If you are thinking about divorcing, getting some legal advice is always sensible and can help to avoid some of the common pitfalls. However, the costs of divorce are a common worry for all separating spouses.
It is a myth that all divorces are expensive. The costs incurred will usually depend upon how much work is carried out on your behalf, with family solicitors generally charging on an hourly-rate basis.
There are many ways that you can help to keep your costs down. Our top five tips are:
1. Focus on the key issues – try to avoid the “background noise” and pick your battles carefully.
2. Always consider the alternatives before starting court proceedings - in the majority of the cases we handle, agreements are reached without the need for costly and stressful court battles. There are a number of alternatives to litigation, such as family mediation and collaborative law and we urge all of the people we meet to consider these carefully before issuing court proceedings.
3. Reach agreements directly - it may be that you will be able to resolve certain aspects of your case such as arrangements relating to children and a division of household contents with your spouse directly and this will certainly help to reduce your costs.
4. Solicitors charge for all correspondence – try to keep emails and telephone calls short and to the point again focusing on the key issues. Complaining about your ex-partner can be expensive! Try not to contact your solicitor in a moment of anger.
5. If you are asked to collect financial documentation, try to ensure that it is complete and organised before sending it to your solicitor – if it is not, you will be charged for the time spent trying to make sense of that documentation.
For a more in-depth guide to family law, Slater and Gordon’s family lawyers have combined their knowledge into this practical and easy to understand guidebook to make life after marriage or relationship breakdown a lot less daunting.
Naomi Rainey is an Associate Solicitor in Slater and Gordon’s Family Law team in Manchester.
For expert advice on your divorce call Slater and Gordon Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we will call you.