Why you don’t need a divorce lawyer

The truth is out. You don’t need a divorce lawyer to navigate yourself between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Let me give you an example. I wanted to check that my client could ask for her costs of a non-molestation order application from the judge and have the amount of those costs, what lawyers call ‘summary assessment’, fixed by the judge then and there rather than going through a long-winded process over a course of months called ‘detailed assessment’.

When you’ve been in the legal game for a few years you pick up the answers to these sorts of questions almost by osmosis. Somehow, you just know the answer. But, occasionally, you will be before a judge who will peer over their bi-focals and ask you for your ‘authority’ for your confident assertion of the law. Cue the s**t-eating grin as you realise that you have not brought with you to the court any of the legal ‘bibles’ that can supply you with the fine detail to support your argument.

And this is the charge often levelled at lawyers: anyone can do it because the answer is in a book somewhere. You just need to look it up. Well, it’s true, you do indeed just need to look it up.  I’m a strong believer in self-help and pointing people in the right direction is what this blog is all about.

Now then… about that answer I needed.  I found chapter and verse in the first sentence of the Practice Direction accompanying Part 28 of the Family Proceedings Rules ‘FPR 2010’. I’m pleased to share the answer:

Rule 28.2 provides that subject to rule 28.3 of the FPR and to paragraph (2) of rule 28.2, Parts 43, 44 (except rules 44.3(2) and (3), 44.9 to 44.12C, 44.13(1A) and (1B) and 44.18 to 20), 47 and 48 and rule 45.6 of the CPR apply to costs in family proceedings with the modifications listed in rule 28.2(1)(a) to (d).

I trust that is clear. The answer, naturally, is a resounding YES. You didn’t need a lawyer to tell you that.

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