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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.


Decree Absolut and financial settlement confusion

  • LondonGirl1970
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17 Jul 12 #343677 by LondonGirl1970
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Okay so I am nearly at the end of this long process - I hope! My ex and I were unable to agree on any kind of financial settlement in mediation. So I am trying to figure out what to do next.

Do I need to wait until a financial settlement is reached in court before I can submit the Decree Absolut?

And also, if I can get him to come to his senses and we can somehow agree on a financial settlement without going to court, does this settlement still need to be approved by a judge? If so, what is the process for that and could the judge disagree with our agreement and mandate a different settlement?

Finally, just out of curiosity, why don''t any divorce solicitors agree to work for a percentage of the settlement amount rather than an upfront fee? In many cases including my own, it would seem that the solicitor would stand to make a lot of money upon a successful settlement. This would appeal to many people who can''t afford the up front legal cost, but who are likely to receive a sizable financial settlement.

Thanks so much for any advice! This website has been so helpful - not sure what I would have done without it!

  • dukey
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17 Jul 12 #343679 by dukey
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Do I need to wait until a financial settlement is reached in court before I can submit the Decree Absolut?

The general advice is yes wait until you have a court approved Consent Order before you ask for the Absolute, often it depends if pensions need to be shared, for many it makes no difference.

And also, if I can get him to come to his senses and we can somehow agree on a financial settlement without going to court, does this settlement still need to be approved by a judge? If so, what is the process for that and could the judge disagree with our agreement and mandate a different settlement?

Yes it does because without it the agreement cannot be enforced, its just an informal agreement,the most a judge can do when considering the proposed order is advise or refuse to stamp it to make it binding, most orders are stamped without question.

Finally, just out of curiosity, why don''t any divorce solicitors agree to work for a percentage of the settlement amount rather than an upfront fee? In many cases including my own, it would seem that the solicitor would stand to make a lot of money upon a successful settlement. This would appeal to many people who can''t afford the up front legal cost, but who are likely to receive a sizable financial settlement.

Ive read a fair few questions but this is a first, i`m not a solicitor so i can`t really answer, the best guess would be that practices cannot gamble in this way, they need to make a certain amount of money, if they don`t its job center time.

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17 Jul 12 #343697 by cookie2
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LondonGirl1970 wrote:

why don''t any divorce solicitors agree to work for a percentage of the settlement amount

Because frankly it would be really stupid for any solicitor to agree to that. It is not like other types of work for example compensation for an injury or PPI claimback, where the only outcome is a cash amount. A lump sum is only one possible outcome in a divorce. How would a solicitor get a percentage of a pension sharing order, a monthly maintenance order, a charge on a house, a Mesher order, etc? And what happens if they decide to settle out of court?

And then why would a solicitor bother to fight for things like house contents, child access etc - since there is no money coming in, they would essentially be doing that work for free.

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