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Can A Divorcing Couple Share One Lawyer Blog
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. Will This Be In My Best Interest? 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. Can All Couples Share A Lawyer? The Divorce Surgery’s ‘One Couple One Lawyer’ service is suitable for most couples. We provide an 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. Who Offers This 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. What Do Judges Think Of It? 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. What Happens After We’ve Seen Our Lawyer? 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. If you have more questions about this topic or any other legal issues arising on divorce or separation, please do get in touch as we are always happy to help. You can call us on 0203 488 4475 or email [email protected].
2023-09-20 11:54
Assuming you don’t have a ‘prenup’ to give you an answer, then it’s 50-50 right? Wrong. Cases where the capital assets are divided equally remain a comparative rarity… Read More
2023-09-13 08:04
This feels like a controversial thing to say. But it really shouldn’t be. For some families, divorce can be the best thing to happen for the adults, but also crucially for their childr… Read More
2023-09-06 07:49
It’s so important to do your research before you start. Make sure your legal team shares your values – do they market themselves as ‘fighters’ or (worse) ‘rottw… Read More
2023-08-31 08:26
As we come into September, that new school term feeling can cause reflections on many aspects of life, including relationships. If you’re thinking about family change, or ending an int… Read More
2023-08-23 08:23
The law has been developed over centuries to guarantee your rights upon divorce. So, you should be highly suspicious of anyone telling you that you don’t need legal advice upon divorce… Read More
2023-08-17 07:48
Many people don’t realise that family judges can adjourn cases if you ask them to, so you can have a breather and settle away from the court arena. It’s not unusual for couples t… Read More
2023-08-02 10:16
Divorce is hard. Of course it is. Any separation is tough, and the human emotions involved can feel overwhelming at times. But it’s also a new start. And the people going through it do… Read More
2023-07-27 11:00
Innovate UK’s Women In Innovation Award enabled us to develop our Form E tool and grow the tech side of our business, so we’re always delighted to champion their efforts for othe… Read More
2023-07-24 10:23
It can be daunting knowing where to start… so we have done the hard work for you! It’s been more than a year since ‘no fault divorce’ arrived…and what an impr… Read More
2023-07-10 08:26
We are delighted to have won in the category ‘Divorce Lawyers of the Year 2023 – London’ at the Worldwide Finance Awards. Thank you to the judges and congratulations to all… Read More
2023-07-03 07:37
Always a pleasure to contribute to Tatler’s Experts’ Corner, this time on AI in family law. Our conclusion? AI has much to offer the processes of family law, but the human e… Read More
2023-06-28 10:40
You need to be able to pay when due and you can’t come to a fair settlement without understanding your liabilities as well as your assets. So this is not everyone’s favourite sub… Read More
2023-06-22 08:41
Involving children in decisions which affect them is encouraged by child professionals and the courts. But that’s NOT the same as delegating those decisions to them. Children’s w… Read More
2023-06-20 07:32
Justice week is a collaboration across the justice sector to improve access to justice by building public support and understanding for the rule of law and justice, increasing public underst… Read More
2023-06-15 07:27
Would you consider a ‘Petnup’? As a nation of animal lovers, you won’t be surprised to hear that the issue of who gets to keep the family dog/cat/parrot on divorce can be q… Read More
2023-06-12 11:50
It’s so helpful and refreshing when other co-parents talk about how they manage their co-parenting relationship. Kate Hudson is the latest to do so on the Today Show and also her podca… Read More
2023-06-08 08:38
The Overriding Objective is set out at the start of the Family Procedure Rules, and sets out a blueprint for how judges should manage cases. This includes the following consideration: Judges… Read More
2023-05-31 09:37
Are you allowed to help yourself to your spouse’s financial information when you divorce? Probably not, but it depends… Be very careful indeed, the rules are complex and it is a… Read More
2023-05-30 10:43
We are absolutely thrilled to say that our new Form E tool won the AI Innovation award at the International Legal Week Innovation Awards 2023! We had some seriously heavywe… Read More
2023-05-10 09:35
There are more and more blended families out there showing us all how you can navigate divorce and remain a family on the other side. For so many of the couples with children that we see, th… Read More
