Court orders
How Much Are Your Children Worth? 
So, you have fallen out with your spouse and the fall out has been pretty messy so you have decided to take the matter into Family Court. There are accusations going backwards and forwards between you, so the Court proceedings are going to be protracted and ugly. 
Without exploring the rights and wrongs of the accusations between you and your spouse, let’s just focus on two things – what is it going to cost and how long will it take? 
It is a private law matter not a public law matter and so your nominated solicitor advises you that you are not entitled to legal aid. You are funding this yourself. 
Off we go!! 
Early August 2023 – you meet your solicitor and agree that they are going to make the necessary applications to initiate the Court proceedings. They advise you that before you can make an application, you must attend mediation. 
Mediation - £300 
Late August 2023 – the application is made for you by your solicitors. The first bill will be consultation fees, telephone calls, emails, court fees and preparation fees. 
Fees - £1250 
(Total spend so far £1550) 
Late September 2023 – your solicitors advise you that a Court date has been received for the first hearing referred to as the FHDRA. They also write a couple of letters to your spouse just to tell them that you are going to Court and they are your solicitors 
Fees - £350 
Mid November 2023 – the first hearing takes place and your solicitors have instructed a barrister to represent you in Court because it is apparently in your best interests. The barrister has to be briefed prior to the hearing. 
Fees - £1500 
(Total spend so far - £3,400) 
Late November 2023 – consultation with your solicitor so they can explain that the next hearing is in February and you will need to provide a statement detailing your accusations. They will write it for you. The fees include writing that statement. 
Fees - £950 
Early January 2024 – consultation to look over your spouse’s statement and agree any points you want to challenge. Confirmation that your solicitors will be sending a barrister to represent you at the next hearing. 
Fees - £350 
Mid February 2024 – second hearing takes place, a barrister is in attendance. The Court directs a 3 day finding of fact hearing to explore the accusations between the parties. 
Fees - £1500 
(Total spend so far - £6,200) 
Mid March 2024 – consultation to explain a finding of fact hearing and begin preparing for it. 
Fees - £650 
Late May 2024 – consultation to finish preparing for the finding of fact hearing. 
Fees - £650 
Late June 2024 – 3 day finding of fact hearing is staged. You have a barrister. 
Fees - £9000 
(Total spend so far - £16,500) 
Early July 2024 – consultation to explain the findings of the finding of fact hearing and explain the section 7 report which is the next step 
Fees - £750 
Mid October 2024 – section 7 report is received and a consultation is held to discuss the contents and prepare a response 
Fees - £750 
Mid November 2024 – next hearing is held and you are represented by a barrister. The Court rules that the children need to be made party to the proceedings and a child psychologist instructed to see why they are not happy with each parent. 
Fees - £1500 
Early January 2025 - Children’s Guardian advises the Court at a hearing that a psychologist has been instructed. You have a barrister. The Court decides the parents will share the cost of the psychologist. 
Fees - £3500 
(Total spend so far - £23,000) 
Mid April 2025 – Psychologist submit their report to the Court. Consultation held with your solicitors to read it, digest it and reply to it. 
Fees - £750 
Late May 2025 – Hearing decides that the matter must go to a contested final hearing. You have a barrister. 
Fees - £1500 
Early September 2025 – final contested hearing is held and the Court publishes a framework of contact for the children to see each of their parents. You have a barrister. 
Fees - £2500 
So, this campaign of hearings which represents a number of sets of proceedings passing through Family Court is completed in 2 years and 1 month at a cost to each party of something in the region of £27,750 and you can easily add another £3,000 to £5,000 for extra meetings and letters and emails with your solicitors. 
The reason people turn to McKenzie Friends like us is because they would rather spend less than half that with us and keep the rest to spend on their children!! 
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