What do I need to take into account to work out the cost of a separation agreement?
The cost of a separation agreement can be broken down into the following:
- Taking advice on what to put into the separation agreement;
- The cost of a separation agreement itself; and
- Implementing the separation agreement (eg: conveyancing).
How much does it cost to take advice on a separation agreement?
If your agreement is straightforward, you may not need a separate consultation at all.
But most people prefer to speak to someone at least briefly.
We recommend that you have a short 30-60 minute consultation to go over all the details you want to put into the agreement and make sure that you are happy you understand everything before going ahead.
If there is anything you want to go over in detail, after you have received the paperwork, we also recommend a 30 minute consultation.
Routine email queries are different from bespoke advice and these are of course answered within the fixed fee.
The cost of a consultation is £90 for the first half hour and pro rata after that chargeable every 5 minutes up to the full hour.
If you decide you don’t want a consultation at all, we will do the drafting without it.
We have explanatory notes and of course information on this website designed to help answer routine questions.
Consultations are for your benefit, however, so that you can ask detailed questions that cannot be answered by email or by general information on the website.
We recommend that if you are in any doubt about your rights and responsibilities, that you arrange to speak to us first.
Do you offer a free initial consultation?
We do not provide legal advice free of charge. There are two reasons for this:
Free legal advice for one person, means slightly more expensive services for everyone else.
We know we cannot ultimately help everyone we see or speak to.
We also know that some people will take free advice from a number of law firms, but not go on to use their paid services.
This happens in many industries, not just the legal sector of course.
But the knock on effect is that paid for services tend to be higher after something is initially provided free of charge.
In other words, if we did offer free initial advice or a free consultation, our other charges would need to be slightly higher to compensate for that, because our business expenses don’t go down when we work for free.
We don’t think it is fair to expect the people who use our paid services to contribute to the cost of people looking for a free advice.
Free legal advice isn’t always what it seems.
We want you to make the choices that are right for you.
Sometimes that means we can’t help you ourselves and the right thing to do is to refer you on to another organisation.
For example, you may need to be referred to another type of solicitor or to a mediation service or a barrister.
Our consultations are aimed at finding out what works best for you. It is not an opportunity to sell you our services. If they are right for you, they will sell themselves.
Our consultations are good value for money. We explain the options that are available to you, whether that is court proceedings or alternative forms of dispute resolution.
You can arrange a one off consultation. We will not pressure you to use other services.
Free initial assessment – how does it work and how is it different from a free initial consultation?
We do offer a free initial assessment to check whether our services are suitable for your needs and to confirm the cost.
For example, you are reading this because you want to know the costs of separation agreement. But it is quite common for a consent order to be more suitable than a consent order and vice versa.
We send you a questionnaire to complete and return to us.
When we receive it, we will send you a quote only if we believe our services are right for you.
This is really important for you and for us.
You want to know you are not wasting your time and money looking for advice on something that is not right for you.
We can assess the suitability of our services quickly and easily and you don’t even need to go out of your way to come and see us.
Once you know we can help you, you can choose whether to set up a consultation.
Most importantly, we can give you a very accurate idea of the overall cost of the work we would do for you before you make any important decisions.
The average cost of a separation agreement.
Unless you have a complicated agreement, the cost of drafting the separation agreement itself is likely to fall into the £225 to £360 bracket.
For people with limited or no assets, who just want to protect against future claims, the cost may be lower at around £180.
If you want to arrange a single hour long consultation or two shorter ones either side of the drafting process, you can add between £180 and £270 to this cost.
Therefore the typical cost of a separation agreement ranges from £180 to £630, with the average (for our clients) being £360. That figure generally includes drafting an agreement costing £225 and one consultation of around £135.