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Q for divorced or going through one- legal nature

(18 Posts)
nosferatu Thu 21-Mar-13 19:18:38

I am planning to file for divorce and ( I have been on mumsnet already and got a lot of good advice from you guys) but I am, after reading about legalities and having advice from CAB still not clear about 2 things:
my husband has got a lawyer and I haven't. He wants me to make a decision and is waiting. Now, all our accounts are joint. He is trying to persuade me to go to his lawyer and sort it all amicably ( yes in ideal world, apprently it is possible) , but I have been told I need to have a lawyer to represent me and I would like to know what I am signing in any case. I do not want to give a fortune in legal costs, and a lawyer to draw me in a fight of any sort, but I do not know what do I do and how to apply. I have no separate account, and he is an only earner. Do I go and pay for a lawyer to draw up my divorce, or do I pay later, or does he pay in the end?
Also, where do we go for mediation? Neutral place? I have ben told I can get legal help from CAB but internet says I can't as he is earning too much. I also have no idea what to expect in legal fees terms, but been told I am not under a grand either way.

Thanks a lot.

iamjustlurking Thu 21-Mar-13 19:34:52

You need a solicitor of your own as his will obviously have "conflict of interest" if they try and do the best by you and your ex.

If you have no income he may well be ordered to pay both costs depending on outcome and and reasons for divorce. If he has instigated the divorce his cost could well be higher.

Find a solicitor offering 30 mins free and find one you are comfortable with. Mediation is done through the courts I believe to hopefully prevent long legal battles but they will ensure any division is fair. DO NOT agree to anything without legal advise.

iamjustlurking Thu 21-Mar-13 19:37:37

BTW I am saying this as my DP thought he was doing the right thing by agreeing to her terms giving her almost everything (she was main wage earner) and she has still dumped on him from a great height and now denied any agreements they had sad

nosferatu Thu 21-Mar-13 21:04:22

well this is it- you hear horror stories and it can start amicably but the moment money is mentioned things can turn 360 degrees. I will try and find 30 min free, yes, definitely. Then mediation. I guess that is step by step approach.

izzyizin Thu 21-Mar-13 21:16:56

Do you have much in the way of joint assets to be divided and do you have dc?

ElectricSheep Thu 21-Mar-13 21:19:38

If you have no income he may well be ordered to pay both costs depending on outcome and and reasons for divorce

This is absolutely not true.

Unless it goes to court and he messes about big time, you will each have to pay your own costs. Divorces are also now 'no fault'. They are usually a 50:50 split of marital assets. If you have children you may be allowed to stay in the family home with the children. He may have to pay maintenance if you look after the children most of the time.

ElectricSheep Thu 21-Mar-13 21:20:42

The divorce and financial agreement are treated separately.

Shybairns Thu 21-Mar-13 21:24:06

You may be eligable for legal aid as you have no income of your own. I was even though my stbexh earned a substantial wage.

We tried mediation but really it will come down to the finances and you will need to consult your solicitor about alot of details.

I left my legal aid solicitor because I felt she wasn't giving me enough back up.

Divorce now being handled by solicitors letter exchange.

nosferatu Thu 21-Mar-13 21:27:59

yes 2 properties mortgage on one and 2 kids, me full-time mum. So Shybairns do I go to solicitor before mediation? What are you paying if not secret?

nosferatu Thu 21-Mar-13 21:38:54

also I have no idea how to deal with this whilst under the same roof. He shows no signs of moving out, ever.

izzyizin Thu 21-Mar-13 21:44:42

Legal aid in divorce/family matters will cease after this end of this month.

If you have reason to believe you may be entitled to legal aid you'll need to get your skates on and book a consultation with a solicitor as a matter of urgency. Women's Aid can recommend experienced lawyers in your area - locate your nearest office here:

Given the properties and the dc, you're best advised to instruct a solicitor of your choosing in this matter but, in the interim, there would be no harm in asking your h to get his solicitor to write to you with draft proposals relating to the division of property, child support and contact arrangements for the dc, spousal maintenance, etc.

akaWisey Thu 21-Mar-13 22:20:08

When I did this I got my own sol. He had to advise mediation due to changes in the law in 2011. The aim is that mediation can resolve financial and contact matters without involving court processes. Mediation must be attempted first.

Due to my ex's UB he had to pay the costs of the divorce and the settlement was agreed between my sol and him as he chose not to appoint legal advice. We have a consent order which saved considerably on the cost of dividing our assets and which awarded child and spousal maintenance.

But I had to pay my own legal fees which in all were about 8K. These are paid as the process goes along.

nosferatu Thu 21-Mar-13 22:28:08

so let say I get legal aid- does it work like this : I get a solicitor of my choice and i get refunded?

akaWisey Thu 21-Mar-13 22:43:45

I think its down to the law firm and your income. but i might be wrong. If I were you I'd ring around my local sol's tomorrow and ask if they do legal aid for divorce.

akaWisey Thu 21-Mar-13 22:46:25

Sorry OP not sure. It might be that you pay a proportion of the fees as you go,and then you are refunded, or the bill goes directly to legal aid and they pay.

that's why you need to ring around and ask. Or you might try Wikivorce. I'd link but never can make it work blush

nosferatu Thu 21-Mar-13 22:53:58

no probs I will ring tomorrow! thanks!

izzyizin Thu 21-Mar-13 23:32:30

You can instruct any solicitor of your choice who undertakes legal aid while it still exists work.

If you are entitled to legal aid you won't to have put any money up front but you may be required reimburse the Law Services Commission for the costs of your divorce/other related matters when you are in receipt of your share of your divided joint assets..

Your best bet is to get on to your nearest Women's Aid office first thing, get recommendations from them, and ring round to see if any firm can offer you an appointment before 31 March... which is a bit of a tall order given that there are only 4 working days next week.

If you don't meet with any luck, I would suggest you ask for a draft proposal from his solicitor (as above) and ascertan whether your h intends to pay legal costs from his share of your joint assets.

As he isn't showing any signs of moving out and if you can't get entitlement to legal aid, it may pay you to wait a while until solicitors/banks/other finance companies begin offering, for want of a better term, 'package deals' which can be paid for by instalments or on completion.

nosferatu Fri 22-Mar-13 12:42:14

akaWisey 8K scares me- was that a 'normal' fee or there was a dispute over something?

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