Not surprisingly, this is one of the first questions that a client asks a lawyer.
“How much is all this going to cost?”
The general response is “it depends”.
If a case is resolved quickly – the costs are going to be less.
On the other hand, if a case drags on and becomes complicated – the costs are going to be more.
At the end of the day – if the husband and wife can find mutual ground and reach a settlement quickly, the amount of money which is paid out to the lawyers will be considerably less.
However, there is little point in, for example, the wife reaching a settlement which is for considerably less than her entitlements, simply to save costs.
Life is expensive enough without having to pay out for a divorce on top of all of the other expenses that we get hit with on a daily basis.
Legal Aid has now virtually disappeared.
However, there is life at the end of the tunnel.
It is possible now for wives (or even husbands) to obtain litigation loans in order to pay their lawyer’s fees.
The loan is paid back at the end of the case.
Alternatively, it is sometimes possible for either spouse to obtain an Order from the court requiring the other spouse to contribute to their monthly legal expenses. However, this can be an expensive and problematic course of action.
At the end of the day, the golden rules are as follows:-
- Get your lawyer to provide you with clear advice about the likely costs of the case.
- Get a monthly update about how much the case is costing.
- Get your finance in place before you undertake the case. There is little point in getting halfway through the case and discovering that you cannot afford to pay your lawyer.
- Do not continue with an expensive case against your spouse if you are not going to benefit from the outcome. It is important to be business-like and pragmatic.
- Do not settle a case just for the heck of it. It must be a proper settlement and it must be one which is fair given the circumstances of the case (your lawyer can advise you about whether or not that is the case).
- Finally, do not give up. These cases can be extremely wearying to pursue. It is important that you get a good lawyer who knows what he/she is doing and can advise you honestly about your entitlements.
Divorce and financial claims arising upon divorce or cohabitee’s claims against another cohabitee or claims under the Civil Partnership Act or claims pursuant to the Children Act 1989 are specialist areas which require the expertise and experience of a lawyer who both knows the way the system operates on the one hand but is fully mindful of the client’s real needs on the other.