The legal aid cuts – will they give rise to more divorce online?

Over a quarter of people are put off getting divorced by the potential size of their legal Bill – at least that’s according to a poll of 2000 people carried out last year by ICM.

The poll found not only that 28% of those surveyed would consider avoiding divorce entirely due to fears about the size of the legal costs, but a further 11% stated that when getting divorced, they wouldn’t use a solicitor. The survey found that the trend to avoid divorce for financial reasons was higher amongst the young – perhaps on the basis that they have less disposable cash to pay a legal bill and currently less family assets to divide.

Furthermore, a increasing number of divorce solicitors are wondering whether the withdrawal of legal aid from almost all divorce work, which came in on April 1 is going to lead to more people getting divorced using an online legal service.

Whilst we fully appreciate that many people are rightly worried about the potential size of the legal bill when getting divorced, and whilst we wholeheartedly support the use of online services (we represent clients throughout the UK and worldwide using email, phone and Skype video/Face Time), we are concerned by the level of legal advice provided by some of the online legal offers. One service, for example, offers a divorce for as little as £37. For this price, you won’t get much, if any, specialist and tailored advice – and certainly won’t cover the considerable amount of work that needs to be done by a divorce solicitor when advising on the division of family assets upon divorce.

Good legal advice is sadly never cheap. Remember, you get what you pay for.