The "Which?" Guide to Divorce: The Essential Practical Guide to the Legal and Financial Arrangements for Divorce Paperback – 8 Aug 2005
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'Explains in simple terms how divorce works and the financial
implications' -- Mail on Sunday
'This handbook will answer your initial questions and is much
cheaper than paying a solicitor'
About the Author
Claire Colbert qualified as a solicitor in 2001 and went on to work in the area of family law. She is a Resolution accredited specialist and a member of the Law Society's Family Law Panel. Claire is married with two children. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Probably a better bet for any unfortunate souls divorcing who have young children etc.
I did my own divorce by using this book, and it definitely saved £-thousands for my ex and I in what would have been pointless legal fees, though by the time proceedings began, my ex and I were past the throwing-things-and-yelling stage, and were being reasonably civil.
The book dealt with everything, and made the process a whole lot easier to do and cope with. In fact, by using it I was much more clued-up about the process than my ex, which put me in control of it all (that's a much better place to be in a divorce). I recommend you read the whole book, make lots of notes, and mark all the key pages with post-it notes before you start the divorce process. Even if you don't do your own divorce, it is a useful book to have around, especially if most people around you have "taken sides" and seem to have skewed ideas about what divorce is and isn't.
Secondly, the main problem of the book is structural. Are you the person who is doing the divorcing or are you the person being divorced? Because different people need different information and this book doesn't address that, so it never really knows who it's talking to.
Thirdly, the information falls short of what you would expect of a which? publication, so for example, in the chapter about finding a solicitor (and costs) it say, "Many solicitors offer a free first interview..." but what it fails to say is that fees are often negotiable and many solicitors charging £200 per hour will drop to £150 in a heartbeat if you simply ask at the outset.
Fourthly, despite being called a guide there is no practical advice about filling out forms - how do you fill out Form E for example? There's a great deal of form filling in a divorce and the more you can do yourself the less you will have to pay the solicitor.
Finally, all books on divorce should contain the following rider: the only people who really win in divorce cases are solicitors and barristers and by the time you have finished squabbling about just how the cake should be cut - well you guessed it - the cake becomes much, much smaller.
Some very good advice is that lawyers make for expensive counsellors. The other point that could be stressed more is that lawyers are only human; they make mistakes. As with most things in life you should not rely completely on somebody else to look after your own interests. Finally, despite pretty much anything else that is going on, check your bill and challenge it promptly - Have you been double-charged for copy letters?What are you being charged for emails? (it might be the same as a letter); Is your lawyer sending lots of long letters (expensive) when short letters would do (less expensive)? Are you wasting time on correspondence when moving swiftly to issuing proceedings would get the whole thing on a time-table set by the Court? (particularly relevant if the other side is ignoring your letters) Is the breakdown of charges clear? It is incredibly difficult to focus on bills when in the midst of a divorce but it is time well spent. A good lawyer will help you but they are also there to make money based on chargeable time. Nothing wrong with that but make sure they don't make too much at your expense.
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