Catherine Lowther - Divorce Specialist

Pitfalls of Do It Yourself Divorce


With Legal Aid no longer available for most separating couples, ‘DIY Divorces’ are increasing. The so-called divorces tend come from one of two forms; those provided by online companies and individuals representing themselves.

With online services from as little as £99, DIY divorces may appear to save time and money. However, as recent startling statistics show as many as 1 in 4 divorce petitions are rejected by the Court, this is a misnomer. We have assisted many clients who have encountered difficulties in utilising online companies, or hit a stumbling block dealing with divorce proceedings themselves. Many have had divorce petitions rejected due to simple procedural errors, a lack of information, or paying the incorrect Court fee. Additionally, individuals may encounter difficulties where a Respondent fails to admit adultery, consent to a divorce based on two-years separation, or refuses to return the Acknowledgment of Service to the Court. Encountering these difficulties undoubtedly increases the costs of dealing with the matter and causes undue stress. If appropriate legal advice is sought early on, these issues may be rectified swiftly, if not avoided altogether.

Putting procedural and other difficulties to one side, a further misconception is that the finalisation of divorce proceedings brings to an end a spouse’s financial obligation to one another. Unfortunately, this is not the case. If financial matters are not resolved by way of a Court Order, all financial claims will remain open. Financial matters can be complex and difficult to untangle with many couples having a property, pension provision or investments to consider. Furthermore, there is no time limit on bringing a financial claim after divorce, meaning claims can be brought as many as 30 years after separation.

Swinburne Maddison provides practical legal advice with a view to achieving a fair and reasonable settlement and offers bespoke packages to suit your budget, with an initial advice appointment costing £100+VAT. 

For further information please contact solicitor, Catherine Lowther on 0191 384 2441 or

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