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family law specialists

Frequently Asked Questions at E J Coombs Solicitors

General

We offer a fixed fee for making a will or a Lasting Power of Attorney. For more information click here. For family cases we offer a fixed feedĀ first consultation so that you can obtain some initial advice on your position. At this consultation we can provide you with an estimate of how long your case might take and the likely cost. In some cases we can also offer a fixed fee for a divorce. However, each case is unique and the cost and length of the case will vary greatly.

It is a fundamental requirement of The Solicitors’ Professional Code of Conduct that all client information is kept entirely confidential.

Payment can be made by electronic transfer or cheque. We can also accept payment by credit card, subject to a 3% fee. In line with money laundering requirements imposed upon us we are unable to accept cash.

Family Law

As is the policy of most solicitors, we ask you to provide money on account at the beginning of your case and as the case progresses. We will provide you with regular invoices so that you can keep appraised of the level of your legal costs and budget accordingly.

For wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney, we will invoice you once the documentation has been prepared. For fixed fees in divorce cases, we ask for half of our fee plus the court fee in advance with the final half of the fee payable upon the decree nisi being issued.

No, we will never put pressure on you to take action if you do not feel ready to do so. We offer an initial consultation free of charge. At that meeting we can advise you on your options moving forward. We recognise that all family law cases involve very personal issues for the individuals involved and respect the fact that you may not wish to act on our advice straight away. However, we will always advise you when you need to take immediate action to protect your position.

In the majority of cases it is not necessary for our clients to attend court in person. Most cases can be dealt with on paperwork alone. Sometimes, it is necessary for us to advise our clients to protect their position by pursuing court proceedings. Where a court appearance is necessary, we will discuss the format of the hearing and what will be required of you beforehand and ensure you are always accompanied by either your own lawyer or, if necessary, an experienced family law barrister.

For family cases we offer a free first consultation so that you can obtain some initial advice on your position. At this consultation we can provide you with an estimate of how long your case might take and the likely cost. In some cases we can also offer a fixed fee for a divorce. For more information click here.

No, the firm provides services for private paying clients only.

Wills

We do not have will storage facilities onsite but we can offer this service through a professional document storage company.

Myths and misconceptions

Not at all! There is no such thing as a common-law spouse in the UK. There are no automatic rights for people living together who are not married

No. Each case will be determined based on its own individual circumstances, there are no pre-conceptions. The courts look at what is in the best interests of the children, not the needs or wishes of the parents.

Neither is strictly true! Pre-marital agreements are not binding under English law, and a judge can always overturn the wishes outlined in such an agreement. However, increasingly the courts are recognising that a pre-marital agreement carries a great deal of weight in certain circumstances.

No. The financial outcome of a case is rarely affected by the facts relied upon to grant the divorce, unless those facts are “gross and obvious”, or have caused significant financial loss, such as a gambling problem.

No. The two issues are viewed entirely separately.

No. Provided that the petitioner can prove that the divorce papers have been served and the respondent is aware of the proceedings, the divorce can proceed without their input. NB: this does not apply to a divorce petition based upon 2 years’ separation with consent.