Further Problems With Online Do It Yourself Divorces
Family Law Solicitors – Gosforth, Newcastle and Sunderland
In response to press coverage about the dangers of naming a third party in DIY divorce papers, I started to think about other problems with Do It Yourself Divorces. The court or Quick Divorce sites lead you to believe that the whole process is quick and easy. Well, it can be a lot faster if you know what you are doing but get it wrong and you could cost yourself a fortune.
Also, the courts themselves are now very slow due to a lack of staff. So if your paperwork is rejected because of technical faults then you will wait quite some time to be told about this, you will then have to correct everything, send it back to the court and sit in the queue again. Sometimes the reason for the rejection is not clear, good luck in trying to get someone to answer the phone at the court. In other cases, the rejection is simply wrong, an administrative error by overworked court staff. How will you know if this is the case?
Let’s consider the issue of divorce costs themselves, do you know when you should seek them from the court?
Is the divorce delayed because your spouse doesn’t want to pay them?
Are they ignoring the paperwork because of this issue?
If you are the Respondent have you just agreed to pay divorce costs in circumstances where the court would not have ordered this?
Are you in such a hurry to obtain your divorce that you don’t pay heed to the other, far more important issues, such as when to sort out a Pension Sharing Order with your husband or wife. Did you know that if you obtain a Decree Absolute, then you are no longer married, therefore you have no right to a pension payment if your ex-spouse dies and you don’t have a Pension Sharing Order in place?
Do you think it’s ok just to split a pension on a 50/50 basis, it’s never the right thing to do?
Pensions need to be valued properly. One pension with a value of say £50,000 may pay out £200.00 a month but another much better scheme, also valued at £50,000, may actually pay out £400.00 per month!
Is it a good idea to split pensions equally in any event. By way of example, if Eric is a consultant doctor he may have a pension pot worth £1.5million. Unfortunately, he is now going to be facing extra taxes because of the value of his pension. This is a fairly recent problem following changes to the taxation of pension schemes. It may be far more beneficial for Eric to give more than half of his pension to his wife if she doesn’t have a pension. In return, Eric could take a greater share of other family assets than he might previously have taken. He will be better off tax wise, and his wife will be better off in her later years. If she is in her late fifties, she could obtain that pension in the not too distant future.
As you can see another raft of complicated issues arising if you try to use what is allegedly a simple online system. You might as well just try taking your own teeth out!
Contact us for to arrange a ‘Next Steps’ Divorce Advice Session.
Book your ‘Next Steps’ Divorce Advice Session at our Newcastle office: 0191 284 6989
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