Legal advice needed

I'm hoping someone out there might be able to help me... I need to know if the solicitor I saw today was right in what she said, or just trying to drum up business...

As advised by the Which? book on divorce I booked a one off session with a solicitor to get advice on what a reasonable financial settlement in my divorce would be. I'm handling the rest of the process myself.
I took along full details of my and my husbands financial situation and valuation of our assets expecting her to be able to tell me what settlement other similar cases had come to.

I was told that she can't give me any financial advice without going through formal disclosure procedures (which of course I can pay her to do!)

Is this really the case?
I was expecting to be given a guideline % based on each persons financial input and the length of the marriage etc
I didn't expect her to suggest a figure, just to say that in similar cases.......

I was feeling quite possitive about taking the first steps towards sorting things out but now I feel like the system is set up to be as aggressive and inaccesible as possible.

Any advice would be great,



  • I think she meant she would need authority from your soon to be ex before she could make a judgement.

    Not sure if I'm right but I'm sure someone will give you sound advice soon enough.
  • Sorry, I meant authority from your soon to be ex about his financial status etc.
  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭
    "I was expecting to be given a guideline % based on each persons financial input and the length of the marriage etc"

    It doesn't work that way. And every case is different. I tried to get my solicitor to advise and predict, and got a similar response.

    I divorced my wife three years ago and went through this division of assets process. The lesson I came away with is that the shareout, if decided by a court, will be on the basis of your and your partner's current and future needs. And NOT on the basis of what you have contributed (eg "I pay the mortgage so I ought to keep the house").

    So it's not only what you have now but what you'll need in the future that counts.

    I'm not a lawyer, so these are just some thoughts - don't rely on them!
  • Welsh AlexWelsh Alex ✭✭✭

    They look at what you both came in to the marriage with. Then they look at the assets of the marriage (eg appretiation of house, pension funds, career acceleration of a parter or career sacrifce of a partner), then they look at the childrens needs.

    As Mutley says they then decide how much a strict division of the assets should be varied in order to compensate for, say, the sacrifice of a career, bringing up kids, etc.

    If you have had a short marriage with no kids it may be quite simple, up to 25% perhaps (eg 1 year).

    The doctrine applied translates to "from those who can to those who need".

    Are you both doing your own divorce, what do you need and what do you think is fair ?
  • Thanks guys - the whole thing is such a mindfield and particularly frustrating when....

    told to go to CAB to get help filling in the form - they clearly had never done it before and really weren't any help, in fact I think I told them more than they told me!

    told to go to solicitor for guideline advice but clearly they can't give it.

    The sticking point seamed to be that I was hoping not to have to go through formal financial disclosure - even with all the information to hand and me saying I was happy to believe what my husband had delcalred it seams this won't be possible.

    I really wanted to be able to remain civil between the two of us through the process and get is done as quickly and painlessly as possible but looks like I'll have to find the energy to pick a fight.

    I guess it will get worse but be worth it in the end :-)
  • LOKLOK ✭✭✭
    have a look at
    click "contemplating divorce" in the menu
    then "financial implications"

    we did a thing where you fill in something called a form E
    wasn't too hard as i recall

    though i did , in the end, have a lovely solicitor
    she certainly was happy to give me initial general advice without bullsh*t as i needed to know what my financial situation was gonna be asap as i recall at the time with a one year old and having been away from work for a year to look after him!!

    my first two solicitors were rubbish though
    absolute rubbish

    keep visiting solicitors till you find a good 'un

    actually , the more you see, the more free half hours you get, the more questions you ask/get answered and eventually you get most of the info you need without paying for the initial wasted bullsh*t /crappy ones
  • LOKLOK ✭✭✭
    and take tissues

    and if poss (imho)
    get a woman solicitor

    she'll have a better idea of how you feel, and what you need

    (sorry guys but it's true)
  • Welsh AlexWelsh Alex ✭✭✭

    LOK makes a good point about Solicitors. They get paid win or not so to add to all this if you aren't on the ball they may not be.

    BTW, what does imho mean ?
  • imho = in my humble opinion

    Free half hour? - I had to pay for my rubbish advice!

    It was a woman I saw so if the guys are worse I dread to think.....

    Thanks for the weblink - I'll check that out and hopefully get some better and free advice there :-)
  • Filing divorce documents all by yourself is not an easy but a right step to do. Hiring an attorney will cost much more, besides, there are many services that provide help with filing divorce documents, like [url][/url] so if you have problems with divorce forms know that you not alone and there are many ways outhere to solve that problem.
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