A revelation came from the legal ombudsman that they do not receive more complaints in any other area of law than in family law and especially divorces.
According to a report called The Price of Separation, last year 18% of complaints that the ombudsman resolved were on divorce cases and family law.
The reason of a quarter of the complaints was the fact that most of the couples claimed they did not get enough information on the cost of their divorce.
An example was cited in the report explaining the case of a complainant who had first agreed a specific budget with her law firm but in the moment when their bill reached the very limit they asked the law firm to stop but it continued to act on her behalf.
In the end the bill was £15,000 larger than they initially indented to pay.
The lawyers are meant to do more to “save customers from themselves” and the long and expensive legal battles.
“In the case of divorce, that may be to counsel them against prolonging the case or fighting an unwinnable fight: persuading them that although they are angry and upset at their spouse’s behaviour, court may not be the best place to fight out those emotions,”
Another thing the report mentioned was that family lawyers and law firms do not do enough to keep clients up to date with the price of their cases.
The head of the LeO, Adam Sampson, said there was nothing strange in the fact that divorce lawyers received more complaints having in mind that most of their clients are too emotional and this way they create their problems on their own.
“However, clearly lawyers could be doing more to reduce complaints by providing accurate cost information, providing decent service levels and by taking complaints seriously,” he added. “I think this report challenges lawyers to raise their game and make the divorce process less painful for consumers.”
The LeO has republished their Cost Guide for Lawyers on their website, as well as publishing a consumer guide for using a divorce lawyer.
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