If you are seeking a separation or divorce your legal fees will vary according to your case. You should bear the following points in mind at the outset:
* Your solicitor should be able to give you an initial estimation of costs. However this may change should complications arise, particularly if you and your former partner cannot agree and end up in court. Always be generous with your estimated budget for legal costs and prepare for the unexpected.
* If your divorce is likely to end in court do not budget for court costs in your savings or assume that the sale of property will cover them. If these are awarded to your partner you will have to find the costs from elsewhere.
* Not all solicitors are part of the CLS-Fund Scheme (formerly Legal Aid). If you think you might need help with your legal fees you should ring and check before your initial appointment.
* Consider whether your circumstances might change, for example you may have to give up work to care for children or you could be left with unmanageable debts from the marriage. If you do not currently qualify for assistance it might be an idea to find a firm of solicitors who are part of the CLS-Fund Scheme to avoid having to change solicitor's midway through your case.
Community Legal Service Direct
Information on the Community Legal Service Scheme (formerly Legal Aid) including online eligibility calculator and search for solicitors participating in the scheme. Also offers free leaflets on legal issues relating to finance including Dealing with Debt, Selling Property and Separation and Divorce.
For further information on the legal aspects of divorce and separation click here.