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Ten Common Misconceptions about Family Law

Here at SNS, our specialist family law solicitors come across misunderstandings and expectations in our clients that do not correlate to the reality in divorce and separation in this country.

Sometimes that is good news for our client; sometimes it is not.

Myth no 7: You don’t need a solicitor to sort out a divorce.

When is it ok to DIY and when is it crucial that you’ve taken sound advice.

More and more, we search carefully for the best option when getting help, making a purchase, making a decision. Even the word ‘search’ now carries its own digital meaning. If you are as old as me, you remember the days when ‘search’ meant going out and looking for something. Or at least picking up the phone (or dare I say it – the phonebook).

There is a lot of information out there to try and inform, to help us make decisions. Whether or not to use a solicitor to advise you when divorcing, is a big decision.

When people talk about divorce, they often mean all aspects of the separation, including (1) the ending of the marriage, (2) sorting out the house and money, and (3) reaching agreement about the children.

Divorce - to end the marriage - is now available online and this has made the process much easier to avoid pitfalls and get through smoothly. But a divorce alone doesn’t finish everything and the vast majority of couples need to sort out their money and property, and child arrangements as well. Matrimonial financial settlements, and sorting out child arrangements, definitely require sound legal advice.

Solicitors are trained to identify the issues and to avoid being blindsided by factors that could otherwise be missed.

Often we can encourage a client themselves to deal with areas that they can manage, and to focus their solicitor’s advice on areas which need a specialist family lawyer to address. That might be the overall financial settlement, the pensions, maintenance, or advising on arrangements for the children.

The advice you get needs to be tailored to you. It needs to allow for your individuality and personal approach to risk. The advice you get has to weigh up the factors the court uses when deciding if a settlement is fair. It should take into account the lasting family relationships which will endure beyond the divorce or separation. It should empower you as the client to make decisions and choices that are the result of having ‘searched up’ all the options, weighed up your personal priorities - and all with the knowledge that you have not short-changed yourself by not getting good advice on decisions which can have a lasting effect on your financial and personal wellbeing.

If you wish to speak with one of our specialist solicitors in confidence please contact us on tel 01622 23 88 50, or by email at

Watch this space next week for Myth Number Eight.

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