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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 sorting out a fair financial settlement?

Our consultant service offers expert advice and support to help you reach agreement on a fair financial settlement quickly, and for less than a quarter of the cost of using a traditional high street solicitor.

Bottomless pit of legal expenses!

  • motherof2
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16 Jun 07 #825 by motherof2
Topic started by motherof2
My husband left me for a younger woman nearly 3 years ago when I was pregnant with our second child. I started divorce proceedings over 2 years ago and have a Decree Nisi, we undertook mediation last spring and made an agreement which he then reneged on. We then made a new agreement in which I accepted reduced maintenance to tie matters up quickly but he did not sign the Consent Order. To resolve matters (ie. for my sanity!) I have been forced to start the court process, however I am shocked at how much it is going to cost. I do not work as my children are too young and I rely on him for maintenance but cannot get public funding as the maintenance disqualifies me.

My parents fund my legal expenses as I have no savings left. What should I do - press on with huge expenses and no guaranteed outcome or compromise still further on our original settlement and avoid the expenses? Where am I supposed to find the thousands of pounds which this is costing - how is it fair that the legal community can fleece you in this way at a time when you are already vulnerable? I do not even feel that I get a good service for my money.

Would be good to hear someone else's story to get some advice!

  • Louise11
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16 Jun 07 #829 by Louise11
Reply from Louise11
Dear Motherof2.

I am so sorry to hear your predicament, but thousands of us are in the same boat, our case has been going on for nearly three years now, and in all that time we have had one solicitor for two weeks, it cost us £2700 and it was all we had in savings, (my husbands ex wife started AR proceedings against him two years after divorce) After we paid the solicitor we decided to "go it alone" and self represent, I wish this site had been around some three years ago! Now it is, if you decide to self represent there are plenty of people on here who will help and guide you through the process with anything you get stuck with!
It seems madness at times to spend what little equity or money you have fighting or just even trying to get what is actually owed to you, but sometimes you have to grin and bear the costs.
My partners ex has now had to relinquish all her profit some £30k (thirty thousand pound)from her property and hand over the house to her solicitors, instead of sitting down round a table with us and coming up with an agreement, that suits all round, we have tried and tried to compromise with her, but she just keeps demanding things that are so unreasonable, in our case we had no choice but to self represent.
One thing in all this is dont be bullied by your ex into an agreement just because you have a lack of funds, if you do decide to SR then be aware that it can take alot out of you, especially when you are already in a vunerable state of mind, but with a little help from your friends you should get by, the court process is relatively easy to understand the more you delve into it.
Which ever way you wish to go i wish you good luck and kind thoughts

  • Liago
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16 Jun 07 #830 by Liago
Reply from Liago
Mum of 2

I do not profess to know any of the answers and can only go by my own experience.

Like you, my parents also are funding the costs,I'm mindful that they are not a bottomless pit. I will pay them back once this is all over..
Simlar situation as you, my X has decided what HE thinks is fair (in his favour) and wont budge or negotiate. Like you I could either be bullied into accepting a much lower settlement or persue it.
He was obstructive about mediation. I just want an objective 3rd person to consider the facts of the matter and order a judgement.
Simple? Errr No!:blink:
Legal expenses can spiral out of control, as it is easy, in our circumstances, to use them to vent your frustrations over other related but more emotive matters. My advice if you persue with ancilliary relief is stick completely to the facts regarding financial assets, use websites such as this to gain better insight, gather relevent information and then instruct your solicitor only to communicate with the other party by sending out/receiving a financial proposal by one letter (No faxes, telephone calls followed by emails which are then backed up by letters - this can really add to the costs - and for what, you end up with the same info 3 or 4 times over!)
Your solicitor is working for, and being paid by you. Keep a regular eye on mounting costs by speaking to the firms secretary.

The trouble is, to the solicitors/courts we are just a job, another case number on their list.......But it is our lives, both past, present and future we are talking about.

Eventually there are no true winners, just poorer people, some of us set free from a miserable existance, and some left feeling resentful and bitter.....Divorce does that.

Best of luck x:)

  • motherof2
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17 Jun 07 #840 by motherof2
Reply from motherof2
Thanks to both of you for your viewpoints on this. Half the problem I seem to have with my solicitor is that she doesn't give me enough information about the process and how much it is all costing me - I was shocked to discover that she charges me £8+VAT just to read my letters/emails. I had no idea of this - what other business could get away with that and yet still take 6 weeks to draw up a relatively simple consent order on my instructions? I was also not informed that it is necessary to have a barrister for my First Appointment until it was booked - is this absolutely necessary?

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We provide the UK's lowest cost no-fault divorce service, managed by a well respected firm of solicitors. 

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Online mediation is a convenient and inexpensive way to agree on a fair financial settlement.

Consent Order £259

This legally binding agreement defines how assets (e.g. properties and pensions) are to be divided.

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Support for people who have to go to court to get a fair divorce financial settlement without a solicitor.