Simple tips on keeping your legal costs under control
We understand how any Air Force or Armed Forces Divorce can be expensive, both emotionally and financially. Legal costs can mount up in a divorce, but there are some good ways you can keep your legal bill down.
Your first meeting
It is helpful if the party filing for divorce can prepare some information prior to their first meeting with the solicitor. This helps to speed up the process of the meeting, meaning it will take less time and therefore saving you money. For instance, it would be helpful if you could make sure to bring along details of:
• Your name
• Where you live
• Your date of birth
• The name of your spouse
• Names and ages for your children
• A summary of financial information (such as property details, pensions, savings, shares, endowments and other investments, assets or debts)
It also saves time if you can bring your marriage certificate to the meeting. This can be either the original certificate, or you can get a certified copy from your local Registry Office.
Form E is the main financial document relating to divorce. If you can find as much supporting documentation for it as possible and fill as much of it out yourself as you can, it will help to save your solicitor time. The notes on the form will tell you what documentation you need to supply and it’s important that you stick to this guide.
Military pension valuation
An armed forces pension is often one of the largest assets you will have and is also something that has to be taken into account when deciding how to divide your family’s assets in the event of a divorce. You will need to get an up to date pension valuation to help the process along and can save yourself the price of your solicitor doing it for you if you write directly to
65 Brown Street
Just a simple letter to the AFPAA requesting an up-to-date valuation of your military pension is all that is needed – and if you can, include a Form P for them to complete.
As a large part of your divorce is likely to focus on how to divide up the families financial assets, it will help you to save time and money if you can get hold of as many of the relevant documents as possible yourself. Your solicitor will be able to give you a list of what you need, but it is likely to include:
• A valuation of any property you own (three market appraisals are useful; these are usually free from your local estate agent)
• Three recent payslips along with your P60
• A year’s worth of bank statements
• Your most up to date bill for your credit card, along with redemption statements for HP or loan agreements
• Information on substantial assets, such as shares or life insurance policies, that you own
• A mortgage redemption statement, if appropriate, which is available from your mortgage company
• An up-to-date valuation of your military pension – see above
Respond quickly to your solicitor
You can help save yourself money by responding quickly to letters without having to be reminded by your solicitor. Don’t forget that your solicitor will charge you for each phone call, e-mail and letter, so keeping this to a minimum will help keep your legal bill and control.
Mediation and collaborative law
Collaborative law and family mediation both encourage cooperation to help you settle your divorce. They can often help to avoid costly court battles and so are definitely options to consider when you are getting an armed forces divorce. As well as helping to keep down your costs, they can also help you reach a solution more quickly.
Ask your solicitor
There may be other things that you can do to keep down your legal bill, so speak to your solicitor for advice.
Specialist Air Force Divorce Advice? Call us today
For FREE initial Air Force Divorce phone advice and a FREE 30 minute interview, call our specialists today
- Phone 01722 422300 or
- E-mail us using the contact form below