Guest Post: Divorce, Quickie Style
What to expect from a quickie divorce company
Okay, so it’s not the cheeriest topic, but as someone who’s just reached the end of a very long divorce process, I’m feeling the need to share anything I can that might help folks who are still going through it, or who’re about to start. I was told I’d feel relief when it was over; in fact, I didn’t feel any kind of watershed moment when the decree nisi finally came through – it’s so sad that we have to go through this kind of thing at all. My divorce was less bloody than some, but it took years to achieve – first he was trying to DIY-divorce me, but that ground to a halt, and then I had to save up enough money to do it myself.
How much does it cost?
If you can prove you’re on a low income, you can apply for a fee waiver, which reduces the amount you must pay the court – I ended up paying only £65 in total, and £20 of that was due to a complication. The majority of the cost went to the lawyers.
You used to be able to file your own divorce, but the court staff aren’t there to advise you, and it seemed impossible to get right. Now, the rules have changed and the process is even more complicated, and potentially expensive; they fine you every time you submit a petition that contains any mistakes. So a lawyer felt like the safest route.
I went to one of the online “quickie” divorce companies, as high street solicitors often charge £100s per hour of their time. If you can afford a local high street solicitor I do recommend it, as some aspects of the quickie process were very stressful – it took three times longer than promised, there were unexpected costs, and their methods were cold and anonymous. They were super-friendly to begin with, assigning me a personal advisor (read “sales rep”) to make sure I had the “right” package. These range from £200 for a very basic package with no support from a lawyer (you fill in all the forms, quickie company checks and submits them), to just under £400 for a package where a high street lawyer is assigned to represent you in court if necessary.
As soon as they had my money, of course, there were no more friendly phonecalls – just an online questionnaire to fill out, which was subsequently handed onto a high street lawyer in Wales (I live in London). The quickie company did email me once to request further info, but the rest of the process was a string of anonymous emails from this Welsh lawyer. To be fair, they only receive a £50 fee from the quickie company. It’s a strange process. But they got it done eventually.
How long did it take?
The whole process, from my first call to the quickie company to my receipt of the decree nisi (which makes the divorce legally binding) has taken nine months. The quickie company told me it would take three. Six weeks of that was an obligatory legal waiting period, during which time anyone who opposes the divorce can speak up.
It was a bit of a risk; they could’ve just taken my money and run, which they didn’t. If you’re low on cash, it’s a viable option, but you will need to be brave, and set aside £150 or so for sundry costs like court fees and paying a high street lawyer to swear your affidavit, which must be done in a lawyer’s presence, and cost me £10.
**Website note: The above is a non-paid post via Red Mud Media and is for information only.