the best advice I can give.
1. Find someone who has recently gone through a divorce and has been happy with their solicitor. Personal recommendations are worth a lot.
2. Find someone local who knows the circuit. Just because you get an expensive ''ball breaker'' in London doesnt mean you will get what you ask for.
3. Make sure you are very honest about you situation/ finances/ and hopeful outcome. If they are good, they will tell you the reality of it and give you a wide spectrum of worst case and best case.
4. If it goes to court and you arent happy with your barrister- tell you solicitor. I did this after my first hearing and couldnt have been happier with my barrister''s replacement.
5. Make sure your solicitor only responds to necessary correspondance from the ''opposition''. There were many times faxes came in that had nothing to do with the financial settlement or were threats of interim maintainence. Once you respond once to a matter- you have stated your stance and if they want to progress you will know (by a court date). Going back and forth just costs you money.
6. Dont write essays to your solicitor or bang on about your ex. They arent a therapist and they arent your mate- and that email will have just cost you £50.
Thank you both for your replies. Really appreciated.
My problem is I have court on the 5th March (second hearing). Documents have to be in by 19th February. If I change solicitors I will have to put back court hearing I guess.Will a judge frown upon this?
Only yesterday it emerged that my solicitor said she hadnt received stbx form E, then it emerged that he took it in on Tuesday. My solicitor and secretary lied, saying it came in yesterdays second post. My solicitor popped in between court and found it in her intray I suspect and then tried to cover up. She said she would make a note in her diary for Tuesday to check he handed in financial disclosure, but clearly didn''t.
I feel that I am in a battle against my solicitor as well as my stbx. Very exhausting!! Also having to chase her up on things all the time is not good.
I need to hold on to the comment from the previous posts that it will end some day!!
I would say its more important to have a good barrister at FDR than a solicitor. I too questioned my solicitor- but had full confidence in my barrister and they are the ones who do the negotiating/ court theatrics.
I met with my barrister and my lawyer for 2 hrs before my court date. She knew my case inside out and she was brilliant in court.
If you dont feel confident in your solicitor- change. The worst thing would be going in, not getting the result you wanted knowing that you should have trusted your gut instinct.
Also- if your case is fairly straight forward (i.e.- no mansions in Marbella, or properties in UAE etc...) than you should have enough time.
You can fill out the paperwork yourself and just get a barrister to represent you in court this is so much cheaper. It will cost if your case is straight forward about £500 for court cost. The courts are really good in helpng, there are lots of leaflet available to help you.A barrister will cost £500 up over.... Do hope this helps