option for some, it carries inherent risks, particularly when it comes to unresolved financial matters. The dangers of moving forward with a DIY divorce without a financial settlement can range from minor inconveniences to serious, life-altering consequences. Here’s why.

Lack of Legal Guidance

In a DIY divorce, you’re essentially navigating the legal process without professional assistance. While this can save on solicitors fees, it might also leave you vulnerable to errors and omissions. Financial matters in a no fault divorce can be complex, involving issues such as property division, spousal support, and child support. Without expert advice, you may overlook significant aspects, which can lead to an inequitable distribution of assets.

Binding Decisions

One of the most notable dangers of proceeding with a divorce without settling your financial matters is the potential permanence of the decisions you make. Once a divorce is finalised, reversing or modifying the financial arrangements can be a complex, time-consuming, and very costly process. It’s vital to understand that decisions made during divorce proceedings often have long-term implications.

Potential for Conflict

Unresolved financial issues are a common source of conflict during and after a divorce. If financial matters are not properly addressed in the divorce process, disputes can re-emerge down the line, causing stress and potentially leading to legal battles. We are going to see many disputes around unresolved finances coming our way in years to come.

Risk of Financial Loss

Without a thorough understanding of your financial situation, and a formal financial settlement, there’s a risk of suffering financial loss. This could be through an unfair division of assets, or by inadvertently taking on more debt than you anticipated. It’s also possible that future assets or earnings could be claimed by your ex-spouse if the financial ties were not completely severed during the divorce.

What’s the conclusion?

While a DIY divorce might seem appealing, especially when you’re eager to move on, it’s essential to take a step back and consider the potential consequences. Unresolved financial issues can turn what was meant to be a straightforward process into a protracted, expensive ordeal.

It’s recommended to seek legal advice before proceeding with a divorce, especially when there are significant financial matters at stake. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need to hire a lawyer for full representation, but even a short consultation can provide valuable insights and help you avoid potential pitfalls. Remember, divorce isn’t just about ending a relationship; it’s also about safeguarding your financial future. Be cautious, be thorough, and don’t rush the process.

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    • Isabel Gillman

      Isabel, our Senior Solicitor, has a strong connection to Llanelli, having grown up in the area. She attended Cardiff University and graduated in 1987 with a Degree in Law (LLB Honours). With over thirty years of experience as a solicitor, Isabel has worked in-house and freelance, specialising in family cases of all kinds. Her expertise has seen her take cases to the Court of Appeal, an accomplishment that reflects her professionalism and dedication to her clients. Away from the office, Isabel enjoys spending time with her family and dogs in the great outdoors. She loves to keep active by engaging in box-fit, aerobics, and yoga. As a volunteer at a local animal rescue shelter, Isabel demonstrates her passion for animal welfare. She is also an active member of her local Chamber Choir.

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