News: Divorcees Representing Themselves in Court Face Obstacles 

Published on 23 September, 2016 | Eleanor Aguirre

The process of divorce can be lengthy, bringing stress and further complications, which is perhaps why many couples have been choosing to take matters into their own hands and represent themselves.

Currently in England and Wales, there are five ways to initiate divorce proceedings, three of which involve living separately for at least two years. As it stands, the only ways to speed up the divorce process are for the proceedings to be based on adultery or unreasonable behaviour, which can result in more trauma and eliminate any chance of being able to work through the divorce process amicably with your ex-partner.

As more and more couples seek divorce, many have been placing pressure on the law to provide them with a quicker and smoother divorce. However, there can be a number of complications when it comes to representing yourself in divorce cases without the aid of a lawyer which a person should be aware of before making the decision to represent themselves.

You Might Not Get What You Want

A substantial part of the divorce process requires you and your ex-partner to outline your individual wants and needs, in order to come to an agreement about who gets what. Depending on the situation and unique circumstances of each case, this can take a long time. By representing yourself in court with the plan of speeding up the process, you have a higher risk of not actually getting the outcomes you expect or think you deserve.

Without legal aid, you may be pressured into compromising on certain aspects, or your wishes may not be fully recognised in court. Unless you completely understand even the key legal principles, it is incredibly difficult to present your own case and still reach the successful conclusion you hoped for.

The Whole Family Should Be Considered

Divorce lawyers take into account the wants and requirements of the family as a whole, in order to benefit everyone. There are many aspects that must be considered during the divorce process so that a reasonable conclusion is met, including:

  • Financial settlements of joint assets (such as property, trusts, family businesses)
  • Where children will live (i.e. child arrangements)
  • Financial support for children
  • Pensions and wills

Many couples are often unaware of these various aspects, so having a divorce lawyer to guide you through the process – and thereby doing all the work on your behalf – can take away a lot of the pressure and make things easier to complete.

Your Relationship With Your Children Might Be Affected

Couples with children run the risk of affecting their relationship with their children on a permanent basis by representing themselves in proceedings relating to arrangements for children. There is a huge amount of case law relating to arrangements for children and as the court has such a degree of discretion when deciding what to order attending court can be confusing and stressful sometimes resulting in outcomes that could not have been predicted.

Hall Brown Can Help Guide You Smoothly Through Divorce Proceedings

If your marriage has broken down and you are seeking a divorce, Hall Brown are here to help guide you through the process – from the very initial stages, right up to reaching an amicable conclusion. With our years of expertise in family law, you can feel assured that our team will fully represent your rights and work hard to reach a smooth settlement.

Give our Manchester office a call on 0161 804 7000 or email us on to discuss your situation and find out how we can help you.


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