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Getting a second opinion on separating finances on divorce

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By Demelza Patricio

Dividing up your finances in a separation or divorce situation is one of the biggest financial decisions you may make in your life. It can be difficult to weigh up the options that are being put before you and the advice that you are receiving. In England, we have a discretionary system and there are a range of reasonable orders that a Court can make. When solicitors give advice they do so in the context of legislation, case precedents and their own experience, applying those factors to your personal situation.

It might feel that the financial proposals that are being put forward are not very fair, or that your solicitor is not listening to you and that your concerns are being ignored. It can be difficult to know whether you are getting a bad deal or whether it is just the case that, sadly, when a marriage breaks down and finances are separated between two households, both of those households will have to suffer a reduction in their standard of living.

In some cases, it can be worth taking a second opinion from another firm of solicitors. Most solicitors will agree to provide a second opinion on proposals for settlement, provided they are given a reasonable amount of financial information. In most cases, they should not need access to your existing file, meaning your current solicitor won’t be aware you are seeking a second opinion. They will make it clear that the advice they are giving is based upon the information they have been given and that they are not having an opportunity to investigate the financial position of either person.

There are occasions when obtaining a second legal opinion may make somebody concerned that they have not been getting very good advice and will choose to change solicitor. However, often obtaining a second opinion can help to clarify the advice that has been given and you decide to stick with your current solicitor, but in the knowledge that you have explored all of the options. A second opinion can also provide you with the right questions to ask your current solicitor to assess whether a particular approach is in your best interests.

If you need any discreet advice or legal assistance in relation to separation or divorce, please do not hesitate to make an appointment and come in to see us.

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