For many of us, divorces are largely abstract concepts that, for the most part, we learn to understand as a third-party – until, of course, they happen to us, and we are forced to learn on the spot, and amidst a great deal of upheaval.

If you are preparing to go through a divorce, or help someone who is, then read about some of the most common misconceptions below.

  1. You only need to use a lawyer if you have complex assets

Unfortunately, many of us think of lawyers as being on-hand merely to ensure that we receive our fair share of the finances, property, and other assets. As a result, those of us who do not harbour great fortunes and sprawling estates can quickly fall into the trap of believing legal assistance would prove to be overkill.

However, dividing a shared life will always be more complicated than signing a piece of paper and dividing the shared account between two, and lawyers’ expertise remains valuable in the full spectrum of cases – from the outwardly simple, to the complex.

2.You can get a quick divorce

Nowadays, we have grown accustomed to the majority of life taking place instantaneously. Add to that the fact that you can now apply for a divorce online, and it is all too easy for us to fall into the trap of thinking that, if we circumvent lawyers and engaging in arguments, everything will be over before we know it.

Unfortunately, divorces still don’t work that way, and even the most straightforward divorce will still take months to complete.

  1. It’s cheaper to do it yourself

Professional legal services have a reputation for being expensive, but, these days, solicitors tailor their services to those who need them – and, of course, making that initial investment into expert help can easily prove to be the more financially beneficial choice down the road.

Without a solicitor, you could miss out on what you are entitled to, and it could affect your future finances. Divorces are complex, particularly when life – and your emotions – are already in flux. This means that you might not be aware of all the risks/ implications of the decisions you make on your own, and would benefit greatly from the experience of a family law solicitor.

  1. All divorces are acrimonious

– There is a reason why dramatic courtroom scenes and fiery confrontations between ex-spouses represent such common tropes in Hollywood: drama sells tickets. And, while history has no doubt seen its fair share of hostile proceedings, that’s not to say that all – nor even the majority – of divorces need to be so bitter.

These days, many family lawyers are committed to a non-adversarial approach. Some family law solicitors are members of the Resolution community, which is dedicated to ensuring all aspects of a separation – from the legal proceedings to custody arrangements – are managed in a way that supports the wellbeing of all involved.

Remember that quiet divorces yield no real ‘gossip’, and that is why we hear so much more about the more explosive experiences.

  1. You have to use a local divorce solicitor.

There are no hard-and-fast rules over who’s services you enlist to help manage your divorce, but it may be simpler if you prefer face to face meetings or if you want to deliver signed documents in person etc. If, for example, your home, children and job are all based in Gloucestershire, then travelling to one of the UK’s larger cities every time you need to speak with your solicitor – rather than, say, working with divorce solicitors in Cheltenham, and readily available without necessitating hours’ of travel – could well prove invaluable.

Also consider the importance of holding face to face meetings at pivotal stages in the proceedings. While much of our lives can now take place via video calls and email, practical alternatives cannot always replace the more emotionally-charged meetings life occasionally demands from us. Sometimes a friendly face makes a big difference when you are struggling with the emotional impact of a divorce, which means that the value of ‘staying local’ cannot be overestimated.