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Ever room for three divorce solicitors?

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Exactly as the title suggests really. Myself and my ex are 2yrs in and the end isn't in sight. No children, we agree with each other about the split, the finances, its all amicable. We both just want to walk away and it would seem all that is stopping that is a consent order to put in front of a court. No idea which solicitor is banging their bill up, or if they're both into it to keep the bills going north.

Is there any value in visiting a third solicitor (out of the area), presenting them with the legal jargon the two involved are batting back and forth... in the hope they'll take a totally impartial view and identify which legal is being difficult, or if indeed both.

These people are supposed to be instructed by/representing you, but no doubt they have crossed each others paths many many times before.

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  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,205 Forumite
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    A single solicitor won't be able to advise both of you,
    However, if you and your wife are both agreed to a financial split, it would be possible for you to close your current files and for one of you to go to a new solicitor and ask them to draft the order on an 'execution only' basis, e.g. that they don't advise you as to the terms, they just draw up an order reflecting your agreement.

    You can each also, individually, ask your solicitors to clarify why there is delay. It's possible that you are trying to achieve something which is non-standard or complicated and that it is genuinely difficult to cover all the essential points.
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • seasonalbiz
    seasonalbiz Posts: 80 Forumite
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    TBagpuss wrote: »
    A single solicitor won't be able to advise both of you,
    However, if you and your wife are both agreed to a financial split, it would be possible for you to close your current files and for one of you to go to a new solicitor and ask them to draft the order on an 'execution only' basis, e.g. that they don't advise you as to the terms, they just draw up an order reflecting your agreement.

    You can each also, individually, ask your solicitors to clarify why there is delay. It's possible that you are trying to achieve something which is non-standard or complicated and that it is genuinely difficult to cover all the essential points.

    Thanks for reminding me of that... completely forgot about that point from the early part of things (all that time ago!).

    There is nothing unusual to be achieved. The particular sticking point is neither of us was willing to pay for them to deal with any financial disclosure, because it wasn't a marriage of one being the accountant... even down to bank account logins in the final days. It didn't seem unreasonable, if both of us was confident the other wasn't squirrelling away pennys - not to want to pay thousands for a third party to put on paper what we already know to be true. Now the respondant solicitor is wanting a disclaimer signing which basically says they have been unable to offer ANY legal advise because they weren't instructed to perform/deal with financial disclosure.

    We both feel this has potential for the order to bounce straight back out of court... because the truth of the matter is the respondant solicitor has been told exactly what is involved and HAS given legal advise on what could be achieved with the assets involved, the agreement just isn't as meaty as if their services were utilised to the full and they missed out on a fee for a service they wanted to perform. Can't see a court looking at what might be perceived as not 50/50 - where the person walking away with less has signed that disclaimer sating they've not had any legal advise - would look at all fair to the outside. However, if the order gets kicked back for further review... that would be good for all on the legal side of things, and bad for both of us as money isn't to be argued about and time to move on with a clean break, via the most time efficient route is now the priority. Two years is a long time to be still looking into the past.
  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,205 Forumite
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    The disclaimer is to protect the solicitor against being sued. It's pretty common as people have a habit of trying to sue their solicitors after having second thoughts.

    You have to provide basic disclosure by way of a Statement of Information,which goes to the court, and you can include on that a brief explanation of any apparent inequalities in the order (in s.9)
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • seasonalbiz
    seasonalbiz Posts: 80 Forumite
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    Do you think we are being over anxious about the court seeing that kind of disclaimer and kicking it back.

    We've provided the basics of our situation to both, and between them they wanted 4grand for the full and frank financial disclosures - so you'll understand why we both thought f**k that!!

    As fas as being sued is concerned, I don't understand why a more reasonable disclosure stating the fact that although an official disclosure hasn't been carried out... the legal advise the firm provided was that the settlement was not balanced in their opinion, but their client chose not to accept the advise.

    This would be the truth. Signing something saying they provided absolutely no legal advise would be a lie.
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