Family Law 2014 18 Jul 2014
Family Law 2014

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This report follows on from the YouGov SixthSense Family Law: Divorce report. The report will draw comparisons where possible, however this report will also look at a broader spectrum of family law including areas such as; common law and cohabitation, civil partnership, and marriage of non-UK citizens
Report Info
Table of Contents
  • Table of Figures
  • Introduction & Scope
    • Report coverage
      • Methodology
      • Abbreviations
  • Report Summary
    • Divorces – the market structure
      • Key facts
      • No mediation for most – and most would prefer to avoid it
      • Solicitors still used by majority but DIY divorce for many
      • Overall satisfaction good, but client feedback still limited
      • Fees – fixed or hourly, variable and a surprise
      • DIY Divorces
      • Court costs explained early for the majority
      • Divorce – simple or complicated?
      • Agency use is unlikely overall
      • Civil partners – most know their legal rights
      • Cohabiting couples – some are unclear on rights
      • Marriage to a non-UK citizen – the same rights for both partners?
      • Market Size
      • Short-term outlook
  • Legal Background
    • Divorce and civil partnership dissolution
      • Sequential procedure
      • Recent changes
  • Divorces and Civil Partnership Dissolution
    • Time of divorce/dissolution
      • Majority undefended
      • Disputes over are property most common
      • Unreasonable behaviour cited as main reason for split
      • No mediation is most likely amongst respondents
      • Over one in four arranged divorce/dissolution themselves
      • Word-of-mouth important for those seeking a solicitor
  • Service Delivery and Fees
    • Contact – face-to-face, email and post important
      • Satisfaction generally good but communication could be better
      • Fixed fees have caught up hourly rates in divorce cases
      • Wide range of solicitor fees for divorce/dissolution
      • Over half unpleasantly surprised by their final legal bill
      • Client feedback on services still rarely asked for
      • Use of other legal providers
  • DIY Divorces
    • Most DIY divorces are amicable, and cost is a factor
      • DIY divorce or dissolutions often run smoothly
      • Online divorce websites used by minority
      • High satisfaction levels with divorce websites
      • Most DIY divorces costing £500 or less
      • Most are satisfied or very satisfied with their DIY divorces
      • Solicitors/law firms vs. DIY divorces
  • Understanding Divorce
    • Court fees for divorce – most know the cost before or at the start of proceedings
      • Divorce/dissolution – simple or complicated?
  • Use of Advisory and Support Bodies
    • Most go it alone
      • Child Support Agency/Child Maintenance Service
      • Mixed views on CSA/CMS efficiency
  • Civil Partnerships, Cohabiting Couples and Divorces Involving a Non-UK Citizen
    • Most individuals in civil partnerships know their rights
      • No rush to gay marriages from those in civil partnerships
      • Divorces involving a non-UK citizen
      • Non-UK citizens thought to get same rights in a divorce
      • A visa for a non-UK citizen – easy for some but tricky for others
      • Confusion regarding cohabiting couples’ rights
      • Cohabitation Rights Bill
      • Living Together Agreements (LTAs)
      • Attitudes and awareness – increased rights
  • Market Size
    • Total Market
      • The UK picture
      • Civil Partnership dissolutions
      • Estimated market value
      • Leading law firms and legal suppliers
  • The Future
    • Impact of new family court system
      • Legally binding pre-nuptials and more consistency in settling financial disputes?
  • Appendix – Questionnaire
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