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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.


Self Representing - Any help would be Appreciated

  • debrasargie
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25 Jul 12 #345279 by debrasargie
Topic started by debrasargie
My first appointment is in July. I am representing myself due to not being entitled to legal aid as I was earning £70.00 over the legal aid limit!
I have filed all the relevant forms from the A Form to the E Form- CHRONOLOGY ETC...
Has anybody have any advice in what I should expect and the pit falls for representing oneself in court? The thought of going to court on Monday fills me with dread as this was a domestic violence marriage.
The H form has completely confused me; I can find no information on how to fill the form out?
Thank you

:S

  • TBagpuss
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25 Jul 12 #345325 by TBagpuss
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As the form H is about your legal costs, if you have been self repping you would only need to show any actual costs you''ve paid - e.g. if you have paid for any legal advice, or incurred costs such as a valuation. The main purpose iof the form is so the Judge can see what each of you has already spent and (in my experience) to warn you about how expensive proceedings are to encourage you to reach a settlement.

As this is the first appointment, the first thing the court is trying to do is to work out whether they have all the necessary information, and if not, what more is needed and in what timescale.

EDITED TO ADD

it is also OK for you to say to your ex''s rep. that you are not comformtable talking to her with him present as well. You can also (if you haven''t already) contact the court to ask them to make sure there is a conference room available so you don''t have to wait in the same waiting room as your ex

1. If your ex has filed a questionaire, be prepared to discuss with his solicitor which of the uestions you are willing / able to answer, and how long you will realistically need to provide the replies and any extra information or documents.

2. If you have filed a questionaire, be prepared to justify , if asked, why you need the replies. (for instance, questions about the minutiae of your ex''s outgoings are unlikely to be relevent if neither of you is asking for maintenance, you need to consider allquestions with a thought to their relavence to the finacial settlement you (or he) are seeking

3. What other information is missing? If you and your ex don''t agree on the value of any asset (the house beingthe most likely!) then come prepared to discuss (and if ned be, justify to the court) which agent or surveyor should value the property, who should pay for it and (if you are not currently living in the property) whether you want to be there.

4. If there are no biig gaps in the inforamtion, the Judge may ask whether you are able to use the hearing as an FDR. this would mean going prepared to tell the Judge and your ex what you propose as a settlement, and considering his proposals.
Be aware that while the Judge may encourage you to come to a settlement at court, you are fully entitled not to - if you are not certain, it is fine to say so, and to say you would like time to consider the proposals and to take advice. If the offer your ex has made is verbal, you can ask him/his solicitors to put it in writing. While strictly speaking he is entitled to wthdraw an offer at any time, in reality, if he offeres something at court, the chaces are that he''ll still be willing to settle on that basis a few days later. If you don''t agree at court, the Judge will make Directions for the next stage but those will go by the wayside if, after the hearing but before the next steps, you do reach an agreement and submit a Consent Order to court.

Do rememebr that it is completely normal, and expected, to talk to the other operspon (or their representative) at court, before going in to see the Judge. It is often possible to agree things like which questions you''ll each answer, whether the house needs a formal valuation etc

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26 Jul 12 #345536 by debrasargie
Reply from debrasargie
Thank you so much for your advice, I found your comments very helpful, I have spoken with the court that will provide me with a separate room and screens in the court.

I have filed a G- form as a response that I require the outstanding issues with the respondent`s E-Form. My only concern is that my name was not on the deeds for the house and the respondent had the FMH before we were married, He has taken me of the land register after the Decree Absolute was pronounced …. Where upon the respondent mortgaged the FMH when there were no outstanding monies on the mortgage. The respondent has also terminated his directorship with both of his private companies (which were run from the FMH) after I filed for divorce.

Much appreciated...

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26 Jul 12 #345551 by confused 101
Reply from confused 101
Good luck to you. I also self repped for the first hearing I asked the court if i could take a makenzie friend in with me, it can be anyone you want really - a friend or relative. I''m glad I did as it was very daunting.

At first his solicitor came to sit with me and was quite aggressive - I responded in the same way which she said she didn''t appreciate! So we began over and she was much more agreeable in her tone etc.

Because I had not been provided with any of his information before hand i asked to be given time to look through it before I would say anything further. Once i did i think she wished I''d never been given it as I tore it to shreds for the fiction it was.

We then began to map out a set of agreements for the court to base it''s order on. his solicitor wrote them with me as she knew how to word it. But it was done between us.

usually in the court room - which wasn''t as scary as I dreaded - the Petitioner /representative speaks first. I''m not sure if you are the petitioner or respondent. I was uncomfortable speaking first so she asked the Judge if she could speak first and I would follow.

I had all my papers VERY organised. And taking in a friend helped as they had a pad of paper and made soem notes for me to respond on whilst I listened. DON''T be rushed. Gather yourself and make sure you get to say what you want to.

I found the judge very helpful to me, gave me time and even asked things for me when I was a bit emotional - though I tried very hard not to allow my voice to break.

DO make the Judge aware that you feel pressured as it was an abusive relationship - he/she will guess that much as there will be screens - good idea to pre-organise those. Do say if you want a moment to think and don''t let any untrue / part statements made by the other side go unchallenged. Don''t interrupt but do note it down so that you can go back to it.

Also I would be very up-front to his solicitor that you will NOT be spoken to by your X and that you will not be pushed around any longer.

Good Luck

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