TERMS & CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS

We want to ensure that our packages, costs and the work that we undertake on your behalf are clearly laid out and explained.

Please take time to read the below terms and conditions and ask us any questions you may have on them.

You have decided to use Divorce Friend to resolve issues between yourself and the other party in your divorce or separation. Any agreement you reach will be recorded in a document called a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

  • By agreeing to use Divorce Friend, you express your sincere intention to attempt to:
  • Be fair to each other throughout the meetings
  • Leave fault and blame out of the negotiations
  • Be co-operative in resolving disagreements
  • Consider your own individual needs, the needs of each other and each child, and the needs of the family as a whole
  • Work for the least possible emotional and financial upheaval for all concerned.

We ask you not to swear or shout during the negotiations and to refrain from any intimidation, whether physical or emotional. The divorce negotiator will call to a close any meeting where they feel this is not being adhered to.

  • It is understood that this is a voluntary process and can be stopped at any time by either of the parties or in exceptional circumstances, by the divorce negotiator.
  • The parties agree that all communications, (except the disclosure of financial information) to which Divorce Friend are party, are made purely for the purpose of attempting to reach a settlement between the parties.  All negotiations through Divorce Friend are ‘without prejudice’. This means that details of the matters discussed cannot later be used or referred to in court.  However, this promise of confidentiality does not prevent the negotiator disclosing information where there is significant risk to life, health or safety of children, the parties or anyone else or where they have obligations to do so under FSA money laundering regulations. 
  • The parties are also aware that:
  • Under the Proceeds of Crime act 2002, where the negotiator has reason to believe that either of the parties has benefited, or may benefit, from the proceeds of any crime, there may be a duty to make a report to the Serious Organised Crime Agency without informing the parties that this is being done and that the negotiations may be discontinued without further notice
  • For quality control and training purposes, the file may be used in audit procedures, provided that the parties are neither identified nor identifiable.
  • The parties will not call the divorce negotiator as a witness, nor require him/her to produce in evidence any records or notes relating to the negotiations, in any litigation or other formal or informal legal process arising from or in connection with the issues being considered in this negotiation, nor will the divorce negotiator act or agree to act as a witness, expert or consultant in any such processes.  If any party does make such an application, that party will fully indemnify the divorce negotiator in respect of any costs, including legal costs, incurred in resisting or responding to such an application, including reimbursement at the divorce negotiator’s standard hourly rate for the time spent in resisting and/or responding to such an application.

Where a party privately discloses to the divorce negotiator any information in confidence or any legally privileged material before, during or after the negotiations, the divorce negotiator will not disclose that information to any party without the consent of the party disclosing it, unless

  • There is significant risk to the life, health or safety of children, the expert or anyone else or
  • He/she is ordered to do so by the court.

  • During the course of negotiations the parties agree that:
  • They will make a full, frank and true disclosure of finances and provide all supporting documentation.
  • They will not transfer, charge, conceal or otherwise dispose of any assets except for the purpose of providing for living necessities and expenses in the ordinary course of business.
  • They will not make any further charges under any charge account for which both of them are legally responsible, unless mutually agreed upon.
  • Financial disclosures are made on the basis that they are confidential to Divorce Friend but may be disclosed to the parties solicitors and may be used in evidence in court.
  • The parties will only communicate with the divorce negotiator about issues during sessions, unless it is agreed otherwise. Any communication outside of the divorce sessions should be by email with all parties copied in to the correspondence. As an impartial negotiator, the divorce negotiator is unable to correspond solely with either client.
  • If one of the parties is unable to keep a scheduled appointment, he/she will notify the other party and Divorce Friend at least 24 hours in advance.  If less than 24 hours notice is given they agree to pay the full cost of one hour of session.
  • The parties acknowledge that at no time will they receive specific financial or legal advice from the divorce negotiator. Such advice is available from a family lawyer with the solicitor package.
  • If a MOU is prepared, the parties acknowledge that it is not a binding agreement. A consent order is required in order to make the agreement legally binding and enforceable.
  • Changes to documentation: (i) Factual errors should be notified to the divorce negotiator who will amend them. (ii) Changes to the agreement, to which both parties agree, should be sent back to the expert for the documents to be changed. (iii) Where parties cannot agree on changes, they must seek one of the other resolution options.
  • If difficulties should arise in consultation with the solicitors, the parties will notify the negotiator of the need for further discussions.
  • No refunds can be given once Divorce Friend has briefed the solicitors to commence work on behalf of the clients.
  • The solicitor can only work from the signed MOU and agreed Open Financial Statement. Changes made once the solicitor has been briefed by Divorce Friend will incur additional costs and may require you to return to negotiation or seek one of the other options for resolution.
  • No documents, notes or legal forms can be released until all monies due to Divorce Friend have been settled.

Payments for the session are due at the time of booking the session. They may be paid at the actual sessions by arrangement. We can accept payment by BACS, cheque, cash or card. Cheques should be made payable to Divorce Ltd. Payment per session is £200 in total and lasts up to 90 minutes. If neither party attends, the full rate is due. If one party does not attend, their half is due. Once the solicitors have been instructed we are unable to refund the payment made for the fixed fee package. No paperwork can be released until payment has been made. Interest and an administration fee of £50 will be added to any invoices that are not paid by the due date. 

