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FDR Law Legal Clinic - Pifalls of the DIY Divorce

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Legal advice from Jennifer Carr, family solicitor at FDR Law, based in Warrington.


Q: My separated husband believes we can handle our divorce ourselves online rather than paying solicitor’s costs. Is it as easy as it sounds? 

A: Recently thousands of couples about to separate have been persuaded to opt for a ‘do it yourself’ online divorce. Unfortunately handling your own divorce is a lot more complicated than people realise. One in four divorce petitions are flawed and have to be returned for correction due to errors in procedure, lack of information or in some cases, failure to enclose issue fees.

Managing divorce proceedings yourself can be a highly emotional, risky and stressful process littered with pitfalls that may not be apparent at the outset. In these situations, without the right support the process can simply falls apart and fail to progress. Here are three important reasons as to why it is imperative couples instruct a solicitor to handle their family matters.

1. Divorces are not always straightforward. Solicitors have the impartial specialist knowledge to overcome any problems that you may incur if you decide to go ahead with a DIY divorce. 
2. By instructing a legal expert you will receive face to face friendly advice. Your solicitor will become fully aware of your individual situation. 
3. A family lawyer can explain complex legal terminology used during the divorce process; meaning important elements of the process could be overlooked. 
There are many other reasons potential pitfalls and difficulties that may occur when trying to handle a divorce yourself. Most of these are of course not foreseen when you embark on the process of divorce. A good family lawyer will listen, explain, advise and ultimately act on your instruction and in your best interests.

Jennifer Carr is a family law solicitor specialising in divorce and separation. She can be contacted at or on 01925 230000