Ian Walker

Ian Walker – Mediator and Collaborative Family Lawyer

Divorce Costs

There is a lot about costs in the cost section of our website.

We firmly believe in being transparent about how we charge and have always published our hourly rates on our website. We also offer fixed fees – but every case is different – so fixed fees are bespoke to the individual client.

When we redesigned our website in the summer of 2020, we included the title divorce costs – as a page to be added. When it came to writing the content – we started by googling divorce costs and we came across a number of unregulated websites offering low-cost fixed fee divorce.

As solicitors we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). This means that we must follow our professional standards which are set out in the solicitors code. You can tell if a practice is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority – because it is a requirement that the practice’s website includes a link to the Solicitors Regulation Authority which confirms that the website is verified as genuine. Our link is in the footer at the bottom of each page of our website.

Why regulation is important

When client instruct solicitors, one of the things which they are paying for is an assumption of risk by the solicitor. In other words – if things go wrong – the client has a route to complain to the solicitors regulator – which expects the solicitor to meet high standards. Also, a solicitors practice must, in order to be able to practice, have the right level of insurance – in case something goes wrong. On the websites we looked at – all we could see were internal complaints processes in unregulated providers.

Sorting out financial issues and children issues is ordinarily much more significant than the divorce itself

The thing to bear in mind with divorce is that in most cases the divorce itself is only a small and in many ways the least significant part of the job.

The divorce itself is invariably the cheapest part of the whole process.

The main matters to be decided in a divorce are financial issues and the arrangements for any children that the couple might have.

The divorce itself provides a legal framework to end the marriage and to enable final decisions to be made about finance. Some unregulated divorce providers will offer to prepare a clean break order as part of their package – and sometimes they might say that they will ask for this to be checked by a solicitor.

The importance of legal advice

Before anyone agrees/decides that a clean break is appropriate is one – we would strongly recommend that the take legal advice.

For a solicitor to be able to advise properly – the solicitor needs information. The information will relate to the means and prospects of both of the couple. We regularly see couples underestimate the worth and importance of assets and in particular pensions. Valuations might be needed.

The law is about meeting the reasonable needs of each of the couple and any minor children – in the context of the marriage. Unfortunately, we and most solicitors see people who have blithely agreed to clean breaks or other financial arrangements which are not fair and which do not meet the reasonable needs. The clean break order or alternative financial order is an important legal document. The starting point for anyone considering a divorce should be to take legal advice. The advice may be that there is good reason to delay a divorce – or not to seek a divorce at all. The advice may be that much more information is needed from the client to enable them to make a good and informed decision about what a fair financial settlement looks like.

Once a direction of travel and parameters are decided – then there are different routes that can be chosen to negotiate. This can include solicitor/solicitor negotiation or mediation or collaborative family law. Sometimes a court application is required.

Save now and pay later!

In our experience it is always harder (and in some cases impossible) to unravel a bad agreement.

Trying to unravel a bad agreement will normally result in a lot of extra cost.

A well-run and purposeful negotiation should lead to a good agreement and this will be much better value. This

Who wants to be the person who claimed to have saved £00’s at the cost of £000’s or £0,000’s or even £00,000’s

Think about your overall divorce costs and the cost of not getting good legal advice

We would therefore strongly urge anyone who is considering getting divorced to start with some legal advice as the very first step. The advice shouldn’t be taken at the end of the process or when bad agreements have already been reached.

We have a very experienced team of divorce lawyers and are happy to assist.

Latest News

Wives pay the price of divorce

It is a common concern that on divorce wives fare worse financially than husbands. The main argument goes that even today in most marriages husbands are the ‘primary’ breadwinner, and that as a result wives have, on average

Read more
Three steps to a painless divorce

Some argue that the New Year is the busiest time of the year for new divorces, with many people apparently deciding to ‘do away with the old’ and make a new start in life by getting divorced.

Read more
Looking forward: The biggest family law story of 2021

As we prepare to say a perhaps not-so-sad farewell to the difficult year 2020, it is time to look forward to the year to come. Of course, much of what may happen in the world of family law in 2021 will have to wait to be seen.

Read more
Looking back: The biggest family law story of 2020

It is traditional at this time of year to look back over the previous twelve months and reflect upon what has happened, although many will not wish to look back at the year 2020. It has, to say the least, been a difficult year.

Read more
We are recruiting: Business Services Assistant / Paralegal  (Full Time)

Despite the challenges in the wider world, 2020 has been an incredible year for us as a practice. We have moved office, and pretty much doubled in size as a business. We have also been recognised in the Legal 500 as being a leading family

Read more
New proposals to reform system for resolution of family disputes

A group of family justice experts has published a report outlining proposals to deliver what it calls “a significant and ambitious programme of reform” of the system for resolution of disputes between separating couples in England and Wales

Read more
Welcome to Alice Beck/ You could join our team as well?

We are absolutely delighted to welcome Alice Beck to our team. Alice joined us today from fellow Devon Legal 500 Practice – Kitsons. Alice trained with Kitsons and upon qualification chose to specialise in family law.

Read more
What is an ‘FDR’?

Anyone involved in financial remedy proceedings to sort out the financial settlement on divorce will come across the term ‘FDR’. But what does it mean? Well, for a start it has nothing to do with a certain famous American President.

Read more
A separated parent’s survival guide to Christmas

Christmas can be a notably fraught time for separated families with young children. Both parents want to spend as much time as possible with the children, and everyone is determined to have a good time.

Read more
Why you must engage with the court in children proceedings

When parents separate they will have to sort out arrangements for their children, in particular as to what time the children will spend with each parent. Hopefully, they will be able to do this by agreement. But if they can’t agree matters

Read more
Can I get my spouse to fund my legal expenses?

Family court proceedings can be expensive. That is why every reasonable effort should be made to resolve family disputes out of court. But sometimes this is simply not possible.

Read more
David Howell-Richardson: We are very sad to announce the retirement from legal practice of our friend and colleague.

We are very sorry to announce the retirement of David Howell-Richardson. David joined us as a consultant solicitor in April 2018 after a long legal career in Devon – predominantly with Stones Solicitors in Exeter (who eventually merged wit

Read more