With COVID restrictions lifting and the summer holiday fast approaching, we wanted to explore how the holiday may affect any child maintenance that is paid. Louise Kelly, Family Solicitor at...
Pay As You Go Scheme (PAYG)
Clients can now instruct a Family Solicitor on a Pay As You Go basis for children disputes
WSP’s Family Department understand that it is not financially possible for all clients who seek our advice to instruct us on a full representation basis. Often, those clients are in the midst of an ongoing dispute with an ex-partner about the arrangements for their children post-separation. We are asked questions like who will the children live with? When will the children spend time with the other parent? Can my ex-partner prevent me from seeing the children altogether?
The Traditional Way
Full representation is the traditional way in which to instruct a solicitor. It means that your solicitor deals with all of the legal work for you, from start to finish. In a dispute regarding your children, this would involve your solicitor not only advising you, but writing letters to your ex-partner or their solicitors to try and resolve the issues and reach an agreement. If that is not possible, then your solicitor would draft the Court application or respond to it and liaise with the Court on your behalf, as well as representing you throughout the proceedings.
There can often be a lot of work involved in a child arrangements case. Particularly if Court proceedings are instigated. The legal costs reflect the level of work to be carried out.
Flexible payment options to suit your budget
WSP offer a full range of funding options to clients on a full representation basis. Clients can be assessed to determine whether they are eligible for legal aid, they can sign up to our fixed fee schemes or they can pay for their legal services on an hourly rate basis.
We find that many clients who would previously have been eligible for legal aid prior to the scope changes (which came into force in April 2013) are no longer eligible. They now find it difficult trying to afford full representation to deal with a children dispute on a modest income with little capital.
Those clients who find themselves in this situation can now instruct a Family Solicitor at WSP on a Pay As You Go basis. The Pay As You Go scheme allows you to receive legal advice throughout your case, whilst you remain responsible for the conduct of your matter. You are, therefore, in control of how much you spend on legal fees.
Discussing your needs
You will receive assistance to progress your case in face-to-face advice sessions. At the end of each meeting you pay for this time spent, based on your solicitor’s hourly rate. You can come back to us for further advice whenever necessary. Under this scheme, any advocacy (representing you at a Court hearing) will be charged as a fixed fee. This is if you wish to not represent yourself at a hearing as a Litigant in Person. This can be a daunting task for the unqualified.
If you are not eligible for legal aid, then WSP’s funding options will be discussed in detail at an initial fixed fee appointment. This initial meeting gives clients the opportunity to meet with us to discuss any issues arising from their separation. Clients are able to map a way forward after having received clear practical legal advice. They will also have the necessary information regarding their future costs and funding options.
Benefits of the Pay As You Go Scheme:
- The Pay as you go scheme is cheaper than full representation. You do the work for your case and attend advice sessions with your notebook, pen and folder of legal documents as and when you need it. We will not be corresponding with any solicitors, the Court or your ex-partner for you. You simply pay for the advice received, on the day you receive it. No unexpected bills in the post to surprise you!
- You are paying for our legal knowledge and experience only. Not for us to read or write letters, answer telephone calls or photocopy documents.
- You can book an advice session as often as you need to. If you feel that further support is required, you have the option to switch to full representation at any point throughout your case.
- You can move things along as fast as you want to. You are your only client, whereas your solicitor will be dealing with a number of other cases at the same time.
- The scheme is aimed at reducing costs for you. The quality of advice remains the same as if you were on a full representation basis.
Contact Family Solicitor Kristie Rhodes today on 01452 429867, or via email to email@example.com to find out more about the Pay As You Go Scheme and other payment options. We can discuss what will work best in achieving a resolution for you and your family.
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