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Legal Aid

We are one of only a few law firms in Cornwall that has a contract with the Legal Aid Agency, to provide Legal Aid in family matters.

Legal Aid is automatically available in care proceedings.

In other areas of family law, there is a two part test to establish a client’s eligibility. Part 1 is providing evidence that you have (a) been a victim of Domestic Abuse or that (b) a child has been harmed or is at significant risk of being harmed. Part 2 is  a financial eligibility calculation.

A member of our family team will be able to determine over the telephone or at an initial consultation meeting whether you will be able to provide evidence in writing that passes Part 1 of the assessment.

If you pass Part 1 of the test, one of our experts will undertake a financial eligibility calculation on your behalf, following which they will be able to confirm if you are eligible or not.

You are reminded that each case has to be determined on its own facts.

Use this link to see if Legal Aid could be available to you.

For further information please do not hesitate to get in contact with one of our family lawyers.

If you are not eligible for Legal Aid, you may wish to take advantage of one of our fixed fee packages instead.

Fixed Fees Packages for Family Matters

We have a wide range of packages to suit your circumstances. Please click the package you are interested in for more information or call one of our family lawyers for further details.

NB all prices are subject to VAT and disbursements (eg: Court fees).

Fixed Fee First Appointment - £100
One of our family lawyers will spend up to an hour with you to find out about your situation and advise how we can help.

At this meeting we hope to gain a clear idea of the issues on which you need advice and discuss with you the options open to you, the pros and cons of each option and the likely cost of each.  We will advise you whether Legal Aid is likely to be available to help pay your legal costs.

Some clients find that an hour’s advice is all that is needed at this stage to put their minds at rest, or to enable them to take further action on their own.  If you decide that you would like us to take matters further for you, then we would begin to plan the next steps with you.

If any further action is necessary then we can offer you a range of fixed fees in relation to divorce and for dealing with financial matters arising from your divorce.

Please note that the fixed fee first appointment does not cover the cost of any follow-up work following the meeting, such as writing to your spouse or former partner, or confirming our advice to you by letter.
Divorce Petition (Uncontested) – £450
This fixed fee divorce package is designed to give clients certainty and peace of mind from the outset.  At this stressful time, many people are hesitant to approach solicitors for advice because of the fear of how much it will cost.  Our fixed fee divorce package makes the divorce process straightforward and cost effective by including all the elements required to sort out your divorce.

Our fixed fee divorce package includes the following:-

  • A first meeting with a family lawyer for up to one hour.
  • Preparation of your Divorce Petition and Statement of Arrangements for Children.
  • Preparation of all legal documents required for an uncontested divorce.
  • Dealing with all steps from filing your Divorce Petition to applying for your Decree Absolute.
  • Writing to the Court and to your spouse or his/her solicitors as necessary in relation to the divorce.
  • Keeping you advised about progress of all stages.


Your divorce may require additional work to be carried out which is not included in the fixed cost.  If this happens in your case then we will advise you before carrying out any additional work and give you an estimate of the likely cost.  All additional work will be charged at an hourly rate which your family lawyer will discuss with you.

Please note that the following are not included in the fixed fee divorce package:-

  • Assisting you to complete the Fee Remission Application Form; nor to deal with any enquiries which the court may raise in relation to your application for Fee Remission.
  • Dealing with a divorce if it becomes contested by your spouse.
  • Dealing with a divorce with a foreign element.
  • Dealing with a divorce based on adultery where a co-respondent is named in the Divorce Petition.
  • Making changes to your Divorce Petition after it has been issued by the Court.
  • Proceedings or correspondence to resolve financial matters.
  • Proceedings or correspondence relating to children.
  • The cost or work involved in personally serving any documents on your spouse.
  • The cost of any work involved in locating your spouse.
  • The cost of any extra applications that may need to be made to the Court during the Court process.
  • Obtaining a duplicate copy of your Marriage Certificate if you cannot find the original.
  • Obtaining a duplicate copy of your Decree Absolute if you lose it.
  • Any Court Fees including the fee for issuing the Divorce Petition, and the fee for applying for the Decree Absolute.


