Marital breakdown is never easy but unfortunately, it is an occurrence in many homes across Ireland. For couples wanting to go their separate ways, divorce allows both parties to move on and indeed remarry if either should so wish.
There are a number of requirements which must be met before a court will grant a decree of divorce, the court may make orders in relation to access and custody of children, the payment of child and spousal maintenance and lump sum payments, the division and transfer of martial property, the extinguishment of succession rights and pension rights, and at such a stressful time, it can be tempting for separating couples to try and save time and money by getting a quick, do-it-yourself divorce.
The proliferation of DIY websites and unqualified legal document preparers give the impression that the process is much simpler and faster than it is. Websites offering online divorces have soared in popularity in recent times with prices advertised as low as €190.00 for a Divorce.
But be warned, there is a real danger of turning to cut-price online firms to deal with your divorce that could end up with disastrous irreversible results, saving you neither time nor money.
A divorce is intended to be a final separation with the intent that the spouses become as financially independent from one another as is possible. However, it should be pointed out that following the divorce, either spouse may be entitled to apply to court to review and amend the orders made under the divorce, should there be a significant change in the circumstances of one or both of the former spouses therefore it is imperative that have sought professional legal advice throughout the entire divorce proceedings to prevent this from occurring.
Here at Berwick Solicitors LLP, David Higgins and Emer Mulry have seen the dangers and irreversible damage of a do-it-yourself divorce first-hand. Time and time again, we have had to come in and fix the errors that were made by well-meaning people who were trying to save money and get through their divorce more quickly by handling it on their own.
Unfortunately, fixing these errors often ends up costing much, much more than it would have cost to do it right in the first place.
We believe here at Berwick Solicitors LLP that it is better to do it correctly from the start with the help of a qualified experienced Solicitor.
Marriage is a powerful legal institution in Ireland that is not easily dissolved. The family law courts will not grant a dissolution of marriage unless and until all of the necessary legal requirements have been met, and if you cannot correctly complete the process yourself, it will proceed according to the automatic dictates of Irish law.
Divorce must be handled carefully in order to ensure that the parties involved actually get what they think they are getting: a fair and permanent solution. Unfortunately, simple errors during a do-it-yourself divorce can cause serious problems.
Once the final judgment is entered, the case is over. You may not get another chance to fix the problem.
A consultation with a family law Solicitor can identify what issues must be addressed, point out potential negative consequences of certain decisions, and let you know what to expect throughout the entire divorce process.
Emer Mulry is a Solicitor at Berwick Solicitors LLP who works extensively in the area of Divorce and Separation. For more information, please contact Emer at Emer Mulry@berwick.ie.