Family Costs

7th Oct 2015

The breakdown the relationship is possibly the most stressful time you will ever experience. Apart from the emotional difficulties coming from the end of the relationship a number of other changes normally take place. Your work may suffer, you may have to move house and your finances may be dramatically different. In the midst of all of this you have to make some extremely important decisions which may have an impact for years to come.

Arrangements have to be agreed for the children. Where will they live? What contact should they have with you or your spouse? In the heat of the moment disputes which look so easy from the outside such as who should collect the children for contact and who should take the children to school can become extremely difficult to resolve.

Financial issues can be even more fraught. Can the mortgage still be paid? How do you preserve the house for the children? Which assets should be split and how should family loans or inheritances be dealt with?

Current legislation gives judges great deal of flexibility in their decisions when dealing with family finances. As a result family law can be a minefield for the unwary. Fighting hard for every penny available may feel good but may only end up costing more money. Sensible negotiations can help achieve good settlements without contested court proceedings and the uncertainty in the final judicial decision. Not every case can be settled at an early stage but early settlements save money and heartache.

It is vital to have proper advice during this period. Unfortunately for many people proper advice is too expensive. For some the risk of costs increasing out-of-control prevents them from taking advice altogether. With massive cuts to the legal aid budget many, perhaps most people going through separation or divorce will receive no assistance at all in paying their legal fees. More and more people are expected to have to represent themselves. This may mean preparing court documents, reviewing the law and representing yourself at court.

At Gales we recognise that this is going to present a huge challenge. This is why we are introducing a range of fixed price services for different family problems. The fixed-price you know from the beginning exactly what the case is going to cost you. The service can be tailored to your own individual circumstances at the details of your particular case. It may be that all you need is advice on running the case yourself. Alternatively you may want us to handle the entire proceedings from start to finish. Whatever your needs we can help tailor our service to suit your situation.

Legal costs make up a significant part of the expense of many divorces and separations but they don't have to be unexpected. Whilst there will always be exceptional situations it is possible to know the cost from start to finish in most cases.