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Why use a solicitor when you can divorce online?

Our People - Loretta Orsi-Barzanti
30 October, 2020

The internet is a place where seemingly everything is possible, including getting a divorce. The online divorce tool on the court website is being used more often by more people. The DIY divorce is on the rise.

So, why on earth would you use a solicitor?


Chances are, that when you are getting a divorce, it is something that you have never done before. Divorce solicitors will have been involved in hundreds, if not thousands. When you visit a solicitor, you are paying for their experience and knowledge. The knowledge to get it right, first time. They will extract information from you that could become issues in the future, which you might not have thought about. You can, with the benefit of legal advice, then make a decision about how best to proceed.  

Getting it right first time

Over and over I have seen clients issue divorce petitions on their own without having seen a solicitor.  On many occasions they have included incorrect information on their applications which has meant that they have to start again. This inevitably makes the whole process much longer.  

Seeing a solicitor might be cheaper than you might think

Visiting a solicitor can be expensive. However, seeing a solicitor might be cheaper than you think.

For example, if you are a victim of domestic violence and you are on a low income, there is every chance that you will qualify for FREE legal advice under the Legal Help Scheme operated by the Legal Aid Agency. This means that you DO NOT have to pay for legal advice and assistance on your divorce. If there is a financial application within your divorce, then there may be circumstances where you might have to repay your fees but this would be at a reduced rate when compared to a solicitors’ normal private hourly rate.  

If you don’t qualify for Legal Aid, fixed fees are often available. For example, here at GN Law, the cost of a divorce, if you are the respondent, is a fixed fee is £400 + VAT from start to finish. With that you will receive an advice session, a full letter of advice, and all of the work associated with your divorce, from start to finish, will be taken care of for you by your solicitor.   

Even if you fall in to the bracket where you do not qualify for Legal Aid and cannot afford legal fees, then you can still attend our FREE advice clinic (Wednesday afternoons at our office or any week day online) where we can provide you with FREE advice so that you begin your divorce with as much knowledge as possible.  


Solicitors can usually see you quickly. They will be able to complete all the forms and get them off to court for you quickly, too. In addition, because they are experienced in their field, there are fewer reasons why your application is returned and so, overall, your divorce will be dealt with quicker.  


The divorce process can be incredibly stressful, especially if your ‘ex’ is being difficult. Using a solicitor means that matters will be much less stressful because your solicitor will be dealing with everything for you. Contacting your ‘ex’ will be for your solicitor to do, rather than for you. You also do not have to worry about whether or not what you are doing is correct or not.  

Your questions, answered

You will likely have a plethora of questions when you are getting divorced. Having a solicitor who has experience in divorce means that when you have a question or something is playing on your mind about the divorce, you have someone who you can turn to who can answer those for you. 

Your ‘ex’ is a nightmare

If your ‘ex’ is less than happy to allow your divorce to go through, then you will need the advice of a solicitor to help you get round this.  

There are serious allegations being raised

If you receive a divorce petition and there are serious allegations being made against you, especially ones that you do not agree with, you should definitely see a solicitor. Depending on what allegations are being made, you will want to know how these could impact upon you in the future.  

You want to defend the divorce proceedings

If you are considering defending divorce proceedings, you will certainly need a solicitor. Defending divorce proceedings is highly technical and if done incorrectly may land you in trouble.  

There are financial matters involved

If there is a financial aspect of your divorce, I would recommend seeing a solicitor before starting your divorce. This is because there are a great number of financial ramifications associated with divorce and you will want to know how this will impact on you moving forward.

Of course you may feel entirely comfortable dealing with your divorce yourself, and that is completely fine, but if you are unsure about getting a solicitor or just don’t know how to proceed please feel free to speak to one of our solicitors for a free initial consultation by calling us on 0208 492 2290 or by emailing me at

Head of Family (Private Law)
Loretta Orsi-Barzanti is an associate solicitor and head of our Private Family Team. She advises on all aspects of Public and Private Law.

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