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Anyone know a good divorce lawyer?

(50 Posts)
helicopterview Sat 22-May-10 18:49:29

I am trying to decide what to do having just discovered (by seeing a text...what a classic) that my husband has been seeing someone else. I confronted him, he admitted it. Just kisses, no sex. I believe him, but still feel brutally hurt.

He wants me to forgive and forget, and get back to how we used to be. Obviously that will take a lot of work and commitment. I am going to see a counselor next week, and encourage him to do the same. We obviously have some issues to work through, which led to this.

But in parallel, I would feel a lot better if I knew what my legal rights are, should the worst come to the worst.

Does anyone know a good divorce lawyer I could talk to?

menopausemad Sat 22-May-10 18:53:46

Where are you? Roughly...

Good idea to find out how things could pan out legally even if (hopefully) you guys manage to move on together.Although it will not be how it used to be it is possible it could be better.

I am sure you are very hurt. It is such a mixture of emotions. Let yourself be upset you are more than entitled. I hope he is being very kind to you.

ruckyrunt Sat 22-May-10 18:56:32

your legal rights are that you can divorce on the frounds of adultery.

Find a solicitor that give 30 mintes free and have a list of a few things you want to ask.

There was a peice on this the other day in one papaer and it staed that if you can get though this your marriage can be far stronger.

helicopterview Sat 22-May-10 19:32:37

Thanks menopausemad and ruckyrunt. I am in London.

DH (hardly seems right shorthand in the circumstances) seems keen to work things out.

Question is whether our issues can be sorted. Hope so, because we have 2 children. But don't want to be a complete doormat. Hence want to find out about my rights, and let him know I have started considering my options.

I feel sad but also angry right now, and that's carrying me through.

TheFutureMrsClooney Sat 22-May-10 20:21:30

Mumblechum recommended the resolution website which I found very useful, though I couldn't find anyone willing to see me for free in my area.

You seem to be jumping to thoughts of divorce very quickly. Have you considered going to Relate together? A lot of people on here found it useful.

fuzzywuzzy Sat 22-May-10 20:25:16

I've got a very good divorce lawyer, he's based in central London, does the first hour free.

I'll email you his details if you need???

Word of warning tho he is expensive if you then decide to instruct him.

Xenia Sat 22-May-10 20:26:14

It's highly likely it wasn't just kisses but there's not much point in delving if things are retrievable. If they are not kisses can be unreasonable behaviour (although they are not of course adultery). Either way if you choose you can be rid of him. But look at things like - is he home more than you so might he get the children and you haev to move to a flat and pay them child support etc etc who eartns the most and would have to pay to whom. Don't just rush into it.

If there is quite a bit of money some people do on discovering adultery if they can tolerate it a post-nuptial agreement - that if there is any further straying you get XYZ extra benefits/rights. Although that's more in the US than here. You might however want to agree some amends eg check up on him, force him to a clinic to be tests for STDs and show you the tests, buy some keystroke software or if he has nothing now to hide he could give you all the passwords to his accounts, on line email addresses etc.

cbmum Sat 22-May-10 20:31:57

I'm a solicitor specialising in divorce. I'd also recommend the Resolution website www.resolution.org.uk

Any family solicitor who is not a member of Resolution is not worth instructing as they tend to be very combative in their approach which is not what is needed if there are children involved.

Relate are good if you're both willing to go. My suggestion would be don't automatically jump for the divorce option. Relate may be able to help you reconcile. In the meantime, there is nothing to stop you investigating your options.

From what you have said so far you would not be able to obtain a divorce on the grounds of adultery as H would have to admit to the Court that he has had a sexual relationship with another woman. If that is not the case then if you do decide to divorce I suspect you would have to apply on the basis of his unreasonable behaviour which covers a wide range of issues.

poodie Sat 22-May-10 20:50:50

Surely you don't have to have any grounds for divorce at all these days? If you want to divorce you can. There is no law saying you have to stay married to someone if you don't want to, whatever the reason.

It does seem a little bit - overdramatic - to be looking up divorce lawyers at this stage? Surely that would be quite a few more steps down the line.

To be honest, I would avoid lawyers completely. You can always find out what your rights are without using a lawyer at all (CAB etc). The few times I have used lawyers (nothing to do with relationship stuff) they always seem to have done their best to crank up the fees, without actually delivering what they were asked to do.

Sorry, any lawyers reading this - but this has been my experience.

helicopterview Sat 22-May-10 20:53:35

I will look at the resolution website.

I think divorce is my knee-jerk response. I hope it won't be necessary. Don't know, it's all very raw. A post nuptual's a great idea I think.

It's like managing children's behaviour isn't it. Children need to know what the down side would be if they repeat some misbehaviour. You then just have to be firm and go through with whatever you said if it comes to that.

mumblechum Sat 22-May-10 20:55:00

Ahem, Ruckyrunt, adultery doesn't cover kisses!

foureleven Sat 22-May-10 22:22:56

OP, Im sorry but its not like with children. We do this with children to show them right from wrong as it is or job to make sure they know by the time they are grown up. Your husband should know better.

I know this is a difficult time, I have actually been in the exact same situation so i do have experience (although I concede I know nothing of your relationship personally) at the time I was a lot younger and not so strong and I stayed with this for a bit.

After a few moths though I knew that despite him telling me over and over it didnt count because it was 'only' kisses, it just didnt feel right anymore.

I left him.

Years later I am 100% sure that I would be stright on the phone to a divorce lawyer the very second anything like this happened.

