Q: My husband insisted on applying for a divorce online to save time and money and now I have received a Costs Order. I’m not even sure what that is let alone what I should do. Please can you advise me?
A: Applying for a divorce online without obtaining any legal advice is always a risky business but sadly people are hooked into these websites by claims completing the divorce process within a matter of weeks and cheaper fees.
Going through divorce is an extremely emotional and difficult time and it is easy to make the wrong decisions. Receiving proper legal advice can ensure that you make the correct decision with regard to associated issues during separation, such as child arrangements and the division of finances. It will also ensure the decisions will be fair and reasonable for both now and in the future.
Remaining married until financial settlement is agreed has distinct advantages as marriage can preserve a spouse’s entitlement to life policy and pension rewards. If you obtain a divorce and fail to agree financial circumstances you lose your right to claim.
Many people think that when they are divorced from their spouse they cut all ties from them. However, a Financial Order from the Court is needed in order to ensure that neither party can claim from the other in the future. For example, if you obtain a divorce from your spouse and a Financial order is not obtained, should your spouse win the lottery you would, in theory, have a claim against the monies even though you are divorced, as you would still be financially tied to them.
With regard to the order for costs that you have received, you should contact a solicitor and take advice as to your options as soon as possible.