Many divorces are dragged into court because the two parties involved simply can not comprehend the pointlessness of a court battle. A lawyer in the spa town of Bath was the first English solicitor to divorce work at a fixed fee.
He is now making it clear to potential divorcing couples that the removal of legal aid for divorce cases will lead to a huge backlog in the divorce courts in England and Wales as warring couples drag every detail of their separation into the courtroom. .
Richard Crallan of Crallan Family and Divorce Solicitors whose fees in contested cases start from under £3,000 says that more and more people are going to find themselves at the mercy of the courts and facing mounting legal fees.
“Cases that should settle won’t because the individuals involved in the breakdown will have no one to talk them out of a pointless court battle,” says Richard.
“There are real concerns that without Legal Aid or access to representation there’ll be an increased number of allegations of domestic abuse given that’s the only reason anyone will now be allowed access to state funding – and minor incidents will be exaggerated. This, in turn will lead to bitterness and entrenched conflict which could have devastating consequences for the children caught in the middle of their parents’ warfare. Realistically, people do need lawyers when they’re divorcing or separating but they need access to justice at an affordable price.”
The average cost of a fully contested divorce is around £70,000 in London and £30,000 outside the Capital. Crallans offer fixed fees in contested cases starting from £2,975 up to £10,350 depending on the length of the case.
“What I believe is that people need some certainty in uncertain times and why pay a first class rate for what is in some cases is a third rate service? We can help people who are going through possibly the worst time of their life make clear long term decisions so that everyone comes out of a difficult situation as unscathed as possible,” says Richard. “We take a supportive, not combative approach and a fixed fee means a more efficient service with a great deal less stress.”
More about Crallan Family and Divorce Solicitors in this video.