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One hour meeting with Divorce Solicitor - what should I ask?

(9 Posts)
questions2008 Thu 25-Oct-12 16:30:29

Hi, hoping to get some advice please!

Have been separated from STBXH for 14 months now and he lives in another country. We have a little boy who lives with me. No assests to split and he earns minimal amount abroad once currency is converted so no point thinking about financial support for my son currently.

I'm aiming to file my own papers to minimise costs but I have booked a one-hour appointment tomorrow with a solicitor to make sure I've covered all bases when filling out the forms.

Was just racking my brains thinking of all the questions I need to ask, but I have no idea what goes on in divorce procedures so hoping those with experience would be able give me some ides to make sure I get the most out of the session. What would you have asked?

TIA!!

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 25-Oct-12 16:38:53

If there is nothing to argue about it's actually very straightforward and relatively cheap. All I remember was a few documents to sign off etc. However, I wouldn't assume anything and let the solicitor go through the checklist. He may earn a minimal amount today, for example, but that could change quite easily in the future so it's worth having a maintenance provision in place.

questions2008 Thu 25-Oct-12 17:07:07

Thanks Cognito. Good to hear it can be straightforward. I've been putting it off as I a) I hate admin and b) have heard many divorce horror stories.

I was wondering about the possibility of getting Sole Parental Responsbility? Has anyone done this? I was just thinking if anything serious happens and as he's not around I would be able to take decisions without waiting for his sign-off?

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 25-Oct-12 17:40:05

I think you'll find you already have that. If your child needed an operation, for example, they wouldn't hang around waiting for everyone's signature they would take your permission as valid.

MOSagain Thu 25-Oct-12 18:07:33

Divorce is relatively straightforward and you can do it yourself with a bit of guidance. Have you decided which ground to petition on?
Ref finances, are there really no assets at all? No house, pensions, savings? (whether pensions relevant will depend on length of marriage and other factors)

With regards to your DC, there is no need to apply to the Court for any Orders (Residence or Contact etc) unless there is a dispute so if your DH does not dispute that your DC lives with you, then there is no need for you to apply to the Court. As Cogito says, you wouldn't need his permission as you have parental responsibility.

susiedaisy Thu 25-Oct-12 18:48:32

I'm trying to remember back to my first meeting and I seem to recall the solicitor wanting paperwork in the form of ID marriage certificate etc it might be worth phoning the office and just asking them what will be needed for the first meeting, there was also form filling done by solicitor that required things like NI number etc, she also talked about fees etc andghave me a massive pile of info to go home and read.

questions2008 Thu 25-Oct-12 20:57:07

thanks everyone. i'm giving grounds for divorce, have prepared a list to discuss which to use on the forms.

we have been married 5 years and absolutely no assets to split, actually he just left me with debts (in my name so can't do much but keep paying them off, he also had loans but as he's left the country good luck trying to get him to pay those back!).

Yes I do have parental responsibility by default, but I guess I was wondering whether I had grounds to remove his parental responsibility as I can see in the future he could become very difficult if he wanted to. he hasn't seen his son since we separated and apart from a few possible days a year where he may come over on holiday to see him, that will continue for the foreseeable future. So I would like legal certainty I guess of knowing I can take all decisions now and in the future when he may start to try and assert his "authority" over us (that's what matters the most to him).

MOSagain Fri 26-Oct-12 10:28:56

No, you cannot remove his parental responsibility. Regardless of how often he sees yoru son, he is still his father. He is also entitled to be involved in important decisions such as education, religion etc. If he hasn't shown much interest, hopefully he wont' interfere with whatever decisions you make but you can't just take away his rights.

questions2008 Fri 26-Oct-12 13:23:44

Solicitor agrees with you MOS, can't remove his prental responsibility. I find that strange tbh, if I was the one living abroad and having minimal contact with my child nor contributing in any way to his upbringing, I wouldn't expect my legal rights to continue. Surely rights come with responsibility and as he's showing none then there's a case of removing them. But it doesn't really matter anyway, as it is what it is.

I wish he did have a real role in his life so that my son could have a father. In that case I wouldn't think of getting sole responsibility.

Thanks again

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