Sources of Free Support

The current fee for divorce is £550. If you’re not working, you may be entitled to a fee exemption. You can find out more about that here www.gov.uk/divorce/file-for-divorce

You can only get Legal Aid for your divorce in limited circumstances such as domestic abuse. Domestic abuse can be emotional and financial as well as physical. If you think this might be you, contact a local solicitor who has a public funding contract (not all of them do). If you are able to use a lawyer, use one who belongs to Resolution www.resolution.org.uk as they are trained and sign a code of conduct to promote settlement without conflict or court. That cannot be guaranteed of course!

If you on a low income or on benefits, you may qualify for legal aid to go to Family Mediation. You can check whether you might qualify here: www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid 

Family Mediation isn’t for everyone but if you feel able, you’ll get support to talk with your husband about settlement options and find out how much money he has and what you might be entitled to. Choose a lawyer mediator if you can as they’ll explain the law to both of you.

If you qualify, mediation will be free for you and your husband will receive the initial meeting and first session for free too.

You can do the divorce yourself but it’s important to get a Financial Order so that if in future either of you come into money or die, the other cannot make claims against you or your estate. Only a court can make a Financial Order. Mediation will help you with this.

You will also be able to discuss child maintenance if he isn’t already paying you this. 

Other useful places to get support and information:

www.gov.uk/divorce/file-for-divorce

www.citizensadvice.org.uk

www.relate.org.uk

www.womensaid.org.uk

www.gingerbread.org.uk

Emma Heptonstall Divorce Coach The Smart Womans Divorce Guide

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