What if using a solicitor to help you sort out financial matters on divorce was cheaper than you thought? With the Blackburn Early Evaluation Protocol (or BEEP), it could be.
Preparing for court and appearing before the Judge, even within the more informal surroundings of the Family Court, can be a troubling experience. Some parties are put off by the thought of how expensive having a solicitor in court with you may be. With this in mind, from January 2017, a unique procedure for resolving financial issues is available in the Blackburn Family Court that aims to potentially reduce the cost of being represented in court.
How is this achieved?
In order to participate in BEEP, both parties must instruct a solicitor. For this procedure to achieve its objectives, prompt compliance with the protocol is essential and having representation makes sure both parties receive the guidance needed and that they understand what will be expected. Both solicitors (and the court) must agree that it is a case appropriate for BEEP. This will be where the aspects that you cannot agree on are reasonably narrow. BEEP should also mean that a case is dealt with more speedily from start to finish. Early identification of these issues permits the use of a shortened process with potentially less hearings. Fewer hearings should mean lower costs. However, if you want to contest everything including the proverbial kitchen sink then BEEP will not be suitable.
Both parties will exchange financial information voluntarily and try and agree what the assets are worth. Under BEEP the same full-time Judge will deal with the case throughout. At the initial hearing the Judge will help actively evaluate the case and the identified issues. This in turn is intended to assist and inform the parties in resolving the case by agreement thereby possibly avoiding the additional cost of a fully contested final hearing.
If you are getting divorce, struggling to agree finances with your ex and are worried about going to court then speak to one of our specialist family lawyers to explore if BEEP may be for you. Call 0845 287 0939 or complete our online enquiry form.