Divorce and complaints and dishonesty – Ian Walker

Divorce and complaints and dishonesty

Divorce has been in the news a lot recently. Two recent pieces of news show;

• “Nearly a quarter of divorcees questioned for a survey said they had tried to hide financial assets to “keep them secure”

•“Spiralling costs and poor quality legal services are adding to the misery of divorce, the law watchdog (The Legal Ombudsman) has said.”

These really explain why I was motivated to set up my own practice specialising in cost effective out of court settlements. Traditional divorce is too expensive, long and stressful and encourages people to be dishonest and to fail to prioritise the needs of their children.

There is probably a link between people being dishonest and their concerns about the cost of divorce.

Another problem is uncertainty. I have recently participated in a discussion on Linkedin between Family Solicitors, which suggests that District Judges in London are less likely to make clean Break Orders than in many parts of the country. But of course when any case gets into court, the outcome depends on the interpretation of a District Judge of what is most important in a particular case. We all know that Judges have discretion when they decide cases, and so different Judges will invariably come to (normally slightly) different conclusions.

This uncertainty, makes it difficult to advise at times, and can add to costs. As can looking for hidden assets or assets which a client thinks the other has hidden.

My solution is to focus on out of court solutions and to help clients to achieve an outcome which is acceptable to them both. These processes are robust and because they are cheaper, and both have a veto on any outcome, there is in my view less chance of dishonesty.

I have lived in East Devon for around 14 years. People have often felt the need to travel to Exeter or Taunton to get what they think will be good advice and assistance. From the report of the Legal Ombudsman, a good number will have been disappointed. They will also have had to pay petrol costs, parking and spend time travelling, which will have further added to their stress.

My aim is to provide the very best of practice, at affordable prices within East Devon, and surrounding areas. My practice is small and flexible and I am always willing to agree a fair fixed fee. If couples/parents come to me at an early stage, they could potentially save themselves time and money and I will help them focus upon the needs of their children.

Unless there is a serious safety issue, all family disputes should be able to be resolved by using Collaborative Law or Mediation.

The info referred to is all the BBC website;

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21611496

www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-21534453

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