18 March, 2008
Pictured L-R: Gemma Hastewell (Legal Clerk), Sarah Hinde (Solicitor), Judith Wright (Associate and Head of Family at Preston), Dawn Baker (Partner)
With newspapers full of reports of the McCartney divorce it seems however rich you are breaking up can be costly. But it doesn't have to be if you take precautions and seek sound advice.
Specialist family lawyer Dawn Baker, of local law firm Forbes Solicitors, says "Apart from celebrity divorces or high-value disputes, only a small percentage actually make it into court. So when the dream of living happily ever turns into a nightmare, don't expect a McCartney style courtroom battle. It is actually cheaper for most people to opt for mediation rather than a court hearing. This can take the bite out of the situation and encourage differences to be resolved. More sensible settlements can be reached that both parties agree with in terms of finances and regarding arrangements for children".
It is also important to use a specialist family law solicitor firm rather than go it alone, like Heather Mills who made the decision to represent herself in the proceedings against her husband. Dawn adds "By speaking to a lawyer you will obtain realistic advice at the very earliest stage and a sensible estimate of likely costs. An enormous amount of money can be wasted needlessly in trying to prove who is responsible for the breakdown of the marriage. Whilst it is usually the case that one party is "to blame", an experienced lawyer will explain that the actual reason for the breakdown of the marriage is very rarely relevant to how the assets are divided."
"A good lawyer should achieve a result that is fairer and better value than someone struggling to do so on their own. They will help to negotiate a settlement to avoid the expense of drawn out proceedings and a costly trial. They also have a vast experience in this area, they are familiar with the law and understand how the system works. It just makes sense to give yourself the best chance for that happy ending"
Forbes Solicitors have specialist family solicitors and divorce lawyers offering advice on all areas of family law, including divorce. For a free consultation about divorce please contact any of our divorce experts on freephone 0800 689 1058 or by email.