Hi, I''m in the process of divorce. My ex, despite filing a tax return so low he only has to pay £21.25 per child per week in
child support has hired a solicitor to represent him. I however am not able to afford a solicitor. The matrimonial home is sold due to complete on Friday. We had come to an agreement to split the proceeds but he has now rescinded on that. It will go to court for settlement as he is unlikely to agree a fair settlement for me (he wants 50/50) but what I am asking is am I going to be at a massive disadvantage by not having legal representation? I earn just a bit too much for legal aid.
Well, of course you are. But don''t forget the judge will be aware of this and he may - perhaps - ask some questions on his own account and he just might do a better job of it than a solicitor would. I''ve
come across that at industrial tribunals.
If you can get hold of an article I wrote called Housing Options Following Divorce or Separation, which you will probably find under
''Resources for Litigants in Person '' you will certainly be better informed.
I wrote it with lay people in mind who, like you, couldn''t afford a
solicitor. It''s a long article but I think you will find it helpful.
What arrangements have been made for rehousing each of you and the children? How are you proposing to split any proceeds of sale?
It would be usual, where there is no legally binding financial settlement, for you to be advised to lodge the money until agreement has been reached. If you don''t, you run the risk that the capital will be eroded by one or both of you and the amount you eventually end up dividing is reduced.
Financial settlement is based first on needs. These include the need to house child ten and to provide both parties with income now and in the future. After a long marriage a 50:50 split would be the start point for division of assets - including equity, pension, savings etc. However it will not necessarily be the end point especially where children are involved.
If you are planning to self rep, you need to make sure you understand the process.LMM has pointed you to a very helpful resource. Ask as many questions as you need and we will do our best to help.