Tips to cut the costs of a military divorce
Our family law solicitors understand that not only is divorce a very painful process, but it can prove very expensive too. Apart from the fact that two households are more expensive to run than one, legal costs can mount up. However, by following these simple tips, you can help keep your legal bill down.
Prepare for your first meeting
If you’re the one filing for divorce, then it will save your solicitor time and you money if you arrive at the first meeting with a written summary of the basic circumstances of your case, including those set out below. Your military family law solicitor will then not need to spend time getting these simple facts from you:
- Your full name
- Your address
- Your date of birth
- Your spouse’s full name
- The names and ages of any children
- A rough summary of your family’s finances, including details of any property, its approximate value and any debt outstanding, details of any pensions, shares, savings, endowment policies or other investments, any other debts or assets
Produce your marriage certificate
If you intend to file for divorce, let your solicitor have either the original marriage certificate or obtain a certified copy from your local Registry Office.
Complete Form E
Form E is a large court document setting out full details of the family’s finances. By completing as much of it as possible yourself and by letting your Solicitor have as much supporting documentation as you can, you will reduce your legal bill. Please note that you must keep strictly to the various notes on the form as to which documents are required.
Get your pension valuation yourself
One of the largest family assets that any member of HM Forces will have is their military pension. Like it or not, your pension is taken into account when considering your family assets and how they should be divided up between you and your spouse. You will always need to get an up-to-date valuation from AFPAA at Mailpoint 480, Kentigern House, 65 Brown Street, Glasgow G2 8EX. A simple letter to them, preferably including a Form P for completion by them will save you money.
Click here to read more about Armed Forces Pensions and Divorce
Get financial documents yourself
As part of the preparation for any negotiation concerning family finances, you will need to provide many documents. Ask your solicitor what is needed in your particular case, but it is likely to include:
- A valuation of your home if you own it; we suggest you get three (usually free) market appraisals from local estate agents.
- Your P60 and three recent payslips
- One year’s bank statements
- Your latest credit card bill and redemption statements for any HP or loan agreements
- Details of any substantial asset you own (e.g. life insurance policy, shares etc)
- Obtain a mortgage redemption statement from your mortgage company
Respond promptly to letters without being reminded
Remember, your solicitor will charge for every letter and phone call so restricting them as far as possible will help to keep your bill down.
Ask your solicitor if there is anything else you can do yourself
Consider Family Mediation or Collaborative Law
Although family mediation and collaborative law are different and require a quite separate qualification, both emphasize cooperation and seek to achieve an agreed solution to family breakdown – and to avoid expensive court battles. Both approaches often produce swift and less expensive outcomes. Read more about our Family Mediation or Collaborative Law team.
So whether you are going through an Army, Navy or Air Force Divorce, contact us today for legal advice from an expert Military Divorce Solicitor
For further ideas on how to keep your legal costs down, click here to read our advice on mistakes to avoid in divorce