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 3 - Financial Dispute Resolution.
This service covers the stage from after the First Appointment, up to and including the Financial Dispute Resolution hearing. 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 3 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 Final Hearing (Step 4).
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:
This service covers the steps necessary AFTER the first appointment:
|ADHERING TO THE FIRST APPOINTMENT ORDER |
The judge at the first appointment will typically make an order requiring each party to provide further information. We will prepare the necessary documents and respond to the court and the other side on your behalf.
|REPLIES TO QUESTIONNAIRES |
We will prepare your reply to the questionnaire, file the document at court and exchange with the other party. Filing of any supplementary questionnaires.
|VALUATIONS OF PROPERTY AND/OR PENSIONS |
We will communicate with the appropriate third parties (e.g. estate agent, surveyor, pension provider) to obtain the necessary valuations of your main assets. Any third party charges for valuations are not included in the fixed price. Typically an estate agent can provide a free property valuation, but a surveyor would charge. Also a pension provider should provide a free pension valuation, but an actuary would charge.
We will provide the necessary legal advice at each stage of this process:
|LEGAL ADVICE |
We will explain the court orders to you and confirm what you need to do to comply with them. We will provide advice on disclosure and the Form E. We will provide legal advice on valuations.
We will update your financial disclosure ready for the FDR hearing:
UPDATING (if necessary) OF YOUR FORM E
EXCHANGE OF UPDATED FORM E's
We will manage all the preparation for the Financial Dispute Resolution hearing:
|STATEMENT (if ordered by the court) |
If at First Appointment the court orders a statement then we will prepare this for you. It is a narrative summary of your Form E.
We will prepare a high level summary of your overall financial situation and includes: assets, liabilities, income and outgoings.
|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 FDR HEARING |
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 or moving on to a Final 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: FINAL HEARING |
The next stage in legal proceedings is to prepare for and attend the Financial Dispute Resolution hearing.
|NB: Options 1 and 2 above are optional additional services and are NOT included in the price of the "Financial Dispute Resolution" service. |
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
- applying to court for ancillary relief (if you have not yet applied for ancillary relief you should be considering Step 2 - Ancillary Relief up to First Appointment
- 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 £750 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.
If you previously purchased Step 2 then you are entitled to £500 off the price of Step 3.
We accept payment in easy installments as follows:
- An initial payment of £1000 to start the process
- A second payment of £1000 following the Replies to Questionnaire or filing of supplementary Questionnaires
- A third payment of £950 prior to making any offers to settle.
- The optional fee for a solicitor to represent you at the hearing is £750 plus travel expenses and is payable before the hearing date
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.
( *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.