Petition filed by my wife about 6 months ago, we haven''t yet resolved the financial matters as the earlier FA hearing got adjourned and moved to later September. Although we have done the valuation of the matrimonial home, and exchanged the Form-E. I am without a lawyer now, and seek advice how should I choose my lawyer for the next steps which are :
1. Exchange of the questionaire, statement of issues, chronology
2. Preparation and attending the hearing which I would like to convert into an FDR as I think we have done our homework on form-e and valuation of the property.
My earlier lawyer needed a lot of spoon feeding and I felt was a bit lazy in getting things done. Is that just my feeling or it happens like this in these cases ? she didnt even file the acknolwledgement to the amended Petition properly and finally I myself had to go to the court to amend the acknowledgement. I am in double thoughts of taking her further as she said she would anyway have to hire a barrister even for the First Appointment hearing as she doesn''t go to the hearings.
Please advise me if I should move on to another Lawyer or stay with her.
I would have thought you wouldn''t need a barrister for a first appointment unless the issues were particularly complex.
I think the idea of using the FA as an FDR is a very good one, if you can do it. You may need a barrister if you do this, but without knowing the issues it is hard to say.
There are times when really it is necessary to change solicitors if the lawyer is clearly not up to scratch, but you do need to realise that the new lawyer will have to spend time reading the file and familiarising himself with the details. That of course costs money.
I can''t comment on your case, obviously, but do want to give you a slight warning that solicitors can sometimes be wary of a client who has ditched his/her former lawyer. In some cases it is justified but in others the reason for wanting a change is that the client does not like the advice he has had.
Unfortunately, it''s in the nature of giving advice that one sometimes has to give advice which the '' client '' does not want to hear.
I do agree with you and LMM but also think that generally finances are not complex and most lay people can get their heads round them (let alone "expert" solicitors or judges - their expertise is in law which is also common sense).
Why not post up your financials and then maybe you could consider self repping if you want to get rid of your solicitor (not bias as I have always wanted to be properly represented and gone as far as having a consultation with Prince Charles Barrister - then declining him - thing is mine is a normal small money divorce where I am responsinle for a disabled adult and the only complication is that I am trustee for my mothers small pension).
I have dismissed 5 solicitors and 6 barristers - you have to in law when you believe you are misrepresented otherswise their submissions to court and in letters are considered to be "on their clients instructions" even if they are not.
In my personal experience solictors knowledge of accounting is at about the level of infant school.
Do I need a solicitor as well as barrister for FDR ? One of the solicitors said they accompany the barrister in FDR but if I want to reduce the costs they could only send the barrister for the hearing.
A solicitor would help with the paperwork and take notes and sometimes a junior colleague attends a hearing to fulfil that role. Unless a case is complicated a barrister should manage fine on their own.