My STBX and I would like to draw up a Consent Order so neither of us have a claim on each other's assets in future (assuming that's what it's for - the whole divorce has been DIY so far). We've passed the Decree Nisi stage and things are amicable. We've done everything online so far, with no solicitors involved.
We've got quotes from various solicitors to draw up a consent order, and the prices range from a suspiciously low £100 to a slightly ridiculous "over £1000". Most solicitors seem to be deliberately vague about their charges for this. We are happy to write down (or supply a spreadsheet) documenting all our finances. We jointly own a couple of rental properties, which we plan to keep. My STBX moved out over a year ago, and we are both satisfied with how we have divided our finances.
So my question is: what would a reasonable charge be for a solicitor to translate our straightforward, clearly itemised breakdown of our precise financial situation into a complex, unintelligible piece of legalese nonsense to satisfy the court? I've read on this site that it MUST be prepared by a solicitor for the court to accept it, which is a shame, because I'm absolutely sure that I could prepare a much clearer, less ambiguous document.
A consent order can be prepared by a non-lawyer but it might not be worth the paper it is written upon.
I view it in the same was as an architects plan. I can read it, and for the most part I understand it, but I know there are things on there which I do not understand.
I would always use an architect to draw up a plan for a builder lest my new garage be constructed with jelly.
A consent order is a technical document which is designed to achieve a number of things using a variety of possible methods. There has to be some understanding of civil law, family law, and sometimes taxation.
You should bear in mind that when you procure legal services from a professional you are also paying for an insurance policy in case the lawyer makes an error and is sued for negligence.
Lawyers don't want to be sued so they bend over backwards to ensure they understand your instructions, you understand their advice and the document they prepare achieves what has been agreed.