Family Law

Family Law

At David Lee Solicitors, we take your family’s continued well-being very seriously. That is why family law is not just a speciality, but something very close to all of our hearts. Below, you will find a list of our services in this area – please click on each one to learn more about it:

Divorce

Marriages do not always end happily ever after. If your marriage is breaking down, it is important to make sure you have the right support in place. Friends and family are great, but there is no substitute for expert legal advice. You need it right from the start to make sure that an already difficult experience is not made worse.

Your Lawyer will be by your side from start to finish, offering you the peace of mind that comes from working with someone you know and trust. We can help you draft a divorce petition to obtain a Divorce. We can advise you on the best way to protect your finances and your children. We can represent you in mediation, or, if an amicable resolution is not possible, represent you at Court.

Our charges 

  • David Lee – Senior Solicitor – £233.00 per hour
  • Diana Crone – Paralegal – £123.00 per hour
  • Martin Large – Trainee Legal Executive – £75.00 per hour
  • Eva Tite – Paralegal – £75.00 per hour
Financial orders

In a divorce, both parties have financial claims against each other. These claims may be about the matrimonial home, money, possessions, pension or about future payments. They may even be about debts that have been created during the marriage.

When possible, you can avoid a lengthy (and expensive!) Court process by simply agreeing on a financial settlement. If that is proving difficult, we can represent you in a family mediation, supporting you every step of the way. As a last resort, if an agreement cannot be reached, the Family Court will be asked to decide the issues and make a Financial Order. If that happens, we can represent you at Court.

Financial Remedy Proceedings

  • David Lee – Senior Solicitor – £233.00 per hour
  • Diana Crone – Paralegal – £123.00 per hour
  • Martin Large – Trainee Legal Executive – £75.00 per hour
  • Eva Tite – Paralegal – £75.00 per hour

These proceedings can include, Informal negotiations, Solicitor led negotiations, Mediation etc and conclude with Contested Court Proceedings.

Our fees for dealing with negotiations between solicitors will be in the region of £3,000 and £5,000 plus VAT, plus a Court fee of £50.00.

  • If negotiations between solicitors are unsuccessful, you can seek family mediation.  Costs to deal with Mediation can range from between £1,200 and £2,400 plus VAT plus a Court fee of £50, including the cost of mediation.
  • Contested financial remedy proceedings will last at least six months and could last up to two years.  Our fees to deal with the first stage of financial remedy proceedings  is £5,000 to £7,000;  £15,000 and £18,000 to progress to the FDR stage and if it is fully contested the likely costs would be between £36,000 plus VAT  up to an amount £50,000 plus VAT plus disbursements (Expert’s/Barrister’s fees) for dealing with the matter through to a Final Hearing.

Court Proceedings

David Lee is an experienced Family Law Solicitor and if required will represent you at the First Hearing for a fee of between £466 plus Vat ( £93.20 ) total £559.20

Telephone Hearing –  £932 plus vat ( £186.40 ) total £1118.40

  • If your matter is particularly complex, then a barrister may be required at future Hearings. These costs can vary between (£1850 plus Vat (£370) total £2,220 to £6,000 plus vat (£1,200) total £7,200.
  • Disbursements
  • Court fee on Issue £255 ( No Vat ),
  • Obtaining a Formal valuation of Land and Property, including family home between £750 plus Vat ( £150) total £900 and £7,000 plus Vat ( £1,400 ) total £8,400.
  • Pension valuation Report £2,000 plus Vat ( £400) total £2,400 to £4,000 plus Vat ( £800) total £4,800
  • Forensic Accountant to provide Formal valuation of Business Assets £4,000 plus vat ( £800 ) total £4,800.
  • Court fee to Issue Application for Financial Order is £255 ( No Vat)
  • Court fees for additional Applications are between £50 ( No vat ) and £550 ( no Vat ) depending upon the type of Application and what the Court is being asked to decide.
  • The above list is not exhaustive, and each Case will be different and will require specific valuations. These will be discussed and agreed with you, before incurring those Disbursements.”

 

Children

We pride ourselves on understanding the difficulties that separating parents may face when trying to reach an agreement over arrangements for their children. We can provide you with specialist advice that will resolve any immediate problems, and will allow you to move forward with long-term arrangements that suit both parents and children.

In some circumstances, parents can agree where the children should live and how much time the children will spend with each parent. At other times, parents may want to settle matters relating to children and contact amicably rather than using the Court process, but cannot reach the decision between themselves. In these cases, mediation is the best option. If mediation fails, Court is the next, and final, option. We can advise you on all the issues that you are likely to meet in these proceedings, including:

  • David Lee – Senior Solicitor – £233.00 per hour
  • Saher Iqbal – Solicitor, STEP affiliate – £210.00 per hour
  • Diana Crone – Paralegal – £123.00 per hour
  • Martin Large – Trainee Legal Executive – £75.00 per hour
  • Eva Tite – Paralegal – £75.00 per hour

We will discuss your requirements at an initial Meeting. That Meeting is free of charge. We can assess what you want us to do. We can provide you with an estimate of the likely cost of this. This cost estimate will be based on our hourly rates and the amount of work to be carried out. We will keep you updated on the likely costs to be paid by you, throughout your Case.

