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 4 - Preparation for Final Hearing.
This service covers the stage from after the Financial Dispute Resolution hearing, up to the Final 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.
Who is the service for?
This service is suitable for people involve in Ancillary Relief proceedings in England and Wales who have had their FDR hearing and who now need to prepare for a final hearing.
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 Financial Dispute Resolution hearing:
|ADHERING TO THE FINANCIAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION ORDER |
The judge at the FDR may make orders 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.
|FURTHER REPLIES TO QUESTIONNAIRES |
We will prepare any further replies to questionnaires, file the document at court and exchange with the other party. Filing of any supplementary questionnaires.
|FURTHER VALUATIONS OF PROPERTY AND/OR PENSIONS |
We will communicate with the appropriate third parties (e.g. estate agent, surveyor, pension provider) to obtain any additional valuations required by the court. 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 additional disclosure requirements, and advice on valuations. We will advise on offers to settle ahead of the final hearing.
We will update your financial disclosure ready for the Final hearing:
UPDATING (if necessary) OF YOUR FORM E
EXCHANGE OF UPDATED FORM E's
We will manage the preparation for the Final hearing:
|UNDERSTANDING YOUR CASE |
We will meet with you on the phone or face to face to understand you case and identify what evidence and information you will need to gather to support your case.
|PREPARATION AND EXCHANGE OF QUESTIONNAIRES |
This is used to ask for missing information or additional information in relation to your spouse's Form E
|STATEMENT (if ordered by the court) |
If at FDR 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.
|PREPARATION OF COURT BUNDLES |
We will prepare a court bundle for your case. This is a comprehensive file containing the documents, disclosure and evidence needed for the final hearing. We will provide copies for the court and the other party.
|DRAFTING OF FORM H1 - STATEMENT OF COSTS |
Including exchange with the other side and filing with the Court
|BRIEF TO COUNSEL |
We will prepare a summary of your case to send to your barrister (if you have opted to retain one). Or to refer to yourself if you plan to attend without a barrister.
For an additional (optional) fee of approximately £2500 to £3500:
|REPRESENTATION BY A BARRISTER AT FINAL HEARING |
A barrister will read the brief, prepare a skeleton arguement and position statement and represent you in person at the final hearing.
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
Once the court has made the final order your next steps are:
| Option 1: COMPLY WITH ORDER |
you may need additional help from a lawyer to comply with the terms of the order: for example arranging the transfer of a property (conveyancing) or implementing a pension sharing order. We would be happy to provide a quote for this work.
|Option 2: APPEAL AGAINST JUDGEMENT |
If you are extremely unhappy with the outcome at final hearing we would be able to advise you on whether there are grounds for an appeal. If you wanted to progress with an appeal AND there are sufficient grounds for appeal then we would be willing to provide a quote to represent you.
|NB: Options 1 and 2 above are optional additional services and are NOT included in the price of the "Preparation for Final Hearing" 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
- 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)
- any work beyond the final hearing (compliance with orders or appeals)
Representation in court by a barrister is an optional extra:
- the fee for a barrister to represent you at the final hearing is in the region of £2500 to £3500 for a 2 or 3 day hearing respectively.
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 3 then you are entitled to £500 off the price of Step 4.
We accept payment in easy installments as follows:
- An initial payment of £1000 to start the process
- A second payment of £1000 prior to making any offers to settle
- A third payment of £950 on delivery of the bundle.
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.