There are increasing numbers of people who try to deal with their own divorces and their own financial settlements. Court paperwork has been modified greatly over the last few years to assist and make it more “user friendly” for parties to “do it themselves”.
There are some legal aspects of relationship breakdown which could be tackled fairly straightforwardly by the non expert. However, in many situations a financial settlement on divorce should not be one of them. An online or pre-printed form is no substitute for proper and expert legal advice relevant to your situation.
The point has been rather starkly made in a recent written statement from the Under-Secretary of State Shailesh Vara MP following an urgent investigation after Christmas. An error in the Ministry of Justice online Form E (the detailed statement used in financial proceedings on divorce to assess a party’s financial position) means that potentially 2,235 closed financial settlements need to be re-opened and potentially re-negotiated.
The error was discovered on the website on 10 December 2015 and a new corrected form was available by 14 December 2015, but the fault has affected cases between April 2011 and January 2012 as well as between April 2014 and December 2015.
The courts have now been instructed to write to parties involved in 2,235 cases.
Nobody wants to pay legal fees. Whilst you may not want to pay costs at the beginning, it is nearly always the case that the costs of sorting out something when it is has gone wrong, are a lot more. We will always try to tailor the amount of input and costs that suits your needs and the circumstances of your situation.