I'm afraid it's me again:blush:
As before, I'm happy to share my own personal experience and opinion.
I think a lot will depend on the nature of your case. I will be going to FDR around the time you will be having your FA. I used a direct access barrister for the FA and am debating if I should for the FDR, but will most definitely have one for the FH at the end.
In my case there are a few complex issues to address involving STBX's bankruptcy and his financial conduct. I felt it was important to make a clear case for conduct early on in the proceedings which is why I had DA Barrister representation at the FA (also because I was a nervous wreck!)
Have you had any legal input yet at all? I think having an initial consultation is generally a good idea especially if judgement is clouded by emotions. It will give you an indication of the strengths and weaknesses of your case, help you manage your expectations and maybe have a clearer idea when negotiating terms. As long as you are prepared to put in some work preparing for the hearings and have the confidence to speak up in court, you shouldn't need representation at either FA or FDR. So if funds are tight, save your money for the FH - this is when it really pays to have a barrister.
As Bubblegum says it depends on the circumstances but I think what you're saying is sensible and is exactly what I'll be doing. Final hearing only, these guys don't come cheap!!
If you haven't already I would consider using the Wikivorce solicitors to flesh out a reasonable financial advice settlement after you are in possession of all of the financial facts of the other party. It's a couple of hundred quid well spent.
I've not considered wickivorce solicitors, how do you go about getting a wicki solicitor, you say it's a couple of hundred quid, the initial direct access appointment is 200 so not sure what the wicki team could do more , is it a telephone or in person. Sorry I've not really considered this option before !
You can email them using the links on this site or call the Wikivorce helpline and they'll point you in the right direction. In my case it was a phone call where I gave them all of the facts and they advised me of what would be 'potentially' a fair offer. If this is what the direct access barrister is offering though then that seems reasonable.