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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.


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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.


An explaination!

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17 Sep 07 #3483 by dun
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londongreek: You must be a solicitor :-)
I know people who have had experience of collaborative law and mediation.
As you say if people are cooperative it can work. BUT as Louise11 says, most people have gone beyond that stage if they are seeking a divorce and AR.
mediation: - agreed they are not professional lawyers, Courts - Most of the fees go to the barristers, Collaborative Law: - The fess are contained to the solicitors and it can go on for years unless there is resolution and if you have one party looking for 100% of everything past present and future and stringing the process along and not being prepared to reach agreement, then you end up going to court anyway and it was all waste of time and money. Plus you showed what you were prepared to give in the process and the other person is better prepared to make their case in court.

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17 Sep 07 #3491 by Fiona
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17 Sep 07 #3501 by Louise11
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""""""Sera, I'm afraid you are mistaken. You each have your own solicitor to look after your interests, but the important thing is that they work together to resolve the case, not against each other.""""" written by Sexysadie!

AND there lies the problem! why o why do they make up things and pitch themselves against each other, you have only to read what Sera says to understand where and how they make their money! Both sides know that what they were doing was right?????? Thats not warring couples, thats solicitors taking a chance that the other side doesnt know the law! That the other side might just be scared enough to receive a threatening letter from a "legal person" who must know the law so I should move out!! If thats not bullying and intimidation I dont know what is. Who caused the anger in Seras case? THE RUDDY SOLICITORS thats who! Her ex thinks hes doing right because he paid for legal advice and went with what his solicitors said and Sera did what she knew was right because she paid for legal advice too. Which one was wrong? Neither its the solicitors who were wrong!

Written by Sexysadie......Londongreek, it's not me who is against solicitors, it's Louise. I am pretty satisfied with my solicitor so far, and reckon I am paying for her expertise.

Give it a bit longer m'duck, you may just end up thinking like I do! (I hope not though :))

""""""""Sadie...love them or loath them family solicitors are subjected to an ongoing training regime...otherwise they can't renew their prectising certificate.

Yep yep its little old me who loaths them, not Sexy Sadie! Take a 100 Solicitors and I bet you there are 3 who actually care about their clients. I bet most are more scared of the directors when they moan on a Monday morning that not enough money came in last week! So come on you lot pull your finger out and charge for a few extra phone calls at £6 per minute plus Vat, or send a few more emails out at £16 plus vat! I have to buy a new golf club this week!
(BUT I DONT LOATHE THEM ALL, JUST THE MAJORITY AND THEY KNOW WHO THEY ARE!)

Freud would be interested in your case...you seem to have transfered your resentment towards your ex on to the legal profession in general.Sure there are bad solicitors, there are crap doctors etc but the majority simply try and do their best.

I love my ex husband, I have no problem with my ex husband, we get on famously, when we divorced he went to see a Solicitor who said she needed a cheque upfront for £1000 to """""start!!!!!!!divorce proceedings! Why??????????Was she expecting a fight????? It cost at the time for a divorce £140, I said to my husband at the time, right heres our assets, heres our debts take one from the other thats whats left, we should split it 60/40 in my favour as the kids live with me. You pay me £30 a week per child and i will give you a cash lump sum, if I can remortgage the house. If you want to pay a Solicitor to tell you what we already no be my guest, but the £1000 will be coming out of your money not our money! I divorced him it took 3months start to finish and it didnt cost us a ruddy penny because by that time I was on WFTC and employed!

Sure there are bad solicitors, there are crap doctors etc but the majority simply try and do their best.

As for this comment LondonGreek,my partners ex.........her solicitors have charged her THIRTY THOUSAND POUNDS! All the equity she had in her house, they have bleated to us for 3 years or to the courts that shes a lowly paid worker who cant afford to survive by herself, she needs SM from my husband, awwww shame innit????? Wouldnt it of been better for them to say to her look Mrs daftbat wouldnt it be better for us to ring your ex after all you have been divorced from him for 2 years now, we can all sit round a table and have a chat, its going to cost you such a lot of money to pursue this. Naw they dont do this because they dont get paid as much!

written by Fiona...
In my book anything which opens up the possibility of minimizing the numbers of highly conflicted divorces which are so detrimental to the emotional wellbeing of any children involved must be a good thing and worth investing in.

Here! here! or is it Hear! hear! I never know!

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17 Sep 07 #3526 by CollaborativeFamilyLaw
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Louise people need to take responsibility for their own actions. Your friend who blew the entire equity of her house on legal costs may have has a useless solicitor, but more likely she was just plain stupid and contributed to a situation where costs were disproportionately high.