This is just a summary of what is and what is not included in our fixed fee divorce package.  Before we proceed we will provide you with a copy of the full terms and conditions and answer any further questions which you may have.  Please note that if you engage us on a fixed fee basis for your divorce you will still be liable for the full fixed fee in the event that you subsequently decide not to proceed and/or reconcile with your spouse.

Divorce Respondent (Uncontested) – £250
This involves representing you where your spouse has issued divorce proceedings and you are looking for advice and assistance during the course of these proceedings. Our fixed fee includes the following:-
  • Taking your initial instructions and advising you on the procedure and timescales.
  • Reviewing the divorce papers and completing the Acknowledgment of Service on your behalf.
  • Advising you on the cost implications of the proceedings.
  • Corresponding with your spouse or their solicitors during the proceedings.
  • Forwarding you the Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute in due course.
Please note that our fixed fee does not include the following:-
  • If you wish to defend the proceedings.
  • Advising you in relation to financial matters and child matters arising from the divorce.
  • Attending Court on the issue of costs.
  • Making an application for the Decree Absolute in the event that your spouse fails to do this in a timely manner.
Please also note that if you engage us on a fixed fee basis you will still be liable for the full fixed fee in the event that you subsequently reconcile with your spouse.
Prenuptial Agreement (Details Already Agreed) – £450
A Prenuptial Agreement sets out what you and your spouse agree should happen to your finances if your marriage breaks down and you go your separate ways. When a marriage subsequently breaks down and parties cannot agree on financial matters, the Court will still ultimately have the final decision but a properly drawn-up Prenuptial Agreement is an increasingly important factor which the Court will take into account.
Change of Name Deed (Adult) – £120
This includes taking your initial instructions and preparing a Deed Poll which is a formal statement to prove that your name has changed.  Proof of name change is often required when applying for a passport or driver’s licence. Please note that this fee does not include officially registering the Deed Poll, which is known as enrolling a Deed Poll with the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
Change of Name Deed (Child) – £250
This includes taking your initial instructions, seeking the consent of all those parties with parental responsibility for the child, preparing the Deed Poll and supporting documentation and enrolling the Deed Poll with the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
Domestic Abuse - £1250
This package includes the following:-
  • Initial meeting with a family lawyer.
  • Sending a “warning letter” to the other side if appropriate.
  • Preparation of your application for a Non-Molestation and/or Occupation Order including your Statement in Support.
  • Dealing with all steps from filing your application/s to attending the “without notice” hearing on your behalf to make representations.
  • Dealing with all steps in between the “without notice” hearing, to include arranging for any Orders to be personally served on the Respondent.
  • Attending return hearing on your behalf.
  • Keeping you advised about progress of all stages.
If the contents of your Non-Molestation or Occupation application/s are contested by the Respondent and no agreement can be reached between the parties at the return hearing as to how such applications are to be dispensed with, then there will be a need for a fully contested Fact-Finding Hearing to determine the outcome of your applications. If this becomes necessary then we will discuss with you what our likely fees would be for advising and assisting you up to and including the Final Hearing, agreeing such fees in advance, such works being in addition to those quoted above and falling outside of this fixed fee agreement. The following are not included in the fixed fee Domestic Abuse package:-
  • Any works following the return hearing to include a fully contested Fact-Finding Hearing.
  • Making changes to your application or statement after it has been issued by the Court.
  • Proceedings or correspondence to resolve any other matters to include (but not limited to) divorce, finances or children matters.
  • The process servers’ fees incurred in personally serving any documents on the Respondent to include the cost of any work incurred by the process server in tracing the Respondent.
  • The cost of any extra applications that may need to be made to the Court during the Court process.
  • Any Court Fees that may become payable in respect of other matters during the Court process.
Domestic Abuse (Respondent) - £450
  This package includes the following:-
  • Initial meeting with a family lawyer.
  • Providing you with advice in relation to any papers that you have been served with, including any Orders made by the Court without you being present
  • Dealing with all steps in between the Order having been served on you and our attendance at the return hearing.
  • Representing you at the return hearing.
  • Keeping you advised as to progress of all stages.
