my solicitors have been beyond incompetent in handling my case and I am thinking of becoming litigator in person. I spoke to one of the quick online divorce services, about getting them to draft the Consent Order (the only bit of the process I'm not confident to do myself), and they said that if the case was initiated by a solicitor, you cannot sack them and do it yourself. It has to be continued by another solicitor. Is that right?
You can indeed sack your solicitor and act as a Litigant In Person for the remainder of your case.
How you continue on the divorce application side depends on the stage you are at - but you can send the court a notice of change of solicitor form FP8 - and then continue with the application for Nisi or Absolute.
On the financial side - again you can proceed without your solicitor. We provide a suitable Consent Order service for a fixed fee of £259.
03 May 22 - 03 May 22#519263by gooddadunderconstruction
Reply from gooddadunderconstruction
so I e-mailed my solicitor saying I wanted them to finalise my Consent Order, but then I intended to become litigator in person and continue the case myself. They replied that "If it is your position that you wish to proceed with the Consent Order, [name of solicitor] must retain control and submit the Consent Order documentation at Court ourselves". I don't understand this - it is my understanding that I can at any time decide to sack my solicitor and either hire another solicitor or become litigator in person. If my solicitor has drafted the consent order, are they in a position to insist that it is them who submits it to the court?
Secondly the solicitor said that we have to first submit the Consent Order and get it sealed by the judge (approx. 4 weeks waiting time), and only then can we apply for a Decree Absolute (I have heard this can be done within 48 hours). I thought these 2 stages could be done at the same time. Am I right?
many thanks in advance for your excellent service!
I think the solicitor is basically taking the position that either you continue using them for the full Consent Order service (that i assume you have paid them for) and they submit the CO to the court.
Or you cancel with them and make your own new arrangements.
What they don't want is to be half involved in the case - for example: they draft the order, then you send it in and then they potentially get sent later queries from the court about the paperwork that you submitted.
So your choice is to carry on with them submitting it, or cancel with them and get a new solicitor or submit it yourself but only after informing the court that you are now acting for yourself and the current solicitors are removed from the court record.
Your second question on CO and Absolute - you can do one then the other - or send in both together - at least you can in the paper world.
But as solicitors largely use online systems these days then i suspect it is the standard process online to get the CO then after apply for absolute - the second step should only take a few days. So in the end its not much different.