Save A Fortune On Family Legal Fees Advises……… Lawyer!

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A new legal product this year, and first in the UK, has been launched by regional law firm Brethertons LLP. FAR £egal is a Fixed Price Ancillary Relief service product which has been designed to bring down the cost of divorce by the Head of The Brethertons Family Law Team Linda Jones.

A new legal product this year, and first in the UK, has been launched by regional law firm Brethertons LLP. FAR £egal is a Fixed Price Ancillary Relief service product which has been designed to bring down the cost of divorce by the Head of The Brethertons Family Law Team Linda Jones.

FAR £egal makes it easier for couples to ascertain the likely costs of their divorce before they commence proceedings to settle their financial arrangements, known as Ancillary Relief. Ancillary Relief applications seek to resolve the financial arrangements on divorce and determine how the matrimonial assets including the house, pensions and other finances are divided. This area of Family Law can often run into tens of thousands of pounds in professional fees, depending on the amounts involved and also the length of time that couples continue to fight before either settling out of court or taking their case before a judge.

One of the fears when considering a divorce, is how much is it likely to cost overall. Getting divorced can be costly both financially and emotionally, particularly if the end of a relationship becomes painfully drawn-out through the Courts. Many firms already provide a fixed price for a basic divorce, but it’s the Ancillary Relief aspects of divorce where the fees can really spiral out of control.

Linda Jones explained:
“Couples who wish to get a basic divorce can do so for about £500, but it’s the Ancillary Relief aspects that can really increase the legal fees for couples who are in dispute over their joint finances and property – which can often take divorce disputes into thousands of pounds. FAR £egal is a 4 stage process, which depending on the parties willingness to resolve matters, may result in Ancillary Relief Proceedings concluding for £1450 plus VAT

At each of the stages, the client receives detailed advice from an experienced matrimonial lawyer, who will guide and support the client through what may be an emotional and sometimes tortuous journey.

Step 1. Disclosure – Financial Disclosure and Negotiation
Step 2. Directions – From Issue of Application to first Directions Appointment
Step 3. FDR – Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing    
Step 4. Final Hearing - From FDR to attending a final hearing.

I believe that FAR £egal our totally new approach to dealing with Ancillary Relief cases will help to make fees more transparent and competitive so that if someone gets involved in a dispute they know what the fees are likely to be from the outset.

In today’s economic climate, divorcing clients tell us they want cost-certainty and fee transparency. Many couples have been putting-off their divorce because of the Recession as couples who want to divorce have not been able to sell the principal; financial asset the matrimonial home. With the housing marketing showing signs of recovery divorce lawyers anticipate a large increase in the number of instructions into 2010 as couples regain financial confidence and independence.”

Notes to editors:

Linda is a Resolution Accredited Specialist in the areas of pensions on divorce and advocacy on financial provision on divorce. She is also a Collaborative Lawyer and an advanced member of the Family Law Panel.

Brethertons believe that the service they offer clients is unique in many respects.

All Brethertons divorce clients are also offered within their divorce package:

  •     a new Will so that the change in clients personal circumstances can be accurately reflected in their Will.
  •     a free session with a Life Coach to provide assistance and guidance in relation to non legal matters.
  •     free attendance at ‘Divorce Through The Eyes Of A Child’ workshops. Divorcing parents can sometimes get so involved in the battle they wage with their ex partner, that sometimes they forget to take account of what their children are experiencing.
  •     There are many bank personal loan schemes designed with divorcing couples in mind. Brethertons uses the Lloyds TSB loan scheme where loans are repaid when the divorce proceedings are over and the financial settlement has been concluded. We also give our clients the opportunity to pay for their divorce by instalments.

The Brethertons’ FAR £egal Service is a 4-Step process with a fixed price
The four steps of the FAR £egal package* are:-

Step 1. Disclosure – Financial Disclosure and Negotiation
The fixed price for Step 1 is £1,450 plus VAT **

Step 2. Directions – From Issue of Application to first Directions Appointment
The fixed price for Step 2 is £2,000 plus VAT, or £1500 plus VAT **

Step 3. FDR – Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing    
The fixed price for Step 3 is £2,950 plus VAT **

Step 4. Final Hearing - From FDR to attending a final hearing.
The fixed price for Step 4 is £2,950 plus VAT **

  • = The Ancillary Relief package does not include applying to the Court for ancillary relief (financial provision) but it does include helping clients to manage voluntary financial disclosure. Treated separately, are the legal discussions surrounding children’s issues.

** = Does not include Court fees or any other professional fees that may need to be incurred, such as valuation of property, a valuation of pensions, Barristers fees or Court fees. A Court fee of £40 is payable when the Consent Order is submitted to the Court.

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Claire Thompson
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