Divorce Costs

Quickie Divorces – Cheap Divorces and Divorce Costs

Naturally when starting a divorce, one of the big considerations that will weigh on your mind is the likely costs of the proposed divorce, both in terms of legal fees as well as the financial aspects of the divorce and separation. Divorce can be a costly procedure but this does not need to be the case. Often prospective divorce clients will search around looking for what may be at first glance perceived as a ‘cheap’ or ‘quickie’ divorce. You might make a few calls to some local divorce law firms or, perhaps more often, you may be inclined to search the internet these days for divorce services. When searching google or yahoo for ‘quickie divorce’ or ‘cheap divorce’ you will be inundated by what may appear to be an immense selection of divorce providers. The divorce fees quoted can range from anything from several thousand pounds to the blatantly absurd companies quoting ‘quickie divorces’ for as little as £49

However; as with everything else in life, these ‘quickie divorces’ are not what they may appear to be at first. This article will help to guide you through some of the important issues you should consider when choosing a divorce solicitor.

There is no such thing as a ‘quickie divorce’! However; what these companies are doing is charging you a fee to simply email you a blank divorce petition with a leaflet explaining how you need to complete the form. However; there is much more to the process than filling in a form. To save legal fees you need to carry out a comparison of what ‘value‘ you are getting for your money. Ask yourself:

  • Do you want competent advice about the pro’s and con’s of your proposed divorce?
  • Is this really the best time to seek a divorce, taking account of your current and perceived future financial circumstances?
  • What will be the legal implications of your divorce?
  • What are the possible complications of the proposed divorce?
  • What do you expect to achieve for your children and what arrangements will be made after the divorce?
  • What if your spouse defends the divorce or, as is very often the case, tries to avoid service of the divorce petition?
  • What do you stand to lose after the divorce, financially?
  • What happens to your home after the divorce?
  • How do you ensure that you have a legally binding agreement dealing with the financial aspects of the divorce and separation?
  • What if your spouse denies the allegations set out in the divorce petition?
  • Apart from filling in the divorce petition, what is your legal adviser doing for you?
  • What happens when there are complications in the divorce process?
  • What is the importance of the location of the court where the divorce petition is filed?
  • Do you have any property or assets outside England & Wales?
  • What is the situation if you or your spouse does not live at an address in England & Wales?
  • How do you enforce a divorce abroad?

The issues are immense and it is vital that these are addressed at the start of the proceedings through expert advice from competent solicitors. After all anyone can fill in a court form and file it, but that’s just the start of the process. What happens when, as if often the case, complications arise?

Some useful questions to ask your divorce adviser:

  • Are you registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) as a solicitor?
  • Do you have a practising certificate from the SRA allowing you to practice as a solicitor?
  • What, exactly, is included in the price they are quoting and what is not included?
  • When complications arise, will you attend court on my behalf and defend my case?
  • Will you provide me with advice regarding the financial aspects of my divorce included in the price you have quoted me?
  • What addtional fees will I have to pay, over and above the costs quoted for the divorce?
  • Do you have Professional Indemnity Insurance to cover the work you are doing on my behalf?
  • If anything goes wrong, what is your complaints procedure?
  • If I am not satisfied with your complaints procedure, if there a higher and independent authority to whom you are accountable and to whom I can complain?

As solicitors, we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Everything we do is accountable and we are bound by very strict rules and regulations in relation to the entirety of our relationship with our clients, the courts and third parties. We have to advise you in writing of ‘everything’ and once we do advise you, we can be held accountable. There are real and often very drastic sanctions that are available to the SRA, in the event that a solicitor over-steps the mark. Ther are even rules and how we charge you, what we charge you and where we hold your money until your work is done. To be quite honest being a solicitor is not very easy and it is a pretty stressful occupation. However; we take pride in getting it right, first time and we take even more pride in putting a smile on clients faces. Happy clients mean lots more referrals and that’s what we want! Would you have your boiler at home serviced by an authorised company who will be accountable if the gas blows your house up or, are you happy to have it serviced by a fellow with a spanner who charges £20 and a cup of tea? If your answer to this question is the £20 option then you probably don’t care much about the repercussions of your actions and you certainly dont care much about your own safety and welfare, so maybe a £49 ‘quickie divorce’ is for you.

But if you are the type of person who organises their life, works hard to earn a living and likes to try their best to prepare for some of the uncertainties of life, then you need to ensure that you take proper, regulated, expert legal advice in relation to your proposed divorce. If that sounds like you, then call us on 020 8401 7352 and we will give you a free 30 minute telephone consultation which should tell you exactly where you stand. After that, the decision is all yours. We will not employ hard selling tactics and we are certainly never pushy. We like our clients walking through the door, not being dragged tooth and nail!

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