When a marriage breaks down and the fault lines are too deep to repair, a so-called ‘quickie’ divorce may seem like the perfect fast-track to a new beginning.
This week, the Co-op announced a new service promising to cut the amount of time it takes to complete an uncontested divorce from nine months to four.
The retailer says the fixed-fee digital service enables people to start the process online from home, supported by phone-based advice from experienced solicitors.
But just how realistic are the Co-op’s claims?
There are two formal dates within the divorce process that are relevant to how long the overall process will take – decree nisi and decree absolut. Decree nisi takes around six to eight weeks when the application is lodged. Then there is the minimum six-week wait for the court to actually issue and process the paperwork – and then at least another six weeks between decree nisi and decree absolute. And that’s presuming there are no complications along the way.
The fact is that in the vast majority of cases, paying a little extra for a solicitor – who will probe deeper into your needs, both present and future, to ensure that you are making the right decisions – is money very well spent.
Even if you believe that your financial situation is relatively straightforward, failure to seek expert legal advice could have serious financial consequences years later.
For instance, if you do not have a formal Financial Order drawn up and signed by both you and your ex-spouse and confirmed by the court, either one of you could make a claim on each other’s future earnings, long after the Decree Absolute is issued.
Issues surrounding child arrangements, property and pensions can further complicate the matter – and increase the need for expert guidance.
How can our divorce lawyers help?
We offer a tailored service and are clear in setting out realistic timescales with our clients, ensuring we are at your side every step of the way – and giving you the peace of mind that you won’t be dealt any nasty surprises in the months and years to come.
To find out more or to make a fixed fee appointment, call 01473 211121 or email [email protected]