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Shit hot Lawyer needed for dealing with narcisstic X

(20 Posts)
noteabagsintoilet Mon 01-Aug-16 10:17:32

i have also posted this on relationships - seems there are lots of people with issues with their legal team and not knowing how to deal with it - need some really honest support and appreciate that this is all free -
there is lots of talk about making sure you have a SHL when divorcing someone with NPD - i have read numerous articles saying this too but how do you know if your SHL is actually SHL or just out for the easiest ride for the most money. I am in this situation and feel i am being led a merry dance but from other posters on here this seems normal - i have read that they need to close down the narc at every opportunity - i am telling my solicitor they need to question something and i am being questioned as to why i am asking - i am at my wits end and feel my solicitor is using my ignorance and emotional state to their advantage. i have been advised to change but what if i am just jumping from frying pan into the fire

Namechanger2015 Mon 01-Aug-16 10:29:57

Use your gut instincts when choosing a sol. My first one was oblivious to the tactics of my narcissistic ExH and I really wasn't happy so I changed to a much better one.

Similarly we went to court for my first hearing and I wasn't happy with my barrister, but I couldn't really put my finger on why, as she had delivered a good outcome for me. I changed regardless and am much more confident going into my second hearing.

The cost of changing over is minimal compared to what you might lose in a poorly prepared battle plan.

Good luck, divorcing a narcissist is exhausting work, I'm still going through mine, it's soul destroying. It will all be over one day though.

Namechanger2015 Mon 01-Aug-16 10:30:50

When you choose a new one start from scratch and visit a few different ones for the initial 30 min free consultation to get a feel for the person.

noteabagsintoilet Mon 01-Aug-16 10:52:11

thanks Name - what about the issue of all solicitors knowing each other - my solicitor is high profile and has once said to me no other solicitor would give you different advice - i have issues with general admin of my case as well as advice - i have been told i am overly suspicious and debate everything by both solicitor and barrister. my gut - not sure how reliable this is - didnt know i was in a 20 yr EA marriage until it ended

Namechanger2015 Mon 01-Aug-16 15:01:14

That doesn't sound right to me at all - they shouldn't be putting you off going elsewhere.

I have a few niggles with my case at the moment, but nothing to cause me concern. I didn't like my barristers general demeanour and I changed for that reason. It was like breathing a big sigh of relief when I met my new one. Trust your gut instincts. I didn't know I was in an abusive marriage for ten years, or that I had dated him with his abusive tendencies for ten years prior to that. Self confidence does take a beating but trust yourself as much as you can.

Roz44 Tue 02-Aug-16 07:42:53

I am a family lawyer and have dealt with extreme difficult characters. There are ways but to be honest it is not easy but it will end. Happy to have a chat (no fee) if that would help. Pm me.

Namechanger2015 Wed 03-Aug-16 13:03:58

Can I ask your opinion Roz does it matter to the courts if one party has legal representation and one is a litigant in person?
My ex has all of the money but bizarrely has just decided to sack his solicitors and change to LIP working with a direct access barrister. Despite him earning £80k +.

I'm spending all of my money on a sol and barrister and have no access to family house, have the children live with me etc. I'm wondering if this would count against me in any way?

Roz44 Wed 03-Aug-16 13:17:01

No it won't count against you. The only issue is affordability but that is a financial issue. The court won't hold it against you that you had legal representation. If there are enough funds available it is possible to apply for an order to have your legal fees paid from income or capital of your h.

Namechanger2015 Wed 03-Aug-16 15:44:37

Thank you Roz - I am trying to figure out why exH would suddenly drop his sols and change to being LIP when he is evidently well off - he doesn't pay his full share of CM and is fighting that at the moment as well.

It could be purely a cost-cutting measure perhaps, but I wondered if there are other advantages that I don't know of.

I'll speak to my sol about having him pay some of my legal fees. Thank god I am working/earning, I don't know how I would have managed otherwise. Thank you for your opinion on this.

