Law Society criticises celebrity and DIY divorces

By Lenore Rice

The Law Society has hit out at celebrity divorces for giving the public an unrealistic view of the process involved, and also warns against the dangers of DIY or online divorces.

Referencing the recent Nigella Lawson-Charles Saatchi divorce, the Law Society says the highly unusual speed with which the divorce was announced and then granted creates a distorted view of the divorce process to the general public. That particular divorce involved two parties who were willing to step away from the relationship without making any financial claims against the other, but the Law Society warns that that is rarely the case in most divorces.

Issues such as who continues to live in the matrimonial home, child custody, child access, child maintenance, and others, mean that most divorces can be complex and lengthy. They especially require both parties to take expert legal advice from a divorce solicitor, and Law Society President, Nicholas Fluck, warns of the dangers of couples representing themselves or using divorce websites to lower the costs.

Mr Fluck says that "even the most straightforward divorce cases .. can develop into complicated and stressful legal actions", and "a family law solicitor will advise about your rights and the options available to you." He believes online divorce sites aren't suitable for all divorcing couples, especially "where there is an imbalance of power between the parties, or if one or both of them are being difficult or withholding information."

If you require legal advice from a divorce solicitor in Northern Ireland contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 1363.