I have my first court hearing in August, my solicitor has suggested he and a Barrister attends the hearing, i stated to him that it is a short hearing and so i don't see why i need to have the extra costs if not much is done, he said he would like to go but would drop out if i insisted, i agreed in the end that he could go.
What are the real benefits of having both there ?
Is this all a game whereby the outcome is already settled ?, what i mean by this, will they look at everything and say 50/50, she wants maintenance, give her another 10% for a Clean Break ?
The value of our assets is around 1.3 mill so if 2 can save me some money then it is worthwhile, but can they ?
Solicitors have traditionally been there to source a good barrister and make sure all the paper work is in good order for the barrister to present in court. Nowadays you can do all the paper work yourself without too much stress and submit some of it online as well and you can source your own direct access barrister. If you can't afford a barrister in court then maybe it would be worth bringing a solicitor but to be honest most of the solicitors I came across were so wet I would have been better of presenting myself and in the end I did but that was a lot of stress and if you can afford it then go with a direct access barrister and ditch the solicitor as early as possible if it drag's on and get upto speed with the process yourself.
The first hearing is largely an administrative exercise. TBH unless there is a really big issue for the judge to rule on such as an order for sale OR the hearing is to be held as FDR, I would think both is overkill and tbh you could do without either.
Financial settlement on divorce is about needs first and the means you have between you to meet them. The purpose of first appointment is to establish what is in the assets pot and assess your respective needs for housing and income now and in the future. If there are things like valuations that you disagree on, the judge will order joint expert reports. They will also decide which of each others questions you must answer and set deadlines for compliance.
This hearing paves the way for FDR at which offers are put forward and negotiations take place with a view to settlement. First hearing can be FDR if you are confident you have sufficient financial disclosure on which to base a settlement. The judge will give an opinion on a fair settlement based on the figures before them. You cannot be forced to agree. If you don't agree, the next step is Final Hearing where evidence is examined but you may settle by agreement at any time.
Thanks for responses, so could be just 2 hearings, first and FDR or could be 3 ?. My solicitor is a pretty smart guy so i will take him as i have never met the Barrister, i used a Barrister in family court before and he was useless, about as good a negotiator as Teresa May so just in case i have one of them then maybe the solicitor will pick him up on stuff. Any ideas on how much time between hearings ?my solicitor said around 3 months but that sounds a long time.
I honestly do not know how they will work out my finances because the net value of the company is around 800k, my wife has 30% shareholding, it also includes 3 houses in there and around 400k in cash. The option is there to shut the company down, pay the taxes of 10 and 20% and split the money. If we don't close down the company then any money moved out of the company, tax is paid at 38%. Can a judge order for the company to be closed ? Can they force her to take a house as part of her settlement because she says she just wants cash, well there is a lot of tax liabilities built into the company money
I can answer one part. My first hearing was September, my FDR was January, my 2nd FDR (They DONT mention that one) was April....final hearing was going to be June. Fortunately we struck a compromise before June....I got a third and him two thirds, but at least it was finished and over and I could move on
Get rid of the solicitor and only use a direct access barrister from fdr onwards upto final hearing. Don't waste your money on paying a solicitor you can do the paperwork yourself. I was sel rep and only used direct access. You can do it. Use this website for any help or support it's great. Good luck!
My solicitor has already got a barrister lined up as the hearing is in 2 weeks, when you say a direct access barrister do you mean i get one myself ?, i know that the barrister he has got, comes from the same group as the wifes one, not sure that is a good thing