One of the most frequently asked questions when instructing a lawyer is “what is it going to cost?”  Changes to legal aid regulations means that legal aid for family matters is only available in exceptional cases.  Generally that is where there has been domestic violence reported to a professional body, such as the police, within the last 2 years and in cases where there is a risk that a child is going to be abducted.  People who have suffered domestic violence do not always report it and so have little proof.

Any lawyer has a duty to give an estimate of how much it is going to cost to deal with a case.  Traditionally lawyers charge an hourly rate for their services.  The level of hourly rate often depends on the experience and expertise of the lawyer who is going to be dealing with the case.  However, increasingly we are providing various options to give clients more choice.  Fixed fees, hourly rates, access to loan providers and legal services packages are just some of those options.  Ultimately we all want to know what we are paying for and how much it is going to cost.

Family lawyers are also offering people more options in how they want to deal with divorce, children disputes and financial matters arising at the end of a relationship.  There is the traditional court route, mediation and the collaborative process.  One size does not fit all and more choice should mean better outcomes.

For further information on this article, please contact Amanda Holland on 0121 698 2200, email a.holland@sydneymitchell.co.uk or fill in our online enquiry form.

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