Thursday, April 18, 2013
What are the problems if I don't have one?
Your ex spouse can come back at any time in the future and make a claim against you, regardless of how much money you have given them to go away, regardless on how fair your agreed division was.
A recent case where the couple had been divorced over 10 years and the husband won the lottery resulted in him having to make a lump sum payment to his wife.
If you remarry without opening your claim (ie you are the Respondent to the divorce and do not defend nor issue a financial application) you lose all rights to make a claim on your own remarriage.
What's the problem with that? There was a case last year where the husband was due to receive a share of the matrimonial assets and remarried before the Consent Order was sealed by the court and lost his rights to his share.
I explain what a Consent Order is here
What is a Consent Order?
We offer a fixed fee service here
Fixed Fee Consent Order
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Most of the news is gloomy.
End of legal aid for many.
Rich divorcing couples told off by judges for squabbling and squandering their money on legal fees.
News of a divorce advice desert.
The death of Margaret Thatcher.
Divorce lawyers blamed for... fill in the gap.
In the middle of all this some people are having to go through divorce. Not through choice. What should you do?
1. Make a list of everything that you are worried about.
2. Write down what you want to happen.
3. Research the options
4. Focus on when your life will be better.
Anxiety and indecision are debilitating and the best way to reduce your fear of the future is to work out what the options are - worst case and best case and accept that life is about to change.
Get some good legal advice. You don't have to follow it but at least you know what the limits are. Choosing not to fight feels better if you know that your chances of success were high but you are more interested in moving on. Giving in feels better if you know your chances of success are low.
In many situations it is all about emotion.
Guilt, anger, fear, shame, disappointment. Acquiring governance over your emotional state is a skill - and I don't mean burying your emotions as in the stiff upper lip brigade.
I mean recognise and acknowledge how you feel and then control, not suppress it. Your feelings, like everything else, will change.
Only when you can do this are you able to properly focus on dividing everything you thought was yours for life. It's not easy but the alternative - a life of bitterness, anger and regret is worse.
Tuesday, April 02, 2013
They quote people being dissatisfied by the ticking clock and some people pay in excess of £10,000.00 for their divorce. But is it really any different with the COOP or is this a classic case of calling a spade a banana? Sorry I mean comparing apples and pears. Let's compare our fixed fee divorce with your litigated financial application maybe and see which one is cheaper ?
They say other solicitors need to catch up with them.
They offer a fixed price divorce for £570.00.
We have been offering fixed fee divorce since April 2006
Fixed Fee Divorce Bastows Divorce Solicitors
The people who paid more than £10,000.00 in legal fees were no doubt litigating over the finances.
The COOP will charge £210.00 for advice over the telephone and £180.00 for an additional hour of advice.
How much do they charge for court representation?
They don't quote for court representation but they do offer a fixed fee up to the first hearing of £3,600.00 including initial negotiation plus £600.00 to instruct an expert ( I hope they mean barrister and not McKenzie friend but it states expert and there is no fee quoted)
So with the COOP it will cost you £4,200.00 up to the first hearing without representation. Plus you probably have to pay the first £210 or £180 of initial advice. That plus £570.00 for the divorce gives nearly £5,000.00 before you even get to court for the first time.
It is easy to see that the COOP will end up charging more than £10,000.00 if the matter progresses, £1,800.00 in between each hearing and no quotation for court representation.
AS reported in Legal Futures
CLS’s director of policy, solicitor Christina Blacklaws, said: “These individuals are going through major life changing decisions and it’s vital they get the advice they need without worrying about costs spiralling.”
Given that the costs of having the COOP advise you (not represent you) up to a final hearing are probably £9,570.00 plus representation at 3 hearings then this is more than the £10,000.00 complained of.
There is also concern that the advice people are paying for is not from a legally qualified solicitor as their website talks of "Legal experts".
There is another website that talks about expert advice that has handled over 100,000 divorces. It is an on line divorce company. It is a lot cheaper than the COOP. It makes no secret of the fact that it's expert advice is not given by solicitors. To go back to my original turn of phrase "It does what it says on the tin."
Sunday, March 31, 2013
The exceptions which remain:
1. Forced marriage
2. Children being taken into care
3. Reported domestic violence - either an injunction has been sought or the police are investigating the allegations
So what will all these out of work divorce lawyers do?:
1. Care work
There has been a dramatic increase in Care Applications since the Baby P case
The Government wants separating couples to mediate to sort out their differences so there should be an increase in this type of work.
3. Work 16 hours a week at Tescos and
Claim tax credits
Lots of changes ahead then.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Often people who want to separate are paralysed by anxiety. They become overwhelmed by the magnitude of what they want to do. Controlling what you think about and organising your thoughts into a practical sequence can be a huge help.
So what do you need to think about?
1. Your children
How will it impact on them?
How will you tell them?
How will you support them?
Where will they live?
How often will they see the other parent?
What reassurance can you give them that their life is not ruined?
Will they stay at the same school?
Still see their friends?
Can you afford to separate?
Who will move out?
Will the house be sold?
How will you divide the assets?
Who will pay any debts?
Will one of you support the other financially?
So that is what you need to think about.
How you separate and what you need to do is the subject of another post.
For more help contact me at Bastows Divorce Solicitors
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Lots of people hear this term when they are contemplating divorce and separation but they do not know what it means.
What it means is that there is an end to any claim you or your ex spouse can have against each other.
In order to finalise financial matters on divorce a Consent Order is needed. Without this claims can remain open indefinitely. One man won the lottery 10 years after getting divorced and ended up having to pay some to his ex wife as they never filed a Consent Order with the Court.
