Divorce and breaking up is probably one of the most traumatic times in a person’s life, not just because of the emotional aspect but also because of the financial consequences that could affect the rest of your life. It is therefore crucial that you receive your fair share of the matrimonial assets (i.e. property, savings, pension and other assets built up during the marriage/relationship) in order to safeguard your future and be able to move on. If your ex is being difficult and seeking more than they should be entitled to then some external help is going to be needed via Mediation or the Family Court.
Mediation is only likely to be effective as long as you and your spouse/partner are prepared to agree a compromise. Where that is unlikely or you feel you’re going to have a fight on your hands to get a fair settlement then commencing court proceedings for a Financial Order would be your way forward.
Court proceedings can be extremely expensive using solicitors, which is no doubt why the courts are seeing an increase in the number of people representing themselves as a ‘litigant in person’ (LIP). There is however a huge risk in doing it all by yourself. The good news is that there is a solution enabling you to project-manage your case as a LIP (essentially the solicitor’s role) which will significantly reduce your legal spend, but at the same time receive expert legal advice and representation from a barrister. This is where I can add real value by arranging for a barrister to help you. Barristers are the legal experts in this country and are an incredibly cost-effective legal resource. For example, using a barrister at the beginning of your matter through to conclusion will cost you around 50% less than a solicitor would have cost. And because of a barrister’s legal expertise and advocacy skills, you may even get a better outcome!
Not sure what the difference is between barristers and solicitors? Click here.
You can consult a barrister even before seeing a mediator or before a petition is issued, for example, you might want to know what you can realistically expect to take out of your marriage or relationship in terms of the financial split – i.e. who gets what, your options, the court process and anything else you would like to know. Here are some other aspects you might want a barrister to help you with:
• Help you complete the divorce petition, Form D8.
• Help you to complete the application for a financial order Form A.
• Help you complete your financial disclosure, known as Form E.
• Respond to letters from your spouse or spouse’s lawyer.
• Draft the documentation that you will need at future court hearings.
• Represent you at court hearings.
If you want to take ownership of your matter, give yourself the best chance of a successful outcome by using the considerable legal expertise of a divorce barrister to help you along your journey. Don’t get a misely settlement because your spouse or their lawyer has got the better of you. Know your rights and protect your interests – use a barrister!
Charges are mainly by “fixed fees” so you will know how much the cost will be before you decide to have any work done. No nasty surprise bills later on!