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DIY Divorce in 2024 – Is It Possible & How Does It Work?

In this guide to DIY divorce, you'll learn whether it's right for your situation and what alternatives are available to ensure you get the support you need without spending thousands on solicitors.

Table Of Contents

    What is a DIY Divorce?

    A DIY divorce is a self-guided process where spouses handle the legal aspects of their divorce without involving a lawyer or mediator.

    It involves taking full responsibility for filing the necessary paperwork and navigating the dissolution of the marriage independently.

    Thinking of applying for a divorce without the help of a solicitor? Find out what conditions will dictate whether or not it’s the right option for you.

    Key Points

    • Generally, it takes between 8-10 months for a straightforward DIY divorce to be finalised. However, unexpected circumstances or complications can potentially extend the timeline to over 12 months from Application to Final Order.
    • A DIY divorce without help doesn’t mean divorce is free – there’s still a £593 court fee to pay.
    • A do-it-yourself divorce is often not the fastest or simplest route to getting divorced.

    Is my situation suitable for a DIY divorce?

    By now, you understand what a DIY divorce is and how it works, but is it right for you?

    There are various things to consider, such as:

    1. Are you confident and comfortable dealing with the legal process?
    2. Do you want the added stress involved with completing your own divorce?
    3. Do you have financial arrangements to make alongside the divorce proceedings?
    4. Are you happy to spend 20+ hours completing forms, speaking to your ex, and ringing the court?

    Most people opt for the DIY route because of costs. They want a quick divorce for as little money as possible.

    The cost of a divorce is typically between £800 – £1,500, but by doing it yourself and avoiding those fees you can save hundreds.

    Cost isn’t the only factor to consider. Divorce is a legal process, so things can go wrong or be done incorrectly. This can lead to additional costs.

    You need to look at the hassle and time commitment involved with a DIY divorce to truly know whether it’s the right option for you.

    Have you considered the inconvenience of handling a divorce alongside a busy life and weighed up whether an additional £200-£300 is worth it?

    View our Online Divorce Service for £249 – We’ll remove the stress and hassle from your divorce by handling everything for you.

    What are the Pros and Cons of DIY divorce?

    Is a DIY divorce a good idea? It can be, provided your circumstances are right, but it’s certainly not a good idea for everyone.

    Here are the pros and cons of a do-it-yourself divorce:


    • Cost-effective: Saves money by eliminating the need for expensive legal fees.
    • Control and autonomy: Spouses have direct input and make decisions regarding the divorce terms.
    • Convenience: Offers a streamlined process that can be conducted at one’s own pace and schedule.


    • Lack of legal expertise: Without professional guidance, important legal matters and complexities may be overlooked.
    • Emotional strain: Managing the divorce process personally can be emotionally challenging and may strain the relationship further.
    • Potential mistakes: Errors in paperwork or failure to adhere to legal requirements may lead to delays or complications in the divorce process.
    • Time Strain: A do-it-yourself divorce is a big time commitment. There are numerous legal forms to complete, which need thought and consideration.

    What are the potential risks of a DIY divorce?

    Here’s an outline of the potential risks of completing a DIY divorce for couples in England and Wales:

    • Errors on legal forms – Making errors on the legal forms can lead to delays, or even invalidate the divorce.
    • Focusing on short-term needs – Only focusing on short-term needs may result in unfair financial settlements or missed entitlements. Generally speaking, women prioritise immediate housing needs over long-term financial security, whereas men focus on wealth preservation through pensions and assets. Without legal advice from family law solicitors, you won’t know whether what you’re signing (if at all) is fair and reasonable.
    • Not obtaining a financial order after the divorce – Ignoring this because you have no assets to divide or you have sold the house and moved out could leave you vulnerable to future financial claims. This is one of the main dangers of divorce without a financial settlement in place.
    • Emotional strain – Managing the emotional strain of divorce proceedings without professional support could exacerbate conflict or emotional distress for both parties.

    Quick questions

    What if my spouse disagrees with the divorce or refuses to cooperate?

    In cases where one spouse refuses to cooperate or respond to the court, you will often require assistance from legal professionals.

    This is especially the case if you don’t know where your spouse lives or if you need to prove the divorce papers have been served to your ex-partner.

    Is mediation necessary for a DIY divorce?

    While mediation is not mandatory for a DIY divorce, it can be beneficial for resolving disputes related to finances or child custody. It helps in reaching agreements without going to court.

    Can I handle financial matters without a solicitor in a DIY divorce?

    While it’s possible to handle financial matters without a solicitor, it’s recommended to seek legal advice, especially if there are complex assets or disagreements between spouses. Without advice from a solicitor, you may settle for a financial agreement that is not in your interests.

    You can handle financial matter without a solicitor if you have no assets to divide, but without applying to the court for a clean break, you will stay financially tied after the divorce until your partner remarries.

    How long does a do-it-yourself divorce take to finalise?

    A do-it-yourself divorce in England and Wales in 2024 will take between 8-10 months depending on your knowledge of the legal procedure, the swiftness of responses, and if your partner cooperates.

    The quickest way to get divorced is to use an online divorce service, as this ensures all applications are submitted promptly to the court and any potential holdups by your spouse are dealt with on your behalf.

    What are the alternative options?

    Although the vast majority of people who file for divorce do so by themselves, there are two other options available.

    1) Divorce Online

    The simplest and most affordable alternative to doing your own divorce is using an online divorce service.

    An online divorce will take away all of the downsides of a DIY divorce such as the time strain and the hassle.

    You can get a divorce online for £249. This gives you the guarantee of obtaining a straightforward divorce without any issues.

    To make deciding which option is right for you easier, we’ve put together a comparison of divorce online and DIY divorce.

    2) Local solicitors

    If you’re considering doing your own divorce to save money, then hiring solicitors to help you probably isn’t your first choice.

    Most solicitors firms now offer fixed fee packages instead of the traditional hourly rates method.

    These fixed-fee services are suitable for couples who are in agreement and who are not looking to obtain any kind of financial order.

    Has no-fault divorce made DIY divorce easier?

    Previously, a DIY divorce may have involved downloading a ‘diy divorce kit’, which included the divorce forms and a guide for you to follow.

    No-fault divorce has digitalised the divorce procedure, meaning you can now complete a DIY divorce online.

    From a phone or laptop, you can start divorce proceedings. No need to download any forms or complete paperwork.

    No fault divorce has undoubtedly made it easier for couples who are in complete agreement to end their marriage.

    Whether or not this type of divorce is suitable for you and your circumstances is another question.

    The Key Considerations

    While it’s becoming more common for couples in the UK to opt for a DIY divorce, caution is warranted.

    We appreciate the allure of saving on solicitor fees may be strong, but the potential pitfalls can have far-reaching consequences, overshadowing any initial financial benefits.

    There is no such thing as a quick divorce anymore, so you’ll only be disappointed when court delays or prolonged waiting periods occur either due to administration issues or errors on paperwork.

    Using an online divorce service is the bridge between DIY divorce and divorce solicitors.

    With an online divorce, you get the professionalism of solicitors but without the excessive legal fees! Get started with your divorce today by clicking below.

    Looking For An Easier Way To Divorce?

    Our online divorce services are ideal for couples that are looking to separate amicably whilst protecting their money and assets by way of a financial consent order. Our solicitors will draft the order to your circumstances and support you through the implementation.

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