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DIVORCE CHARGES - ANCILLARY RELIEF

 

Divorce charges incurred in resolving the financial issues arising from divorce or in respect of disputes involving children can only be charged for on a time basis. In practice the cost of divorce in this context is very much within the control of the parties themselves. There is a great deal of difference in solicitors charges between a case where the spouses fight over every teaspoon which results in a final hearing before a judge and a case where a client says, 'Look, this is what we have agreed. Can you please help us formalise the agreement'.

Most cases fall somewhere in between those two extremes but because of the wide variation in the way people approach these things a solicitor charges for them on a time basis. They cannot be charged on a fixed fee basis. How much a solicitor charges will vary from firm to firm and it will vary with the complexity of the issues and the experience of the fee earner who deals with it.

At the outset your solicitor will provide you with a written copy of the basis upon which she/she proposes to charge and give you an estimate (so far as it can be done at the outset) of how much the work is likely to cost overall. As it progresses you should be periodically kept informed of costs so that you are aware of them. If there is anything you do not understand about the basis of charging you should ask. Knowing exactly how your solicitor charges will help you use your solicitor cost effectively.

All litigation involves decisions about economics. It makes absolutely no sense to litigate over chattels worth £5,000 if the litigation is going to cost you £5,000. On the other hand, if there is equity in former matrimonial home which amounts to £200,000 and your spouse wants to keep it all then it makes perfect sense to spend £5,000 in order to recover, say, £100,000. Proportion is all important as far as divorce costs are concerned.

Finally, you would be unwise to choose a lawyer only on the basis of cost. Bad legal advice can cost you a great deal of money. You very much need to balance cost against the quality of the advice you receive.

More general information about costs and solicitors charges .

 
 

 
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