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Am I with the right divorce solicitor - advice please.

(16 Posts)
Wisedupwoman Sat 18-Jun-11 10:04:48

Basically - am posting in relationships and so many posters are telling me I'm not getting what I'm paying for.
I'm divorcing on the grounds of U/B - stbx is not contesting. Papers have gone to court, awaiting decree nisi.
Meanwhile my sol has insisted I try mediation since the law changed. I am very reluctant because I've been living in a web of lies and betrayal for a long time with stbx and he is arch manipulator. Nevertheless I have agreed to but I have not yet had any advice from my sol as to what is a good settlement, what I could get, what to ask for - nothing. He has refused to look at the proposed figures my stbx gave me after he left. He keeps telling me the full financial disclosure will give a picture of what is possible. Other MNers are aghast at this - and keep saying I should be going into mediation with some idea from sol, (as they have done, from their very first meetings with theirs), otherwise I'm at a disadvantage. I don't know which way to turn. Please help.

Collaborate Sat 18-Jun-11 10:45:07

Do you have legal aid? If so, an attempt at mediation is compulsory if your funding is to go further.

Your solicitor I think is within his right not to give you advice unless there has been proper disclosure. Mediation is one way in which that disclosure can take place. You can continue to get advice from your solicitor as the mediation rumbles on - indeed unless you get advice before each mediation meeting you won't get the most out of it.

This is one of the many ways in which the government's idea that mediation will replace legal advice is a joke. Those that can pay for advice will be in a much better position than those who can't.

babybarrister Sat 18-Jun-11 10:57:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Wisedupwoman Sat 18-Jun-11 11:08:48

Thank you both.
No I don't get legal aid, I'm borrowing to pay the costs and sol has petitioned that stbx pays the divorce. So if that's the case I don't understand and now am fairly pissed off that I am not getting any answers.

So is it possible to lie (and get away with it)about financial disclosure since mediation is supposed to be non-combative? Because I believe that stbx will lie about hs finances since this has been part of the reason I am divorcing him among other things.

Do I get Form E from stbx before mediation then? Does he get mine too? I downloaded one from wikivorce and it's huge.

Please respond, I'm pretty desperate!

xiaojree Sat 18-Jun-11 13:28:18

Message deleted

mumblechum1 Sat 18-Jun-11 13:44:09

You should both have completed Form E and exchanged it with the other side before mediation takes place.

Your solicitor could, in my view, give a very broad brush idea of what you should get, ie if you're on a low income and your husband is earning a high salary, then in principle you will get either spousal mtce or a significantly higher share of the net proceeds of your house if approp. If he has a good pension and you don't, and assuming you've been married a fair while, it's likely that you'll get a share of his pension.

I think your sol should outline the principles of the MCA s25 checklist (you can google it) if he/she hasn't, so you can get a feel for the logic behind the negotiations.

bringinghomethebacon Sat 18-Jun-11 13:51:58

Mumblechum I don't necessarily agree with always doing Form Es prior to mediation unless you really think mediation is going to be useful - you can waste a lot of time filling in Form Es if you think the other party is going to be non-cooperative with disclosure. You MUST now be referred to mediation now before making an application to the court to deal with your finances and possibly if your sol thinks your ex is going to be non-cooperative he wants to make an application to court ASAP to timetable disclosure and ensure that there is a duty of full and frank disclosure to the court - with penalties if your ex does not comply. However you have to first go through the process of being referred to mediation and signed off as not suitable before your solicitor can make that application - new rules came in in April.

However your solicitor as Mumblechum says should be able to give you a broad brush idea if you have a rough idea of income assets & debts. Why don't you go and have a one off with another solicitor locally - saying you specifically want to discuss finances - set out a schedule of the financial information in advance for the solicitor to look at. If you have no idea what assets/debts/income your husband has then it would be very hard for any solicitor to give you an idea of outcome but they could very roughly tell you the approach that would be taken by the court, again as Mumblechum says (the s25 factors, and how they are applied).

Wisedupwoman Sat 18-Jun-11 15:49:46

Thank you so much. mumblechum and BHTB - that was all I needed to know. It makes sense now, my sol is doing the right thing and I think I know what direction he is thinking this will go.

Much appreciated.

mumoverseas Sat 18-Jun-11 16:36:07

'Other MNers are aghast at this - and keep saying I should be going into mediation with some idea from sol, (as they have done, from their very first meetings with theirs), otherwise I'm at a disadvantage. I don't know which way to turn. Please help.' Um, with all due respect, I'm not sure that 'other Mners' have spent years studying law and practising? Sometimes seeking legal advice on here is as bad as getting advice from a friend of a friend down the pub or better still, watching Jeremy Kyle!

Wisedupwoman Sat 18-Jun-11 17:19:27

LOL mumoverseas, point taken!

babybarrister Sat 18-Jun-11 20:05:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

xiaojdd Sun 19-Jun-11 01:26:56

Message deleted

mumoverseas Sun 19-Jun-11 06:40:01

confused Have I missed something?

wisedupwoman sorry if I came across as sarcastic blush I just sometimes get a bit tired of so called experts whose expertise is gained from trashy magazines/tv shows and have to question why I bothered spending/wasting so much of my life studying law grin

bringinghomethebacon Sun 19-Jun-11 12:56:10

Although a lot of mumsnetters are actually lawyers too Wisedupwoman, and it's usually fairly easy to tell from the tone of their posts. Think you have had nothing but appropriate legal advice from what I think are four family law solicitors and one barrister on this thread!

Wisedupwoman Sun 19-Jun-11 13:48:27

Yes, so do I BHTB.

And I really do appreciate this, it has definitely put my mind at rest on that front.

MOS - you didn't sound sarcastic at all.

Thank you all. smile

xiaojwww Mon 20-Jun-11 02:46:57

Message deleted

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