  • Deciding the arrangements for a child and how to achieve them

we can assist you in preparing and agreeing a Parenting plan with the other Parent. This will set out agreed arrangements for your child. It will deal with Issues such as which School the child will attend or which Parent will see the child on which days at Christmas or what arrangements there will be for holidays, or even what happens if your Child is injured in an accident. Those discussions should take place between the Parents and we can advise you on what your expectations can be. We will charge our hourly rate ( see table above ) and the amount you pay will be based upon the amount of work that we do. A simple and straightforward Parenting Agreement, recording what has been agreed between the Parents would cost between £466 plus Vat ( £93.20 ) total £559.20 up to £699 plus Vat (£139,80 ) a total of £838.80.

A more complicated Matter, where we negotiate on your behalf and agree Arrangements which are acceptable to you, could cost significantly more.

  • Deciding where a child should live and how much time they spend with each parent

This can be agreed and recorded in a Parenting plan. If the arrangements cannot be agreed, then you may have to make an Application to the Court and ask the Court to decide these arrangements. To do this, you will firstly need to talk to a Family Mediator to discuss whether a Mediated Settlement can be agreed. The cost of a Mediator varies, but the initial discussion could cost between £100 up to £200 plus Vat ( £40 ) total £240. You would discuss those charges direct with the Mediator.

If a Mediation was not possible, or a Mediation did not produce an agreement, then you would ask a Court to decide the arrangements. There is an initial Court fee to pay. This is currently £215. No Vat is charged on this.

Our costs will be based on the hourly charge out rates on the Person dealing with the Matter. Our Charge out rates are set out above. The costs will be calculated on the amount of time spent in dealing with your matter and the work that is carried out. Some Cases ae concluded at an early stage and costs could be between £2330 plus Vat ( £466 ) total £2,796. Some Cases take much longer and require more Court time and more Hearings. Those Cases could cost more than £16,000 plus Vat ( £3200 ) total £19,200.

In addition to the Court fees, the Court may ask you to obtain Medical reports from your Doctor or Consultant. Those charges would be agreed between you and your Doctor. If there has been Police involvement due to Domestic Violence or other reasons, the Court may Order a Police Report. The cost of this could be up to £750 plus vat (£150 ) total £900. There are other reports which can be Ordered. We would investigate the cost of these and advise you about the cost, before obtaining the Report.

In addition to the Court fees, the Court may ask you to obtain Medical reports from your Doctor or Consultant. Those charges would be agreed between you and your Doctor. If there has been Police involvement due to Domestic Violence or other reasons, the Court may Order a Police Report. The cost of this could be up to £750 plus vat (£150 ) total £900. There are other reports which can be Ordered. We would investigate the cost of these and advise you about the cost, before obtaining the Report.

  • Prohibited Steps Orders – to prevent something happening, for example taking a child out of the country

You will need to make an Application to the Court. There will be a Court fee to pay. This is currently £215. The Court can sometimes deal with this quickly at one Hearing. If this happens your costs will usually be about £2330 plus Vat (£466) total £2,796. If the Court cannot deal with this quickly and there are several Court Hearings, the costs will be more. If the Court Orders that Medical reports or other reports are required, then it could cost more than £13,000 plus Vat (£2600) a total of £15,600.

  • Specific Issue Orders – to decide a particular issue, such as where a child will go to school

You will need to make an Application to the Court. There will be a Court fee to pay. This is currently £215. The Court can sometimes deal with this quickly at one Hearing. If this happens your costs will usually be about £2330 plus Vat (£466) total £2,796. If the Court cannot deal with this quickly and there are several Court Hearings, the costs will be more. If the Court Orders that Medical reports or other reports are required, then it could cost more than £13,000 plus Vat (£2600) a total of £15,600.

 

Domestic violence

As a victim of domestic abuse, you need to understand that you are not alone. Statistics show that one in four women will suffer some form of domestic abuse over their lifetime. For every five victims of abuse, three will be female and two will be male. One hundred and twenty women, and thirty men are killed by their current or former partners each year.

The Courts have wide-ranging powers to protect victims of domestic violence and their children. We can go to Court for you, to get an injunction to protect you from further violence or abuse, which can last from six months to a year. If necessary, we can ask the Court to make an order that the person who has been violent towards you must leave the family home and allow you to return. We can seek an Injunction, protection notices and orders, which are effective immediately and can last from forty-eight hours to twenty-eight days.

Our Fees:

  • David Lee – Senior Solicitor – £233.00 per hour
  • Diana Crone – Paralegal – £123.00 per hour
  • Martin Large – Trainee Legal Executive – £75.00 per hour
  • Eva Tite – Paralegal – £75.00 per hour

As a victim of domestic abuse, you need to understand that you are not alone. Statistics show that one in four women will suffer some form of domestic abuse over their lifetime. For every five victims of abuse, three will be female and two will be male. One hundred and twenty women, and thirty men are killed by their current or former partners each year.

