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Sharing solicitor?

(29 Posts)
pinkpeter1 Fri 17-Jun-16 21:06:40

So, we have finally talked about we might want to divorce. Husband has suggested we go and see a solicitor together to see what a judge say was fair in regard to splitting assets.

Does this sound like a good or bad idea? I want the separation to be as amicable as it can be, but he is a trained solicitor, but not currently practising, so I am at a disadvantage already. I know having separate solicitors is the norm, but he says why pay for two if we can talk it out. And I kind of think I might have a better chance of knowing what the solicitor and my dh are saying if I am there too.

Thoughts please? I have no idea about the divorce process, so I don't know what I don't know!

CharlotteCollins Fri 17-Jun-16 21:10:30

I don't think it's possible. I was told if I just went for a free half hour with a solicitor, they then wouldn't be able to see my STBX as a potential client.

HopeClearwater Fri 17-Jun-16 21:13:10

One solicitor cannot act in this way. Look up 'conflict of interest'. You are getting divorced - your interests are bound to conflict!

BusStopBetty Fri 17-Jun-16 21:14:28

No! Even if they could do it, it would be a truly terrible idea.

fastdaytears Fri 17-Jun-16 21:14:55

This won't be possible. You need to see someone for yourself.

Surprising that he thinks someone would act on this basis.

MyMurphy Fri 17-Jun-16 21:15:54

I don't think that they are allowed to do that, sorry>

titchy Fri 17-Jun-16 21:16:24

Is he really a trained solicitor shock

fuzzywuzzy Fri 17-Jun-16 21:16:28

Solicitors aren't allowed to represent two people indifferent sides.

Not a good idea.

It should be fine if you're both determined to be amicable, even with different firms.

DetestableHerytike Fri 17-Jun-16 21:16:52

Are you sure he meant solicitor not mediator?

pinkpeter1 Fri 17-Jun-16 21:18:30

Yes. He is a solicitor, but teaches law now. He isn't saying to instruct a solicitor on both our behalfs, I think he means see what a judge would say is a fair split of assets. I suppose the definition of fair, depends on who you are!

fastdaytears Fri 17-Jun-16 21:21:48

The problem is that if a family lawyer could tell you what a judge would say then there wouldn't be any need for court, or really lawyers! It's all discretionary and no one can say what you're going to get. There are principles and there's caseload but you can't sit down with someone for an hour and find out what a judge would say.

Amicable is great but you need your own advice.

teaandkitkats Fri 17-Jun-16 21:29:44

I agree with earlier posters - you can't and shouldn't have the same solicitor representing you both.

Try a collaborative law process such as http://www.resolution.org.uk/collaborative_process/ - you both have solicitors but ones trained in helping bring you to an amicable settlement and that so everyone's agreed intention from the outset.

Alternatively seek out a trained mediator who will help you both http://www.relate.org.uk/relationship-help/help-separation-and-divorce/mediation - this is not marriage guidance or counselling. The mediator will help you out together a plan for separation and the split of assets etc.

Good luck! X

teaandkitkats Fri 17-Jun-16 21:37:41

Ps the advantage of the collaborative law process is that the solicitors sign an agreement stating their commitment to helping you reach an out of court settlement - and they are not allowed to represent you in court if for any reason it fails. There's usually 3 or 4 sessions depending on how complicated the agreement is.

I trained in family law (years ago) and thought this was a really helpful process for couples looking for an amicable split.

pinkpeter1 Fri 17-Jun-16 21:39:58

Thank you, I did think it was an odd idea.

Is there a standard percentage of split of assets if I have the kids with me most of the time?

teaandkitkats Fri 17-Jun-16 21:49:51

Not that I can remember but that was a long time ago and things may have changed. I'm pretty sure that for short, childless marriages it's a 50:50 split of assets accumulated during the marriage. It's obviously more complicated with children as the split is based on need and provision for the children until they are a certain age. It might also depend on what you have given up to look after the children and whether you have restricted earning capacity as a result of giving up work. You need independent legal advice and a good solicitor should help you navigate this without turning you against each other. You only get one shot at this - once the divorce is finalised there's no going back for a second bite of the cherry.

fastdaytears Fri 17-Jun-16 21:52:59

50:50 is a starting point but there's really no standard anything. If there was it would all be easy. It depends on so many factors.

pinkpeter1 Fri 17-Jun-16 21:53:49

Yes, that's the concern, I dint know what is fair. Presumably that's what the solicitor knows!? It's all well and good trying to do thungs amicably, but if difficult decisions need to be made, then falling out can occur easily, I expect.

If you do it without a solicitor, you don't know that a solicitor would say you could have got a bigger cut. But then not falling out is better?

DetestableHerytike Fri 17-Jun-16 21:57:27

A solicitor should work with your instructions. Having a solicitor doesn't automictically mean fallout and not having one doesn't equal amicable,

fastdaytears Fri 17-Jun-16 22:05:13

A solicitor can't really tell you what's fair, no! They can give really rough ideas but what you actually get is down to negotiation and/or the judge on the day.

I also did family law a while ago and do not miss it (can you tell?). So much uncertainty.

But you don't have to take a very aggressive stance if that's not what you want.

HeddaGarbled Sat 18-Jun-16 00:04:53

Here you are:

www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/fjc-financial-needs-april-16-final.pdf

pinkpeter1 Sat 18-Jun-16 08:35:51

Thank you Hedda, excellent help!

tic73 Sat 18-Jun-16 08:59:08

Ok. Please don't anyone judge or have a pop as going through divorce at the moment and as some of you know.....it's tough.
We started off on the " we can be smicabje" it doesn't happen.
The way I read it I feel he's controlling the situation. Am I fair to say the having one solicitor (can't legally happen) wash is idea? Also if amicabke wouldn't you have decided the assets split if it's that easy to openly discuss? I'm not meaning to sound harsh but just be on your guard. We have two children and I will be the primary carer but it's looking like it will be 50/50 as he's pleading poverty!
I've got a (very expensive) solicitor who is going to try and get me 60/40 but time will tell.
My advice is to get your own ASAP and try not to discuss anything with him. I'm presuming you will still be living under the same roof? If so believe me it's shit. Again if he's staying put it means he's still in control.
As I said please don't judge and I'm only trying to help here. If I've got it wrong I'm sorry but it all sounds a bit suss.
Hope you are ok x

tic73 Sat 18-Jun-16 09:00:30

Sorry about the typos!!!!!

brodchengretchen Sat 18-Jun-16 09:17:10

Everybody says they want it to be amicable at the start. You can work out for yourself how many times this actually happens.

OH is a trained solicitor and he has suggested sharing? Incredible, for the reasons laid out by pp. You should be on your guard, OP.

PHeadPH Sat 18-Jun-16 09:50:37

I've known a few couples who have worked things out amicably - if your finances are straightforward then I think it's worth considering.

Perhaps you could at least try a meeting or so.

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