Divorce no solicitor

Hi all.

I have petitioned for divorce from my husband of 18 years. Originally we were going to do this as an agreement with regards to the finances. It came to my attention that my ex husband was potentially hiding assets (mainly shares by moving them to another party).
When I asked him about this he because quite cross and said he wouldn't deal with me anymore. 
He's getting a solicitor but I cannot afford one and the assets my ex husband has will not cover the expense of one. 
I am now in a position where I do not have a solicitor and intend to go it alone and represent myself. 
The only assets he has is his pension and some shares, no savings as far as I'm aware. No house or high value items. 
I have nothing. No house, no valuables, no savings and no pension other than my dinnerladies pension I pay £19 into a month. I didn't work as I was a housewife. 
Does the solicitor have to deal with me or is it still up to me and my ex to sort it out? 

Comments

  • tightauldgit
    tightauldgit Posts: 2,628
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    The solicitor has to deal with you if you advise them that you are representing yourself in the matter. There's nothing stopping you communicating directly with your ex either but you don't want to confuse the matter by having two different negotiations going. Hows he paying for a solicitor if his assets don't cover the expense of one?

    I represented myself for large parts of my divorce and you will probably find a) his solicitor doesn't like dealing with you directly b) his solicitor will try to intimidate you with legalese etc to try to scare you into settling. Don't fall for it. The process is not that complicated really though it can help to have a solicitor who can advise you at times and field any questions. 

    The main thing at this stage is the submission of Form Es with a full declaration of assets from both parties - do you have a good handle on what these are? He will need to provide a pension statement showing an up to date valuation, he'll also have to provide a statement of value of his share portfolio from whatever broker he has them with - you should also request a transaction history showing any transfers out. 

    What evidence do you have of the transfers? Have they already gone through? If you can show that he's hiding assets then a court isn't going to take kindly to that. If his solicitor is aware of it then they could well be in trouble too. 

    Has his solicitors been in contact? They should send you a letter informing you that they are representing him in the matter and to begin the process of submitting Form Es or to make you a settlement offer. 
  • You can negotiate friendly and divorce.

    You don't need to find a lawyer. Generally, the court will use people to help you negotiate with his lawyer.
  • I've had some great advice. I had a phone chat with someone from money advice service that went through all my options with regards to his pension. I'm not overly stupid and I'm used to filling in forms as my son has disabilities. I have very few assets so most of the form will be blank. 
    I assume he's paying for his solicitor because he earns loads of money. 
  • I've had some great advice. I had a phone chat with someone from money advice service that went through all my options with regards to his pension. I'm not overly stupid and I'm used to filling in forms as my son has disabilities. I have very few assets so most of the form will be blank. 
    I assume he's paying for his solicitor because he earns loads of money. 
    |If he earns loads and the end of the relationship is going to leave you in a financial hole then you may well be a candidate for spousal maintenance so that you can get yourself up and running again. Especially if there aren't much in terms of assets to divide up. 

    To my mind it would be unusual for someone to 'earn loads' and yet have no assets or savings other than a few shares - are you sure he hasn't got some bank accounts that you haven't been told about or other assets?   
  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,198
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    As above - his solicitor will deal with you.
    It would be sensible for you to speak to a solicitor yourself - many family lawyers offer a free initial consultation and it may be possible for you to make an application for what is called 'maintenance pending suit' which means you are asking the court to make him pay you maintenance in the short term until a financial settlement is made. In deciding whether this is appropriate the court can take into account your need to fund legal advice.

    If the main asset / assets are pensions then it is generally appropriate to get a proper actuarial report so that the pension split is calculated accurately - it's often necessary for the actual split to be unequal to result in an equal split in terms of what you will each get in pension on retirement, just assuming that 50% of the pension would be a fair split may leave you with less than your fair share. 

    Spousal maintenance is unusual but might be appropriate where there is  is limited / no liquid capital and where you are caring for a disabled child, assuming the child is his or a child of the family. 
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,438
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    Also try wikivorce for advice.
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