10 July 2014
The Benefits of a Fixed Fee Divorce for Controlling Costs
One of the biggest considerations for many couples involved in family law or divorce proceedings is the cost.
Part of a Divorce Solicitor’s job is to explain the respective pros and cons of any set course of legal action, and to help the client consider whether Solicitors fees spent in going down a particular route will be of sufficient benefit to the case and the final outcome to justify the cost.
This can be a difficult decision in such emotional proceedings, when so often proving a point, or feeling to get justice is as important to a client as the actual final outcome, be it in financial proceedings, divorce proceedings, or children law proceedings. It can however be a very expensive victory, and often the satisfaction of being proven ‘right’ is short-lived, with the financial impact of arguing a point lasting longer.
A divorce case which has been considered in the High Court this week acts as a stark warning to people of the dangers of litigating each and every point along the way. Mr Justice Bodey considered the long-running case of Peng v Chai earlier this week, where the current debate centres on whether the financial proceedings should be dealt with here in England, or in Malaysia.
As with many jurisdictional disputes, it is likely that the venue of the proceedings will make a significant difference to the outcome of the case, because of how different the divorce laws in each country are. This is however only one of multiple preliminary issues which have been contested in the case so far.
At the hearing, it was confirmed that the couple have already spent almost £2.5 million in legal fees, with a final resolution still seemingly a long way off. Mr Justice Bodey is reported as having urged both parties to think carefully about their future conduct of the divorce case, and to try and find a less damaging and less expensive way to end their dispute.
Sometimes, certain issues are important and warrant money being spent, but it's important to try and reflect on all the issues in a divorce case and decide what will make a difference in the long-term; and what is something which further down the line will be all but forgotten.
Ultimately, the choice of what to fight and what to park always belongs to the client, but it is important that people feel able to ask their Divorce Solicitor about the ultimate aim and benefit of any particular dispute, rather than getting swept up in litigation and then regretting it later.
Cara Nuttall is a Divorce Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.
Slater and Gordon offer both flexible pricing for family law legal services, as well as fixed price divorce and fixed fee Family Law services.
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