scotland family lawyer fees

Costs

I understand that, before you engage the services of any Solicitor, you will be looking for an indication of the costs involved. As a result, I will always aim to be as up-front as possible, offering a fixed fee where I can. If, due to the nature of the work, this is not possible, I will provide an estimate or range and keep you updated as we progress.

 

Before outlining costs of specific services, let’s cover some of the most commonly-asked questions:

FAQs

When does the clock start ticking?

When you first get in touch, you will be offered a free, no-obligation telephone consultation. This will allow us to talk through your situation and how I can support you.

 

At this point, I will be able to tell you if a fixed fee can be offered or if you will be charged an hourly rate. It may also be possible to give you an estimate at this time.

Will I pay by the hour, or through a fixed fee?

This depends on the complexity of your case. As an example, if you are seeking to separate and everything has already been agreed, a fixed fee can be offered but, if there are still matters to discuss and resolve, this may not be possible and the hourly rate will apply.

 

Similarly, if it soon emerges that matters are no longer agreed between you or the case becomes more complex than first thought, the fixed fee may have to be increased or move to the hourly rate.

 

Either way, I will keep you updated as we progress, providing 100% transparency and allowing you to budget accordingly.

What is the hourly rate?

Where a fixed fee cannot be provided, you will be charged £240 per hour.

How is that measured?

A time recording system will keep track of time spent on your case. The hourly rate is applied pro-rata. For example, one hour will cost £240, half an hour will cost £120, and so on.

 

Most legal firms record in six-minute time intervals as a minimum. This means that, if you only spend one minute on a call to them, you are charged for six minutes of their time. Over a long-running case, those minutes can really add up.

 

However, my system records in one-minute intervals, leading to more accurate billing.

How do I pay, and when?

In most cases, you will receive invoices as we progress through your case. Clients can set up a Standing Order of monthly payments so they are essentially ‘in credit’ as the case progresses.  A fixed fee case would be billed at the end.  

 

Once a fee is issued, you will be expected to pay by BACS or by card within 14 days, particularly if the work is ongoing.

Fixed Fee Costs

Separation

Option 1.  Fixed Fee

Where you have already agreed everything with your ex-spouse, and no negotiations are needed, a fixed fee can be offered. Our fixed fees start from £500 + outlays, typically charged between £500-1,000 + outlays.

 

The main outlay will be the fee to register the separation agreement (currently £22).  Other outlays will be any third-party charges such as implementing a pension share (which can often be around £2,000).  

 

Option 2.  Fee Estimate

If matters are not agreed and you still have financial matters to resolve, you will be charged by the time spent. However, I will still aim to provide you with a fee estimate. 

 

In most cases, you could be looking at a fee estimate of around £1,500-4,000 plus outlays – the main outlay being the fee to register the agreement which is currently £22 plus any additional third-party outlays such as fees to implement a pension share, which can often be around £2,000.

 

Option 3.  Court

If matters cannot be agreed and Court proceedings need to be raised, we will discuss the likely costs for those and can provide an estimate of our fees and outlays at that point.

Divorce

A fixed fee can be offered in two scenarios:

 

Simplified Divorce. Our fixed fee is £250 + outlays. This can be used where there are no children under 16 and no financial matters to be resolved. This fee applies where there will also be no opposition to the divorce from your ex-spouse. The outlay is the Court fee for processing the papers (currently £128). If we are unable to serve the papers by Recorded Delivery then we may have to instruct Sheriff Officers to serve the papers on your behalf. They will charge a fee (usually around £70-150) which you would be responsible for as well.

 

Ordinary Divorce. Our fixed fee for an uncontested Ordinary Divorce action is £850 plus outlays. This is where you are asking the Court to grant your divorce ONLY and you are not seeking any financial claims or orders in respect of any children of the marriage. This quote also only applies to a divorce under one of the separation grounds. i.e. that either you have been separated for one year (and your ex will give their consent) or that you have been separated for two years (where no consent is needed).

 

The outlays include the court fees for lodging the writ (currently £159) and for lodging the affidavits at the end of the case to ask for the Decree of Divorce (currently £70).  If we are unable to serve the papers by Recorded Delivery then we may have to instruct Sheriff Officers to serve the papers on your behalf. They will charge a fee (usually around £70-150) which you would be responsible for as well.

 

For all other scenarios, the cost will depend on the circumstances and a quote provided where possible.

