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Thinking of legally separating - how to find a lawyer?

8 replies

Paddlechick666 · 29/06/2007 17:01

I heard that lawyers offer a free 30 minute advise session in these matters.

However, every local lawyer I've rung today charge by the hour straight off the bat.

Is there anywhere I can look for a list of firms who will give some free advice?


OP posts:
Paddlechick666 · 02/07/2007 10:39


OP posts:
Catz · 02/07/2007 16:11

You could use this as a starting point -it's the Law Society website. Look for those who list themselves as doing legal aid work.
Best of luck

Paddlechick666 · 02/07/2007 17:51

oh that's great, thanks so much.

OP posts:
mumblechum · 03/07/2007 14:08

Hi, I'm a divorce lawyer and I, and most lawyers in my area do offer a free half hour. I'm not touting for business, though!

All good family specialists are members of Resolution, so try (formerly Solicitors Family Law Association.)

Before you look for a lawyer, though, I suggest you find out whether you're eligible for legal aid (now called public funding). Go to www.communitylegalservice and go to the eligibility calculator.

If you are eligible, find a Resolution lawyer who does legal aid.

I, and most lawyers these days don't do legal aid work any more as we were making a loss (the charging rate works out at about a third of what you'll pay privately).

Good luck, and if you have any specific queries in the meantime, feel free to ask.

Paddlechick666 · 03/07/2007 16:28

hi mumblechum, I had a look at the calculator and if I leave out the money my H pays monthly I am eligible but not if I include it.

How does that work? He pays 95% of the rent on the house he wanted us to have before he left and that I simply can't afford on my salary as it amounts to over half what I earn.

Since he left I've been paying his council tax, life insurance and so on as his leaving was always allegedly temporary due his depression.

I've come to the conclusion he's never coming back or going to be well enough to be a husband & father so have decided to pursue a formal separation.

He first left nearly 2 years ago and apart from about 12 weeks last summer hasn't lived at home since.

I'm reluctant to sue for divorce immediately but want to protect my assets such as they are...... I kinda also hope he will keep his promise in terms of access if it's agreed in this way.

thanks in advance, i appreciate your advice.

OP posts:
mumblechum · 03/07/2007 20:26

Firstly, so far as the calculator goes, you put in the housing costs you pay directly and also put in any other income, whether that's maintenance, salary or whatever. So if, for example he pays £1k per month and out of that you state your full rent of, say, £900 but also say that you're getting £100 interim maintenance.

If he pays his share of the rent direct and doesn't give you anything else, then you just put your smallish percentage of rent in as your housing costs.

So far as the divorce is concerned, if you've effectively been separated for almost two years anyway, there's probably not much point in NOT going ahead and issuing a petition. Only if you think you may reconcile should you delay any further.

If you're sure you don't want to divorce just yet, the two of you could sign a separation deed which is legally binding to a degree but could in certain circs. be overturned by the court (eg if only one of you had legal advice and it was patently unfair). Sorry have to go, will check again tomorrow.

Paddlechick666 · 04/07/2007 13:46

thanks for the tip, in light of that i may be eligible according to the calculator. the only hitch is that he pays the money into our joint account.....

take your point about having been separate, to all intents and purposes, for two years. i guess in my heart of hearts i am hoping for a real reconcilation but my head is telling me something else.

OP posts:
mumblechum · 05/07/2007 07:37

Paddlechick, if you're not sure about divorce, then don't go down that route yet - no one will railroad you into it if you're not ready.

I hope you've got an appointment to see a family specialist soon.

Good luck.

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