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Reaching an agreement with limited solicitor involvement

7 replies

Seth · 19/02/2013 06:40

My H and I have been separated for 3 years but are only just getting round to starting divorce proceeding and financial stuff. We can divorce using 2 years separation and I need to contact a solicitor soon to get things started soon as both of us want things sorted now. We have 2 young DCs and seem to be able to agree on things with them.

We are just negotiating a sum of money for me to buy him out and we seem to be close to agreeing something between ourselves there too ( based on advice I have taken from a couple of solicitors and my own research) after a tumultuous 3 years it all seems to be going ok on the surface.

That said my H can be quite changeable . I have been to a few free consultations with solicitors at different stages over the last 3 years and have been told different things. I liked the most expensive one the most but do I need to use the most expensive one in this case? Should I almost assume that things could take a turn with my H and go with the more expensive one ?

In people's experience should I assume there is a rocky road ahead and that his solicitor will step in and move the goalposts when we go to get this drawn up ( it's not unreasonable - but I guess he could push for more) ?

How straightforward are things normally when you have agreed things yourselves? I just wondered what other people's experiences were of this.

Also if things aren't contested and we get things agreed then how long do things like this take? I just don't want to be in a situation where I am sleeping easier at night as I think it's all sorted and then he changes his mind at the last minute.

I really appreciate any thoughts on the above questions. Thanks.

OP posts:
AloeSailor · 19/02/2013 07:07


AllThreeWays · 19/02/2013 07:32

What i did was propose the arrangements (as we had both agreed in principle) and he got his solicitor to draw it up. I them signed it.
This can work because if he changes it you will send it back to his solicitor and it will cost him more.

Seth · 19/02/2013 07:37

Oh that's useful advice thanks .

Am still a bit confused as to the divorce process and the financial arrangements. If I start divorce proceedings and we try and get the finances drawn up too then they kind of run parallel don't they and we need to get finances agreed before getting divorced is that right?

Do you mind me asking how long your process took three ways?

Also was it really that straightforward? Am I right in thinking that you don't have to go through the whole form E thing ( is that the same as full financial disclosure?) if you can just agree on a sim for me to buy him out with?

Any tips gratefully received. Thanks.

OP posts:
AllThreeWays · 19/02/2013 07:56

I am in Australia, and haven't divorced yet, although her it is only a form and a fee lodged at the court if you both agree. This was for financial agreements only.
It took about a month to finalise paperwork, but that was mainly due to his solicitor being rubbish and making mistakes, I just kept sending it back and didn't even give it to my solicitor until it was right and just needed signing.
Do use a solicitor though as mine found another mistake that would have had severe ramifications for my ex.
I did the take around two months to receive settlement. I would assume that if you trust each other and believe that the agreement is totally fair that you only need a solicitor to advise what you are agreeing to and witness it. Also useful as they chase the money :)

AllThreeWays · 19/02/2013 07:57

Yes to making sure financial agreements are do before the divorce too

AllThreeWays · 19/02/2013 07:58


cbmum · 21/02/2013 22:15

Seth you are right. You need to do two things.

  1. Start divorce proceedings. Either do the paperwork yourself if you feel able to sort it or ask a solicitor to do it for you. Most of us offer this as a fixed fee. The court fees for a divorce are £385. (£340 for the divorce petition and £45 for the Decree Absolute).

2. Instruct a solicitor to prepare the Consent Order (financial agreement). You can do this at the same time as the divorce is going on. Until your Decree Nisi has been granted by the court they are unable to approve your Consent Order. The court charge you a further £45 to approve the agreement.

If in doubt go to and you will be able to search for a solicitor close to you that can help. If you and your ex have reached an agreement then it is not for the lawyers to undermine that. Their role is to make sure that you have thought about all of your assets and liabilities and how you are going to deal with them.

I hope this helps Grin
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