Costs vary enormously, depending on which court one is applying to and whether the case is settled or has to be heard before a judge.As well as your solicitor’s costs, there may also be the costs of a barrister if the case is going to either the Circuit or the High Court. Various experts involved in your case will charge for initial inspections and interviews; as well as a charge for doing up the report. They will also charge for going to court.
You are entitled to quotes for all of these expenses; your Solicitor and Barrister will give you a range of figures, depending on whether or not your case ends up at hearing/trial. The stage at which your case settles will impact on the costs; for example if the case settles well in advance of being set down for hearing; then the costs will be considerably reduced.
However, if a case settles on the steps of the court, there may be little or no cost saving. In addition to the above, there is also VAT payable on all legal fees of 21 %. Negotiation should always be considered as an alternative to going to court and where possible, parties should consider alternative options which are both cost and emotionally effective as well as being family friendly.
Collaborative lawyers will charge a rate per hour, as will mediators. As there is little or no paper work involved; the costs are quite transparent. It is common place now for private practitioners in family law to look for a sum of money on account before agreeing to work on your behalf. It is also possible, however, to ask for interim fee notes and discharge as you go. Such matters should be discussed thoroughly with your solicitor.