2023-04-26 08:41
Planning Together for Children, a programme created by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass), has been launched on behalf of the Ministry of Justice to provide… Read More
2023-04-26 08:24
When you’re getting divorced, you can be overwhelmed with advice (all well-meaning, but too much to process). So here’s our top three tips for an amicable divorce: 1. Don’t… Read More
2023-04-18 11:38
It is the dismissal of one’s spouse’s financial claim against the other on divorce. It can be in relation to capital, or income or both. The phrase ‘clean break’ has… Read More
2023-04-12 11:10
It depends on how you approach it… The minimum is 6 months, but if you end up in court you’re looking at much longer. It’s important to remember when you are navigating di… Read More
2023-04-06 08:44
Today is the first anniversary of No Fault Divorce. It was a landmark moment ending the need for separating couples to apportion blame for their marriage breakdown. For the last year co… Read More
2023-03-29 10:48
Yes! And don’t be put off by the word ‘good’ in this context, divorce can be a tough and emptional transistion… but it can also be respectful, fair and kind, and tha… Read More
2023-03-21 09:51
Schooling choices are challenging at the best of times. Analysing catchment areas, navigating the 11+ and working out which school will be the right ‘fit’ is likely to dominate y… Read More
2023-03-08 09:09
Divorce can be a catalyst to revert to yor maiden name.  But what does that mean for your children? What does the law say about name changes for children? What’s in a name? Well a… Read More
2023-03-01 09:24
The theme for International Women’s Day 2023 is Embrace Equity, which prompts a discussion around the difference between ‘equity’ and ‘equality’. The IWD 2023 E… Read More
2023-02-21 10:06
Divorce still carries so much stigma, but we need it to STOP. 42% of marriages end in divorce, and we need to give ourselves and each other the freedom to divorce, and do it well and free fr… Read More
2023-02-14 08:55
It is obvious that settling is good because it’s cheaper and quicker than the alternative, which is having an outcome imposed upon you at the end of a lengthy court process. ‘Fin… Read More
2023-01-30 10:14
On 29 November 2022, the President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, issued The Transparency Reporting Pilot Guidance to test a new approach allowing for reporting of family proc… Read More
2023-01-24 12:00
Sounds like a terrible mix? but, it doesn’t have to be! Don’t let assumptions about divorce define your relationships with wider family. For some, the prospect of leaving behind… Read More
2023-01-18 11:17
The Tatler Address Book is out with their February edition and it’s fantastic to see both our co-founders, Harry Gates and Samantha Woodham, recognised as leaders in their field when i… Read More
2023-01-18 08:15
There is a dubious statistic (no lawyers we know understand where it has come from) that the most divorce applications are issued on the first Monday of January each year. Which has resulted… Read More
2023-01-09 09:53
“Be open to the idea that a relationship can be hugely successful and have a shelf life. That’s OK.” Ahead of Divorce Day on Monday, our co-founder Samantha Woodham shares… Read More
2022-12-20 08:27
Unless it’s a genuine emergency, give yourselves a break from lawyers, divorce and everything that goes with it. You can pick up in January feeling refreshed.  Just enjoy this tim… Read More
2022-12-15 12:30
We all approach New Year with a particular zest for renewal. Eat better, exercise more, live well. Frame of mind matters. And for that reason, for many couples, this can be a good opportunit… Read More
2022-12-13 08:46
It’s normal to find it hard, it’s normal to find it overwhelming, the more you can plan and prepare, the better. Christmas is an emotionally loaded time of year. Nobody lives a … Read More
2022-12-02 15:31
It’s always nice to end on a positive, particularly on a Friday! Times of great adversity demand the biggest acts of kindness. Divorce can be one of those times. Contrary to the medi… Read More
2022-12-01 09:42
Divorce is a life change. But unlike other life changes, it may not be your choice. Separating will trigger huge emotions which can be very hard to navigate. There are going to be tough con… Read More
2022-11-30 09:16
You set a budget for a house move, why shouldn’t you set a budget for your divorce? For far too long couples have been subject to hourly rate billing, which means they have no visibili… Read More
2022-11-29 09:09
On Good Divorce Week, it’s so important to remember that not all of us can choose to have a ‘good’ divorce. If your safety or that of your children is at risk, get independ… Read More
2022-11-28 09:10
It’s Good Divorce Week, so each day this week we’re going to be exploring what we think makes a good divorce… Fairness is absolutely central. Because if you believe the o… Read More

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