If the matter is not resolved at the return hearing and you wish to continue to instruct us to represent you at the Final Hearing then we will discuss with you what our likely fees would be for advising and assisting you up to and including the Final Hearing, agreeing such fees in advance, such works being in addition to those quoted above and falling outside of this fixed fee agreement. The following are not included in the fixed fee Domestic Abuse – Respondent package:-
  • Any works following the “on notice” hearing to include a fully contested Fact-Finding Hearing.
  • Preparing any Statements on your behalf.
  • Proceedings or correspondence to resolve any other matters to include (but not limited to) divorce, finances or children matters.
  • The cost of any extra applications that may need to be made to the Court during the Court process.
  • Any Court Fees that may become payable in respect of other matters during the Court process.
Advice About an Agreement – £250
If you have already reached an agreement with your spouse because you separated some time ago or perhaps have already attended mediation, you may simply be looking for advice as to whether the agreement reached represents a fair and reasonable settlement of your mutual financial affairs and is in your best interests. Our fixed fee includes the following:-
  • An initial consultation to discuss your agreement with you on the basis of the information available to you at that time.
  • Advice about any important points which you may have overlooked.
  • Advice about the benefits of the agreement you have reached and whether there are any points you should consider renegotiating.
  • A letter to your spouse confirming the terms of the agreement reached.
  • A letter or email of advice to you confirming the advice we have given you.
Please note that our fixed fee does not include:-
  • Determining whether the information on which the agreement is based is accurate.
  • Obtaining further information or clarification  about your financial circumstances or about the circumstances of your spouse, or asking for documentation, etc, to confirm the information you have been given.
  • Attempting to renegotiate the terms of the agreement you have reached or to negotiate agreement on points which were being missed.
  • Preparing a formal agreement or Consent Order for the Court’s approval.
Preparing a Clean-Break Consent Order (No Assets or Assets Already Divided) – £250
Divorce will bring your marriage to an end but finally resolve your mutual financial relationship.  Where you have no assets or have already divided your assets and you wish to prevent your spouse from making financial claims against you in the future, you may wish to consider obtaining a Clean-Break Order. Our fixed fee includes the following:-
  • Taking your initial instruction and fully advising you of the implications of procedure for obtaining a Clean-Break Consent Order.
  • Sending you a detailed explanatory letter or email setting out the implications of the Consent Order.
  • Preparing the Application for a Clean-Break, the draft Clean-Break Order and preparing a summary of your financial position.
  • Requesting that your spouse completes a financial summary of his or her financial position.
  • Filing the documents with the Court.
  • Forwarding the final Clean-Break Order to you.
Please note our fixed fee does not include:-
  • Advising you as to whether a Clean-Break Dismissal Order is appropriate for you.
  • Entering into any negotiations with your spouse.
  • Dealing with assets that have not already been divided or transferred.
  • Attending Court on your behalf.
  • The Court fee which is currently £45.00.
Preparing a Consent Order (Once Agreement has been Reached) – £400
Where you have agreed finances and you wish to obtain an Order reflecting that agreement and finalising your mutual affairs with your spouse, you may wish to obtain a Consent Order.  Please note that this fixed fee assumes that you have reached agreement  on all financial issues. Our fixed fee includes the following:-
  • Taking your instructions and advising you of the implications of and procedure for obtaining the Order.
  • Sending you a detailed explanatory letter or email setting out the implications of the Consent Order.
  • Preparing an Application for a Consent Order, drafting the terms of the Consent Order and preparing a summary of the finances for the Court’s review.
  • Requesting your spouse to complete their financial summary for filing with the Consent Order.
  • Filing the documents with the Court.
  • Dealing with any questions the Judge may raise in correspondence before he/she approves the Order.
  • Sending you the final approved Consent Order.
  • Sending the Court Order to third parties, such as mortgage lenders, pension fund managers, etc.
Please note that our fixed fee does not include:-
  • The Court fee which is currently £45.
  • Advising you as to whether the consent is appropriate for you.
  • Attend Court on your behalf.
  • Implementing the Court Order, which may involve, for example transferring ownership of a house or assigning an endowment policy.  We can of course act in those matters but there will be an additional charge.
  • Charges raised by other people, for example pension providers where a Pension Sharing Order is made.
Assistance to Reach an Agreement – £1,000
You may seek assistance in negotiating an agreement about financial matters arising from your divorce.  This will involve seeking financial disclosure from your spouse to establish your respective financial positions and in due course, putting forward proposals for settlement.

