How to get legal advice when you represent yourself in proceedings for a Divorce

Monday November 21, 2022

 

If you cannot afford full legal representation, have the time to undertake some of the administrative tasks yourself or, you are choosing to represent yourself and need occasional legal advice on the preparation of specific documents, we can discuss whether your matter is suitable for a Limited Retainer agreement with us.

Under our Limited Retainer agreement, we can provide you with legal advice on a specific issue or a discrete task. This can also be known as “unbundling” legal services. We cannot engage in correspondence with the court, your former partner or spouse (or their solicitor) or any other 3rd party connected with your matter. You are still responsible for and in control of how much correspondence is written, the negotiations that are undertaken, complying with the court directions and attending all meetings and court hearings. It is only when we act for you under full legal representation that we would do all of these tasks for you. 

What type of legal advice can you receive under a Limited Retainer in proceedings for a Divorce?

You can go online yourself to make an application for a divorce but if you do not know your spouse’s whereabouts and contact details or, be able to show you have done all you reasonably can to find them, then we can help you to achieve this and, present your information to the court to avoid it being delayed and rejected. 

If you have grounds to defend a divorce, we can prepare your defence or, your response to such a defence made against you.   If you are in a multinational marriage, this may determine the country from which you can receive a financial settlement and, depending upon the laws in the other country that could be involved, that may be more favourable to you or prejudice you.

We can only assist and advise you upon completing the above tasks based upon the documents and information that is provided to us.  Under a Limited Retainer we cannot advise you upon the overall success and strategy of your application, as we would be able to do if we represented you fully.  Also,  under a Limited Retainer we may not be able to advise you if there is insufficient time for us to complete the task but if we represent you, then we would manage the timings for the completion of the tasks for you.  It is, therefore, important to involve us with plenty of time and to give us full information. 

When should I consider getting some legal advice?

If you cannot afford full legal representation, have the time to undertake some of the administrative tasks yourself or, you are choosing to represent yourself and need occasional advice on the preparation of specific documents, we can discuss whether your matter is suitable for a Limited Retainer agreement with us.

We can accept instructions at any time throughout the process whilst you are in mediation, arbitration and court proceedings.   Ideally, you should discuss this with us at the start of your matter before you decide which process you would like to use.  Then we can help you budget for your legal support and to avoid any delays in the process to reach a conclusion. 

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