Philippa Buckland is an Associate Solicitor in Family Law at JCP SOLICITORS, based in Swansea. A specialist Family Solicitor for 25 years, Philippa deals with divorce and the financial consequences of marital or relationship breakdown.
I am often asked if it is necessary to instruct a Solicitor to deal with a divorce, now a DIY divorce is avail-able online via the Court Service. In my experience, even if a divorcing couple feels able to keep things amicable, a marital split is still emotionally fraught, legally complex, and taxing. Divorcing couples tend to lean heavily upon their Solicitor, and it is important that people get sound legal advice during this time.
While they have been greatly simplified in recent years, Court forms can still be confusing, and it is easy to use the wrong wording, which could lead to a divorce not being granted. The Court will return any incorrectly worded divorce petition, which causes delay and frustration.
Also, no fault divorce is still not on the statute books, and so if you want a quick divorce you have to cite your partner’s unreasonable behaviour or adultery as the reason for the breakdown of the marriage. This in itself can lead to bad feeling between divorcing couples, and so the scene is set for a painful divorce process that can see anger and hostility leech into other aspects of the relationship – including arrangements for any children and the division of the family assets. In some cases, it can cause the other partner to feel so aggrieved to the extent that they decide not to return their acknowledgement of the divorce to the Court – again causing delay. Or they may tell the Court they don’t agree with the examples of unreasonable behaviour in the divorce petition, so divorce proceedings have to be defended.
Nobody wants their divorce to descend into recrimination. Most people simply want to move on, with minimum fuss. But battle lines can sometimes be drawn inadvertently, which can affect the whole process.
An experienced Family Solicitor can offer expertise and support, smoothing the path through this daunting process, by preparing a correctly and sympathetically worded divorce petition which will allow the divorce to proceed unhindered.
Of course, an expertly prepared divorce petition is simply the start of the process which will hopefully lead to the successful resolution of all of the aspects of a divorce without conflict.
For tailored advice contact Philippa on: 01792 525 409 or email:
JCP Solicitors, Venture Court, Waterside Business Park, Valley Way, Enterprise Park, Swansea SA6 8AH