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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.


Legal bills and ability to pay

  • somuch2know2
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16 Apr 12 #324093 by somuch2know2
Topic started by somuch2know2
Can someone please explain how my STBX has managed to not have to pay any legal bills to date?
At the first hearing she was already owing a significant amount 11K, this was before the days proceedings were added plus the following months of tit-tat faxes from her solicitor.

I would imagine she owes at least 20K by now as her solicitor charges over £500 an hour. I cant imagine this firm doing legal aid, nor a sear tooth agreement- but they will not disclose if the money is in a trust etc.

My question is…
This money will have to come out of the assets of the house (as its our ONLY asset).. will this be taken into consideration when assets are divided as it will affect her ability to purchase? Or will money be divided and she will have to deal with the consequences of her greed and vindictiveness…. ??

What I fear? That I will basically be made to pay for her bills as “kids needs” come first. So they will look at assets and say, “STBX needs this much to pay back legal bills so she needs MORE of the assets”.

  • sillywoman
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16 Apr 12 #324096 by sillywoman
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Her legal bills are hers alone, as yours are yours. If she is claiming legal aid, the amount she will owe when proceedings are finished, she will have to pay out of what she gains. However, if she keeps the house a legal charge can be put on the house to be paid back when she sells it plus interest.

But don''t worry you will only have your legal bills to worry about.

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16 Apr 12 #324100 by WhiteRose
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I don''t *think* thats the way it works, otherwise you will be effectively indirectly paying or heavily subsidising her costs.

I thought the division of assets occur and then the legal fees are charged afterwards. So each party will be required to pay their costs, perhaps digging into whatever they have ''gained''.

If she was on Legal Aid she''d still be required to pay back some or all with Statutory Charge - with this, if what she was awarded was not liquid (the house) a charge can be put on the house.

Sometimes people are so driven to get what they think they are owed that they don''t keep an eye on the escalating costs, suddenly they receive a bill of £30k and think ''How am I going to pay for this?'' sometimes a family member helps to fund the costs.

We see all sorts on the forum - this is why I always strongly recommend mediation to help agree between parties rather than the lengthly, emotionally and financially draining Court route.

WR

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16 Apr 12 #324103 by somuch2know2
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mediation was my first choice, and one I kept pushing for (both for children and financials). They will try 3 times to get her to attend and then they wash their hands.

Their hands are now clean.

EVERY.. and I mean EVERY communication I get from her goes through her solicitor. Stuff as minute as money for our daughter''s birthday party, or irrelative as my girlfriend being present when I see the children. I was genuinely worried that they were taking the p*ss with my ex- but now, I just dont care. Every voice of concern is returned with a forked poison tongue.

My sols were concerned that she hadnt paid as they were afraid courts would say this impacted on her needs for housing the kids (as it will be liquid)... our house is for sale and assets will be split. I really dont want a charge as it means I will not get enough money to buy for another 12 years.. So I am fighting for 30%. That leaves her with 200K and plenty for a healthy deposit.

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16 Apr 12 #324185 by .Charles
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The answer to the question depends upon how large the matrimonial pot is. If one party earns substantially more than the other and the pot is limited, it is classed a ''needs-based'' case.

In such circumstances the party who needs a certain amount from the pot will obtain that amount, net of costs, in order to meet their needs.

The problem with this scenario is that a party can run up lots of costs and they will receive an amount from the pot which will cover their liabilities (including costs) and leave them with the sum that is required for rehousing or for them to have the matrimonial property and enough cash to discharge their liabilities. This is what is known as ''a costs order by the back door''. It''s not fair but a need-based case will trump any other kind of case.

Where there is enough in the pot to house each party, technically, each party bears their own costs.

Charles

  • maisymoos
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16 Apr 12 #324191 by maisymoos
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In my case the judge looked at figures for finances on the day of the hearing. Despite my exs legal costs being twice as high as mine, he had also appeared to pay his in advance of the FH so his costs were already knocked from the pot. (A very deliberate action no doubt!!) My FH costs hadn''t been paid in advance so will be coming out of my asset share, seems very unjust though.

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16 Apr 12 #324192 by somuch2know2
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There is at most 300 in the pot- 270 to play it safe.

It will cost 250 x 2 to rehouse us both.

I want to walk away with 70K- no charge on the remainder

She can take out a mortgage of 2x income (consiting of CM,SM, CTC, and her small wage). 120K to be exact.

Would this be a needs-based?

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