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Do it yourself divorce

(21 Posts)
category12 Thu 08-Sep-16 19:39:00

I'm thinking of doing my divorce myself, because we as a couple had sod all financially - he has left our council house and signed over the tenancy - and we are managing quite amicably over care of the children and child support. So what is there to get lawyers involved over? We are on reasonable terms and he has agreed to me filing for divorce - he wants me to do it fairly quickly as he wants to marry again (ha!) Do you know what pitfalls there are to me doing this?

I am also debating what grounds - I could do it for adultery but I'm tempted by unreasonable behaviour. But I'm not sure if that is being vindictive and if I should take the high road. I wish I was a bit clearer on my own motivations here. Has anyone written their own petitions?

2sCompany Thu 08-Sep-16 19:42:42

Have no advice I'm afraid, but very interested to know if you can do it yourself. Very similar position to you in that my ex and I get on well and the main reason neither of us has done anything official is the cost. We've been separated over 2 years.

Watching in anticipation of the advice you receive - good luck!

category12 Thu 08-Sep-16 19:51:20

2sCompany - You certainly can do it, it's whether it's a good idea or am I being naive? smile

If you go on the site pages about divorce, it has all the forms and guidance. Costs £550 in court fees to get the ball rolling, although it looks like low income people can get help with fees. So I'll be looking at that too.

category12 Thu 08-Sep-16 19:53:42

You having been separated over 2 years should be able to do it without citing anything nasty.

2sCompany Thu 08-Sep-16 20:02:30

Thanks, I'll have a look. Haven't really looked in much detail as we were both fearing having to pay £1000s.

I suppose it's a only a good idea if it's all fairly straightforward and you know neither side is going to be difficult over things!

category12 Thu 08-Sep-16 20:15:20

grin There's the rub.

murrell0cherri Fri 09-Sep-16 10:24:19

If you both agree to the divorce, a DIY divorce is a simple option.

Fee remission, where you pay no fee or a partial fee is available if you are on benefits or a lower income.

Here a is a good link about fee remission and is worth a look.

As you said the 'facts' or reasons can be tricky? and is the area where most DIY divorces can run into problems.

So I would keep it as simple as possible.

Hope this helps.

CentreYourCheese Fri 09-Sep-16 10:36:52

My DH and his ex-wife did a DIY divorce. Downloaded the forms for free (make sure you go on the correct gov websites as there are lots of chancers out there that will charge you for the forms) and just paid the court fee - £350ish I think?

At the time, 2 of the kids were (just) under 18, so they had to put in a statement about the arrangements for maintenance and custody. They went for separated for 5+ years as that was the easiest option at that point - IIRC the proof was the fact that he had been on the electoral role at a different address for years.

It doesn't cover final financial arrangements (e.g. access to pensions) - you have to do that through a solicitor, but there's no requirement to do that at the same time as the divorce.

It was very straightforward, but that was probably because they get on really well and they'd been separated over 10 years by that point. It took around 3 months - she logged the forms, then they sent out to DH to respond, then went to court, and Nisi was issued, followed by Absolute 6 weeks late.

category12 Fri 09-Sep-16 15:20:53

Thanks both.

Murrell0cherri - Do you know what sort of things go wrong with the facts/reasons?

I have been experimenting filling out the forms today and reading around online. I'm worried that since it's been over a year since we separated, that my examples of unreasonable behaviour aren't valid - although the final straw one was what caused me to kick him out. I feel a bit peeved that because I didn't end things under the promise that he would change, some ongoing issues probably would be rejected - it's like you're punished for trying to make it work. confused

I'm hopeful about getting the fees reduced anyway. smile

I wish he would wait the two years where we could do it no fault instead.

Minime85 Fri 09-Sep-16 19:01:59

Yes it's quite straightforward once you get the wording right. Google on line as there are lots of examples. But better to be the petitioner. You need to give 5-6 reasons from the 6 months before you separated. Things like:
Him leaving arrival home on given date and not returning to live since
Not socialising together and feeling left out
Not having sex
Saying I don't love you etc

I think price is now £550.

You can then do consent order ds via on line companies too so don't have to use a solicitor. Even if no finances you still need to do this as you need to be financially separated. It's called a clean break

category12 Fri 09-Sep-16 21:27:15

Yes, it's £550 to start proceedings.

FeedMeAndTellMeImPretty Fri 09-Sep-16 21:33:02

I used Wikivorce and it wasn't much more than that but at least there were solicitors at the other end making sure things were done properly.

Minime85 Fri 09-Sep-16 21:46:55

It's really easy I did my own and helped dp do his too. I wouldn't waste more money on it. My dp only had 4 reasons and went straight through no problem.

AllTheFluffyAnimals Fri 09-Sep-16 21:52:50

I did mine for free (fee remission) and it was very straightforward.

WatchingFromTheWings Fri 09-Sep-16 21:59:24

I did mine myself citing 'Unreasonable Behaviour' (he was emotionally and financially abusive). Got the forms from the court and they advised what needed to fill in. I sorted the kids access and used the government website to calculate child support. I typed everything out, he signed, job done. We'd both seen a solicitor to get our free 30 minutes and I used the Internet to see what we were entitled to. Job done! grin

category12 Sat 10-Sep-16 09:27:31

Great smile.

category12 Sat 10-Sep-16 09:27:52

Feeling a bit more confident about it.

Chasingsquirrels Sun 11-Sep-16 10:55:52

I did mine myself, on 2 year separation with agreement, although it was nearly 5 years by the time I got round to it.

I did however use a solicitor to prepare the financial consent order, although the details of that had been agreed between us and I place for some time.

murrell0cherri Sun 11-Sep-16 12:28:51

If your confident with forms it shouldn't be a problem.

Some people prefer to use wiki or divorcebox cause it takes away the worry.

It sounds harsh but the courts are not interested in how you split, so avoid long descriptive paragraphs.

They want to why 'they work to much'........'they are an alcoholic' and when.

Anything can be 'unreasonable behaviour', as long as you find it 'unreasonable'.

Keep it simple and provide examples.

If you can provide dates.

Hope this helps.

SomeonesRealName Mon 12-Sep-16 21:13:02

You'll find guidance online but go for unreasonable behaviour rather than adultery as adultery is tricky to prove unless it's admitted.

nevis42 Thu 15-Sep-16 19:50:41

I was divorced in 1998. I know its a good few years ago but it was very amicable and we did it ourselves! We applied for the forms (from the local courts I recall) filled them in, signed and sent them off. We had a 3year old child too so had to get the necessary care on paper......even tho further down the line he 'forgot' he had a child.....and the cost was £100 all in! The only time we had to see a lawyer was to swear the affidavit which was around £30. Not an easy time for you so best of luck x

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