The Courts have wide-ranging powers to protect victims of domestic violence and their children. We can go to Court for you, to get an injunction to protect you from further violence or abuse, which can last from six months to a year. If necessary, we can ask the Court to make an order that the person who has been violent towards you must leave the family home and allow you to return. We can seek an Injunction, protection notices and orders, which are effective immediately and can last from forty-eight hours to twenty-eight days.

Domestic abuse can include:

  • Physical abuse – pushing, slapping, punching, intimidation
  • Psychological abuse – harassment, pestering, shouting, controlling behaviour
  • Sexual abuse

If you are suffering or feel at risk of domestic abuse, you should contact the police and report the abusive behaviour and incidents. The police can then take action against your partner or spouse. This is a very big step and often the most difficult. You can also seek help from Refuge. https://www.refuge.org.uk/

You can also seek completely confidential legal advice from a family solicitor about what steps you can take to leave your partner or spouse.

You could make an urgent application to the court to obtain a non-molestation order and/or an occupation order under the Family Law Act 1996. These are types of ‘injunction’.

Non-molestation Orders

A non-molestation order is a court order that prohibits a person from molesting another person and/or any children. ‘Molesting’ can include any form of domestic abuse, as described above. The order will make clear restrictions on what the other party cannot do, for example that the other party cannot visit the molested persons home or place of work. Breaching a non-molestation order is a criminal offence.

We would prepare the application for you and a witness statement setting out the incidents of molestation. We may advise you to apply for an occupation order at the same time. The court will look at all the circumstances including the need to secure the health (physical and mental), safety and wellbeing of you and any children. This is usually applied for without informing the other party (‘without notice’) and the judge will set a date for a future hearing when the other party will have an opportunity to defend the application, if they chose to do so.

Occupation Orders

An occupation order is a court order that regulates who lives at the family home. It is often used to allow one party to remain in the family home and to exclude the other party from that home where there has been domestic abuse.

There are different rules about who can apply for this order and there are also different types of occupation orders. For example, the court can order that a person be fully excluded from the home or the court could order that a person shall not enter a particular part of the home. The property involved must have been the family home or was intended to be the family home.

The court will apply a ‘balance of harm’ test and look at various factors, such as the housing needs and financial resources of the parties and any children, when considering whether to make this order and what it should contain.

We can help you by:

  • Offering you confidential advice about your options and court orders available to you
  • Advising you on your legal position and what to expect
  • Issuing an emergency application for a non-molestation and/or occupation order
  • Dealing with the other party and the court on your behalf
  • Helping you through the court process and with court hearings
  • Advising you on the next steps, such as separation or divorce

Example Fees :

  • Non Molestation Order and/or Occupation Order

Costs between £1165 plus vat ( £233 ) total £1398.00 for first Hearing.

If further Hearings are required ( Defended Application ) costs will be charged at Hourly rate of £233 plus vat ( £46.60 ) total £279.60 per hour.

If a Barrister is required, their fees range between £1850 plus vat ( £370 ) total £2220 and £3,500 plus Vat ( £700) total £4,200

If a Process Server is required, to effect Personal service of Documents on Respondent, fees of between £150 and £300 will be charged.

Civil partnership

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 was implemented on 29 March 2014. However, the Civil Partnership Act 2004 also remains in force. There are subtle differences between your legal rights under a civil partnership (or a same sex marriage), and a marriage between couples of the opposite sex. This can have all sorts of Legal implications for you.

Our specialist advice covers a number of issues affecting same sex couples, including:

  • Terminating a civil partnership
  • Divorce following a same sex marriage
  • Financial settlements
  • Pensions

Charges:

  • David Lee – Senior Solicitor – £233.00 per hour
  • Diana Crone – Paralegal – £123.00 per hour
  • Martin Large – Trainee Legal Executive – £75.00 per hour
  • Eva Tite – Paralegal – £75.00 per hour

Our fees:

  • Uncontested same sex Divorce or Dissolution of Civil Partnership Petitioner is £750 plus Vat ( £150 ) plus Court fee ( £550) a total of £1450.
  • Uncontested same sex Divorce or  Dissolution of Civil Partnership Respondent is £700 plus Vat (£140) total of £840.
  • Process Servers fees for Personal service of Documents £90 to £300, (no vat).
  • Attendance at Court, to argue Costs Order £932 plus Vat (£186.40 ) total £1118.40.
  • Contested / Defended Divorce – Charged at hourly rate of £233 plus vat (£46.60 ) total per hour is £279.60. Costs estimate £2,330 plus Vat (£466.60 ). Total £2796.00
  • Plus Barristers Fees ( if required ) of between £1850 plus Vat (£370) total £2,220 to £3,500 plus Vat ( £700 ) total £4200.

Contact Us

At David Lee Solicitors, we are only ever a phone call or an email away. If you want to make an enquiry concerning potential legal representation, please use the contact form on this site. Alternatively, if you would rather speak to someone in person, you can call us on 01926 852 188

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