I really think it is time I sorted our a divorce from my ex (separated 4 yrs now) but I am getting a bit confused about it all. We have been through mediation and have a draft memorandum of understanding. At the time the mediator said I may be able to get this legalised through legal aid (I am a carer and qualified for legal aid help for mediation) but I have no idea how to find this out. Anyone know if this is possible? Once thats done I think we are pretty straightforward so I wonder if we can do the rest ourselves? Anyone done this?
I have emailed a couple of solicitors but one wanted £270 for an hour to talk to me and others have just ignored me. Am I asking a really tricky question?
You are asking for legal aid which is pretty unpopular as its so badly paid and very few firms have legal aid contracts left. You should ask for a quote for fixed fee to draw up a consent order based on the mediation agreement or Help with Mediation legal aid. This type of legal aid is exempt from the requirement to have proof of domestic violence that other types of legal aid required but is only for the consent order and won't give you legal aid to do the divorce itself. Under legal aid the solicitor will get paid about £200 whereas paying privately you are looking at maybe £500-1000 plus so many just won't do it as its not a small piece of work. I charge a fixed fee £750 plus vat for a simple consent order where all is agreed (not touting for work just by way of info) but if any renegotiation is required it costs extra.
You may have to try lots of firms. Did the mediator not have any suggestions for local firms that offer this?
Have either of you started divorce proceedings ? You need to get to decree nisi stage before any agreement can be made into a binding court order so you may as well get going - info and forms here - www.gov.uk/divorce/overview