Everything you need to know about online divorce services and traditional solicitors.
When you decide to divorce, you face a seemingly endless list of questions and have decisions to make that can carry long-lasting consequences. This situation is made more challenging because the emotional burden that accompanies divorce can cloud your judgement.
This article will inform you of your options when it comes to divorce. I’m an advocate of uncontested divorce, because in 99% of cases it makes the most sense.
My mission is to reduce the financial and emotional impact that divorce has on families by helping couples spend less on their legal fees and reduce conflict.
I’m not anti-marriage. I’m pro-happiness. Divorce doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Not everything can last forever, and people change, so why stay locked in an unhappy marriage? Divorce provides an opportunity for a fresh start in finding happiness, and when someone is happy, this tends to have a positive effect on those around them.
In this article I will explain the differences between online divorce services and traditional high-street solicitors to help you make the best decision for your divorce.
Using a Traditional High-Street Solicitor
When did you last use the services of a solicitor? When you sold or bought a house? How was that experience for you? If you’re like most people, it was pretty stressful. You didn’t know what was going on at times. You felt frustrated, but it worked out in the end, and the overwhelming relief that the sale went through made you forget about the shortcomings of your legal representation.
It’s not an ideal situation, but what can you do? Solicitors are the experts after all. And indeed, they are. I’ll be the first to tell you that having a strong legal team by your side fills you with reassurance. But there’s a big difference between a four-billion-dollar multinational law firm and Joe Bloggs LLP in your town. Most of the time, you have no idea if you’re getting a quality service. How could you? The industry’s legal jargon is a big barrier. Often, we hand over total control to the solicitor, even in situations that don’t feel right in our gut—because they are the experts. I’m not saying that solicitors deliberately try to keep you in the dark, but they are there to advise, not to teach.
How solicitors make their money
The main thing that the best law firms in the world and their high-street counterparts do have in common is that they are businesses, and very good ones at that. Having worked alongside some of the best lawyers in the country, I have had an inside view of how skilled they are at sales and upselling.
Solicitors make money for their firm by billing their clients for the time they spend with them. They have monthly and annual targets to hit, just like car salespeople do. Its only human nature that a business model like this incentivises solicitors to spend as much time with their clients as they can.
And what requires lots of time? Dealing with disagreements and conflict. Have you ever noticed that legal cases are written as ‘Smith v Smith’? One person versus another. Solicitors make their money from conflict, which isn’t necessarily something that you want in a divorce.
Conflict in divorce costs money, takes time, and is an emotional burden, not only for you but for your children. Conflict in divorce rips lives apart.
The problem with traditional solicitors
By trying to negotiate the best deal for you, their client, a traditional solicitor takes a win-lose approach to divorce. The problem is that your spouse will also instruct a solicitor to do the same. Two parties, both seeking to win at all costs, increases conflict, which increases the need for more of the solicitor’s time.
No doubt you have heard the horror stories—couples fighting for months and sometimes even years, all the while spending thousands of pounds on legal fees. I believe this is madness.
We both know that your hard-earned money is better off in your pocket, to spend on you and your children. That’s why it’s my mission to reduce the financial and emotional impact that divorce has on families by helping couples reduce conflict and pay less in legal fees.
Using an Online Divorce Service
It’s common to associate the divorce process with high-street solicitors and the courts, and think that this is the only option. On top of this, the legal profession, which we often rely on, insist on keeping it shrouded in often baffling legal jargon, giving it the appearance of being difficult to navigate.
However, with the arrival of online divorce services like Easy Online Divorce, there are options available that allow couples to part amicably and affordably, leaving their post-divorce relationship and finances intact.
What is an online divorce service?
Online divorce services are for couples who are looking for an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce means that both individuals agree on the decision to end the marriage and the reasons why. Couples who can’t agree on these terms are not eligible to divorce online and will need to use the services of an expensive high-street solicitor.
Instead of visiting a solicitor and getting charged upwards of £180 an hour, online divorce providers can complete your divorce papers within 24 hours all without you even needing to leave your home.
What are the benefits of online divorce services?
There are three main benefits to using an online divorce service.
1. Save thousands in legal fees
With an online divorce, you can save thousands of pounds in legal fees because you don’t need a solicitor. The average divorce in the UK weighs in at £14,561, in legal fees and lifestyle costs. Family law solicitors cost anywhere between £175 to £400 an hour.
As an example, Easy Online Divorce offers three services ranging from £29 for a fully guided DIY solution, to £169 to manage the entire divorce process for you.
2. Online divorce is fast
Compared with using a traditional solicitor, online divorce is fast. They take on the paperwork so you don’t have to waste time filling out legal forms or worrying if the court will approve your documents. All you have to do is take five minutes to complete a simple questionnaire, and they will draft your forms based on your particular situation. Your completed and verified divorce papers will be ready for your signature within 24 hours.
In contrast to a high-street solicitor, their sole objective is to get your divorce through as quickly and painlessly as possible. They do not promote divorce, but if it has to happen, they aim to make the process fast so you can get on with your life. To facilitate this, they also proactively follow up with the court and deal with any queries from the judge on your behalf.
3. Online divorce is less stressful
With online divorce services, you and your spouse don’t have to face a judge or attend court, meaning that you don’t have to take time off work or organise childcare. If you’re less stressed, the divorce will be easier on you and your children as there is less potential for emotionally damaging conflict.
Online divorce providers handle everything for you, leaving you to carry on with your life while they deal with your divorce.
What should I consider when selecting an online divorce service?
It might be an online divorce service, but that doesn’t mean it should be faceless. Call the company up and have a chat about your situation. Get a feel for the people who will work on your case. Do they understand you? Do they genuinely want to help? Do they have the experience and life skills to help you navigate through your divorce? It’s important to feel comfortable and that the company has your best interests at heart.
How do I get a divorce online?
Getting a divorce online requires two easy steps: finding out if you qualify and choosing the right package for you. The services strip out any unnecessary complexity. They usually begin by asking you some simple questions, and the information you provide is then used to generate the divorce papers for you.
Find out if you qualify to divorce online
If you can answer ‘yes’ to the following questions, you can use an online divorce service.
- Do you live in England or Wales?
- Have you been married for more than 12 months?
- Do you and your spouse agree to divorce?
Select the right package for you
The packages offered differ from provider to provider, but they usually fall into three categories:
A DIY divorce service is perfect if spending the minimum amount of money is your primary concern. The divorce process is explained in simple, straightforward terms, and step-by-step instructions are given on how to draft your petition.
A DIY divorce service is for people who want to file the divorce themselves but get expert help along the way. It is not suitable for everyone. If you would like more of the stress to be taken away, consider one of the other services.
A completed and verified service is the easiest and most straightforward way to do a DIY divorce. It removes the stress of filling in court forms and the worry of making mistakes. You provide the basic details, and all of your divorce papers are drafted for you to submit to the court.
It is the perfect solution if you want to file a straightforward divorce and make sure your divorce papers are correct and error-free.
In both of these services, you still file your own divorce petition, but you get support along the way to make sure you’re doing everything correctly.
A fully managed divorce service takes all the stress out of your divorce as everything is dealt with on your behalf. You receive all of the benefits that you would typically get from a high-street solicitor but without the high cost. Including the drafting and filing of all the divorce documents with the courts, and communication between the court, your spouse, and any opposing solicitors. There is no easier way to get a divorce.
If you are eligible to use an online divorce service and you would like to discuss which options is best suited to you, send us a message below to arrange a free consultation.