A capital clean break means that any agreement reached on capital, such as transfer of the house, a lump sum payment, or each keeping your own savings, is final and you cannot go back to court to ask for more or less.Unless of course there has been fraud or mistake.
There are 2 caveats:
If the lump sum is paid by installments it is possible to ask for the payments to be varied - usually asking for them to be reduced or cancelled.
If there is an intervening event of such magnitude that the court would have made a different order had it been made aware of it at the time. The fluctuations of the market - such as losing your company on the stock exchange - even if the value was millions of pounds do not qualify as an intervening event. Your ex spouse committing suicide does. Such an event has to happen within 12 months of the Consent Order being sealed by the Court.
It is also possible to seek further capital if you have a maintenance agreement - your ex spouse pays you income every month and a variation is sought. At this stage the court can look to compensate the party who is losing the maintenance by capitalising it - that is - making a further capital award.
In order to obtain a clean break on income you need to have no ongoing maintenance payments.
The court has a duty to consider a clean break in every case.
Each case however is different and the road to financial independence may take longer for some or may never happen and lifetime maintenance payments can be made.
Often the court will not order a clean break if the lower earning party has young children to support. Instead a nominal maintenance order can be made but that is the subject of another post....
Monday, March 11, 2013
What does Isabelle Oakeshott, the journalist involved say of all this:
"Writing ahead of the sentencing of the couple for perverting the course of justice today, the Sunday Times political editor denied having egged on the former government economist, whom she said was still in love with her husband even as she tried to bring about his downfall. “For all her anger and desire for revenge, I was sure she still loved her husband and wanted him back,” Ms Oakeshott said."
As reported in The Independent
That does not take a masters in human psychology to work out. The end of love results in indifference. If your ex were to become engaged to Pippa Middleton or Brad Pitt no qualms of envy or jealously would result.
If, by contrast you hate your ex, then clearly you are still emotionally embroiled, call it being in love, call it obsession, whatever, it is an unpleasant emotional roller coaster for all involved. Anyone else focused on trying to destroy their ex should maybe take a step back and consider the consequences before proceeding. There are a lot of miserable people out there happy to encourage and support you in your thirst for revenge but are they true friends? What is the point of revenge? Didn't someone once say that the best revenge was to be happy? If you are concerned about what your ex is doing, earning,and need to shape up before you see them get help. If you quiz your children for every detail on their return from staying with your ex then the first thing to do is accept that there is something wrong with your behaviour and acknowledge that it is not acceptable then seek professional help.
As for Vicky Pryce. When will she get over him? Probably never. Prison will just cement her hatred. He will probably come out and write a best selling book and be even more successful and will move on emotionally and financially.
The lesson here for people considering ending their marriage is to work out if your soon to be ex has anything on you and if they have tell your solicitor straightaway. It is better to mange how it comes out and deal with the consequences before they can potentially ruin your life!
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
FIXED FEE COLLABORATIVE LAW
Four way meetings which includes you, your partner, your lawyer, and your partner’s lawyer.
Meetings between the two lawyers to prepare for the four way meetings.
You communicate directly with your partner with the support of your lawyer.
All four participants pledge not to make an application to court. This is a powerful incentive to reach agreement and provides a more relaxed atmosphere without the threat of court proceedings hanging over the negotiations.
You and your partner between you decide what is best for your family.
Everything is discussed openly and your lawyers advise you in front of each other, there is no arm-twisting, no horse trading, and no secret negotiations.
Other professionals are instructed as needed, such as counsellors, accountants, family therapists, actuaries and surveyors.
You and your partner are in control of the timetable.
You and your partner are also in control of the outcome.
Speed, an agreement can be reached after only three meetings
Your lawyers work together – not against each other.
Sunday, March 03, 2013
We are excited to announce our Fixed Fee Collaborative Law Service.
Both lawyers have agreed to work for a fixed fee - they work together but from different firms so both you and your ex partner can benefit from this excellent deal.
The Collaborative Law process works with a series of round table meetings - they will take place in either Central London or Southampton.
The Collaborative Law process gives you control of the timing and outcome, reduces the acrimony and gives you the support of your solicitor in negotiations and legal advice. It gives balance and all four participants are committed to achieving an outcome best suited to your family.
With Collaborative Law acrimony is reduced and things can progress swiftly - it is a less stressful solution than Court Proceedings or normal solicitor led negotiations and is not as nerve wracking or isolating as Mediation can be, especially if one party is less able to stand up to the other.
Most people who try Collaborative Law are relieved and pleased that they did.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Quite often there is a debate between divorcing couples as to whether their ex spouse is cohabiting or not. In a divorce if you are found to be cohabiting, in what is termed established Co-Habitation - usually 6 months or longer- then your cohabitee’s income and assets can be taken into account in the division of assets and included in an assessment as to whether regular maintenance should be paid.
The typical questions asked are:
1. Which days of the week do you stay at each others house? Assuming your partner has a separate house, surprisingly often they do not and this question is simply not asked.
2. If the amount of time you see each other has adjusted in the last 6 months please explain how it has changed?
3. How are everyday costs as food, entertainment, holidays and travel shared by you and your partner?
4. Where does your partner work geographically?
5. Has your partner helped you with any of your regular expected outgoings and bills? If so, in what way?
6. Has your partner accompanied you to any GP, hospital or consultancy appointments?
7. Are you and your partner involved with each others families? Have you been to any family events?
8. Have you or your partner had any relationship with anyone else in the last two years?