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Do I need a new solicitor?

(5 Posts)
NumanoidNancy Fri 21-Mar-14 15:19:27

I have a decree nisi but just can't get any further (2 years now) and my solicitor seems to just be saying 'well what do you want to do?' rather than really telling me what would be best to do in the circumstances.

Is this how they are supposed to work? I thought they should give you considered legal advice as to your best options? It has cost a fortune so far (mostly thanks to my ex refusing to take part in the process even though it was him that left and had someone else lined up!) but when I phoned another solicitor they said that their code of conduct only allows them to give advice if I get rid of my current solicitor.

NumanoidNancy Fri 21-Mar-14 15:21:49

Newbie on this bit of mumsnet, just because I am at my wits end really. The longer version is that marriage broke down several years ago and when ex left it turned out there was someone else. He behaved pretty badly after he left, lots of lying etc, broke back into the house (I had an internal catch across the door overnight) and I logged it with the police but he kept letting himself in every time I was out or away just to keep me on my toes. At this point I got my solicitor, the police and mediators agreed that I should change the locks so did so. He then did a few retaliatory things like took our then five year old daughter 400 miles away to Scotland for four days and I didn't know where she was etc. I got the decree nisi on those grounds and others too lengthy to go into here.

Since then (two years) he has done everything he can to stall the process. I have spent over £1200 on my solicitor just purely chasing him up with letters and phone calls because he won't reply to anything the first time. I specifically chose a very nice solicitor who is a specialist in keeping things as calm as possible and trying to resolve things amicably because I knew he would be difficult and I wanted things to be as good as possible for our daughter.

The only thing I need and want to do for a huge amount of reasons is to stay in the house. Its just a little two up two down workers cottage worth less than £200 grand (no mortgage) but in my situation I could never buy anywhere else. He has pensions worth double that and earns double what I do but he has refused an offer I made of giving him £30,000 (and having a bit of his pension money) which was the max I could get through any insurance broker. It was an offer that was basically splitting assets 50/50 so more generous than usually advised as our daughter lives with me and sees him on a 5/14 nights basis.

I just don't know what to do next, it is immensely stressful and also incredibly boring having it hanging over me for so long.

I'd say yes a different solicitor would help but so would some clarity in what you actually need done.

I assume your priority is to get a financial agreement settled. So the actual divorce is neither here nor there. Forget that bit.

If between you there are pensions of £400k and equity of £200k then you've offered him way over what's reasonable - if he refuses and you took it to court the court would probably throw it out on the basis that you should be getting far more!

So he can accept your offer or you can insist on taking it to court. Play hardball back. And leave it entirely in his hands to make the next step.

NumanoidNancy Fri 21-Mar-14 15:43:29

Thanks LGQT.

The financial agreement is important but also so is a clean break. He is older than me and winding down to retirement. What he mostly wants is money to buy a house for him and his new blended family which is why I agreed to give him some cash. I on the other hand just want to stay in this house but am also picking up more and more freelance work as my daughter gets older and will, fingers crossed, be earning a lot more in the future. Is there a way you can draw a line under the finances once you are so obviously separated or is that only possible upon divorce?

For example he plays the lottery and I never have, if he won the lottery now I don't think I should be allowed to make a claim on it and vice versa.

TheShimmeringPussycat Sat 22-Mar-14 00:14:11

Don't progress to absolute until the settlement is signed and sealed - I could, but there were no pensions in the equation.

Mine was unco-operative, I had to take the legal route to financial settlement, cost £2.5K 2 years ago, but I did do a lot of prep myself and didn't send many letters etc.

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