You may be aware that legal aid for almost all family cases will cease to be available from April 2013, meaning that people will now either have to instruct a solicitor and pay privately – or take the DIY approach.
“Litigants in person” as they are called, face representing themselves in complex cases where they cannot afford immediate legal representation.
‘Doing it yourself’ in a divorce is fraught with dangers, particularly in financial proceedings where it is vital to ensure that you achieve a binding and enforceable settlement. The wording in these court orders is very specific and if not prepared correctly, the consequences can be devastating.
There are many cases where agreements have already been reached between separating spouses, who simply seek to have the agreement amicably legalised in order to protect themselves and their families. Even this is not straightforward, as you cannot simply prepare your own agreement and send this to the court for approval. It will not be accepted, even if the terms of the agreement are simple and wholly agreed.
There are however other options to expensive legal battles. Here at SAS Daniels LLP, our team can prepare the legal version of your own agreement for approval by the court for a very reasonable fee. If you cannot agree matters then we can help with referrals to mediation or collaborative law and we even have funding options available whereby you can opt to pay later – even waiting, for example, until the house is sold. We can also offer fixed fees, sometimes payable by instalments to enable you to budget.
For more information on this or similar issues, please contact a member of our Family team on 01625 442100.