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.
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Cheap 'Quickie' Divorce Websites
Lawyer Managed Divorce Services
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.
|Less experience. |
Online services generally use lower paid Legal Executives and you have no way of checking how experienced they are.
|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
The Solicitors Regulation Authority protects consumers by setting standards of professional conduct, handling complaints and providing compensation if a solicitor acts dishonestly.
|Not regulated ||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.
Access to legal advice during divorce is important to avoid mistakes that could have serious long term financial consequences.
|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.
Family lawyers are qualifed and are able to offer legal advice.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
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.
|Not covered. |
Most online divorce companies do not carry this insurance as it is expensive.
By choosing a lawyer to manage your divorce you are getting this important insurance cover included.
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?
|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.
If you have a complaint about a lawyer, the legal ombudsman offers a free, impartial service to resolve that complaint.