Dismissal of 28 identical divorce petitions highlights importance of expert legal advice

The family court’s rejection of more than two dozen “copy and paste” divorce petitions has proved the importance of seeking expert legal advice, according to Thursfields Solicitors.

The leading Midlands law firm was commenting after Mr Justice Moor rejected a total of 28 petitions from the same online divorce company because they cited “absolutely identical” particulars of behaviour against the respondent.

Philip Rea, director of the Family Law team at Thursfields, told how the judge had concluded the petitions were “improper” as it was “quite impossible” for each of the respondents to have behaved in exactly the same way.

Mr Rea said: “For many divorcing couples, the cost of divorcing weighs heavily in their decision on whether or not to instruct a solicitor.

“Judgements like that of Mr Justice Moor provide a stark and important reminder that when embarking on divorce you should ensure expert legal advice is obtained so the whole process and all procedures are followed properly by a qualified solicitor.

“While Mr Justice Moor did not refer those responsible to the Director of Public Prosecutions, he warned that he would have ‘no hesitation’ in doing so if there was any repeat.

“He also insisted that his judgment be placed on the free BAILII legal website to help ensure that nobody else acts like this in the future.”

Mr Rea explained that many online divorce companies charged extremely low prices for divorces because they were unregulated businesses and do not use qualified solicitors.

And while many people find the advertised cost savings attractive, circumstances like the dismissal of petitions can cause huge problems and delay.

He said: “It is vital that people obtain professional advice from a qualified solicitor in what is a very important and often stressful situation.

“It is also crucial that divorcing couples who own property and assets obtain expert legal advice to assist them with the division of those assets.

“The financial aspects of divorce should always be concluded by way of a court order, whether that be with the consent of both parties or with the assistance of solicitors or the court.

“For divorcing couples who do not own property or have any assets, it is also extremely important that a financial order, known as a ‘clean break’, is obtained.

“This will ensure that the financial claims, which each spouse has against the other by virtue of their marriage, are dismissed to avoid any possible future financial claims if one or both parties’ financial positions change in later years.”

Mr Rea added: “These financial aspects of a divorce are not always considered or dealt with properly when people engage the services of an online company.”

Anyone needing expert legal advice on divorce can contact the Family Law Team at Thursfields Solicitors on 0345 20 73 72 8 or by emailing info@thursfields.co.uk.

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For further information, please contact: 

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk

Tel: 01905 677066


ASAP PR – 07990 978257.


Twitter – @Thursfields

LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 140 staff in five offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Solihull and Birmingham.