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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.


£10,000 or no representation for FH

  • hattiedaw
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26 Jun 12 #339348 by hattiedaw
Topic started by hattiedaw
To date my solicitor has had £30K off me to deal with my divorce and finances.
Went to see him last week to go over a few things for the final hearing next month.
All seems in order and I am going to see my barrister next week too.
Got a letter today from solicitor though saying that I need to pay them £10K to proceed with the FH.
I just dont have it.
There is an amount of money lodged with the solicitor (over 100K) which is in dispute.
It is the equity from a jointly owned property, my husband wants it all to plough into his failing business but I''d settle for half - so as it''s in dispute nobody gets anything until a judge decides.
Why cant the solicitor put a charge on it for my fees?
I''m bereft, I dont know which way to turn. I just dont have 10K (I dont have a spare £10 if I''m honest).
What have the last 2 years been for if they''re going to leave me alone at the most important bit?
Any advice much appreciated.

  • dukey
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27 Jun 12 #339450 by dukey
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30k so far and another 10k needed, is the 100k all there is? i hope not having spent that.

10k is not that unusual for a FH with a barrister especially if listed for more than a day, some practices can arrange a loan to cover costs which is paid back form the settlement, the only other option is to go it alone, really though if you are going to spend money it should be kept for the final hearing, it is the most important by far.

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27 Jun 12 #339451 by hattiedaw
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Thank you for your reply.
The FH is for 3 days and yes I do have a barrister.
It;s a complicated situation really.
My husband is a property magnet (I dont know if thats a proper term) and owns over 50 properties.
He is very shrewd and having witnessed what he did when he divorced his 1st wife I''m now on the receiving end and it''s not nice. He basically got rid of most of his money (expensive cars, lavish holidays etc) so that there was next to nothing in the pot for the court to work with and then set about re-letting the houses he''d purpously kept empty etc.
On paper he''s a millionaire several times over.
When I first left him I went to stay in a rundown house that we''d bought together (it was quite inhabitable) but he stopped paying the mortgage and it was repo''d (this was done intentionally to make me and my son and dogs homeless in the hope I''d go back to him). So, I moved to another house that was empty and he sold it!
The 100+K is the equity that was in the 2nd house (both the houses I lived in post leaving were in my name also).
I''m now living in another house which is in joint names.
All I want is for a bit of money to re-set myself up, a home for my son and me and to feel at peace.
With regard to the solicitors fees my friend phoned last night and asked why I didnt go for legal aid. I have 6K to my name (fast dwindling due to having to live off it), no income apart (business made a loss last year and not making anything at the moment apart from breaking even) from £50 a week tax credits and house has no equity.
I''m calling my solicitor now to check this out.
It''s all so draining!

  • TBagpuss
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27 Jun 12 #339466 by TBagpuss
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I''m srry that you are having these difficulties. Unfortunately solicitors are businesses -if you ask them to ''put a charge on'' the money you are in effect asking them to lend you the money, and the liklihood is that they don''t have a spare £10,000 either. You''re also asking them to tak the risk that you might not end up being entitled to that money, in which case they would be left out of pocket.

If they have arranged a barrister for you, then the solicitors are responsible for paying the barrister, whether or not you have paid them, and this si why they will have asked you to pay upfront, so they don''t get stuck paying for your barrister out of their own pocket becuase you haven''t paid their bill.

I appreciate that this leaves you in a difficult oposition, but just wanted to make the point that it isn''t becuase the solicitors are being deliberately unhelpful.

So far as legal aid is concerned, this is based on financial eligibility - so you may nit be eligable once the value of the money being held, and of any properties which are in joint names have been taken into account. Unfortunately the way in which the criteria work mean that you may be assessed as having capital, even if you don''t actually have aceess to if - especially if you have a big mortgage, or if all of the assets are in dispute, as there is a cap on the amount of mortgage which is taken into account, and on the amount of assets which are disregarded as being the subject matter of your dispute(so if you have a £300,000 house and a £200,000 mortgage, you will be assessed as having £200,000 equity, as only the 1st £100,000 of the mortgage ''counts'')

The criteria are set by the LSC and the solicitor has no power to change or disregard them.

You can talek to your solicitor about how you can keep costs lower - does the £10,000 include the cost of your solicitor coming to court? You can ask them to send the barrister ''unattended'' which means you will be thre with the barrister, but the solicitor won''t also be there.

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