Antonia Felix, Associate in Family, discusses the process of divorce from start to finish and if the help of a divorce lawyer can be substituted. Recent divorce rates show an increase in the number of couples attempting divorce without legal assistance.
Antonia comments: "There are usually two parts to a divorce – the divorce itself and the resolution of financial matters. For the divorce, there is a court fee of £550 and if you instruct a solicitor to prepare and lodge the paperwork, the costs can be a further £1,000. In terms of the finances, depending on how big the asset pool is, if you litigate through to a final hearing, the costs can reach six figures. If you are able to reach an agreement between yourselves with the assistance of a solicitor, your costs will be significantly less."
She continues: "The court has to be satisfied that all reasonable steps have been taken to bring the divorce petition to the Respondent's attention. If you cannot locate your spouse you can ask the court for permission to serve them at their last known address or at an email address. It is also possible to ask the court to allow you to serve the papers on them care of one of their family members. In extreme circumstances the court can dispense with the need to serve the Respondent."
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