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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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The End of the Free Half Hour?

  • naziam
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15 Mar 15 #457953 by naziam
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I don''t know anything about your case and your free to post more details if you wish but it''s very difficult to see that a case can cost 25k a month.

In order to have some control over this yourself I would not pay a direct debit but I would ask for a bill periodically say every three months and then review each item in that bill and pay the bill. It''s way to convenient for the lawyer to have 25k a month and then arrange work to justify that amount. You can then also question items on the bill *before* you have paid which is a lot stronger position than having to question them *after* you have paid.

In my own case my ex and I spent around 100k in total over three years and it was not a particularly complex case and in reality it could have been done for 10k. The reason the bill''s went up so high was mainly my fault. I would phone and talk through with my solicitor every last detail and he would charge me around £300 an hour to do that.

If you are willing to put in some research time and ask questions on this forum you can learn about what the process is so you have first hearing, FDR and final hearing, how everything works, who does what etc which saves you having to pay for a solicitor to explain all these things to you.

  • .Charles
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15 Mar 15 #457954 by .Charles
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£25k is a lot of money but not unfeasible. To say "..but it''s very difficult to see that a case can cost 25k a month.." does not acknowledge that such cases exist.

If a case were to cost that much I would expect the assets to be complex and substantial. If the monthly spend was that much why should the solicitor take a risk that the client does not pay? Cash-flow is vital to any business.

Charles

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15 Mar 15 #457956 by naziam
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I did prefix this by saying I didn''t know anything about this case and invited the poster to post more information.

My own case involved offshore and on shore trusts, property in different juristrictions and assets totalling around 5 million pounds. I still say this case could of and should of cost around 10k to complete and the main reason it didn''t was my insistence of using a solicitor to explain and hand hold me through the process.

You say cash flow is vital to any business but the reality is running a legal practise is relatively a very simple business. You have predictable events such as hearings, work needs to be completed by subcontractors such as barristers or accountants ahead of those hearings so in pure business terms it''s very simple. Most businesses complete work, provide an invoice with a payment schedule for the client to review and confirm the work has been completed correctly and then the client can pay or query the work if they feel there are issues.

Paying a company 25k by direct debit a month instead of them producing an invoice that is paid on normal payment terms such as 30 day''s just sounds like they are pulling a fast one. Lawyers are running a business and the aim of that business is understandably to maximise revenue and minimise costs but because of the situation as in you feel you are in a vulnerable state and they are offering a solution to your anxiety and stress it''s easy to blur the lines and not treat them as any other business you would deal with.

I''m not down on all lawyers, often they provide a great service and they are good people just doing their job and they have a reasonable expectation to be paid but the system is setup in such a way as there are many opportunities for bad apples to exploit people for their own benefit very badly.

I should also add that after several years of dealing with the lawyers I fired my own lawyers and prepared and presented in person myself at the final hearing and got exactly the deal I wanted.

  • Gillian48
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15 Mar 15 #457958 by Gillian48
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When I started my divorce proceedings I was given a list of predicted expenses and costs and hourly rates etc...

My case was complex and exceeded these costs but I was notified that the costs would increase and like others some hourly phone calls would cost £300 or so.
Can you suggest that they send you a monthy bill for the work that''s carried out and you pay that or set up a DD for a lower amount and then at the end of each month pay anything owing? I had a top class barrister who charged several £thousand for hearings but he was brilliant - there are other options for you I''m sure.
If not could you seek another solicitors advice? I changed solicitors halfway through my case as I wasn''t happy with the service of the first one I appointed. My second solicitor charged a lot more but they were brilliant and i was sent monthly bills and paid them as I went along.
If I was you I would talk to the solicitors and ask for an explanation as to why the DD is this amount also ask for a list of predicted costs any decent solicitor should produce this - or I would have thought they would surely it''s not unreasonable.

  • WYSPECIAL
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15 Mar 15 #457963 by WYSPECIAL
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naziam wrote:

Paying a company 25k by direct debit a month instead of them producing an invoice that is paid on normal payment terms such as 30 day''s just sounds like they are pulling a fast one. Lawyers are running a business and the aim of that business is understandably to maximise revenue and minimise costs


One way of minimising costs is making sure you don''t end up with an unpaid bill. If they want £25k per month it sounds like there is a lot of work and could take a long time, it doesn''t mean they intend doing £25k of work every month but it could be a big risk to them to let the bill build up.

Think of other trades. A builder wouldn''t build you a house without wanting a substantial deposit and staged payments along the way. If you didn''t like the T&C''s you would use another builder. Surely the same with a solicitor? If the OP is unhappy they can shop around or negotiate adjustments to the T&C''s which the solicitor might accept or might not but the poster cannot dictate what the terms will be.

  • .Charles
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16 Mar 15 #458021 by .Charles
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but the reality is running a legal practise is relatively a very simple business


Heavens above, I''ve never seen such an uninformed comment.


Getting back to the original post £25k per month is a massive amount but it might be proportionate. A few more details about the case would be helpful in order to comment further.

Charles

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