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What would YOU Change, and Why?

  • LittleMrMike
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19 Mar 12 #318907 by LittleMrMike
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Hmmmm.
Just a few thoughts.
1. I can see the '' logic '' for having two hearings, an FDR and a Final Hearing, but I wonder if people would be better served if the judge, at what is now the FDR stage, had the right/power/duty to give a binding ruling and cut out the Final Hearing. Perhaps this is being cruel to be kind ; but nevertheless, a multiplicity of hearings does nobody any good, really, especially if you consider that, under the new regime, mediation will become '' compulsory '' and a judge only gets involved when it has failed. So why add what is, in effect, another mediation hearing, and is it likely to be any more successful than the first attempt ?
2. Similarly, in simple cases, I just can''t see why a First Appointment is normally needed, and I don''t see why a judge shouldn''t have the right to give Directions as a matter of administrative practice, and only call for a FA if (s)he deems it necessary.
3. Could we not have a simplified '' form E Lite '' for less complicated cases where there are few assets to argue about ? Let the rich carry on, they can afford it, but for ordinary mortals with few assets, it''s just over-egging the pudding.
4. The procedure and cost of spousal maintenance variations is nothing short of a public scandal, and all I can say is quote Abraham Lincoln, " If I have the chance to hit this thing, I''ll hit it hard. " Why go through the whole panoply of FA, FDR and FH when all you need to do is for both parties to sit round a table and adjust as necessary ? Having said this, I do accept that there does need to be some mechanism to discourage frivolous or repeated applications, and ideally, there should be an expectation that the parties should at least try to resolve the matter out of Court.
Well, that should set a few hares running. But as I will shortly be in the USA, I shall escape the flak.
LMM

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19 Mar 12 #318909 by Hacked Off
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Absolutely, Little Mr Mike!!!! I couldnt agree more with what you say.

Read my post.....what a load of legal rubbish I had to go through.
And all for a short childless marriage. There was some equity in the property I owned prior to my marriage. My wife didnt contribute to anything but was determined to leave with the marriage with a few bob in her pocket.
If she had agreed to mediation then we wouldnt have ended up spending over £20,000 in legal costs. Crazy.

  • dukey
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19 Mar 12 #318917 by dukey
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Hacked Off

I understand and share your frustration in an ideal world mediation would be compulsory with very few exceptions, now the problem, people are not always reasonable and can have what are quite frankly silly expectations.

mediation can only work if both are prepared to be flexible and willing to work for a settlement, if it ends in court its usually because one or both are not prepared to be flexible.

I do agree though the process could be cut short, if you have a short childless marriage with a small asset pot and no particular issues why spend a year and a number of court hearings to come to the conclusion they both get what they brought to the table, the judge at the first appointment could have sorted it out long ago, one of the problems is legal aid, often people with public funding have the idea that because they may not pay it back why not just plow on.


Another problem is emotions, if the love of your life bins you and is bonking the living daylights out of another then anger hurt and often depression set in, the legal process is then used as a big stick to bash the offending spouse with, the net effect tends to be deep regret all round, i do wonder if you right at the start dragged both into a room and said look at this, its 20k in cash, most people have never seen this much cash, and this is what court is going to cost you both, or you can keep 10k each and agree now, maybe more would agree rather than chuck away money to pay lawyers.

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19 Mar 12 #318925 by Hacked Off
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Dukey. unfortunately my wife actually got far more than she ''brought to the table''. Basically, she brought nothing. I managed to negotiate her down (if you see what I mean) at court from her demand (backed up by her barrister) of 50K (yes, thats right, 50K) to less than 20K. Yes, she was angry at me I''m sure because her life didnt work out, but the decision to leave was hers and hers alone. She never expected me to ''recover'' and I sincerely believe she has regrets.
It cost us both dearly in time, money and frustration. My only hope is that maybe in future years she will look back and see how inappropriate the court process was for our particular situation.
At the time of course, she simply wanted to ''get at'' me. I was not (and am not) living with my girlfriend but the fact that I actually was seeing someone and enjoying life really p''d my ex off. Ah well, maybe my situation was rare, I hope so.

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19 Mar 12 #318926 by dukey
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Hacked Off

Did you agree to pay 20k or did a judge order you to pay 20k, there is a huge difference between the two.

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19 Mar 12 #318928 by Hacked Off
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My barrister advised me to give her that because we had managed to get the amount right down. Problem was, her side refused to follow the FA with an FDR which was supposed to happen on the same day. This meant we would have had to go back again for an FDR with more legal costs involved. My barrister said (and I''ve posted about this on another thread) that most of the judges in the area were biased towards women when attempting to settle cases. She said my ex could end up with much more than 20K as my equity was about 60K - mostly acquired before I even met the ex. She advised I give her the 20K and be done rather than go back to court again. However, I believe ex''s legal costs were around 11K, so she ended up with 9K. At mediation I was going to offer 12K - and that would have been several months before.

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19 Mar 12 #318932 by dukey
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Thank you that makes more sense now.

Often lawyers in your situation will encourage an offer equal or less than what it would cost you to go through the process, they call it go away money, seems wise to me for the simple reason it saves a lot of time and stress, plus of course the gamble of the final hearing.

What done is done, did you do the right thing, i think you did, would she have ended up getting nothing at all if left to a judge, who knows, its unusual to leave with nothing, it maybe the judge would have ordered a small amount to help her back into the single life, it cost you ten grand plus costs, to be brutally honest it could have been much worse just in what it would cost to get to the final hearing.

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