Cutting Legal Costs

8 Ways To Cut the Legal Costs of Your Military Divorce

Divorcing whilst serving in the military or other relationship breakdown, can be a costly experience – both emotionally and financially. Unfortunately, dealing with the emotional fallout of a divorce can take some time, but there are some things you can do to help keep down the financial costs of your divorce.

1. Provide information for your first meeting

Your solicitor is going to need various bits of relevant information to advise you properly and get the divorce process underway. It is really helpful if you can provide this for your solicitor at the first meeting – it means your solicitor will have less work to do – meaning it will take less time and you won’t have to pay as much

Vital information for your first meeting includes:

• Your personal details (name, DOB, address, spouse’s name, names and ages of your children if you have any)

• A summary of your financial information (property details, information of any debts, pensions, shares, savings, other assetst and investment information)

2. Get Hold Of 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

3. Help To Complete Form E

This is a document in which you need to give details of your family’s finances.

You don’t need to complete this document at the beginning of any divorce proceedings – and your solicitor can provide you with a blank Form E and explain to you what needs completing. However If you want to keep down your divorce costs, it’s a really good idea if you can fill in as much of this form as you can.

You should also provide your solicitor with any relevant supporting documentation: the form should detail what you are required to provide.

4. Get the Valuuation of your Military Pension

As part of your divorce, you will almost certainly need a valuation of your Armed Forces pension. Your solicitor can arrange this for you, but if you are able to do it yourself it will keep your costs to a minimum. You can normally do this by writing to:

Veterans UK Pension Division
Mailpoint 480
Kentigern House
65 Brown Street
G2 8EX

Remember to include Form P with your letter.

Although a Kentigern House valuation is a good way to start, your solicitor will probably advise you to get a separate formal actuarial valuation of your pension – the Veterans UK valuations don’t always show the true value of a military pension.

5. Collect your financial documentation

You will need certain financial documents throughout the divorce procedure and getting hold of them yourself will help keep costs down. Your solicitor will be able to tell you exactly what you need, but you can help by making sure you get the following yourself:

• Mortgage redemption statement and a valuation of your home if you have one (3 valuations from local estate agents is a good course of action)

• 3 recent payslips and your P60

• A year’s worth of bank statements

• Latest credit card bill

• Information on any other financial assets, such as shares or a life insurance policy

6. Respond promptly to your Lawyer

Another good tip to save money [and speed your divorce up] is to make sure you respond promptly to all correspondence from your lawyer. If they have to send you reminders, this will cost you more money.

7. Consider Family Mediation (or Collaborative Law)

You could also look at other legal options such as family mediation (or the similar but different collaborative law process), which could offer an alternative way to resolve your disputes and help you avoid going to court.

Don’t just take our word for it – a National Audit Office [the Government sponsored auditor of public funds]  “Value for Money Report” confirmed that on average, family mediation is significantly cheaper and quicker than conventional court hearings.

For the right couples, these two approaches to divorce can work really well – resulting in less hostility and bitterness, a speedier financial settlement and often considerably lower legal costs. Our family law team includes 2 jointly accredited family lawyer/mediators and a collaborative lawyer.

8. Ask your solicitor if there is anything else you can do yourself

Divorcing in the Military? Contact our specialists today

If you find yourself going through an armed forces divorce, our specialist family and divorce lawyers have the expertise you need.

  • Call us directly on [01722] 422300 or free on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for FREE initial phone advice or
  • Email our team using the contact form below