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The Money and Divorce blog is brought to you by Intelligent Divorce, the new way to get fixed-fee specialist legal advice on splitting your money when you divorce.

Our blog provides illustrated practical guides for those going through the divorce process, plus news on divorce, money and family breakdown.

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2 February 2012

Advice when you are divorcing - but not if you're poor

Mahie Abey

Jonathan Djanogly (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice) said today that he did not believe the proposed changes to family legal aid would result in more litigants in person – hee hee hee.

I honestly thought about ending this blog there on the “enough said” principle.

But, really, who does he think he is kidding?

With the deregulation of the legal market we are about to enter a new world in the provision of legal services. This will allow the world of big business into the legal sector which should, as long as it is properly managed, benefit the sector as a whole. It is bound to make the provision of family law more competitive and therefore I hope more efficient.

But - not if you are poor. No, if you fall into the economically lower end of society you will have access to little or no legal advice to help you sort out issues over divorce, children or any money you do have.

Many people will be completely ill-equipped to deal with these issues on their own without proper help – but what do we as a society care if the lower end suffer? Let them fight it out on the streets. Why should they have proper access to something as sophisticated as a legal system? They won’t be able to understand it anyway. So let’s forget them shall we?

How we, as a supposedly sophisticated western society, can really think that denying a significant proportion of our society access to legal advice to help sort out their divorce and family law issues is sensible or decent or reasonable beats me.

It is simply wrong and ultimately will have an adverse impact on all of us.