We would hope that we can assist you to reach a timely and fair settlement of your financial affairs but if this is not possible, perhaps because of your spouse’s lack of cooperation or willingness to enter into negotiations, then we will advise you of your alternative options.

The fixed fee includes:-
  • Writing to your spouse or his/her solicitor and suggesting an informal exchange of Form Es to establish your respective financial positions.
  • Assisting you to complete your Form E and provide the necessary supporting documentation and exchanging your Form E with your spouse.  Following exchange, advising you on the issues arising and any extra information or documentation which you should seek.
  • A meeting with you to discuss appropriate proposals for settlement of your matter following exchange of financial information and/or advising you on any proposals you receive and assisting you to formulate counter-proposals.
Please note the fixed fee does not include:-
  • Writing to other people or agencies for documentation necessary to attach to your Form E for example, writing to a pension provider seeking a transfer value of your pension or to a lender for a redemption statement if you have a mortgage.
  • Charges made by other people to provide information required to be attached to your Form E.
  • Charges of other professionals for providing additional information for example valuations of the former matrimonial home or actuarial advice about pensions.
  • Direct face to face meetings with your spouse or their solicitors.  We can arrange these meetings if they are appropriate but there will be an additional charge for this.
  • Drawing up a formal agreement or Consent Order if agreement is reached.
  • Further negotiations after we conclude that there is no realistic possibility of an agreement being reached, or after negotiations have been attempted for six months without success.
Making an Application to the Court for a Financial Order – £1,000
In some circumstances, Court proceedings are unavoidable.  For example, where it becomes apparent that negotiations are not progressing matters and an agreement is not going to be reached.  Protracted and fruitless negotiations can be both frustrating and costly and should be avoided wherever possible.  Where this is the case, it is often better to issue an application for Financial Orders.  This will provide a clear time frame within which matters will be resolved. Our fixed fee includes the following:-
  • Drafting your Application for Financial Orders (Form A) and filing it with the Court and other relevant parties.
  • Assisting you to complete or update your Form E and attach the relevant supporting financial documentation.
  • A meeting with you to discuss your Form E and finalise it and to discuss proposals you may wish to put to the other party.
  • Finalising your Form E for swearing and exchanging Form Es with your spouse.
  • Considering your spouse’s Form E and helping you to identify the relevant issues and any additional documentation or information which may be required.
  • Preparing documentation necessary to be filed with the Court prior to the first   Court appointments.
  • Attending the first Court Appointment with you and representing you at Court.
  • If your case settles without us actually having to go to Court, we will reduce our fixed fee by £400, but you will need us to prepare a Consent Order for which we will charge you separately as set out above.
  • Advising you about any proposals received, assisting you to formulate your own proposals and negotiate with your spouses solicitors in correspondence.
  • Representing you and entering into negotiations for you at Court and if an agreement is reached at Court, preparing a Consent Order setting out the terms of that agreement.
Please note that our fixed fee does not include:-
  • The Court fee for issuing the application for Financial Orders which currently stands at £240.
  • Writing to other people for any documentation needed to attach to your Form E. For example, writing to a mortgagee requesting a redemption statement or to your employer requesting salary statements.
  • Dealing with any application your spouse may make to Court for an Order for maintenance pending suit.  These applications can often be quite complex and we will need to make an additional charge to represent you in these proceedings.
  • Any other application which your husband or wife may make for example for an injunction, an Order freezing assets, or an Order permitting you to search premises for documentation.
  • Any charges made by third parties for providing information and any charges for expert reports such as property valuations or actual aerial reports.
  • Representation at Court by a barrister at the First Appointment.  We would not normally recommend that you engage the services of a barrister for a First Appointment but if you wish to do so, his or her fee will be in addition to the above fixed fee.  We will also make an additional charge of £250.00 for preparing the Brief to Counsel to represent you at this Hearing.
From First Appointment to Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing – £1,500
If agreement is not reached at the First Appointment and it is necessary to proceed to a Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing, the Judge will make directions at the First Appointment as to what additional information the parties should provide.  In those circumstances, we will assist you to comply with these directions and prepare all the documentation necessary for the Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing, as well as representing you at this Hearing.