As for the so called greed of family lawyers, take a look at the Law Society gazette jobs section...the higest salart offered for a Family Socicitor is £75K most of the positions offer between £30 and £40k. Reasonable salaries but not great when compared to commercial lawyers etc. You have to bare in mind that its a stressful job, family lawyers often have both graduate and post graduate qualificationd and are required to undertake an arduous continuing education regime. I really believe that your constant attack on family solicitors is misguided...based on a few dubious horror stories from a friend of a friend etc

Choosing a decent solicitor is not difficult, as I,ve said before:


1 Make sure you choose a solicitor who is a member of resulution and who subscribes to the resolution code. I'd even suggest that you go one step further and select a Resolution Accredited Specialist...full details on the resolution website www.resolution.org.uk

2 Consider whether Collaborative law is right for you (it is not right foe every case, for example where there is domestic violence, fraud or the possibility of child abduction etc ). It work well where both parties want a dignified and costeffective divorce keeping solicitors letters to a minimum etc. More details can be found in a number of collaborative sites including the Central London Collaborative Forum website

3 Choose a solicitor whos costs are suitable to your circumstances. Always agree an hourly rate with your lawyer before you formally instruct him or her. Costs must be proportionate to the value of the assets in question...there is little point going to a so called "magic circle " firm if the family pot is a small one. Ask for a costs estimate at the very start and make sure your solicitor bills you monthly.

4 If you cannot afford to instruct a solicitor privately, telephone resolution and ast for details of solicitors in your area who have a legal aid franchaise.

5 If your case is complex and has an international dimension , speak to a solicitor who is a fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (IAML) www.iaml.org/

6 A reccomendation from a friend who has been in the same boat is always worth listening to but remember every case is different.

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17 Sep 07 #3534 by Louise11
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Londongreek!

30/40k but highest salary is 75k! and so much stress!!!!lmfao! Need I say anymore?
Also typical solicitor doesnt read the post properly.

I give up!

Kind ones
Louise

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18 Sep 07 #3537 by OBEs 1 canoodly
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Louise me dear.........here, hear, heer!!!!!!!!

You got it in one again!!! OBE's NP speaking!

We've been dealing with our solicitors assistant for the past few days as she is going to be at the FH with us. She's half the price and let me tell you she has done more for us in the past few days than her boss has managed to do for a whole year!!! Why? Because she has this amazing way of understanding the emotion we are going through whilst still remaining detached....that is a fantastic attribute and one that more solicitors should adopt.

I agree most family lawyers don't get paid a great deal but what you say is correct because I know for sure that the head of firm constantly pushes to see figures - they are salesmen in disguise! Divorce is a huge money making machine for law firms, that and commercial law!! Now there lies another tale......the intricasies of commercial law!! Been down that road tooooooooo!!!

I was in that rant with you Louise all the way.....couldn't have put it better!!

Being a NP too I like the way we and new wives are constantly told we have no place in the divorce proceedings!!!!! Try telling that to the ex's who drag us into this i.e. wanting to take our finances into consideration that they think are making their ex's lives better....do some of these ex's not realise some of us (male or female) are still financing our previous marital homes too??? We are not having the fabulous fun time that a lot of single ex's think we are, in fact we can be just as skint if not more so than them!!!!!!! Especially when they insist on taking us down this very expensive legal path....

MY OBE's ex is being looked upon as the poor soul that will not be able to finance herself for much longer because of giving up work (which is not necessary!!) Illness (hmm seen painting fence and gardening quite happily with arthritic hands??!!) These are the sentiments bleated out by her solicitors to ours and the court!!!! Oh yeh??? Well excuse me are these the same solicitors that are fleecing her out of 10k in fees that she hasn't got?? It makes me bloody larf!!!!!!! They don't seem to be interested in enquiring where all that is coming from do they, they just don't care... all they can see is that they have a very stubborn client sitting in front of them that represents a right few quid and they just lead them by the nose to their financial heaven........!!! Yes theirs not hers!!!! The rest of us can go to hell!!!

ooops see Lou I've gone off on one now!! ha ha ha!

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18 Sep 07 #3541 by OBEs 1 canoodly
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Londongreek

In defence of Louise I have to say that I will never, never use a lawyer again in my whole life if I dont have to. I have had cause to use 5 different lawyers for 5 completely different problems. Not one of them was any good! On each occasion I have done all the ground work, I have solved everything for them and I have had the pleasure of being on the end of their massive bill being charged for doing their work for them????!!! Why? Because as in divorce we know our situations better than they do. We live with it each and every day they don't. Half of this paperwork that they amass and charge us for is so terribly unnecessary but it is all a ploy to overcharge us and keep the case running on longer.

A constant battle persues between the two solicitors, whilst us poor souls that are paying the bill are left to get on with the job of sorting out the problem ourselves because inevitably thats what we do because as I said earlier because we know our case better than they and we want it resolved asap - they don't, that doesn't earn them any money and each and every time my experience has been the same!!

One tried to fleece me out of my entire inheritance from my mum for his bill! I threatened to have him in court and the day when I went to his office to get my cheque customs and excise pushed in front of me and came out blowing the ink dry on their cheque!!! He was the biggest shark on the planet, luckily they had left enough in his account to pay me with!

Having kept a diary of all events, because you learn quick when dealing with this lot, in each and every case I was able to substantially reduce their bill each and every time because I had kept a note of their failings and on every occasion I won because they knew I was right and never persued me. Looks like I'll be going down that same route again......there is no way I am paying full wack to this lot it makes my blood boil!!! When you read through half the postings on this site it is all about wrong advice and the cost of that can come dear!!

OBE's NP

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