According the laws of England and Wales, no one is bound to hire a lawyer to represent themselves if they do not want to do so. Each person has the right to represent him or her in a court of law. This freedom makes a DIY divorce possible for anyone. Though theoretically, anyone can get a DIY divorce, in real life it works only in those cases where the divorce is uncontested, that is, there is no dispute between the partners.
In such divorces, there is no contest or complications and there are no contestants. Both the man and his wife agree to separate amicably and arrive at an arrangement agreeable to both regarding issues such as child custody, division of assets and liabilities and alimony. In uncontested divorces, the partners have no need to face a judge since there is no dispute to be resolved. These cases are ideal for DIY divorces and the entire procedure can be over in as little as three months, allowing the partners to make a fresh, happy start in life.
DIY divorces are getting very popular today because of the power of the Internet. A range of online divorce service providers have emerged in recent years which specialise in helping people get uncontested divorces on their own. This has ensured that you can complete all formalities and get a divorce quickly and efficiently without stepping out of the house. The websites of online service providers provide a host of services that you can access from your computer.
They enable you to initiate divorce proceedings online from anywhere in the world. They can complete on your behalf all the paperwork that has to be sent to the court and take care of all the procedures that have to be followed. One of the reasons for the wide popularity of DIY divorces through online service providers is that they charge a fraction of the cost of high street solicitors and see you through the entire process in a matter of weeks. For example, a leading company like Quickie Divorce (www.quickie-divorce.
com) allows you to initiate divorce petitions online for as little as GBP 40 while all the divorce forms can be completed for less than GBP 70. Since the online DIY divorce companies concentrate only in the area of uncontested divorce and do thousands of such cases every year, over time they have developed an expertise and competence few high street solicitors can match. Many of these service providers are innovative and have invested in customised software to speed up the way they process information submitted online by their clients.
This has lead to fast turnaround times and minimum delays in getting divorces approved from the courts. Some offer a round-the-clock case-tracking facility and even a full refund in case the clients are not satisfied with the service. The online divorce companies have evolved over time and are now quite reputed and well established. They have become a much cheaper, faster and more convenient alternative to the high street solicitors, which is the main reason for the surge in their popularity.
Do DIY divorces signal the end of the road for high street solicitors, who for hundreds of years have been an essential part of British society? Not quite. The former almost always relate to uncontested divorces where there is no dispute among the partners, there is mutual agreement to part amicably, finances are straightforward and all crucial issues have been settled beforehand. In divorce cases where there are differences over child custody, sharing of assets and liabilities and maintenance claims by the wife, an appearance in the court is necessary for the partners so that the judge can pronounce a judgement. Here, there is no substitute for a high street solicitor as it is not advisable for lay people to be their own lawyers without any legal experience or expertise.
Additionally, the contestant is too invested in the case to take an objective, dispassionate look at all the facts and may commit mistakes that may harm his or her own case. There is currently enough space in the divorce market for both online service providers and high street solicitors to coexist but as the former become more innovative, they are increasingly going to nibble on what had until now been the exclusive turf of the latter. In uncontested divorce market though, the online competition for the high street solicitors is here to stay and grow at their expense.
James Walsh is a freelance writer and copy editor. For more information on getting a Divorce see http://www.quickie-divorce.com