DATE – CITY, STATE – (Kazor.com) –
A new change in the legal aid system will see cash strapped spouses potentially struggling to afford a divorce and court costs. The change in legislation, which is set to come into force from April 2013, will cut £350m from the £2.2bn legal aid scheme by removing entire areas of law from public funding. Currently, when there is a disparity in wealth between spouses involved in a divorce, state-funded legal advice is able to provide equality though access to a lawyer. However, the new legal bill will limit public funds for such access and only apply to those cases that involve domestic abuse. The knock on effect of this is huge, with more cases set to go to family courts without lawyers.
Whilst this bill spells bad news for poorer families, collaborative law still remains a very realistic option. More often than not, the process is considerably cheaper than a court led family dispute and will still retain the services of experienced and professional lawyers. Collaborative law aims to solve family disputes by face to face meetings with both parties and individual lawyers. It is an excellent way to negotiate a divorce or separation in a less hostile environment, and can be done on each party’s own time rather than being bound by the schedule of the courts.
Many lawyers are moving away from family law as it is less remunerative than other aspects of private legal aid. Finding the right lawyer to represent you has never been more critical and you should choose an established, family law specialist when looking to get divorced, be it through the courts or with collaborative law. Ideally, the right lawyer should be able to able to assist you with all stages of the legal process. From writing your own forms, to detailed advice, the correct legal documents are crucial to ensure your family gets the right protection.
The new aid bill could have one more positive side effect. The bill will introduce the possibility of interim lump sum payments. What this means in practice, is that where one of the partners had cash in the bank, that can be used to pay legal fees. Banks will also be more likely to give you a loan and let the interest roll up. This can then be repaid from a potential settlement figure. Either way, the benefits of collaborative law are clearer than ever. Let the collaborative process lead your future and don’t break the bank with your divorce.
Simpsons Sissons and Brooke