Our fixed fee includes the following:-
  • Assisting you to comply with the Court’s directions including drafting Replies to any Questionnaires which the other party may have raised.
  • Requesting any reports from third parties, which may be required, such as surveys, valuations, actuarial reports etc.
  • Ensuring that your spouse complies in a timely manner with any directions made against him or her by the Court.
  • Advising you on any proposals received and helping you to formulate your own proposals or counter proposals and negotiate with your spouse’s solicitors in correspondence.
  • Attending the FDR appointment with you.  If your case settles before we go to the Court for the Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing, we will reduce our fixed fee by £400 but you may need us to prepare a Consent Order.
  • Representing you and negotiating for you at Court and, if an agreement is reached at Court, preparing a Consent Order setting out the terms of the agreement.
Please note that our fixed fee does not include:-
  • Representation at Court by a barrister.  As for the First Appointment, we would not normally recommend you engage the services of a barrister at this stage of the proceedings but if you do do so, his or her fee will be payable separately and we would have to make an additional charge of £250 to prepare the Brief to Counsel.
  • Writing to other people for documentation needed to comply with the Judge’s directions.
  • Any charges raised by third parties for providing information, and any charges for expert reports, such as valuations, detail advice about pension entitlements etc.
Taking your Case to a Final Hearing – £2,000
If your case is not resolved at either the First Appointment or at the Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing, then it will be listed for a Final Hearing at which a Judge will listen to all the evidence and make a decision as to an appropriate division of the matrimonial assets.  Taking a case to a Final Hearing involves a great deal of preparatory work and we will do this on your behalf.

In some instances, depending on the complexity of the matter, you may wish to instruct a barrister to represent you at the Final Hearing.  If you wish to take this step, his or her fee would be payable separately and we would charge an additional £250.00 to prepare a detailed Brief to the barrister.

Our fixed fee includes the following:-
  • Assisting you to comply with any Court directions made at the Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing including drafting replies to any questionnaires.
  • Commissioning any reports or addendum reports from third parties which may be required such as surveyor’s valuations or actuarial reports.
  • Pressing your spouse to comply with any directions made against him or her.
  • Advising you about any proposals received, helping you to formulate proposals and negotiate with your spouse’s solicitor and correspondence including the open proposal which you are required to produce prior to the Final Hearing.
  • Preparation of all documentation required for the Final Hearing including the Trial Bundle.
Please note our fixed fee does not include the following:-
  • Fees charged by your barrister for representing you at the Final Hearing and any prior meetings with him or her.
  • Any charges made by third parties for providing information and any charges for expert’s reports such as valuation or detailed advice about pension arrangements.
  • Fees charged by any third parties such as valuer’s surveyors for attending Court for the Final Hearing.