If you have seen any Hollywood films about divorce such as War of the Roses you may have got the impression that a long, complicated divorce procedure is something that only very wealthy people are able to indulge in. Unfortunately, to an extent that is very true. So how much does divorce cost?
Solicitors charge between £200 and £500 an hour for their services, so as you can imagine it is impossible for a person of normal funding to employ them for hours and hours of complicated legal wrangling. If you are on a low income, you may be eligible for legal aid, but you may have to pay a portion of the costs yourself depending on your income. To be eligible for legal aid, you must have a monthly income that is less than £2435 before deductions and less than £8000 in available capital. However, if you are close to this limit you will be expected to pay a significant capital contribution to your own legal fees, so you still have to make sure you minimise the amount of your solicitor’s time you take up. Getting in touch with a specialist family lawyer, Leeds wide there are several, would be the best way to obtain further advice on divorce fees.
Legal aid also pays for family mediation services, which can be very useful in saving money on solicitor’s fees. Instead of doing all negotiation with your partner in the presence of your lawyer, you can instead use a neutral mediator to facilitate your conversations. Although your lawyer is able to give you legal advice while the family mediation team is not, the most important thing is being able to come to an agreement with your partner. You can then investigate the legality of what you want to propose later.
Divorce can be a very complicated area, but luckily there is a wealth of resources available online. At sites such as Divorce Aid and Wikivorce you can find all the information you could ever want about the legal issues of divorce. You can also chat to fellow divorcees and, at Wikiforce, even download the necessary court forms. If you are really interested, or happen to have a really complicated case, over at the Family Law Week website you can read case histories going back to before 2005. The site contains full details as well as summaries of important cases that affect precedent so you can try to understand why the court comes to certain decisions, and try to predict the outcome of your own case. It is also possible to find information on the web written by a locally-based family lawyer, Leeds has some of the best in the country, giving further advice and information.
Because there are so many resources available, it is possible to conduct the proceeding without the services of a solicitor to reduce divorce cost. However, this is only advisable if you have already fully negotiated absolutely everything with your partner beforehand, and feel confident that you don’t need a solicitor to stand up for your rights in court. It is not a good idea to attempt to speak for yourself in court without formal representation when there is a disagreement between you and your spouse, because of the chance that the court will rule against you.
The impact of a divorce on your life can be quite significant. If you do feel that your home and finances could be in jeopardy, it is always worth the expense of a good divorce lawyer; Leeds wide there are several who are happy to offer further advice and guidance.