No two divorces are ever quite the same: most proceedings require a solicitorís involvement at one stage or another but many do not. Recent figures from the Office of National Statistics show the most commonly cited reason for divorce nationally was Ďunreasonable behaviourí, but on the other hand, the second most common reason was Ď2 years separation with consentí, meaning that spouses lived apart for that length of time and agreed to divorce.
How many of these separations required divorce advice is difficult to say, but what is most important is your own situation. If you and your spouse are on amicable terms and have come to a fair, reasonable and mutual agreement on how your assets should be divided, it is possible for you to instigate and conclude your proceedings without ever speaking to a solicitor for divorce advice.
However, there are many reasons why you should consider hiring a solicitor. Even if you and your partner are on friendly terms, separation is rarely straightforward, especially when it comes to dividing financial assets and responsibilities towards children. In these cases it is almost always essential to have a solicitor on board who can mediate discussions, support you in your claims and help prevent your divorce from becoming more stressful than necessary.
Solicitors can also help in many situations where there are no disagreements on either side. They can determine if the agreements you and your spouse have made are likely to be considered fair before a judge, avoiding unnecessary delays. They can ensure the agreements you make are legally binding. Finally, they can ensure that all parties understand fully what they are entitled to before the proceedings are brought to a close, preventing disputes later on.
ABM Solicitors are one firm who offer divorce advice in Manchester. Company Director, Andrew Marsh advised, "If you feel you and your spouse are in a position to steer your separation without divorce advice, your first step should be to obtain a form called a "Petition" (and a "Statement of Arrangements Form" if you have children) from your local County Court. The forms will come with instructions on how to complete them and advice will be available from the court itself."
"However, you can still bring a qualified solicitor into the proceedings at any stage if you feel you need independent help that will serve in both yours and your children's interests. They can also advise you if you are eligible for the Legal Help Scheme, which will exempt you from some of the legal fees associated with divorce."
Separation is never a decision to be taken lightly but sometimes it is the most sensible option. If you are at all anxious about starting proceedings, seek professional advice. While not obligatory, independent divorce advice can ensure your marriage is dissolved on good terms with both parties fairly represented.