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How do I find the best divorce lawyer I can afford?

(21 Posts)
OkeyDokeySpud Thu 07-Oct-10 23:26:07

I'm talking Mostyn Powers but cheaper. I gather he's about £500 per hour. I reckon I could manage £150 ph for a consultation.
I need someone shit hot just to talk to. H is a lawyer.

Jaybird37 Fri 08-Oct-10 09:31:21

Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 are two independent ratings agencies for lawyers and are free to access.

However, £150 ph is not very much for a solicitor.

Most lawyers will give you an initial consultation for free, as it is important that you find someone that you like and trust.

Mediation is often a cheaper option, and better if you have children. You could try Centre for Justice , although there are others.

OkeyDokeySpud Fri 08-Oct-10 14:56:48

Oh, OK. How much will it cost then for a good solicitor? I'm not short of cash at the moment, but we have a joint account so less is best iyswim. I will be short of cASH WHEN WE SEperate though. I need some serious advice.
Thank you for the links

nocake Fri 08-Oct-10 15:09:53

An expensive solicitor may be a better option than a cheap one if he/she can do the job in less time. My ex's solicitor had a cheap hourly rate but cost a fortune because she kept sending me stupid and pointless letters rather than negotiating the financial settlement.

I would say that mediation would be a better option combined with advice (not representation) from an experience solicitor who is a member of Resolution.

mumblechum Fri 08-Oct-10 15:15:15

I'm a divorce lawyer and charge £200 per hour (I'm not touting, btw, I have more work on than I can handle).

I think you should initially take the approach of trying mediation. Just because your dh is a lawyer doesn't magically make the rules any different. Is he even a family lawyer? If not he won't have any more clue about family law than anyone else imo.

By the way when you Mostyn Powers, are you talking about Nick Mostyn QC?

OkeyDokeySpud Fri 08-Oct-10 19:27:09

yes, I did mean Nick Mostyn QC, that's why I got all confused, I didn't realis he was a QC. I contacted his chambers and they recommended a good solicitor near to me who charges £275 shock an hour. I've got an ap't in two weeks so should have time to stash a few quid.

What I really need is to find out all my options before I even mention the divorce word to H. I guess that I should find out a lot of financial things before mentioning anything to H as he might be inclined to make changes things. i.e. transfer various properties he owns in to a friends name etc etc. Also I really need advice about what we should do with our house. It needs a lot of work doing ant that will take a while, but is financially worthwhile doing from a resale point of view.

What is mediation? Can I do it on my own? in the first instance to find out my legal position.

OkeyDokeySpud Fri 08-Oct-10 19:28:05

and yes, you're right he isn't a family lawyer, but if we did end up using lawyers, he would make damn certain he found the best he could.

cosmicdancer Fri 08-Oct-10 19:38:54

My ex-husband is a family lawyer. My advice to you would be to try to sort things amicably. My divorce started out that way but ended up horribly acrimonious with us both having barristers. I am still paying off the £9,000 bill I ended up with. My ex owned other properties which he claimed weren't saleable. I got a big percentage of the matrimonial home, which I'm now having to sell to move to something more affordable. My advice to you is to think VERY seriously about whether you actually want to divorce and if you decide that it is what you want to do, then the more you can talk to one another and come to agreement without solicitors being involved then the less it is likely to cost you. Also don't underestimate the effect that an acrimonious divorce has on your children. My daughter and I went to hell and back earlier this year. We came through the other side though, as you will, too. Wishing you all the best and shout for any advice - I felt like I couldn't trust anyone in the legal profession though I had to get over that.

cosmicdancer Fri 08-Oct-10 19:42:34 is a great resource, too which I found really helpful.

whomovedmychocolate Fri 08-Oct-10 19:45:00

Go equipped with information of all assets owned, properties, cars, artworks. All sources of income current and expected (i.e. pensions), pre-existing assets at the time of marriage. Length of marriage, ages of children. A lot of the time spent with divorce lawyers can be avoided if you know what you want and have all the info to hand.

But before you go down that path, be really sure this is what you want. Divorce impoverishes both parties considerably regardless of the circumstances.

And IME those who work in law, tend to be more matter of fact about divorce, they know what they will get away with paying etc and don't push it. So unless you think he's squirrelling money away in the Cayman Islands, don't assume he'll be a git.

cosmicdancer Fri 08-Oct-10 19:54:30

I agree, with what you said WMMC, my ex was very up-front about the financial side of matters he was just difficult with regard to other aspects of the divorce which ended up costing me a lot of money.

PosieParker Fri 08-Oct-10 19:56:46

Whatever you do put as much cash aside as possible for as long as possible until you have enough...

whomovedmychocolate Fri 08-Oct-10 19:57:47

Also, if he works in law and you can do so amicably there is nothing to stop you going to the lawyers with a draft agreement on who gets what. I actually stated my terms before we kicked off. Made an offer which was accepted at the same time, the proceedings were acknowledged. Done and dusted in six months (including court delays).

mumonthenet Sat 09-Oct-10 13:05:39

Maybe not relevant but,

I read recently that a clever trick is to visit all the hot-shot, expensive, ruthless lawyers yourself with a view to retaining them. You then hire a cheaper one but your H cannot use any of those that you visited.(?)

Maybe someone more knowledgeable can confirm that.

whomovedmychocolate Sun 10-Oct-10 09:57:55

Sort of. If you have sought professional advice formally they cannot use them, but if it's just a quite half hour it doesn't count. Sadly.

Also, you have to bear in mind that not all will have time to see you so the really good ones are too busy to waste half an hour so you get to see their junior anyway.

screeny22 Sun 05-May-13 14:24:08

Dear Okey Dokey Spud, I hope you don't mind me contacting you regards your post about divorce. I find myself in a very similar position - its very anxious - think divorce is the only way and am also concerned about my home which also is half renovated and we also have 2 other properties.
My husband won't discuss anything so I'm virtually trapped. Did you locate a good solicitor and dean you offer me any advice? Thank you

screeny22 Sun 05-May-13 14:27:04

Dear WhoMovedMyChocolate - I just want to ask you after an acrimonious divorce - could you have foreseen any other option. I am heading down that road now but once one starts I don't think I will be able to turn back the clock. Are you happy with your decision now and do you think there are any other options.

WhiteBirdBlueSky Sun 05-May-13 14:33:31

I really don't think this is a time to be cutting costs. I am currently using someone at £250 per hour and she's very good. I think if someone were less good it could cost you more than you'd save. Especially if there is a lot of money at stake.

Anniegetyourgun Sun 05-May-13 16:07:04


TheSilveryPussycat Sun 05-May-13 16:14:53

Screeny22 this is sort of your thread now, yes? My advice is to look on the Resolution site, there you can find family solicitors, and some of them do collaborative divorce, which is cheaper than the usual settlement route. There's a lot of info re divorce on the site, too. Unfortunately my Ex refused to go the collaborative route, but I used the sam sol as I would have done if he'd agreed.

I looked for a woman sol who had qualified a fair while ago, so she would have a lot of experience under her belt, and she was brilliant, worth every penny - twas about the rate you are speaking of, but am in cheap part of the country..

Moanranger Sun 05-May-13 16:26:55

I immediately got a good & experienced lawyer once I knew divorce was inevitable. She has been very wise, suggesting we agree financial matters before filing, so this is what we are doing. She gave me a budget, which I am setting aside. The price (ca£10k) is not cheap but we have significant holdings, so I put it in context. A good practitioner is worth every penny.

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