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What are we each entitled to in our divorce settlement?

What does the law say about how to split the house, how to share pensions and other assets, and how much maintenance is payable.

What steps can we take to reach a fair agreement?

The four basic steps to reaching an agreement on divorce finances are: disclosure, getting advice, negotiating and implementing a Consent Order.

What is a Consent Order and why do we need one?

A Consent Order is a legally binding document that finalises a divorcing couple's agreement on property, pensions and other assets.


Do you need help going to court over a Financial Settlement?

Our consultant service offers expert advice and support for people who are going to court over a fair financial settlement, for less than a quarter of the cost of using a traditional high street solicitor.


Solicitor, Barrister or both in court

  • spinit
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09 Aug 19 #508977 by spinit
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I had the same setup and it wasn't good. They have to work with that person next week so the likely hood they will go all out for your cause is low. Actually what ended up happening was they both would go off come up with some arrangement that I didn't want and then my barrister would come back and try to pressure me to take the offer they had concocted. This is the main reason I fired him and started presenting in person in court. However I wouldn't recommend it I got a great result for myself but that was basically by saying no to everything but as you can imagine my barristering skill's versus a professional are not great and it was very stressful. If I was doing it again then I would get upto speed on forum's like this to do the paperwork side and just not bother with a solicitor and then hire a direct access barrister but properly interview the barrister myself beforehand to make sure we are on the same page as to what I want to achieve.

www.barcouncil.org.uk/using-a-barrister/public-access/

www.directaccessportal.co.uk/search/1/barrister

  • Swampydrill
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09 Aug 19 #508981 by Swampydrill
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Thanks
I have seen that before whereby they come up with a deal and then expect me to accept, i will have no hesitation firing the pair of them if it looks like they want to give my money away without a fight although i do like the way my solicitor has acted, can i just have a solicitor without the barrister ? Im reluctant to go on my own because i have heard that her Barrister is pretty good so don't want to go against someone who can pick holes in me, i think i am good at what i do, but this isn't it.

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09 Aug 19 #508990 by spinit
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"I have seen that before whereby they come up with a deal and then expect me to accept" - exactly but they may end up engineering a situation where you basically have no choice but to accept what they say.

You could just have a solicitor just as you could just do it yourself there are no rules as such but barristers are barristers for a reason and not solicitors and in court a good one who is actually on your side is worth it and as I said if I was to do it again I would not put myself through the stress of pretending to be one for a few days and would just hire a direct access one.

  • Brian_UK
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18 Jan 21 #515399 by Brian_UK
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Where can I find a reputable direct access barrister? thank you

  • hadenoughnow
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18 Jan 21 #515403 by hadenoughnow
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If you are using a DA barrister you need to make sure you are confident to follow court procedures and prepare paperwork. If you use the consultant service provided by this site you will get help with all that plus be put in touch with a direct access barrister and supported through the hearing process. Have a look at the services tab or give the helpline a call.

Hadenoughnow

  • .Charles
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19 Jan 21 #515408 by .Charles
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There are a range of responses to the original question. From a legal point of view I can say this:

The FDA is an important hearing. It doesn't last long but the preparation is crucial. You only get one shot at raising questions on the other side's form E financial statement and you need to be able to argue that those questions are relevant at the hearing otherwise the judge will delete them.

It is unusual for a barrister to attend the FDA in normal times but in the pandemic remote hearings are normal and barristers are more set up to conduct remote hearings although solicitors are catching up.

The amount and complexity of the assets will dictate how much resource you are willing to throw at the question of financial division. The higher the assets the more likely a 50:50 split is likely unless there are mitigating circumstances which is where case law becomes relevant.

Once the FDA is over the preparation for the FDR follows. The FDR is a negotiation appointment where you need somebody is is good at negotiation using the Family Procedure Rules and case law as their base for which to make submissions to the judge. The judge will give an indication of what final order they might make if they were hearing the matter at trial (final hearing). That indication is not binding and no details of what goes on in the FDR will be mentioned at the final hearing.

The FDR is also important because by that stage each party will have the others disclosure which means that the extent of all of the assets is known to both parties. It is important to know this before working out what a fair settlement is.

Much of the preparation for the FDR is about clarification, particularly so if one party has the wrong end of the stick about specific issues e.g. director's loan accounts, dividends, valuation of partnerships etc.

The final hearing is what happens if the matter doesn't settle. Very few matters go to final hearing as the costs increase exponentially (I would say 50% of the cost of a case will be incurred in that final stage so it is best avoided). The result can be reasonably predicted but there are factors which can affect the result for or against you. For instance, if you are a terrible witness the judge might find that you are not credible which will go against you.

It all goes back to how much you want to spend. There is talk of direct access barristers which might be appropriate in a low value case but where we are talking about 7 figures worth of assets, I would pay for expertise.

Metaphorically speaking you might have decorated your own first property but if you spent a million on a property 25 years later would you decorate that yourself or would you pay for somebody to do the same job but with more expertise than you?

Charles

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