In England, the financial aspect of a divorce is separate from but dependent on the legal ending of the marriage. While it isn't technically compulsory, it's generally reckoned to be a very good idea to go through the process at the earliest opportunity.

The gov.uk advice on Money and property when you divorce or separate discusses making financial settlements legally binding, and implies that a consent order can be done without the professionals. "You can get legal advice or you can ask a solicitor or divorce specialist to draft a consent order for you." This article in the Guardian Women losing out as couples try to divorce ‘on the cheap’ implies that it's commonplace: "most couples have so few assets that the vast majority try to save money by sorting out key arrangements themselves, including agreeing housing, pensions and ongoing maintenance."

But anything giving more detail online is written by people who want you to pay for their services.

Considering a slightly hypothetical case of a former couple who have divided assets up amicably during a separation, sorted out housing, both earn enough to not need support (including both having sufficient pensions), and therefore want a clean break, this should be simple. But a typical service says "the legal paperwork outlining your financial agreement must be drafted by qualified solicitors" [emphasis mine] which is at odds with the official page and the news article.

So which is true?


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