Roz44 Wed 03-Aug-16 17:43:51

Oh there could be a million reasons. I would not advise you not to have legal rep though . Very best of luck and I hope it all settles soon.

thisisafakename Wed 03-Aug-16 22:58:15

The only advice I have is to make sure that your solicitor is a member of Resolution. I think the public's perception of SHL is often someone who is quite aggressive. While that can be quite satisfying (watching your ex get buried in paperwork), it is the fastest way to rack up huge costs. The divorce process is not about getting revenge or asserting yourself or proving a point. It is about getting a financial agreement that is fair within the parameters of the law.
When I was in practice, clients would often let their bad relationship with their ex cloud their judgment. Things like 'write him a nasty letter to show him that I mean business' or 'don't reply to his letter for a week to prove a point'. I know many high profile solicitors who do operate tactics like this and run cases aggressively and it's fine if you're a client who has millions and don't mind spending it (Heather Mills racked up £2m in fees with her lawyers before sacking them). However, if you are of modest means, you're much better off with someone who is constructive, empathetic and doesn't mind rolling up their sleeves and negotiating with the other side to try to keep things out of court. Your solicitor should be able to give you an idea of the boundaries of a reasonable outcome in your case. If your ex-h is being difficult, you need someone who is robust, but not aggressive. A conciliatory, constructive approach that avoids getting drawn into personal squabbles should definitely not be confused for weakness.

thisisafakename Wed 03-Aug-16 23:02:15

It could be purely a cost-cutting measure perhaps, but I wondered if there are other advantages that I don't know of

Most likely to be cost-cutting or falling out with solicitor. There are definitely no benefits to having no legal representation (other than on your purse). You are at a distinct disadvantage being unrepresented (although I agree family court judges are sensitive to LiPs and will given them certain leeway). But if it were better to be unrepresented in court proceedings, lawyers wouldn't train for years and years to be able to represent and advise people.

Namechanger2015 Thu 04-Aug-16 07:28:47

Thank you thisisafakename

ExH has hired a high flying barrister from central London chambers so I think he has ditched his sols in an effort to reduce costs. Which is ironic given that he is sitting on the best part of £1million worth of assets having given me and the children nothing to live off for 18 months now!

I am hoping it works in my favour, my understanding is that the barrister can work up arguments based on the info he provided but can't actually advise him on how to proceed with the legal case.

We are just about to joinder his dad (my ExFIL) to proceedings as he has helped ExH to disappate much of the assets. Not sure how ExH will handle that development as a LiP.

He was an abusive husband and so I can't help thinking he is cleverer than me and has a sneaky game plan that I haven't even thought of. Although the signs point to him just being short-sighted and self-motivated in his actions.

When I was in practice, clients would often let their bad relationship with their ex cloud their judgement

It is SO hard not to do this, especially when you are hyperaware of all of the inequalities and perceived injustices within the relationship. Ex has financially screwed me and the children over completely for his own gain. It's so hard not to be bitter.

I hope he gets what is coming to him at the FDR.

thisisafakename Thu 04-Aug-16 08:29:39

my understanding is that the barrister can work up arguments based on the info he provided but can't actually advise him on how to proceed with the legal case

No, this is incorrect. The barrister will definitely advise him on how to proceed with the legal case. Just like the solicitor, the barrister is a legal adviser retained by the client.

So he was represented but has now confirmed he is a LiP but will pay for a barrister at the hearing? One difference between a using direct access barrister and retaining solicitors is that the DA barrister is paid a fee only for instructing and representing him on the day. He will still have to deal with all the correspondence and paperwork himself in the meantime and after the hearing.

I presume you have had legal advice about joining your ex's father to the proceedings? Are you going to go ahead with the FDR before applying to join him? Because if so, you need to ask your solicitor whether there is much point in having the FDR if you know you are going to add another party afterwards. I presume that the father holds significant assets in his name that you are claiming in fact belong to your ex? Joining parties definitely makes things more expensive and complicated, although obviously there is not much choice when one party has gotten rid of most of the assets.

Obviously your case is more complex (with third parties etc) but in a lot of cases, a client might think that their ex has some grand game plan, but in fact if you go to court, the matter is in the hands of the judge (if you go to final hearing). Being 'tactical' is just going to increase costs and if it's a modest-asset case, the court is going to be heavily guided by the parties' needs and the welfare of any children. It's different though when someone is hiding assets or transferring them to someone else (as it sounds like your ex is doing).

