Traditionally, when a marriage or civil partnership breaks down, each side instructs a lawyer to represent their interests when dividing assets or making decisions about children. In this adversarial system, each lawyer puts their client’s strongest case to the Judge. The Judge often comes down somewhere between the two positions. In that process, tensions can be exacerbated and costs can soar.
The ‘average’ cost of a divorce is £30,000 and this can increase significantly where both sides have their own lawyers and you end up in court on a number of occasions. A divorce can also be a long process. The ‘average’ divorce can take 14 months.
However, there is an alternative to this long and expensive procedure. It is possible for couples to ‘share’ one lawyer between them and cut the costs and the time of a traditional divorce. The Divorce Surgery seeks to remove the added tension of the adversarial system by having an impartial lawyer advise both parties of how a judge will approach your case and the most likely outcome.
The Divorce Surgery offers a fixed fee price, so you know exactly what you’re signing up for and how much it will cost you. Our prices start at £4,750 per couple (plus VAT) for the entire process.
Our impartial lawyers give you advice as to what a judge is likely to consider a fair outcome in the law. We assist you in completing your financial disclosure and setting out what issues matter most to each of you and your desired outcomes. Your barrister can then look at your case dispassionately and assist you both.
The Divorce Surgery’s ‘One Couple One Lawyer’ service is suitable for most couples. We offer a complimentary Introductory Session where we sit down with each of you and assess whether you’re suitable. The key markers which will make a couple unsuitable are where there are serious allegations of domestic abuse, such that you would not feel safe in a room together, allegations of hidden assets, such that you cannot agree what the financial resources are, or jurisdictional issues. Where these markers do not apply, a couple is likely to be able to share one lawyer for the purposes of our service.
The Divorce Surgery is currently the ONLY regulated provider of the ‘One Couple One Lawyer’ service. We use barristers from across the Family Bar to ensure we have the right barrister for your particular case. It’s worth noting that only barristers can offer joint, impartial advice to a separating couples. Solicitors are restricted by their conflict rules.
Judges, those who will ultimately will be making the final decision in your case, are hugely supportive of The Divorce Surgery and our One Lawyer service. We have been recognised alongside other methods of alternative dispute resolution like mediation. We have also won a number of awards, including the Innovation of the Year award at the 2019 Family Law Awards.
Once you’ve attended our Advice Session with your barrister, you will both receive a 15-20 page written advice setting out the most likely outcome for your case. This document will be privileged and this means that it cannot be disclosed or used in future court proceedings. You can, however, show any solicitors, divorce coaches or mediators who might assist.
If you both come to an agreement following our session, you will need to draft a court order. This will need to be approved by a Judge. We offer a service of drafting your court orders for a fixed fee or one of you can instruct a solicitor to do it for you.
If you haven’t reached an agreement, you may engage a mediator to help you negotiate a final deal or you may instruct a solicitor to assist with final negotiations.
Typically, couples tend to resolve their disputes much more quickly when they have used our service and they have found out, together, what a Judge is likely to consider to be fair.