It is frequently said that if you are buying goods or services “you get what you pay for”. Recently that has proved to be particularly true for 28 people who thought they could save money by using a cheap “online provider” to do their divorce.
In a recent case report headed “Improper Petitions”, the Family Court struck out 28 divorce petitions. All of the 28 petitions had been prepared by an unregulated online service. The Court became suspicious about the petitions because they had all used identical wording to describe allegations of unreasonable behaviour. Although the person behind the online company apologised to the Court and stated it had been a mistake, 28 people who thought that they had put their divorces into the hands of a reputable service will have found themselves all having to start over which means extra costs and delays for their divorces.
Hopefully, the provider of this online divorce service will give some kind of compensation to the people it failed, but unlike a Solicitor’s Practice which must follow the rules and keep to the standards set by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and carry substantial professional indemnity insurance, such an online divorce service is not regulated and does not have to be insured, so anyone choosing to use it is not guaranteed to receive proper service or be paid any compensation if something goes wrong.
The moral of this story is that if you are going to do something as important as divorce, it is worth paying for proper advice! It will cost you less in the long term.
At Harold Stock & Co Solicitors we offer a free of charge, untimed initial meeting with a family law specialist. There is no obligation to instruct us following this meeting. We will outline the options available to you and also discuss the costs involved in the matter.
We offer a Fixed Fee Divorce Service. If you are issuing divorce proceedings, our cost will be £600.00 plus VAT plus the Court Fee (currently £593.00). If you are the Respondent in divorce proceedings, our cost will be £300.00 plus VAT.
For all other areas of family law, including financial proceedings, we charge a competitive hourly rate. There are no hidden costs and you will receive regular invoices and full breakdowns of the work undertaken by us in order to help you to manage the costs of your case.
Our family law department is led by Chris Bowen who specialises in Family Law – the legal aspects of family and relationship breakdown. This covers divorce, matrimonial finance, disputes between cohabitees, disputes about arrangements for children, and extends to pre-nuptial and cohabitation agreements etc. Chris has substantial experience in this field. He is a member of the Resolution, the largest membership organisation for family justice professionals in England and Wales whose code of practice insists upon a conciliatory approach to resolving issues on the breakdown of a relationship. He is also trained as a Collaborative Family Lawyer and is a keen supporter of this process.
To get in touch with Chris, email him at email@example.com or call 01457 835597.