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Can a solicitor represent both parties?

(17 Posts)
fivetosix Tue 20-Sep-16 17:11:31

Time to start the ball rolling regards to divorce.

We have both agreed what we want from the divorce regarding finances and children etc. STBX says that a solicitor can represent both parties as we are in agreement- is that true?

This is new territory to me and I'm worried about being stung by hidden fees and clauses etc. If both parties are in agreement, is it usually a straightforward process?

MrsNuckyThompson Tue 20-Sep-16 17:12:51

This is a really bad idea. Get your own solicitor - it doesn't mean it has to be acrimonious!

fastdaytears Tue 20-Sep-16 17:13:33

No you can't have the same solicitor unless you're doing the collaborative law thing and then someone can sort of represent you both but it's not quite that simple.

If you both agree and stay agreed it could be easy, bit often the initial agreement is based on one party not knowing what they're entitled to. Is it definitely a good deal for you both?

overthehillandroundthemountain Tue 20-Sep-16 17:14:32

I asked this, too. No - the answer is no. A solicitor can only act for one party. Furthermore, be careful. They do need the details - so if your DH went to your solicitor and asked them to act for him, they would have to tell him that you had already been there. Not good if you want a sneaky, information-only visit!

fivetosix Tue 20-Sep-16 17:16:09

Thank you all so much

Cabrinha Tue 20-Sep-16 17:16:11

No, definitely not!

My solicitor even had to get agreement by from her manager to represent me because a colleague at another branch had done my STBXH's will 12 months earlier.

What you can do if you're truly in agreement is to have only one of you represented by a solicitor - the petitioner - to have them handle the paperwork. They will have to advise against the other not having representation.

MrsBertBibby Tue 20-Sep-16 17:19:21

If you are in agreement, then the costs should not bee too high, and it should be straightforward. Unless you have agreed something bizarre, or someone changes their mind...

fivetosix Tue 20-Sep-16 17:24:06

Despite him knowing a solicitor he is being a total arse in 'making' me do it as he thinks I don't have the balls.

That isn't the case, I initiated the split, but I am being weary until I fully understand the whole process so that I am not caught out along the way.

I was told two years ago that I qualified for legal aid after a domestic incident. Said firm then went on to bill me £5000. This whole sham of a marriage should have ended then. What's happened has happened and now I'm committed, but I'm all on surviving on very little at the moment and can't afford to be stung sad

HuskyLover1 Tue 20-Sep-16 21:56:52

NO. They cannot, absolutely not. Remember you get half what his Pension is worth - IN CASH.

Cabrinha Tue 20-Sep-16 22:11:14

It's a good point to remember the pension as many forget it.

But you don't get to automatically take that in cash. He cannot withdraw money from a pension. The only way to withdraw money is with a court ordered Pension Sharing Order which moves a % into an independent pension for the OP.

What you can propose is offsetting the pension value due to you against the other assets. So no pension sharing but you take more assets up front. That only works as "cash" if there are assets to take - which sounds not be the case here?

Cabrinha Tue 20-Sep-16 22:14:03

Ignore my comment about no assets - I was mixing up with another thread! Comment re pension stands though.

fastdaytears Wed 21-Sep-16 07:17:28

Yes most people aren't able to take pension value in cash, and anyway not necessarily the best option if you do.

Also OP may have a great pension of her own and STBXH is after it...

Justaboy Wed 21-Sep-16 09:12:34

No do not do that have your OWN solicitor. If you don't know of a good one, well who is good at Divorce, then ask any friends who have been through the divorce mill.

You need someone on your side as almost always it ends up being a bit of a battle.

GreenHen Wed 21-Sep-16 13:09:08

When ex DH and I divorced (no children) - I was the only one with a solicitor (I divorced him).
We didn't argue about anything and decided how things would be split between us. It was all very straightforward though - we sold the house and split the proceeds. Didn't want any of his pension (I had my own - and he didn't want any of that either).
He paid for half of my solicitors fees.
I'm not sure if I would do this if it was acrimonious, involved children or pensions though.

Justaboy Wed 21-Sep-16 20:25:44

GreenHen That was very fortunate, most all do turn into a bit or quite a lot of a battleground . A friend of mind has run up legal bills of some £50,000 thus far and his wife is being very awkward and unreasonable!

So he says and I know that in divorce situations you really need to hear both sides of the story but in his case i believe him.

Cocoabutton Wed 21-Sep-16 21:01:07

Do not do collaborative law - if negotiations fail, you cannot use the same solicitor thereafter, so you potentially waste thousands. Collaborative law means mediation with your respective solicitors present. It is expensive, particularly if it fails. If it is amicable, get a solicitor and do mediation yourself, having taken legal advice.

crayfish Wed 21-Sep-16 21:03:23

Terrible idea. You need somebody who is just on your team. Things can seem amicable at the start of proceedings (and can end amicably too, mine did) but get messy in the middle and you need somebody on your side.

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