Cohabitation

Pre-Cohabitation Agreement:

If you are planning to move in together or have recently moved in together and would like a Cohabitation Agreement prepared to reflect what will happen to your finances if you later split up, this can usually be prepared for a fixed fee starting at £500 plus outlays if matters are all agreed and no negotiations are needed. Typically, the fixed fee will be between £500-1,000 plus outlays although it might be more if the circumstances or assets are more complicated. The main outlay will be the fee to register the agreement (currently £22).

 

Separation Cohabitation Agreement:
Option 1. Fixed Fee

If you have separated and wish to rubber-stamp AGREED financial matters and/or care arrangements for any children, a fixed fee can be offered. The fixed fee starts at £500 and will typically be between £500-£1,000 plus outlays.

 

Option 2. Fee Estimate

If matters are not agreed and you still have financial matters to resolve, you will be charged by the time spent. However, I will still aim to provide you with a fee estimate.

 

In most cases, you could be looking at a fee estimate of around £1,500-4,000 plus outlays, the main outlay being the fee to register the agreement which is currently £22.

 

Option 3. Court

In cohabitation separation cases, there are very strict time limits for making a claim. If you wish to make a financial claim against your ex-partner, then a claim MUST be raised against them within SIX MONTHS of the date of your separation, otherwise the right to claim is lost. This means that Court papers need to be prepared, lodged with the Court and then served on your ex-partner, before the six month period has passed.

 

If we need to apply to Court on your behalf, you will be charged by the time spent. However, I will still aim to provide you with a fee estimate.
You will also be advised of the outlays you will also require to pay such as Court fees for lodging the papers (currently £132) and any other third party outlays which might be necessary.

Pre/postnups

Option 1. Fixed Fee.

If you are looking to have a pre or post-nuptial agreement prepared, a fixed fee can be provided where matters are agreed and no negotiations are needed. The fixed fees start at £700 and typically range between £700-1,500 plus outlays, depending on how complex the arrangements are, the main outlay being the fee to register the agreement once signed (currently £22).

 

Option 2. Fee Estimate.

If you are looking to have a pre or post-nuptial agreement prepared and matters are not yet agreed then you will be charged by the time spent. However, I will still aim to provide you with a fee estimate. Typically, you could be looking at a fee of around £1,000-2,000 plus outlays, the main outlay being the fee to register the agreement once signed (currently £22).

Adoption

If you are looking to apply for a private adoption (for example to adopt a stepchild, family member or where a child has already been placed in your care following the granting of a Permanence Order through the Court), there are two options:

 

Option 1. Fixed Fee.

If the adoption will not be contested, then a fixed fee can be offered, typically between £900-1,500 plus outlays, depending on the complexity of the case. The outlays will include the Court fees for lodging the papers (currently £132). Importantly the Court will also appoint an independent solicitor (Called a Curator Ad Litem/Reporting Officer) to prepare a report on the circumstances before the adoption will be granted. They will charge a fee for that which is usually in the region of £1,000 and you will be responsible for that outlay too.

 

Option 2. Fee Estimate

If the adoption is likely to be contested or is particularly complicated (for example if a child is being brought to Scotland from overseas), then you will be charged by the time spent. However, I will still aim to provide you with a fee estimate.

Surrogacy

Option 1. Applying to Court for the Parental Order. Uncontested.

Assuming there is no objection, we can offer a fixed fee to apply to the Court and appear at the first Court hearing (when the Parental Order will normally be granted). The fee will depend on the circumstances and how complicated the arrangements are but will typically be between £900-1500 plus outlays, the main outlay being the Court fee to lodge the paperwork (currently £132).

 

The Court will also appoint an independent solicitor (called a Curator Ad Litem/Reporting Officer) to prepare a report on the circumstances before the Parental Order will be granted. They will charge a fee for that which is usually in the region of £1,000 and you will be responsible for that outlay too.

 

Option 2. Fee Estimate

If the Parental Order is likely to be contested or is particularly complicated (for example if a child is being brought to Scotland from overseas), then you will be charged by the time spent. However, I will still aim to provide you with a fee estimate.

dundee lawyer fees costs

Court Fees

Whilst we endeavor to keep this page updated to reflect the current fees charged by the Courts, an up-to-date list of Court fees can be found at:
https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/taking-action/court-fees

 

Legal Aid

Unfortunately we do not offer Legal Aid. If you think you might be eligible for Legal Aid, you can check on the Scottish Legal Aid Board website:
www.slab.org.uk

 

If you require Legal Aid, the Law Society of Scotland should be able to point you in the direction of a family lawyer in your area who can offer that:
www.lawscot.org.uk