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Buyer's Guide to Divorce - Why use a regulated law firm?


There are many online divorce websites that offer a 'quick', 'cheap' divorce without a solicitor.

Many people view solicitors as expensive - but there are some clear benefits to using one.


 

Cheap 'Quickie' Divorce Websites

 

Lawyer Managed Divorce Services

 Accreditation

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Your divorce may be delayed or rejected by the court if mistakes are made in the application, so it is important that the person managing your divorce is legally qualified.

  cross.jpg Less experience.
Online services generally use lower paid Legal Executives and you have no way of checking how experienced they are.
  tick.jpg Experienced in family law.
To qualify for 'Family Law accreditation' lawyers have to demonstrate that they have at least 350 hours current experience and knowledge of family law.

 Regulation and Standards

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The Solicitors Regulation Authority protects consumers by setting standards of professional conduct, handling complaints and providing compensation if a solicitor acts dishonestly.

  cross.jpg Not regulated
  tick.jpg Family law firms are regulated by the SRA.
Law firms must comply with a code of conduct, they must act with integrity and in the interests of their clients, and they must remain independent and offer a good standard of service.


 Legal Advice

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Access to legal advice during divorce is important to avoid mistakes that could have serious long term financial consequences. 

  cross.jpg Not included.
Case managers from unregulated divorce websites are not qualified to offer legal advice. In fact they are not allowed to offer legal advice.
  tick.jpg Included.
Family lawyers are qualifed and are able to offer legal advice.

 Professional Indemnity Insurance

professional_indemnity_insurance.gif

Professional indemnity insurance provides cover to ensure that a provider of legal services can afford any claims of negligence that might be brought against it.

  cross.jpg Not covered.
Most online divorce companies do not carry this insurance as it is expensive.
  tick.jpg Covered.
By choosing a lawyer to manage your divorce you are getting this important insurance cover included.

 Complaint Handling

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What happens when something goes wrong with your divorce or consent order? For example: if your divorce petition is not drafted properly and is rejected by the court, who can you complain to? 

  cross.jpg Not covered.
Unfortunately, if the company that you use to manage your divorce is not a regulated law firm then you cannot complain to the legal ombudsman. 
  tick.jpg Covered.
If you have a complaint about a lawyer, the legal ombudsman offers a free, impartial service to resolve that complaint.