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Divorce/Financial Settlement: Cannot afford solicitors

(52 Posts)
KateDillington Tue 02-Apr-13 10:31:40

Well that's it really. I can't afford it. I'm not entitled to Legal Aid as there is no DV involved.

I've posted on here a few times. I'm in the middle of sorting the financial settlement (20 year marriage, now DH will not disclose so I have filed form A to start financial settlement).

He/his solicitor are being very obstructive (will not answer any questions about finances).

I've spoken to several local solicitors. They have all been very NICE but have all said the same thing (which has surprised me) - that I should represent myself. They've all quoted between 10-50k for their own fees. One said to me today: "To be blunt, for what you are arguing over (we had cash of around 60k joint savings) using a solicitor will be disproportionate as you won't have anything left to argue about."

We have 50:50 shared care of the children. I just want 50% of the value of the house / savings / pension (which he can easily afford). I gave up my career to bring up the children for ten years, but I just want a clean 50% break.

I guess that I just have to get on with it, but on MN I've been told to get legal representation to sort this - but it does seem (with the amounts quoted) that this is just not viable.

Any advice? (Maybe I should just shut up and get on with it!)

I guess I just want someone to tell me it will be ok. sad

Xenia Fri 05-Apr-13 19:16:06

Very wise advice.

So he is going to pretend his company has paid him nothing this year and indeed might find expenses it has paid so that its coffers are bare. Let us say that he spent £50k of the family savings and did not draw a sum out of the company which after tax would have been say £50k out of the company which otherwise but for the divorce he would have done. It may be hard to prove and his income is what the company pays him so loads of people make sure their company pays them little and miraculously the company's expenses get higher eg new lover suddenly paid £20k a year as secretarial fees and hard to disprove she did no work.

As he is not offering a fair split given you did not work for 10 years - let us assume the children are 18 and 19 so not relevant but if they are little then it will make a difference so if he will not accept the money in the company goes in part to you then he will have to accept you obtain more than 50% of the joint assets given your career sacrifice and equal income from the pension in due course.

What troubles me is if spends a lot of his lawyers all that money in his company may go on that. I keep coming across people who say they would much rather their lawyer had the £100k family savings in legal fees than that their spouse gets a single penny of it which is a ridiculous stupid statement but very common when people are feeling hurt.

Spero Fri 05-Apr-13 19:39:22

Sadly Xenia is right - I have lost count of clients who say to me that they don't care how much the court proceedings cost as long as 'that bitch/that bastard' doesn't get the money. They would rather they both sink.

So I always advise getting in and out of court as quickly as possible once it becomes clear they won't negotiate. And sometimes it is better to settle for less than you think you could get, once you factor in the cost of more hearings and more valuations etc.

these proceedings can become consuming because often emotions are to the fore rather than commercial considerations.

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