How to cut the costs of your army divorce

Our Army Divorce solicitors understand that not only is divorce a very painful process, but it can prove very expensive too. Apart from the fact that two households are more expensive to run than one, legal costs can mount up. However, when divorcing a soldier, by following these simple tips, you can help keep your legal bill down.

Prepare for your first meeting

If you’re the one filing for divorce, then it will save your solicitor time and you money if you arrive at the first meeting with a written summary of the basic circumstances of your case, including those set out below. Your solicitor will then not need to spend time getting these simple facts from you:

  • Your full name
  • Your address
  • Your date of birth
  • Your spouse’s full name
  • The names and ages of any children
  • A rough summary of your family’s finances, including details of any property, its approximate value and any debt outstanding, details of any pensions, shares, savings, endowment policies or other investments, any other debts or assets

Produce 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.

Complete Form E

Form E is a large court document setting out full details of the family’s finances. By completing as much of it as possible yourself and by letting your solicitor have as much supporting documentation as you can, you will reduce your legal bill. Please note that you must keep strictly to the various notes on the form as to which documents are required.

Get your pension valuation yourself

One of the largest family assets that any soldier will have is their army pension. Like it or not, your pension is taken into account when considering your family assets and how they should be divided up between you and your spouse. You will always need to get an up-to-date valuation from AFPAA at Mailpoint 480, Kentigern House, 65 Brown Street, Glasgow G2 8EX. A simple letter to them, preferably including a Form P for completion by them will save you money.

Get financial documents yourself

As part of the preparation for any negotiation concerning family finances, you will need to provide many documents. Ask your solicitor what is needed in your particular case, but it is likely to include:

  • A valuation of your home if you own it; we suggest you get three (usually free) market appraisals from local estate agents.
  • Your P60 and three recent payslips
  • One year’s bank statements
  • Your latest credit card bill and redemption statements for any HP or loan agreements
  • Details of any substantial asset you own (e.g. life insurance policy, shares etc)
  • Obtain a mortgage redemption statement from your mortgage company

Respond promptly to letters without being reminded

Remember, your solicitor will charge for every letter and phone call so restricting them as far as possible will help to keep your bill down.

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

Consider Family Mediation of Collaborative Law

Although family mediation and collaborative law are different and require a quite separate qualification, both emphasise cooperation and seek to achieve an agreed solution to family breakdown – and to avoid expensive court battles. Both approaches often produce swift and less expensive outcomes.

As a firm, we are committed to using family mediation and collaborative law to ease the stress of divorce wherever appropriate – and three of our team are jointly trained family lawyers/mediators and two of them are also fully accredited collaborative lawyers.

For more information about mediation or collaborative law, visit the Family Mediation or Collaborative Law pages of our main website at www.bishopslaw.com.

If you are thinking of Divorcing a Soldier, contact our specialists now

  • Simply call us on [01722] 422300 OR
  • Email us using the contact form below

Comments or questions are welcome.

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