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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.


Off to see solicitor for first time

  • BirdyBob
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21 Aug 12 #350922 by BirdyBob
Topic started by BirdyBob
Hello,

I''m off to see three different solicitors this week, I want to get a feel for them before committing to one.

I''m after some advice as to what to expect and what kind of questions I should ask.

I''d like to buy my sbxh out of our marital home (no children involved) as I own the majority share (no pre-nup either). This will be my main point of conversation, once house is settled I will then start divorce proceedings.

Does anyone have any good questions I need to ask? Or any questions that''ll weed out a fishy solicitor who will promise the earth but not deliver?

Thank you.

  • cookie2
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21 Aug 12 #350932 by cookie2
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You have got it backwards I am afraid. You should file for divorce before settling the house. Any settlement you reach now would not be legally binding, and open to renegotiation when the divorce goes through. That does not mean you can''t come to an agreement about what will happen before filing, but you should not actually transfer the house or any money or other assets until it''s all signed and sealed in a Consent Order.

Here''s some tips for seeing a solicitor :)

Keep it short, business-like and to the point. You don''t need to tell your life story or in fact any story at all. That''s just a waste of your free minutes. The figures are all that matters. If you''ll be using the solicitor to draw up your UB grounds then you can briefly cover that but it doesn''t make much sense to spend a long time discussing that in person. You can think of them in your own time, email them, and the solicitor can write them up in legalese.

Take ID and proof of address.

Take a summary of all the figures, you can use the information usually requested on these forums as a guide. Length of marriage, premarital cohabitation, house value, income, mortgage amount, all savings and debts etc. A quick summary on 1 sheet of paper is all that is needed. More detail can be gone into later if necessary but for an initial consultation just a summary is fine. Any more than that and you''ll be wasting your free minutes.

Solicitors who say they will "leave no stone unturned" are not good, they will just increase costs unnecessarily (often legal aid solicitors are like this). Similarly for "bulldog" type solicitors. You want a solicitor who is professional, knows their stuff, but is also pragmatic about what is worth fighting for and what is not. Half the skill in divorce cases is knowing which battles to fight and which to surrender. Having said that you do want one that will fight for you, surrendering is not always best. It sounds like you have a good idea of what you want and this seems quite realistic, so your costs should be low. It is not worth spending £10k on fees to get a £5k better settlement.

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