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One of the biggest family changes in 25 years came into force this week, as Government ministers introduced plans to use students and trainee lawyers to guide couples through the divorce process.

At advice centres across the UK, students are now able to help divorcing couples and offer them legal advice on family and financial matters before their divorce is finalised in court. The new initiative is being introduced in order to cut the legal aid budget. 

Is this a good move? Will the new plans help divorcing couples? Does it place added pressure on legal students? We take a look at the positive and negatives of this proposed plan:

Pros

  • Divorcing couples have the opportunity to save costs in the short term.
  • The Government saves money on legal aid – the average mediation costs £500 in legal aid, compared to £4,000 per person if the proceedings go to court.

Cons

  • Couples could incur heavy long-term costs if misleading or inaccurate advice is given due to the inexperience of students and proceedings could be brought back to court as a result.
  • Studying law within University is totally different to putting it into practice. Having the skills, experience and sufficient in-depth knowledge of the law to apply it to each person’s individual needs and requirements could be asking too much of students.
  • Despite more money being available for mediation services, legally-aided mediations are becoming less common
  • Due to the above the amount of time it will take you to conclude matters and walk away with a Clean Break will take a lot longer.
  • Divorcing couples aren’t allowed the same personal one to one service throughout proceedings as you would with a Solicitor.
  • It could be pandemonium within the Court system.

Here at Howells we understand that going through a divorce is an extremely difficult time within your life which is why we offer such a personal and effective service to make this testing time as stress free as possible.

For an in-depth chat about your situation and the options available to you, talk to experts with years of experience. Call 02920 404014 or email info@howellslegal.com today. 

by Karis Jones

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