Package Details:

Expert Package. If agreement is reached, the negotiator will draft a memorandum of understanding and financial statement on what was agreed. These will be released once payment for the divorce balance is received. The negotiator will then instruct the solicitor for each party. The solicitor for the petitioner will draft the divorce petition and manage the divorce through to decree absolute. The solicitor for the respondent will complete the paperwork for the respondent and represent them throughout the divorce. Both solicitors will deal with all correspondence between themselves and the court. They are unable to give additional legal advice or make changes to the agreement reached. Any such changes or requests will incur additional costs at their standard hourly rate. Court fees are payable, currently £550 before the solicitors are instructed. The marriage certificate, translated where necessary, will be required for your divorce to proceed.

Cost

Amount

Initial Meeting

 £100 each

Agreement Reached

 £499 each

Court Fees

 £275 each

Total

 £874 each

Barrister Package. Once the financial information is collated, the negotiator will draft an overview of the issues to be resolved and the circumstances of your case. This instruction document will need to be agreed by both parties before it is submitted to the family law Barrister. The Barrister will review the document and may ask further questions from either client or the negotiator, prior to submitting a written report of their recommendations. Their recommendations will be based on their knowledge of family law and how it is applied by the courts and will take into account any recent case law or changes in legislation. The recommendation will be an impartial opinion, based on what they believe a court is likely to order, were the matter to go to a full hearing. To preserve the integrity of the process, the barrister will not enter into any correspondence or communication directly with either client. The clients can choose to accept, reject or negotiate the recommendations they receive at the second meeting with the divorce negotiator. On reaching agreement the divorce negotiator will follow the process laid out with the expert package.

Cost

Amount

Initial Meeting

 £100 each

Barrister Instructed

 £500 each

Second Meeting

 £100 each

Agreement Reached

 £499 each

Court Fees

 £275 each

Total

 £1474 each


Solicitor Package. The financial information will be collated and sent to separate solicitors for each party. The solicitor will review the information and then arrange a phone appointment with you directly. You will have up to 80 minutes of time with the solicitor, which does not have to be used up in one session. Any time carried over can be used at a later date for any additional questions or legal advice you may require. The solicitor will draft a report on their recommendations. Both parties will then meet with the divorce negotiator to reach an agreement based on the legal advice they have received. If agreement is reached, the divorce negotiator will proceed as per the expert package.

Cost

Amount

Initial Meeting

 £100 each

Solicitors Instructed

 £500 each

Second Meeting

 £100 each

Agreement Reached

 £599 each

Court Fees

 £275

Total

 £1574 each

Rescue Package. We will collate the financial information (or Form E’s) and prepare a report of the issues for the Family Law Barrister. This instruction document will need to be agreed by both parties before it is submitted to the Barrister. The Barrister will review the document and may ask further questions from either client or the negotiator, prior to submitting a written report of their recommendations. Their recommendations will be based on their knowledge of family law and how it is applied by the courts and will take into account any recent case law or changes in legislation. The recommendation will be an impartial opinion, based on what they believe a court is likely to order, were the matter to go to a full hearing. To preserve the integrity of the process, the barrister will not enter into any correspondence or communication directly with either client. The clients can choose to accept, reject or negotiate the recommendations they receive at the second meeting with the divorce negotiator. On reaching agreement the divorce negotiator will produce a memorandum of understanding. This memorandum of understanding will be sent to our solicitor to process into a legally binding and irrevocable consent order. We use out own solicitors to process the order in order to save you money and to avoid any further legal costs of changing the consent order. The solicitor will submit the order to the court for you as part of the package. They are unable to give legal advice or opinion on what you have agreed in the order. This can be purchased separately if you wish for additional legal advice on the agreement.


Cost

Amount

Initial Meeting

 £100 each

Barrister Instructed

 £500 each

Second Meeting

 £100 each

Agreement Reached

 £299 each

Court Fees

 £25 each

Total

 £1024 each

Simple Package. We will collate all the details we need to process your divorce. We will agree the grounds of divorce with both parties to ensure no disagreements at a later date. We will allocate a solicitor to each of you to manage the full divorce. The solicitors may be able to offer legal advice on your case at an additional fee. Your divorce will be managed to decree absolute. No meeting in person is required. You can upgrade to any other package if you wish to.

Cost

Amount

Solicitors Instructed

£350 each

Court Fees

£275

Total

£625 each


Please note, you are not committed to any divorce package until agreement is reached. If agreement is not reached, you only pay for the divorce negotiator time (£100 per party per session) or additional rate outside the package of £80 per party per hour. You do not need to decide on the package you need until the first session is concluded.

If agreement is not reached

If you are unable to reach any agreement by any of the four packages, you have the following options available to you to resolve matters:

  • Take an agreed break from negotiations for 4-6 weeks 
  • Refer to a family mediation company to resolve the issues through mediation
  • Use your own solicitors
  • Request an independent barrister review (if you have not already done so)
  • Apply to the court (you will need a miams and a Form A / C100) 

Divorce Expert can assist you with a referral to a Family Mediator, solicitor or if you wish to go to court, we can arrange for a phone miams for you for £60, including a form for court. 

If you have any questions on this, please email us at help@divorcefriend.co.uk or call 0330 999 0313.