ILS is headed by Caroline Saunders; a qualified family lawyer and a specialist practitioner in family law with over 30 years experience. She is a member of Resolution and keen supporter of the mediation process.Her aim is to help those couples who have chosen to avoid the costly (both in terms of money and emotional pain) of the adversarial legal process and to implement their agreement at court themselves. She provides a drafting service which is both personal and flexible.
ILS came about by chance. As a supporter of mediation Caroline referred friends of hers (whose marriage had broken down and who were not talking to each other) to a resolution trained mediator. Although it took some time this couple reached agreement on all issues. Their agreement was recorded in a Memorandum of Understanding prepared by their mediator.
However, having come so far they still had to deal with the legal process of the divorce proceedings and all this involved; including turning their financial agreement into a court order.
The couple did not want to use solicitors not only because of the financial cost involved but also because instructing lawyers can sometimes be a daunting experience, particularly if you have not used solicitors before. They were also worried that they might be put under pressure by their respective lawyers to change their agreement which they had reached through the mediation process and which most importantly they were happy with.
She offered to deal with all this procedure and paperwork for them. As a result the divorce and the financial order was made by the court. The mediator who helped this couple reach agreement asked if Caroline would be prepared to help other couples who had got to the same stage and who had a signed Memorandum of Understanding and Open Financial Summary. These couples had also made the decision that they did not want to use lawyers or simply couldn't afford to do so but found the legal process intimidating and/or too difficult to deal with themselves. If these couples were unable to implement their agreement they would have no way of moving forward and finalising their divorce and financial affairs.
Following on from this Caroline decided to offer a fixed fee drafting service and set up Independent Legal Services in late 2014. You can read more about the services we provide and who our services are suitable for here
Her view is is that if you as a couple have reached agreement (whether this is achieved by sitting round the kitchen table or as a result of the mediation process); provided that your agreement seems fair and both parties are aware of each others financial circumstances she can help you to implement your agreement.
Follow us on
Twitter or find us on
ILS will also assist with the drafting of application forms which relate to children but will not provide any legal advice.
Caroline was recently interviewed by The Divorce Magazine about the importance of obtaining a "Clean Break" or Financial Remedy Consent Order, especially in light of the recent Wyatt vs Vince case - you can read the full article on the Divorce Magazine website or watch the interview below
If you would like to speak to us about how we can help with your situation, please use the form below to send us a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible - we aim to respond to all enquiries within 48hours. If you would like us to call you back, please leave a phone number and an approximate time you'd prefer us to call.
Alternatively, please call us on 0751 817 8977.
Please also make sure you have read our Terms of Business