What is the cost of marriage breakdown?

The ramifications of a marriage breakdown can be costly, both financially and emotionally.

Many people may be unsure about the best way forward and whether to obtain legal advice. There is now a wealth of information about divorce available on the internet, and the decision as to whether to have legal representation can be a difficult one to make – especially if couples are now trying to find the means to to effectively fund two homes.

Every divorce is different and everyone’s personal situation is unique. So it is important to remember that online information is often generic or may not be relevant to your specific circumstances.

It is widely considered that instructing a solicitor is rarely a cheap option. However, it can be cost effective and offers you peace of mind that you have specialists on your side looking out for your best interests at a time when it may take all of your energy to simply get through each day. You can be confident about your position and know what to expect in the coming weeks and months.

Legal advice should not be ruled out simply because of concerns over costs, as without professional advice it is possible that you may agree to a financial settlement which is not fair or favourable as it should be. Many people do not know what their rights and responsibilities are in the event of a divorce. The value of the settlement that you could miss out on may be more than you would have spent on legal advice.

Similarly, if you are a wife whose husband has always handled the finances, which is not at all uncommon, then it may well be that you do not really know what is available for distribution. An investment in legal advice is something which should therefore be considered carefully and viewed as that.

There are different ways that legal fees can be funded, including:

  • From family savings and/or income
  • A personal loan or specialist litigation loan. In some cases, these have to be repaid from the settlement.  The debt which accrues in relation to legal fees will be deducted from the ‘matrimonial pot’ prior to its division, as it is a justifiable and reasonable liability to have incurred.
  • Family members or friends may be able to provide you with a loan. However, it is important that any ‘informal’ loans like this are properly recorded in writing to avoid any suggestion that you may not in fact have to repay the loan at the end of the day.
  • In certain circumstances it may also be possible to obtain an order which requires your husband/wife to pay you a sum to meet your legal fees.
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In addition to the financial cost of a marriage breakdown, the emotional toll should not be underestimated. It is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed by the decisions you will have to make, which are likely to have far-reaching financial consequences on the rest of your life.

By receiving expert legal advice, you can ensure that you fully understand the options available to you and take comfort in having someone looking out for your best interests at all times.

The Lester Aldridge family team deal with these and other issues on a regular basis and are frequently instructed by clients regarding divorce proceedings.

lester-aldridge-logoIf you would like to discuss any aspect of separation, arrangements for your children or wish to protect your assets prior to getting married, contact the family team on 01202 786161 or email jane.porter@la-law.com

About Lester Aldridge LLP

Lester Aldridge LLP is a nationally recognised law firm with offices in London, Bournemouth and Southampton. The family team are leaders in their field. Jane, Jo and Rosie are specialist family solicitors with a wealth of experience in all areas of family law from divorce to children, prenuptial agreements to the settlement of financial disputes and everything in between. These women are feisty when they need to be. But their approach is designed to reduce conflict in order to ensure the best possible outcome. They recognise that family issues can be extremely emotional and they offer access to specialist advice delivered in a friendly, approachable and understandable way designed to guide you from start to finish. If you would like an informal, no-obligation chat with Jane, Jo or Rosie please telephone 03300 539754.