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Appointment with solicitor.. any advice?

(20 Posts)
Lahti Sun 14-Apr-13 15:29:46

Hi, I have my second appointment with my solicitor on Tuesday to start organising my separation from H. I have been told the appointment is an hour long but I am unsure what will be happening and what to take.
H and I will be going to mediation in the future, will she advise me on this? My main worry is the finance and mortgage as H is quite obsessed with money. I think access will be easier to arrange.
Can anyone advise me on what to expect, what to take and any questions that I may not have considered yet.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 14-Apr-13 15:31:10

Would you really want to be doing mediation at all with your DH?. I ask this as mediation is often used by abusive men to further beat their spouse with. Its all about power and control with such men.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 14-Apr-13 15:34:29

To use mediation is to subscribe to the mistaken idea that abuse is related to "misunderstandings" or lack of communication. If discussion and compromise, the mainstay of mediation, could help in any way most domestic violence situations would be long ago resolved because victims of abuse "discuss and compromise" constantly. Mediation assumes both parties will cooperate to make agreements work; the victim has always 'cooperated' with the abuser; the abuser never cooperates.

Mediation can be and is ordered by judges/courts, as can counselling and mental health evaluations. They are tools in the abuser's arsenal to be used against the victim as often as he chooses. In order for mediation to work and to not make situations worse the parties involved must have equal power and must share some common vision of resolution. This is clearly not present when domestic violence has taken place in a relationship.

Mediation practitioners must be alert to the need to interview partners separately with specially designed questions in order to determine if abuse is or has been present. Many domestic violence professionals can train others to screen safely for domestic violence. To not do so risks unsuccessful mediations, at best, and increasing the victim's danger by colluding with the abuser, at worst.

A person who has been terrorized by an abuser is not free to participate in a mediation process with him, even if the mediator(s) assume or believe that they "understand". Being truthful about any of her needs or experiences in the abuser's presence or proximity practically ensures that she is in more danger later.

The mediator is left with a no win: either the victim's danger is increased, or she is not fully or truthfully participating, or both. The well meaning mediator may actually encourage the victim to feel safe enough to share information that could seriously compromise her safety. In any case the whole intent of mediation is lost.

To engage an abuser and a victim in a process that implies equal responsibility is damaging to both. The victim is once again made to feel responsible for the abuser's behavior, and the abuser is allowed to continue to not accept full responsibility for his behaviour choices.

Lahti Sun 14-Apr-13 15:35:15

Good question. At my last appointment my solicitor said it would be less confrontational. I feel that I need to have very good advice from her first as he is money obsessed.

Lahti Sun 14-Apr-13 15:40:36

Thanks attila that is food for thought. I am still getting used to realising how controlled I was and I know that I can easily default back to that state. Which is worrying me greatly, it took every ounce of strength to ask him to leave and move into his mums. I feel really guilty about that as she is elderly and is finding it hard (according to him).

TheSilveryPussycat Sun 14-Apr-13 16:09:24

Hi Lahti are you going for separation rather than divorce?

Lahti Sun 14-Apr-13 16:15:26

Hi silver yes separation with the intention to divorce in 2 years. My solicitor recommended separation if he was agreeable (which he finally is). The other reason is purely financial as the cost of divorce seems so huge and I have limited family support and his family (his mum is our childcare, feel so guilty about this) live nearby.

Dededum Sun 14-Apr-13 16:17:37

If you have any specific questions ( however silly) write them down before hand so you don't forget.

TheSilveryPussycat Sun 14-Apr-13 16:30:43

AIUI the cost of divorce, if not contested, is not all that huge, compared to the cost of sorting out the settlement. But I didn't have to pay for my actual divorce, as sol's secretary made an error (didn't claim costs from Ex as I had instructed)

I tried to get Ex to use Collaborative Law to sort us (see Resolution site for details), which would have been cheaper for settlement. But he wouldn't. He refused to provide financial details, so I had to go the court route for settlement. As part of this, sol referred us to mediation. We each received a letter inviting us to make individual separate appts at a cost of £100 each. Ex didn't even reply to his letter, so at my appt mediator just signed us off.

It cost nearly £3K to get settlement sorted, this included one court appt, several meetings with sol, drawing up paperwork (though I did initial drafts) and a meeting with him, me and my sol (Ex represented himself) at which we finally reached agreement.

Why did sol recommend separation (apart from cost?)

welcometomysillylife Sun 14-Apr-13 16:34:18

I am surprised that your solicitor recommended separation. Mine strongly recommended divorce and finances at the same time, not separation which I was considering. Exdp's solicitor said the same to him.

Lahti Sun 14-Apr-13 16:35:47

silver she just said it would be less confrontational. H is very keen to use mediation too. I just want to be 'free' ASAP. I guess this is what I need to discuss with solicitor.

Lahti Sun 14-Apr-13 16:40:41

Welcome She said that if H does not accept that the marriage was over and agree to separate I should then go on to say that he had forced my hand to proceed with divorce. As he is finally accepting it I over should I not just continue with separation?

welcometomysillylife Sun 14-Apr-13 16:41:31

If you want to be free asap, divorce is definitely better as it provides a clean break. Why are you/she worried about being 'confrontational?'

Lahti Sun 14-Apr-13 16:50:09

I am worried about it as he is very used to getting his own way and me backing down. The last 2 months have seen a huge swing in the balance of power (makes me sound controlling now) and he doesn't like it. He is already talking about putting the house on the market, demanding 50:50 access, and saying that his mum is getting too tired to do the childcare as well as having him and DD to stay. He wants to downsize the family home and buy 2 flats (1each) so we both have somewhere to live but obviously this will result in more debt for me and tie me to him for longer. He refuses to rent.

TheSilveryPussycat Sun 14-Apr-13 17:28:26

Ignoring for a moment what he wants, what do you want? This is the thing to get v clear in your mind. Aim high - you might have to settle for not quite the ideal eventually, but don't start from a point of compromise, at least in your own mind.

BellyChancer Sun 14-Apr-13 18:00:53

Think about what you want. Write it out in bullet points. With space underneath to add notes. Also write all your questions down..,

I agree, DON'T start off trying to compromise!!!!!! and don't try to be meek about money. If they look at you like 'that's too much to ask for' say you merely want to make sure that the sacrifices for parenting are equalised (that'll never happen so you might as well insist on no less than that.) I didn't want to be perceived to be grasping or entitled, I had a naive expectation that there would be more fairness so I didn't want to be seen to ask for too much.....

TheSilveryPussycat Sun 14-Apr-13 21:52:34

Have you had the house valued?

Lahti Sun 14-Apr-13 22:05:00

silver yes it is worth about the same that we paid for it.

NumTumDeDum Sun 14-Apr-13 22:22:08

It sounds as though solicitor has recommended divorce using two years separation as the fact to be relied upon, presumably because h would contest/defend unreasonable behaviour, you cannot prove adultery and he hasn't deserted you. So you will need to wait until separated for two years to petition with his consent. This saves costs because the divirce is agreed and not contested. You can sort out the finances and enter into agreement which can be put into a consent order once divorce has reached decree nisi stage. Hth.

TheSilveryPussycat Sun 14-Apr-13 23:06:12

My personal advice is to petition for divorce on grounds of unreasonable behaviour (strangely, you can agree these with him if he's amenable, but I wouldn't recommend it). He's a FW, like mine, yeah? (or am I mixing you up with another poster - sorry if so) If he doesn't contest it, it will be just as cheap as the 2 year rule - and if he is a FW, who's to say he'll agree when 2 years are up, then you're looking at a further 3 years...

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