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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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why do solicitors cause trouble

  • herewegoagain
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29 Sep 07 #4119 by herewegoagain
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Whilst going through my annus horibilus in June 05 I consulted a sol thru recomendation. He found it difficult to comprehend that my ex would give me all the house, and openly admitted "he hadn't come across it before!" So he sat on the paperwork for 3m, and "mislaid" vital Building Society information that I went to great lengths to get. His office was a complete mess with brown files from floor to ceiling. The divorce and house stuff took exactly a year, when it should have been done and dusted in 6m! Legal aid! 2nd class system! It looks good that I got the house, but it was me that held down three jobs, whilst he sat and watched Neighbours played snooker, golf and managed to occasionally do some work between the affairs!
:)

  • Fiona
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29 Sep 07 #4120 by Fiona
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Well, IMO a solicitor who sat and watched Neighbours, played snooker, golf and managed to occasionally do some work between the affairs deserves to be sacked! :evil:

Sera, the dissolution of marital business partnerships are fraught with difficulties. Whose name is the partnership registered in and are the accounts in sole trader format? As your ex doesn't want to hand over documents his solicitor's job is to maintain that stance and if necessary justify the position to the courts. It's not obstructing justice. If your version of events justifies it the court can order documents to be produced.

  • Sera
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29 Sep 07 #4124 by Sera
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Actually Fiona, I didn't even suggest or suppose I was in a partnership with him, until his sol issued me with a 'dissolution of partnership' notice! ;)

I just think his sol is looking to find 'work'. I am upset that I worked for him for free, (for the first 18 mths) and all done for the 'goof of our future'. So, I may ask for 'compensation' for that money.

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29 Sep 07 #4125 by Fiona
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I can understand that. The problem is sometimes we get too close to the trees to see the forest and objective justice may bare no resemblance to the subjective justice we seek.

  • LittleMrMike
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30 Sep 07 #4132 by LittleMrMike
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I think I have said something like this before, but it bears repetition.

I can remember the ' good old days ' when people had a ' family solicitor ' who handled all their legal affairs, could buy your house for you, draw up your will, defend you if you were charged with careless driving, and turn his hand to just about anything. Not any more. Our society is becoming so over-regulated, so over-governed, that it is impossible for anyone except a Leonardo da Vinci to do anything like that. Nowadays solicitors specialise. They have to. Not because it is a professional requirement, but because it is practically impossible to have the detailed knowledge about anything and everything to play the part of the legal equivalent of a GP. Remember, human anatomy does not change

But yes, I know. If your spouse shocks you by saying (s)he wants a divorce, you need a solicitor. You don't know one. So where do you look ? Yellow Pages ? Probably. The average client does not understand that these days, it is horses for courses. Solicitors are not going to turn away business. They have mortgages like we all do, staff and rent which have to be paid, and so on ad nauseam.

But I think divorce clients need solicitors who deal with family law and nothing else. You don't have a neurologist to take out your appendix. But how can ordinary people know who the specialists are ? Only by going for solicitors who are members of Resolution, or who are accredited collaborative law practicioners, for two very important reasons. The first is that, to get that status in the first place, they need to do more than two have passed an exam in family law 20 years ago. They have to demonstrate experience in this field. The second is that they are at least committed to handling your divorce in a non-confrontational manner, and that leads me on seamlessly to my next point.

Family law is not the same as conveyancing. If you have agreed to buy ' Mon Repos ' and instruct solicitors, the decision has been made and the solicitor's job is to carry it into effect. With divorce it is different. Emotions can run high. Some clients will use ancillary relief as a means of getting their own back for marital misconduct. A solicitor may be confronted by a client who wants to take his/her spouse to the cleaners. Although I don't necessarily think this is common practice, I am sure that there are some who ' talk up ' their client's prospects, knowing that this outcome is likely to be a full hearing which is far more lucrative than mediation followed by a Consent Order. The difficulty is, we have no means of knowing when the client is being ' talked up ' or when the client is being vindictive and the solicitor is merely doing what the client wants.

And finally, divorce law is so maddeningly vague and nebulous that it is difficult even for professionals to advise their clients with much certainty. So then, although I don't think solicitors are perfect, it is my hope that the day will come when conciliation, mediation, dialogue become the normal, accepted way of resolving matrimonial disputes, and those who seek to encourage conflict will soon see their business dry up.

Mike 100468

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