Emmersons Solicitors - Newcastle and Sunderland
Jaqueline Emmerson Newcastle Solitor
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THE TROUBLE WITH DIY DIVORCES

 

Drink Driving - too much Christmas cheer!

 

Many people assume that doing your own divorce is easy and that it does not require the input of a solicitor. The introduction of online divorce packs only serves to reinforce this view. It is true that filling in the forms online is easy. However, it is all of the other issues associated with divorce that you may not be aware of and which an online system cannot advise you about.


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Nine Reasons Why You Should Instruct A Solicitor To Handle Your Divorce

Nine Reasons Why You Should Instruct A Solicitor Too Handle Your Divorce eBook

I am frequently asked about the value of instructing an expert solicitor to handle a divorce. I 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.


Download my Free eGuide Today


Emmersons Solicitors Family Law Department are regularly called upon to help clients who tried to do the whole divorce themselves only to find that their ex-spouse now seeks thousands or even tens of thousands of pounds from them.

A typical example would be Anya, who decided to allow her divorce to go ahead right up to the point of and including Decree Absolute. Her husband James had left her to start a new relationship and wanted a divorce. Anya refused to start divorce proceedings but did not object when James issued proceedings. Anya’s only concern at that stage was that she didn’t have to pay any legal costs. Unfortunately some months later, James advised Anya that he wanted his share of equity from their home. Anya was not on a particularly high income and could not afford to raise enough money to buy out James’ share. James had spent a considerable amount of his savings impressing his new girlfriend with expensive holidays and jewellery. Anya was shocked to find that she may lose her home; she now had to fight to save the house citing the money James had spent and the fact that he had a good pension whereas Anya had no pension provision.

In another case, Steve and Cora had sorted out their own divorce. Steve had signed the house over to Cora on the basis that she wouldn’t seek any further monies from him. Of course, later that year Steve was upset to find that Cora now sought a share of Steve’s pension, some of his savings and regular maintenance. Steve had committed to buying a new house, he needed his savings for this purpose. He had applied for a mortgage on the basis of his outgoings without budgeting for maintenance. He now found that he simply could not afford to buy a new home to live in and was left to rent.

You may think that once you are divorced that is it, your ex-spouse will not be able to make any further claims against you. That is simply not the case. Imagine that when you divorce you have no savings. You therefore assume that there is no need to make a will or sort out a final Financial Settlement. However, consider the following situation:

Your grandmother dies two years after your divorce leaving you £150,000. You think that you can now buy yourself a home. However, your ex-spouse finds out about this. They are on a low income with very little chance of being able to buy a house for themselves. You receive a letter from their solicitor stating that as the two of you never finalised financial matters, your ex-spouse now seeks a share of your inheritance money. If you do not agree they will issue court proceedings!

If Emmersons Solicitors had represented you during the divorce proceedings, then we would have advised you to try to enter into a Consent Order with your ex-spouse. The point of this would be to prevent either of you making a claim against one another at any time in the future.

You should also make a will. It possibly doesn’t occur to people dealing with their divorce themselves to even consider making a will. If you do not have a final Financial Settlement Order following your divorce, then your ex-spouse can always make a claim against your estate upon your death. The vast majority of matrimonial clients at Emmersons Solicitors make a will with us to exclude their ex-spouse from their estate.

I have also been dealing with a case in which a couple dealt with their own divorce. They were well educated and decided to research the need for a Final Financial Settlement. They drew up between them a document that they referred to as a Consent Order. Part of the deal reached was that the husband would pay the wife maintenance for life even though she had a well paid job. The husband would also sign over the house to the wife and in return she would give him the endowment policies that were in their joint names. For five years the husband paid maintenance, even though he was unemployed for months at a time. He also signed over the house to his wife. However, the wife then refused to give the husband the endowment policies which were worth about £50,000! The Consent Order had never been sent to the court for sealing. Therefore I was able to renegotiate the whole deal to make sure the husband received the endowment policies and that the wife received no further maintenance as she had already received far more than any judge would have ordered.

As you can see matrimonial law is not just about filling in a few forms. It requires specialist help. If you want to save yourself thousands of pounds and avoid the long term risk of losing your assets then come and see us so that we can explain your options.


Call Divorce Department today - Newcastle:   0191 284 6989
Call Divorce Department today - Sunderland: 0191 567 6667


Download my free eGuide.

Nine Reasons Why You Should Instruct A Solicitor To Handle Your Divorce

Nine Reasons Why You Should Instruct A Solicitor Too Handle Your Divorce eBook

I am frequently asked about the value of instructing an expert solicitor to handle a divorce. I 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.


Download my Free eGuide Today



Author: Jacqueline Emmerson
Collaborative Family Lawyer

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