New research has found that the vast majority of consumers are happy with their experience of both traditional and online legal services in divorce cases, although the online option is not suitable for everyone.
The study was carried out by the Legal Services Board (LSB), which oversees the regulation of solicitors in England and Wales, and the Legal Services Consumer Panel, which advises the LSB on the interests of the users of legal services.
The research, the first to compare consumer experience of online and traditional, face-to-face divorce legal services, found that customer satisfaction levels were high for both types of service, with each scoring around 80 per cent.
It said that online service users tended to self-select “as they think they have a simple divorce with little need for complicated court procedures or mediation”.
Online consumers tended to be more likely to have been separated for more than two years or more and were also likely to see their divorce as amicable
Those opting for face to face providers tended to make their choice based on the reputation of the provider and its location. When it came to services provided, almost half of the users of face-to-face services said the advice on offer (45 per cent) was the most important, compared to only 25 per cent for online.
Legal Services Consumer Panel chair Elisabeth Davies said: “For those going through a reasonably amicable and uncomplicated divorce with a high level of agreement about things like finances, our findings suggest the online route is certainly one to consider”.
“Crucially, the online model won’t be suitable for everyone. In the study, more complex and difficult cases were handled face to face, allowing people to benefit from expert advice.”
Surjit Verdi, a solicitor at Palmers specialising in family law, said: “Even in the most amicable of divorces, it is important that the parties are clear about the process involved and their position regarding the division of marital assets, which is why seeking the advice of qualified and experienced family law professionals is the best way for people to understand their case, so that they can make informed decisions.
“At Palmers, we understand that the costs involved can be a real worry. We offer a cost-effective fixed fee initial interview, along with fixed price divorce packages.
“Our advice can also help people in negotiating agreements around arrangements for children and financial issues, without the need for going to court, which can also help to keep costs down significantly. For more information, please contact our Family Law team.”