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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.

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The four basic steps to reaching an agreement on divorce finances are: disclosure, getting advice, negotiating and implementing a Consent Order.

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More doubts re Legal Aid

  • JustH
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09 Jan 08 #10317 by JustH
Topic started by JustH
Happy New Year to everyone, not posted for a little while

Whilst I feel the advice which I get from my solicitor is good, it is the lack of access and the feeling of being a second class citizen which is really concerning me

My husband left 7 months ago, but, apart from meetings about my entitlement to legal aid, only saw my solicitor for the first time to start discussing finances in November.

She says my hubby is stalling on disclosing finances, which he is as he's a 70k plus high earner, and then goes on holiday for a month leaving me not knowing what's going on

I ring them and always get put through to a trainee who never phones me back, I'm sat here daily beside myself

I phoned the Legal Services Commission asking about changing solicitors and was told I can't change unless I go through the complaints procedure

I thought that the person paying was the one to choose- will be paying back all the legal aid on settlement- seems that applies to the rest of the world but excludes solicitors

Just another example of my husband backing me into a corner and taking my power- when will it end!!!

  • soulmanuk
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09 Jan 08 #10332 by soulmanuk
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you are not on your own, i am in the boat as you

  • peteringout
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15 Jan 08 #10774 by peteringout
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So let me get this right, legal aid is not quite what it says on the tin? If you gain money as a result of the split you have to pay it back?

I am representing self but wife is seeing lawyer and he has toled her she is entitled to legal aid and she has paid £91 up front all the rest will be paid for by legal aid (or so he told her).

Capital assets from the split will be about £120k each. (though you may have seen by other posts from me that I have offered her 75% and lawyer has advised her against accepting this, which I think is duff advice (and methinks silly for me to offer now) but hey, I am no lawyer). So will she have to pay her lawyer (or legal aid people) anything over and above the £91 when it is all sorted? Or might I be liable for that?

Peter

p.s. am based in Scotland

  • Josh2008
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16 Jan 08 #10798 by Josh2008
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Legal aid in Scotland:- Extract from information available on the following website:-

www.slab.org.uk/getting_legal_help/civil.html


The cost of legal assistance is met from public funds through the Scottish Legal Aid Board. However, for civil legal assistance, it may be free or the applicant may have to pay a contribution towards the cost of their case. Also they might have to pay from money or property that they win or keep as a result of their case

The wording 'might have to pay' is a bit ambiguous, in England and Wales legal aid or as it is now know Community Legal Service is subject to a clawback what is known as the statutory charge

What this means is that should you receive funds or property in settlement of any claims then you will have to pay the 'Legal Aid' back, this can be deferred if for example the only assets are tied up in your home, in such a case the 'Legal Aid Board' will levy a charge over your home for future clawback

A solictor should tell you this

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16 Jan 08 #10799 by Josh2008
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P.S. Not sure if a court were to order you to pay the other's costs if that also means the 'Legal Aid' charges as well

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16 Jan 08 #10854 by peteringout
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Thanks Josh,

I came accross that website after I had posted and took the liberty of calling their helpline today as well. It does seem the words 'may' or 'might' are ambiguous, however, the advice I was given is that most in cases clawback will apply.

I also went for financial advice today as well (for mortgage) and hoped that a number of endowments and other small savings plans policies we have which will be maturing over the next 5 to 15 years could be used toward that when they do. Of course I have provided full financial disclosure to wifes lawyer. However, the financial guy said that the lawyer will more than like insist that we surrrender them early so as that they can be divided 50:50 and will take out a court order if I refuse to do so. No wone of these plans is currently worth about £10k (surrender value and at a loss to what we have put in) and if we stay the full term til 2017 it will be worth at least £30k. Now for the sake of 7 years why would we do that. Wife is led by the lawyer and will take whatever advice he gives as he know more about me in such things!!

Wife also says she will have me removed from the house too as she cannot stand me being around any more and lawyer said he will do that for her is she wants but will need to apply for a court order. So we live in a house with 6 bedrooms, 2 3 lounges, 3 bathrooms and 2 kitchens. There is also 17 & year old kids here still. No history or threats of violence. So she claims mental torture/cruelty as I am still here. Our paths cross for about 10 mins in the morning and occasionally in the evening and weekend. I have told her no chance of me being removed, just mor money for the lawyer, yes via legal aid, but she will pay in the end. And she takes advice from a lawyer who has stated 75% of the proceeds are not acceptable (in wifes favour) and 50:50 is what he expects.

Sorry, just noticed I am rambling as stressed somewhat by it all (as no doubt many of you other folk out there are).:S

Thanks,

Peter

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16 Jan 08 #10861 by Josh2008
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Strongly recommend you do not surrender endowments, get quotes from sources who buy endowments first, difference can be enormous against surrender value.

Also do not take out loans against endowments as I did once and the F*****G company offset the loan against payments due and ate the policy up, it was worth £20k in 1991 and I only got 8k for it.....

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