You deserve so much better. How fxxking dare he.

foureleven Sat 22-May-10 22:23:43

it is our job

ruckyrunt Sat 22-May-10 23:12:47

hmm see I dont beleive his story on kisses...sad

kittyonthebeam Sun 23-May-10 01:52:44

Sorry you are in this situation OP. I'm sure you're very shocked and upset. Go see a lawyer but I wouldn't rule out counselling. Do you have dc?

poodie, to get an immediate divorce you have to fit into one of these two categories: adultery or unreasonable behaviour.

It's not that easy to just divorce.

Given you have been informed that he has cheated on you you now have 6 months time to file as far as I know...if you leave it later you cannot cite adultery anymore. It will be seen as if you had accepted your lot.

Maybe cbmum can clarify this.

helicopterview Sun 23-May-10 07:56:10

I am anxious right now.

I only found the text 3 days ago, and kicked him out to spend the weekend at his mothers. Kids still unaware there's a problem. Have confided in a couple of friends, but find it hard because as soon as I get sympathy I cry. This website's been a godsend.

Initial angry reaction was to be hard core and call in the lawyers. Am still going to get legal advice, using the resolution site. Maybe a post nuptual.

But now have softened, feel more sad about it, and feel we should work out what went wrong. I'm sure there's a lot, on both sides. Am I wrong to feel that way?

Thing is he's back on Monday and I feel I need a plan of action, to be decisive. But I am all over the place.

Anniegetyourgun Sun 23-May-10 07:57:41

I do totally agree that you need to know what your rights are, so you can make your mind up, negotiate as necessary, from a position of strength. At the moment your H holds all the cards because he knows what's going on, while you are feeling your way in the dark. There is no obligation on you to take things further, or if you do start proceedings but change your mind part-way through you can stop at any point.

Word of mouth recommendations can sometimes be misleading. Everyone's circumstances are slightly different (XBIL recommended one to XH because he had been so useful in taking XSIL to the cleaners(!), but as it turned out my much cheaper solicitor was more than a match for him). I would say, look up all the solicitors in your area who specialise in family law (membership of Resolution a distinct bonus), get quotes from at least three, and go to see preferably more than one before deciding whether this is one you can work with. And if you start realising you are not after all comfortable with the solicitor you select, there's nothing wrong with changing part-way down the line.

mumblechum Sun 23-May-10 08:47:48

It's correct that you need to take action within 6 months of your KNOWING that he committed adultery. If he doesn't admit it you can file on unreasonable behaviour and refer to his rel/shp as inappropriate but not actually accuse him of adultery.

Go on the resolution website and get an appt would be my advice. (I'm a div lawyer btw)

helicopterview Sun 23-May-10 08:52:53

Thanks. Will do. There are resolution solicitors in my area.

Mustbetheend Sun 23-May-10 09:26:34

It is good advice not to rush into any decision when very emotional. take your time. Know your rights. Dont rush. You have time.

Xenia Sun 23-May-10 09:53:47

If he will not admit adultery (which has a legal definition - penetraive sex in the vagina by the way but no weed to orgasm then you use unreasonable behaviour which kissing clearly is. There is only one ground for divorce - that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and just about any even happiyl married posters on mumsnet could pick stuff out their marriage and say it was that. In effect it's divorce on demand and it is very rare someone cahllenges an unreasonable behaviour petition. So that is not an issue. I saw a divorce lawyer before I wanted a divorce just to find out things and then decided then not to although the answers reassured me on those things I was concerned about so it's good from that point of view.

But be strong - don't let any lawyer persuade you to press ahead if you aren't sure. there is no rush. But do gather rthings - makes sure you know 100% what both your pension arrangements are and have the documents, get originals of your marriage and birth certs, have details of all your family joint accounts, copy bank statements, his business statements, P60s, tax returns, particularly if he's now out the house at his parents.

helicopterview Sun 23-May-10 14:35:39

Thank you xenia. Good advice. There would be quite a bit to split up between us, and I have no pension of my own. I'm going to see what I can find right now.

helicopterview Sun 23-May-10 15:08:05

It's just got a whole lot worse.

I might need another string for this one.

My youngest (7 years) just asked if daddy kissed another girl. Hadn't realised he heard us arguing at midnight when it all kicked off.

I have reassured them that daddy's in my bad books because of his drinking (he was very drunk when he got in) Said I love you children very much, it will all be alright. But I need daddy to be more grown up and responsible. And left it at that.

I do not want to protect my H, but don't want to panick the kids. If I admit it I feel I have to take drastic action so they don't grow up thinking what he's done is OK.

I am bringing up 2 young boys, and feel I have a great responsibility to make sure they know how to treat other people.

what a mess my H has got us in angry

poodie Sun 23-May-10 15:23:13

Presumably unreasonable behaviour can cover a multitude of sins. The point I am making is that if you really want to get a divorce, you can. The court cannot insist that someone stays married if they are adament that the relationship has broken down - that would be absurd!
In any case, surely a more sensible route at a relatively early stage would be some kind of separation? I just don't see why rushing into a divorce is that helpful unless you are deeply unhappy/in an abusive relationship. You can also do a DIY divorce apparently, without using a solicitor

menopausemad Sun 23-May-10 15:24:58

I think the way you handled your son is briilant. Well done you.

Look don't rush anything. Find out where you stand legally but think things through for a whole lot longer before deciding to go ahead with a divorce! What is your relationship like if you put the kiss to one side for a second?

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