Family Law: Divorce 2013

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Report Info
Table of Contents
  • Introduction and Scope
    • Report coverage
      • Methodology
      • Abbreviations
  • Report Summary
    • Market Structure
      • Key facts
      • Mediation hardly used
      • Solicitors still used by majority – but DIY divorce used by a quarter
      • Recommendations and legal advice
      • Face-to-face contact still most important
      • Overall satisfaction levels are good, but some room for improvement
      • Traditional fee models still important
      • No “typical” fee for a divorce using a solicitor
      • The bill surprise and client feedback
      • Do-it-yourself divorces mainly for amicable splits; websites still a minority interest
      • Arrange your own divorce for a few hundred pounds
      • Court costs explained early for most
      • Pre-nuptials do not often come into the equation
      • Divorce – simple or complicated?
      • Use of support and agencies
      • Mixed views on CSA/CMS efficiency
      • Limited awareness of changes to legal system and divorce law
      • Solicitors/law firms versus DIY divorces
      • Petitioner or respondent
      • 25-34 year-olds have a different approach
      • Market size and forecast
      • Leading law firms and legal suppliers
  • Divorce
  • Background
    • Just under half surveyed were divorced in last two years
      • Most divorces are undefended
      • Unreasonable behaviour most likely cited as reason
      • Mediation still rare
      • DIY divorces used by over one in four
      • Word of mouth important for those seeking a solicitor
  • Service Delivery and Fees
    • Face-to-face contact still the norm
      • Some concerns about explanation of costs at the start
      • Hourly rates still lead the way in divorce cases
      • No ‘typical’ solicitor’s fee for a divorce case
      • Almost half were surprised by their final legal bill
      • Limited use of formal client feedback on services
      • Hardly any interest in pre-nuptial agreements
  • DIY Divorces
    • Most DIY divorces are amicable
      • Divorce or Civil Partnership dissolution
      • Significant minority use online divorce websites
      • High satisfaction levels with divorce websites
      • Most DIY divorces cost £500 or less
  • Fees and Complexity
    • Court fees for divorce – most know the cost before or at the start of proceedings
      • Divorce – simpler than many were expecting
  • Petitioner or Respondent – Some Further Differences
  • Advisory and Support Bodies
    • Most go it alone – limited use of groups, legal bodies for support and advice
      • Child Support Agency/Child Maintenance Service
      • Mixed views on CSA/CMS efficiency
  • Changes In The Law
    • Limited awareness of divorce law changes
      • Support for changes in the way finances are split
  • Market Size – Divorce
    • Total market
  • Leading Law Firms and Legal Suppliers
  • The Future
    • Legal aid has gone for most divorce cases
      • Mediate before you litigate
      • More mediation-based services from law firms
      • Possible increase in online DIY divorce…
      • …but fixed-fee divorces could become the norm
      • Trying to unravel the financial confusion in divorce
      • Shared parenting – proposed new legislation
      • Short-term outlook
  • Appendix – Key Data
  • Appendix – Questionnaire
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