About this blog

Accessible legal tips, know-how and news for anyone with a complaint or legal issue from Stephen Gold, author of The Return of Breaking Law, the book

Thursday 13 February 2020

Financial Orders On Divorce etc: Cheap Route to Getting Paperwork Done

Wanting to save legal costs on the preparation of a court order setting out what has been   agreed on property and money between you and your spouse or civil partner when the relationship has come to an end and there has been a divorce or dissolution.?  I looked at DIY orders and other ways of dealing with the situation at


There is a danger with a DIY job, as I have explained. And there is also a danger in one side not obtaining independent expert advice on the proposed order, as I have explained. But what about a cheap job from a non-lawyer or from a solicitor with either of them acting for both sides? In a simple case, this may now be possible as a result of a recent High Court decision in a called JK v MK and another [2020] EWFC 2. Whether this is possible will depend on whether, in each case, there is a conflict of interest between the parties.

In the High Court case, a divorcing couple paid £300 to  amicable (with a small a), a commercial firm which accepted instructions from them both to draft the order and associated documentation where the couple were in complete agreement with what they wanted the court to do and their financial positions were straightforward. amicable concluded that there was no conflict of interest. And so did the court which meant it was prepared to make the order as the couple asked and on the strength of amicable's paperwork. There are other non-lawyer commercial firms in the market who perform a similar service to amicable and applying the same sort of model. 

Of course, you may prefer to go to a solicitor to deal with joint instructions from you both. In a straightforward situation and with the comfort of this recent High Court decision, some solicitors may now be prepared to do the necessary on joint instructions. Unlike non-lawyer commercial organisations, they are bound by strict rules imposed by their regulators. The solicitors’ code of conduct specifically permits them to act for clients jointly where the clients have a substantially common interest in relation to the matter or the aspect of it, or where they are competing for the same objective.

I fancy that in the majority of cases there will be a conflict of interest where no solicitor or no non-lawyer commercial organisation should be acting for both sides. But, in the minority of cases, this will be okay and money can be saved.

For much, much more on finances after relationship breakdown, divorce and civil partnership dissolution, grab a copy of my book Breaking Law. Or buy one!