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questions to ask at first solicitors meeting

  • peterc
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09 Mar 08 #16249 by peterc
Topic started by peterc
hi all,

i have my first sol's meeting on Wednesday and want to get a list of questions together that i can ask of them. Here are some of my thoughts on what i should be asking - are there any others that people can think of?

1. divorcing for ub - can i mention that she had an affair and name the person in my petition?

2. Finances - recommendations on split of house equity

3. Finances - my current job is unsustainable (i am self-employed, and there is too much pressure / irregular work for me) and i am looking for a full time job - what salary would they use to work out sm/cm, can the court force me to carry on with my self-employed job or would they see that me taking a full-time job so that i can be closer with the children a good positive step for the children?

4. Finances - wife plans on using equity from split to put into bank and live off interest (unsustainable as there just isnt enough money there to do that), she refuses to get a job, saying she wants to be able to take / collect from school, and will only get a job 10-2 (basically a pin-money job) - how exposed am i by this?

5. Finance - Cars - roughly mine is valued at 12k, hers at 10k - do we just ignore for sake of 1k difference?

6. Children - i would like a 50-50 split but wife is not warming to this situation (she says i can have them every other weekend :(). I would be willing to ensure that i live a few miles / minutes from where she will be living (when she eventually tells me what she wants!)

7. Pensions - both of us have very small pensions (approx 5k each) - would we ignore these?

8. wife wants amacable split, i suspect she wants to move her boyfriend in as soon as we are in separate houses, can i ask that sm ends when she co-habits or marries? and then revert to CSA rates for Cm?

any other things i should be thinking of?


  • Elizabeth
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09 Mar 08 #16303 by Elizabeth
Reply from Elizabeth
Hello Peter,

I will try to answer/help with your first meeting.

1. there are 5 reasons for divorce. Adultery is one of them so if you are divorcing on these grounds then say so. In any divorce petition - in my experience - unfortunately anything can be said as grounds - it is only if the other person (respondent) contests that it becomes complicated - so stick to the facts if they are right.

I am not going to try and answer each point you have made - but will say that you don't have much to fight over, except perhaps the equity in the house (make sure you get a JOINTLY INSTRUCTED VALUATION on the property - I put this in caps because a jointly named valuation is NOT the same - I thought it was and it cost me a lot of wasted time!!

Firstly, as your assets on both sides are limited/almost equal (car - yes it would be treated the same - get a proper valuation of the car)there is not much point taking this to court. It will cost you MUCH more than your joint assets - if there are children involved - whom they live with and their needs will be the court's priority.

As for both your earning capacities - the court will look at whether BOTH parties are maximising these.

Best advice I can give which is general to any case is look up the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 - this will give you a concrete view of what the courts take into consideration. Each case if viewed differently but these factors will have a huge impact on each individual case. Basically the housing needs of the children come first.

Don't confuse the children issue with the ancillary relief - totally separate - try and avoid court - start at a 50/50 split on everything. The pensions will more than likely stay with each party - they are almost equal and therefore the court will leave them that way - it costs quite a bit (over 1,000 to "Share" them).

Try not to use your solicitor as a sounding board - it will cost you money - every minute you spend with them will cost you money! You are right to try and be prepared with questions - be firm and to the point - it will save your thousands!

I can't see the point in this going to court - it will be more than it's worth - take heed - going to a final hearing can take as long as a year (months between court hearing) TONS of paperwork, time, energy and more importantly money you could be spending on the children.

I hope this helps!

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