Namechanger2015 Thu 04-Aug-16 16:46:21

No, this is incorrect. The barrister will definitely advise him on how to proceed with the legal case. Just like the solicitor, the barrister is a legal adviser retained by the client.
Oh poo, I am assuming they will also advise him where he is stepping outside of the law and should not pursue certain things, etc, in the same way as a sol then? It might be a good thing, the barrister represented him at the first hearing as well and we had what I thought was a fair outcome of that. She supported him on some points but had obviously recommended he backed down on others.

So he was represented but has now confirmed he is a LiP but will pay for a barrister at the hearing?
Yes, bizarrely he has had a solicitor since proceedings started, 18 months ago. He even told me he wanted to sort this amicably and I shouldn't waste money on a sol, but he had already appointed one himself by then! He has completed a Notice of Acting and has decided to do without solicitors just 3 weeks before the FDR. He is definitely employed and has rental income etc so he can afford legal fees but is choosing not too I think he is being an arrogant twat but its all good for me I hope

I presume you have had legal advice about joining your ex's father to the proceedings?
Yes, this decision was taken when I met with sol and barrister for a conference to prep for the FDR. He has assets worth £300,000 and is claiming to have loaned us £200,000 without any paper trail at all. I was hoping not to have to pursue this, but it's a large sum and at the moment we don't have enough to house me and the children as we would like to. Similarly his friend and brother have all been recipients of large sums of cash (£20,000 plus) as payments for non-existent loans. We haven't pursued these in the interests of proportionality, but it does mean less in the pot and more for exH when this is over.

It's different though when someone is hiding assets or transferring them to someone else (as it sounds like your ex is doing).
I feel like I don't have a choice sadly, I really don't want to do this and will have to borrow from daily to pay the huge legal fees involved. But it's that or nothing at the moment.

We are going to FDR (despite planning to joinder exFIL) in the hope that exH will settle something, even if he doesn't fully disclose all of the assets, so we have half a chance of moving on from this.

It all feels very unjust at the moment!

heknowsmysinsheseesmysoul Thu 04-Aug-16 17:08:12

Does your ex have a Psychiatric diagnosis of NPD?

Namechanger2015 Thu 04-Aug-16 17:41:40

No, he doesn't, I hadn't even heard of Narcissistic Personality Disorder or even emotional abuse when I left him.

Since leaving I have read lots and lots and I honestly believe he does have NPD. Lacks empathy for anyone, including his children.

heknowsmysinsheseesmysoul Thu 04-Aug-16 18:00:35

That doesn't mean he has it though. Sorry - but it's a bit of an on - line and particularly MN 'thing' to 'diagnose' someone with. There is a big difference between someone having perceived narcissistic traits and having a diagnosable PD.

So it's difficult if you want a SHL to adapt their way of working to go along with your personal view of your exs MH because it may be incorrect. Could you frame it as I believe he is e.g manipulative, self - serving, not interested in other people unless he personally gains something from that person etc and give examples rather than trying to direct them to an approach which you've read on - line may be useful?

Namechanger2015 Sat 06-Aug-16 20:38:55

heknows I think you were addressing, the OP, sorry, I misunderstood.

but I don't think an actual diagnosis of narcissic personality disorder is actually what is needed, it's more a general description of a person's behaviour. So the OP needs a sol that is well-versed in dealing with difficult, manipulative, self-serving characters. I would have thought all sols come across these types in their everyday line of work, and all would have some degree of relevant experience in managing their behaviours? Or are the majority of divorces quite straight-forward?

noteabagsintoilet Wed 10-Aug-16 12:51:35

hi thanks for replies roz fake & heknows- sorry not been able to keep up with thread due to health reasons

the NPD is not diagnosed and is based on an article i read from a lawyer - my x has used all the tactics going to try and destroy me - i have said over and over he is manipulative etc but seems to no avail.

name - no worries - you are going through same as me

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