Funding your divorce or family law case
Understanding all the costs involved.
The breakdown of a relationship is often difficult and funding your divorce may contribute to the stress, especially if you do not understand all of the costs involved. Before you appoint a family lawyer to give you legal advice on divorce, separation, agreeing a financial settlement or arrangements for the care of your children it is important that you know what the costs will be and have considered how you will pay.
It is important that you understand what is involved at each stage and what you will need to pay. For example, if you appoint a solicitor you will be required to pay for their advice and the time they spend working on your behalf. They may charge you a fixed price or charge for work on an hourly rate basis. Usually there will be VAT on their fees.
If you are making an application to the court (for example, applying for a divorce) there will be court fees to pay.
At Woolley & Co we offer a number of fixed price services, including a fixed price divorce. These fixed prices are designed to remove the uncertainty and include all of the obvious costs involved (for example, court fees in the case of a divorce). By selecting a fixed price service you are guaranteeing that you will pay no more for the service as agreed.
Sometimes you will need to obtain copy documents (for example, you may need a copy of your marriage certificate if you do not have one) or incur additional costs (for example, to appoint an agent to trace your spouse if you do not know where they are living, or to serve papers on them, if they refuse to respond to correspondence).
It is important to remember that other aspects of your case such as sorting out arrangements for the children and any financial matters will be charged for separately to the divorce. If you choose Woolley & Co, Solicitors to handle your case your lawyer will explain all of the costs to you before any work is undertaken. This is normally explained in a free half hour telephone appointment which can be booked by calling 0800 321 3832 or by completing the appointment booking form.
How to fund the legal advice you need
It is important that you give full consideration to how you plan to fund your case. Some of the options available are mentioned below:
- From income or savings – this is how most people pay for their divorce.
- Using a credit card, overdraft facility or other loan – although of course you need to consider carefully how you will repay this.
- Loans or gifts from family or friends – this is more common than you might imagine. Family members are often willing to help.
- A litigation loan – if you are likely to receive a financial settlement on divorce but do not have funds available to pay the costs of divorce from current income you may be able to apply for a special type of loan to cover your legal costs. This is something Woolley & Co may be able to help with.
- Applying to the courts for your spouse to cover the costs - this is only applicable in a handful of cases, your lawyer will discuss this with you if it is relevant.
When we first start working on your case your lawyer will either ask you to pay the fixed price or will ask you to pay money on account, this simply means an amount towards future costs incurred. Work charged on an hourly rate is billed on a monthly basis to enable clients to budget more effectively and stay on top of the costs. You may decide to set budget limits for your lawyer each month, so that they restrict how much work they do on your behalf.
To discuss your particular circumstances and receive advice on the costs of getting a divorce, coming to an agreement on finances or the care for your children call 0800 321 3832.
Just to say thank you for your invaluable advice… you were quite correct with your “no alarm bells ringing” reassurance.