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DIY Divorce and Separation

The expert guide to representing yourself

FROM £13.50

If you are looking to represent yourself in court this book will de-mystify the legal process and arm you with the know-how and confidence to achieve a successful outcome.

An essential guide offering specific assistance to litigants in person.

It is said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step...

This book is your first step to understanding the options available to you and the themes and issues that you will encounter as you embark upon self-representation and the resolution of your family dispute.

Breaking up is hard to do. It can also be a costly affair when you factor in legal fees. If you are looking to represent yourself in court or thinking about going directly to a barrister to save money, this book will de-mystify the legal process and arm you with the know-how and confidence to achieve a successful outcome.

Written by a team of leading family law barristers, the book takes you through the process of splitting up, tells you what preparation is essential for court and helps you decide exactly when professional support is required. As well as chapters on the different aspects of divorce and separation, from children to financial remedies, the book includes essential concepts, a toolbox guide to the applications that can be made, sources for further research and tips and traps.

Listen to a podcast by Darren Howe


Visit  diydivorce.familylaw.co.uk for further information, assistance completing divorce forms, plus links to useful organisations 

  • Introduction
  • Initial considerations
  • How to think like a family lawyer
  • Bringing the marriage/civil partnership to an end
  • Case preparation
  • Advocacy
  • Domestic Violence
  • Children
  • Finances
  • Cohabitation
  • Children Act 1989, Schedule 1
  • Enforcement
We are going to suggest at the outset that if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to attend family court, this book will make for a most sensible purchase.

Who should read this book? Well, it's been designed for Litigants in Person (LiPs) but we would suggest anyone going through the family justice sytem would do well to have a copy by their side, even if represented by a professional - it's simply more reassuring to have your own knowledge of the processes adopted by the courts - and this book gives you the near perfect tool.


Only Dads

Read the full review online


I got hold of a sort of bible I would say for all those divorcing, whether they DIY or not – DIY Divorce and Separation, an expert guide to representing yourself. It demystifies the legal process and provides the parties involved with the know-how and confidence to handle a divorce themselves or understand what your barrister is actually saying.


Mrs Bargain Hunter

Read the full review here   
Visit the website



The real strength of the book is in the sections about the court process and completing the court forms. The authors have provided examples of the types of answers to give whether it is in children’s proceedings or financial proceedings. Using their knowledge of the court process and their experience of working with judges they have managed to convey what will be expected of anybody who is intending to head off to court.

Overall this is an affordable, readable book that will achieve for individuals what it sets out to do in its title. For most people, divorce is a once in a lifetime experience and, whether legally represented or not, having this book to hand whilst going through the experience will help to guide people through the mystifying legal process.

Jane Robey, Chief Executive, National Family Mediation


Read the full review here

Very useful text, highly recommended to lawyers and LiPs alike.


The Women's Lawyer (Twitter)


Families struggling with #familylaw concerns, this book (about £15) will really help!


Family Law Panel (Twitter)

Not so many years ago this book would have had a very limited market. Few people chose to represent themselves in family proceedings - and for good reason. Representing yourself in legal proceedings when you are not a lawyer is hard enough; representing yourself in family proceedings is even more difficult as a consequence of the inevitable emotional dimension to every case. However times change. More and more people are representing themselves and choosing to act as a litigant in person. What was previously unusual is now commonplace.

There are two main reasons for the rise in self-representation. Public funding has been effectively abolished and many people are left with no option but to represent themselves following family breakdown. The provision of legal services has also changed beyond recognition and is now far more consumer driven. There are many who now choose to represent themselves and take legal advice and representation as and when necessary. Continuous legal representation from cradle to grave is fast becoming for many an unaffordable luxury and a thing of the past. The creative and cost effective use of legal resources on a costs benefit analysis has understandably driven many to represent themselves.

The aim of this book is to provide essential and specific assistance to litigants in person; whether their status as litigant in person is a matter of choice or otherwise. The book cannot and does not seek to be a comprehensive guide to the law and practice that you will encounter. You will need to look elsewhere for that. The book will however guide you towards further areas of study and research.
It is said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. This book is but your first step in understanding the options available to you and the themes and issues that you will encounter as you embark upon self-representation and the resolution of your family dispute. This book is therefore intentionally ‘law lite’ and conversational in tone.

We recommend reading the book from cover to cover. One of our goals has been to produce a book that is relatively easy to read for non-lawyers. However law is frequently complex and difficult to understand and some chapters will need to be more carefully read than others.

Have a question about this product? Please get in touch by completing the boxes below.

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