Legal aid is not available for arbitration, but the fees are fixed and can be a great saving over going through the Family Court. If you use the court and have lawyers representing you, the costs are virtually impossible to estimate but could be anywhere between £10,000 and £30,000.
We work to a standard, not a price. That means that if we need to spend longer working on your case than the fee covers, we will work at our own cost until the work is done and the highest quality is achieved.
The fees that we quote are normally shared equally by each side. That means that you each pay half of the figures that we have given here. However, if you want to agree between yourselves that one side will pay more or all of the other side's share of the fees, that can be done.
If it is a new case, the parties and the arbitrator will have a planning meeting, perhaps by telephone. After that, there is a full hearing. A written decision will be sent out within 7 days. The maximum cost for all that is £2,500 including VAT. Extra days cost £800 including VAT.
Possible additional costs would be those of any expert, including an independent social worker, and room hire. If you are able to have the hearing in Eastbourne, the room charge is paid for by us and therefore completely free to you.
If you just need a final hearing because you are within court proceedings already and the evidence has all been prepared, the fee can be reduced to £1,500 including VAT.
For very simple matters, the fee is £750 including VAT. An example of that would be decisions just about Christmas contact. A written decision would be given the next day. These disputes can be dealt with just on paper if you and the other side agree.
The court fee for having the decision of the arbitrator made into a court order is £215.