For the first time ever in England and Wales - you can now obtain the services of an experienced family law firm to manage your divorce financial settlement at a fixed price.
In order to set a fixed price the process has been broken into four steps.
This service is Step 2 - Ancillary Relief up to First Appointment.
This service covers the stage from the application for Ancillary Relief, up to and including the First Appointment. This service is equally applicable whether it is you or your spouse who makes the initial application to court for ancillary relief.
If at any time during this stage you are able to reach agreement with your spouse then we will draft and obtain court approval for a legally binding consent order within the fixed price.
If at the end of Step 2 you are not able to reach agreement, then we offer a range of fixed price options to move forward, including managing your case up to the Financial Dispute Resolution (Step 3).
Who is the service for?
This service is suitable for the majority of people getting divorced. It is ideal if you want to use the services of a solicitor but want to remain in control of the costs. You must be in contact with your spouse or your spouse's solicitor.
This fixed price package is only available to clients with combined marital assets below £350,000, and who do not have significant assets outside of England and Wales.
If between you and your spouse, you have over £350k worth of assets (including property value and pensions) OR significant overseas assets OR sizeable business assets then please call us first to discuss your case before ordering. Depending on your circumstances we may still be able to offer to take your case on a fixed price basis.
What is included in this service?
Your chosen family law firm will provide you with all of the following:
If you wish to apply to the court for ancillary relief, we will manage your application:
|ADVICE ON STARTING ANCILLARY RELIEF PROCEEDINGS |
We will provide you with legal advice on when and how to start Ancillary Relief proceedings based on your circumstances
|DRAFTING AND SUBMITTING FORM A |
This is the form used to apply to the court for Ancillary Relief
OR if you are the respondent to an application for ancillary relief we will manage your response:
|ADVICE ON RECEIPT OF NOTICE OF PROCEEDINGS |
When you receive notice from the court that your spouse has applied for ancillary relief we will offer initial advice on the process
From this point on the service is the same whether you are the applicant or respondent in the proceedings.
We will manage the financial disclosure:
|PREPARING OR UPDATING OF YOUR FORM E |
Assistance in completing your financial disclosure on form E, and having it sworn
EXCHANGE OF FORM E's
We will manage all the preparation for the First Appointment:
|PREPARATION AND EXCHANGE OF A QUESTIONNAIRE |
This is used to ask for missing information or additional information in relation to your spouse's Form E
|DRAFTING OF SECTION A DOCUMENTATION |
Drafting of Statement of Issues and Chronology, exchange of both with the other side and filing with the Court
|DRAFTING OF FORM G |
This form is used to indicate whether the parties are sufficiently prepared and advanced in the process that they feel that the First Hearing can be turned into a Financial Dispute Resolution hearing. Including exchange with the other side and filing with the Court
|DRAFTING OF FORM H1 - STATEMENT OF COSTS |
Including exchange with the other side and filing with the Court
For an additional (optional) fee of £500 plus travel expenses:
|REPRESENTATION BY SOLICITOR AT FIRST APPOINTMENT |
Your solicitor will travel to your local court and represent you in person at the first appoinment
At any time during this process we will assist you in negotiating a settlement with the other party (this is of course dependent on the other parties willingness to engage in negotiations):
|ADVICE ON OTHER SIDE'S FORM E |
Including request of further disclosure if applicable
|ADVICE ON AN APPROPRIATE FINANCIAL OUTCOME |
Guidance on what settlement you are entitled to based on family law
|PRODUCE OFFER TO SETTLE |
An offer letter drafted and sent to your spouse or their solicitor
|ADVICE ON OFFER RECEIVED |
Legal advice on offers/counter offers received from the other party
If an agreement is reached we will:
|DRAFT AND MANAGE A CONSENT ORDER |
If at any stage you are able to reach agreement then included in the fixed price is the drafting of a legally binding court order.
If agreement cannot be reached we will:
|PROVIDE ADVICE ON NEXT STEPS |
We will explain your options to more forward which may include mediation, a Financial Dispute Evaluation or moving on to the Financial Dispute Resolution hearing.
You have a range of options (at an additional cost) to move forward:
| Option 1: ATTEND MEDIATION |
National Family Mediation is a non-profit organisation with 48 offices across the UK. Read more about divorce mediation.
|Option 2: FINANCIAL DISPUTE EVALUATION |
Coming soon: This innovative service will provide an early legal opinion from a highly experienced family law barrister on the likely outcome of court proceedings for ancillary relief. This will enable the parties to agree a settlement without actually going to court.
|Option 3: FINANCIAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION |
The next stage in legal proceedings is to prepare for and attend the Financial Dispute Resolution hearing.
|NB: Options 1,2 and 3 above are optional additional services and are NOT included in the price of the "Ancillary Relief up to First Appointment" service. |
If in your case both parties agree to turn the First Appointment hearing into an early FDR, then providing full disclosure has staken place and any asset valuations are complete, it should be possible to complete all the FDR preparation within the fixed cost for Step 2 - please call us to discuss.
What is not included in this service?
This service includes the management of a process of voluntary disclosure and the negotiation of a financial settlement on divorce.
The service does not include:
- mediation services
- advice immediately if the other side start to dissipate assets
- any work or advice on Children Act proceedings
- any work or advice on the divorce (decree nisi / absolute)
(This is available as a separated fixed price divorce service)
Representation in court by one of our solicitors is an optional extra:
- the fee for a solicitor to represent you at the hearing is £500 plus travel expenses (travel expenses should be no more than £150)
The fixed price covers solicitor fees but does not include other professional fees that may be incurred such as: home valuation, pension valuation, barrister fees and court fees. A court fee of £40 is payable when the consent order is submitted to court. If you are on a low income you may qualify for an exemption from this fee. Please ask us about this.
What are the payment options for this service?
This is a fixed price service.
- An initial payment of £800 to start the process
(if you are the applicant in ancillary relief then a court fee of £210 is also payable at this stage)
- A second payment of £600 before we prepare the questionnaire
- A final payment of £500 before we draft form H1
Installments can be paid by credit/debit card, bank transfer or cheque. At each stage payment must be received before we progress the matter further.
If at any point an agreement is reached with the other side then we will happily settle your case by drawing up a consent order which is a court approved legally binding financial agreement, at no extra charge*.
( *you will need to pay the £40 court fee for the consent order ).
If at any point you wish to stop using our service then just let us know, you are under no obligation to pay the installments for work which had not started yet.