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19 replies

Carlito05 · 23/11/2015 16:48

My partner attacked me with a knife January 2014. Since then for obvious reasons he left the home and I was left to pay for everything by myself. Since that time he has never given one penny maintenance for the kids. He was sentenced to 15 months in jail, howerver he appealed and the sentence was reduced to 10 months which meant 5 months in jail.

Since March 2014, I have been using a lawyer to try and settle the split on our 2 properties - the family home and a buy to let flat we have in joint names. Talking to other people, I learnt that this is a quite straightforward case. But my current solicitor has already taken almost 7,000 pounds worth of fees from me and because I cannot afford to make any more payments on account she has insisted on me signing a document saying that I owe her in excess of 30,000 pounds for a matter which is regarded as straightforward and she also says that if the matter goes to court I will pay in excess of 80,000 pounds.

My solicitor is taking the case very slowly at present as I cannot afford to pay anything more on account and refusing to answer my telephone calls and meetings and also constantly postponing the court hearings. I have contacted a few solicitors but none were really interested in helping without money paid upfront. I do not have a penny to spare to pay for legal fees and my ex-partner is not willing to help sort out this matter.

He wants half of everything whereas I paid 300K towards the settlement of the mportgage and the money came from a critical illness insurance I had when I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer.

I cannot find another solicitor who will act on my behalf and be paid for it at the end when everything is settled and I can sell the family home or remortgage it. I would find the remortgaged difficult as my credit score is very bad due to debts left on my credit card which I could not afford to pay when he left.

Any advice please would be greatly appreciated.

OP posts:
Newbrummie · 24/11/2015 12:32

Mackenzie friend on Facebook is your best bet, font not pay that solicitor another penny. Get in touch with the court and write to them to explain you are acting for yourself going forward

ALaughAMinute · 24/11/2015 13:03

I'm very definitely no expert but your solicitors costs do seem to be very high.

Have you spoken to Women's Aid? Even if they can't help you, I am sure they would be able to put you in the right direction.

Sending you strength and hoping you manage to resolve this situation soon.


Carlito05 · 26/11/2015 21:04

Thanks for the replies. I have been researching online and I did think about going to court myself, but I am not so sure it would be successful. I have read stag about Mackenzie friend online and it seemed really interesting. Another question does anyone know how good is I have asked my local MP to refer me to their free barrister service but I do not know how long it will take between the application and the approval as my court hearing is end of January. I will need more information too on how to inform the court I will be presenting the case myself as I am the claimant and not the defendant. Hopefully I will find another soul in here that could maybe point me in the right direction. I need to win this for myself and for my kids! xx

OP posts:
Dee15 · 18/03/2016 19:44

I'm unsure where to start. I recently got a final order after a long and stressful divorce . The judge ruled in my favour due to ex H malicious lies and non disclosure . Matrimonal property was given to Ex H by his mother.
Ex M in law now wants property back as unhappy with the outcome . she has hired a top lawyer and she is claiming the property was transferred to Ex H under duress and undue influence .

Whinfell10 · 19/03/2016 07:12

I think you need a new lawyer. Where do you live? You need to keep ringing and find someone who can let you pay month by month or something.... What about writing your story up and emailing a load of lawyers and see if anyone can help? Or go to local press and try and get some publicity (your story is pretty shocking). It just seems so horribly unfair. Sorry can't be more help but I think if you keep highlighting your situation there must be a lawyer out there who can help. Mine is amazing but based in London.

iyamehooru · 19/03/2016 07:34

Is your lawyer a lawyer, check the law society website and write to them asking for their advice, it all seems a bit dodgy to me.

TheFormidableMrsC · 19/03/2016 10:40

Hi OP, I represented myself in ancillary relief proceedings. Firstly, your lawyer sounds very dodgy. £80K, for what exactly? I would be writing to her and asking her for a full breakdown of her fees thus far that amount to £7K and indeed what you would expect in return for the £30K she says you will "owe her" (and indeed how that will increase to £80K?).

Mediation is not going to be a possibility because of history of DV and you will be excused from that under the circumstances. I strongly suggest you contact Women's Aid and Rights of Women (Rights of Women being a utter bugger to get through to, but please persist and have a look at their website). I would also have a wander over to WikiVorce and ask for some advice there.

I really am not in a position to advise you as such. I had no choice but to represent myself because of the financial situation my ex-h left me in. It was stressful but not dreadful. I also came away with 100% of the marital assets (which is rare and was down to my personal circumstances). If you are a the petitioner, you simply write to the court and tell them you are representing yourself, however, I am not sure if this is the right thing for you to do given the criminal background. He is unlikely to get anywhere near 50/50 given you are the resident parents. Maintenance is separate, so put that on the backburner for now or make a claim via the CMS. Courts generally do not deal with CM now.

What exactly has your solicitor done thus far and have you and your ex-p completed a Form E?

Whinfell10 · 19/03/2016 12:26

Good advice. Also your solicitor should give you details of how to complain about your bill and you have avenues to complain to the law society if you are not satisfied. £7000 is a LOT of money. I have a very expensive lawyer £450 per hour, but we have petition filed, advice given and form e half done and I'm running at less than £2k so far. Lawyers must itemise bills, they can't just make them up

TheFormidableMrsC · 19/03/2016 12:49

I totally agree Whinfell, I was quoted £20K if I were represented as my ex-h absolutely refused to co-operate with mediation and we ended up with 10 court hearings because of his idiocy (which ultimately left him with nothing). This is why I took it on myself (and it was a relatively simple, fairly small marital pot, no massive complications!). I can't for the life of me see where £7K has actually gone or where it increases to as much as £80K. I'd like to know on what basis she justifies her projection.

OP, you can make your own application to the court but I would strongly advise you to contact the organisations I mentioned above before you do so, I really do think that given the background, this is one where it may not be sensible to rep yourself. However, having been in your shoes in terms of finances, I understand the difficulties you face.

Dee15 · 19/03/2016 14:38

Whinfell I live in London . Any chance of inboxing your lawyers contact details .

TheSilveryPussycat · 19/03/2016 14:57

Hello other posters. This thread wasn't started by Dee but she has started another one. Might be less confusing to post replies to her on that thread?

TheFormidableMrsC · 19/03/2016 15:43

My replies were to OP...!

Dee15 · 19/03/2016 16:25

My sincere apologies . I should have started a new thread . I have done so already . Still trying to get used to the site . Sorry again

TheFormidableMrsC · 19/03/2016 16:36

Don't apologise Dee, easy done! If you post or PM me a link to your thread, I'll take a look.

TheSilveryPussycat · 19/03/2016 18:47

It's Ok Dee just trying to help.

Here's the link

TheSilveryPussycat · 19/03/2016 18:49

(the original poster hasn't come back since 26 Nov 2015)

Whinfell10 · 19/03/2016 19:39

Oh I see I see, totally hadn't looked at dates. Thanks for pointing this out!!

Whinfell10 · 19/03/2016 19:40

Wonder what happened to Carlito!!

TheSilveryPussycat · 21/03/2016 10:27

Yes - that was some legal bill and all.

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