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By Stephen Wilmot, Family Law Solicitor, Tunbridge Wells
We solicitors do have a moderately painful reputation … and of course, we can have a laugh about it at parties.
But I’m on a mission to try to change people’s minds about us. Because although there are a few bad apples (as there are in every industry) most solicitors genuinely want the best for their clients.
So when I saw an article in the media about Gary Lineker’s divorce, I had to comment. When Gary and his wife of six years, Danielle Bux, split up they divorced using an online government form which he says cost him around £400. It sounds very simple, and that’s most definitely a good thing.
Mr Lineker said, and he does have a point, that the legal system was designed to cost couples a fortune and leads to both parties “hating each other”. Although it’s not designed to extract cash from people and make them miserable, it can be an unfortunate side-effect of a complex legal framework. To be sure, it’s an old system desperately in need of change — but that change is happening.
However, I have to disagree with Gary when he says, “It’s very easy to get married and very difficult to get divorced. And we know lawyers try to manipulate it to make you spend more money and basically end up hating each other. There should be a mathematical equation that goes to the courts and they sort it out.”
The last thing most solicitors want is for you to rush into a knock-down, drag-out court battle. It’s not good for anyone. Even us. Most good solicitors will do everything they can to keep couples out of court and help them reconcile their differences calmly and amicably.
If you’ve read our new book, The Good Divorce Guide, you know that’s certainly true of Keene Marsland, part of Parfitt Cresswell Solicitors. Or if you haven’t read it yet, do get in touch with us to order your free copy – email@example.com
It may well be possible to fill in an online form like Gary Lineker and Danielle Bux, and if that’s the case for you — that’s brilliant.
But if there are any financial issues or if children are involved, I strongly recommend you talk to a specialist family solicitor. It will only cost a few hundred pounds more than doing it online — but it could save years of heartache and future expense.
If you’re ready to talk to a solicitor — even if you think you might go down the DIY route — take advantage of our offer of a free consultation.
You can book a time to meet with me, or one of my colleagues from the Family Law team, free of charge, and find out what’s the best option for you. We have offices in Tunbridge Wells, Edenbridge, Caversham, Windsor, Haywards Heath, Fulham and Covent Garden so take your pick.
Book your free consultation by calling 0800 999 4437 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
About the author
Based in our Tunbridge Wells office, Stephen has been involved in Matrimonial and Family Law work for the last 20 years.
Stephen joined Keene Marsland, part of Parfitt Cresswell Solicitors, in September 2015, primarily to focus on issues relating to divorce, finance, children issues and (for non-married couples) property disputes (under The Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996).
Stephen lived in Tunbridge Wells for many years but now lives in East Sussex. His interests are rugby, cricket and football in that order!