It can be frightening approaching a family law solicitor when you don’t know how much it’s going to cost. Some people going through a separation won’t even go to a lawyer because they fear the cost. Before I became involved in the legal profession, I was one of these people who wouldn’t get professional advice because I was too scared of the cost. Because of this attitude I was not represented and regrettably suffered the consequences, but that is an entire other story!
The truth is that you should not be scared of the cost for these very good reasons;
- it may not cost as much as you think
- your solicitor may actually save you or make you money
- you will get the right advice saving you mistakes and anguish.
Because we understand that people do have ‘fee fears’ we give our family law clients the opportunity of a free initial consultation. We do this for a few reasons, including that it gives us the chance to learn about your circumstances, we are then able to advise you of the costs involved before you start being charged.
Every situation is different and depending on what is involved there are different ways of structuring fees, these may include:
Fixed fees are most common for routine work, like simple agreements. For example, sometimes couples are already in agreement as to how you are going to divide assets or spend time with the children. In these circumstances, we may be able to give you a fixed fee for the work that we conduct on your behalf.
Often we can’t predict at the start of a matter just how much time it will take. Have you heard the saying ‘how long is a piece of string?’ Well that saying is most certainly applicable to some family law negotiations, we can never know how long it will take to reach an agreement. In cases where we charge an hourly rate, you are always aware of the rate, as we go we keep detailed records of all the time spent on the matter, then the hourly rate is applied. In these circumstances, a monthly bill is sent so that you know where you stand at regular intervals.
What Are Disbursements?
Disbursements are expenses that we pay on your behalfs such as the costs of photocopies, faxes, long-distance telephone calls, postage, couriers, experts, and court filings. You are made aware of these costs before they are incurred.
Don’t be afraid to discuss your financial situation and the cost of your matter with your solicitor, often arrangements can be made to suit your situation. It is important that you sort out your family law matter properly with solid representation so that you can move forward with no regrets.