Family law and divorce costs

Family law and divorce costs

The cost of any family law proceedings, including financial claims on divorce or civil partnership dissolution and child arrangement orders needs to be proportionate to the issues involved. We recognise that costs are always an issue whether the case involves very small assets or significant wealth.

Our solicitors provide a quotation at the start of a divorce case that sets out our best view as to how much the case will cost. Our charge out rates are extremely competitive. We undercut the London market by circa 50%, and offer competitive rates for expert legal advice in the West Country and West Midlands.

We will also consider with you the likely costs consequences of taking a matter to court as the rules are different depending on the type of case. For example, in financial proceedings on divorce/civil partnership dissolution or child arrangement proceedings the general rule is that the Court will not make an order requiring one party to pay the costs of another party.

In civil proceedings, for example, property claims between unmarried couples or financial claims between parents on behalf of children under the Children Act 1989, the opposite is true. The general rule here is that the unsuccessful party will be ordered to pay the costs of the successful party, although the Court has discretion to make a different costs order.

There are factors which the court will take into account in deciding whether or not to order a party to pay the others costs. The Court may order that a party pay a proportion of the other party’s costs or in relation to a particular issue, rather than all of the costs.

Whether or not you get some or all of your costs back, you will need to fund your legal fees in the first instance. However, there are a number of helpful ways that the legal costs you incur may be paid, in addition to personal funding:

Fixed fees

We will always consider if a fixed fee structure can be put in place for part or all of the case.

Litigation loans

Where it is not easy to meet fees on an ongoing basis, we will also consider if you could put in place a litigation loan to cover fees for example as provided by Novitas. There are a number of commercial organisations that will look at funding your costs of litigation on the basis that they are repaid when you receive your settlement. This means that you enter into an agreement with the lender to borrow the funds you need for the fees and the loan is secured on the assets you retain.

Legal expense allowance

Where there is a significant imbalance in wealth you have no other way to meet your legal fees, it is now possible to apply to the Court to have your fees covered by your former spouse on an ongoing basis, and again we can advise you as to how best to put this in place.

We are happy to provide you with any additional information you request in relation to fees and expenses. We will regularly provide you with updates of the costs throughout your case and you are welcome to ask what your costs are at any point in the proceedings.

We are always on the lookout for interesting cases and would like to be asked to see if we can help – our aim is to help you to get a fair solution to your problem.

Contact our family law team

If you need legal advice or want to discuss your options for paying family law or divorce costs, contact us to speak to one of our family law solicitors.

Call us now on 0800 652 8025 or contact us online.