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Law Society President advises against 'DIY divorces'

Date:9 MAY 2008

The Law Society President is advising anyone considering divorce to seek expert legal advice from a specialist family law solicitor.

Andrew Holroyd, Law Society President, said: "Divorce is stressful, the legalities can be complicated, and emotions can cloud reasoning, so it is important to consult an expert from the outset to receive independent, impartial, objective advice from someone who will steer you clear of the legal pitfalls and safeguard your interests.

"The legal formality of getting a divorce is a relatively straightforward process. What is generally much more complex is sorting out the practical issues such as where each person will live, who gets what, and arrangements for any children. So before agreeing matters with your partner it is advisable to consult a family law specialist solicitor, who will advise you about your rights and the options available to you. They will also explain some of the financial complexities and help you to identify the issues the court will consider, sort the wheat from the chaff and give tactical advice, and they may even save you time and money.

"An increasing number of family law solicitors are opting for training in the area of collaborative family law, which provides a further alternative to court proceedings for divorcing couples. Collaborative family law is designed to help people resolve issues following family breakdown in a calm and constructive manner. Both spouses and their collaborative family lawyers make an agreement to try to reach a solution without going to court. However, mediation or collaborative family law are not suitable in every case."