Dictionary of financial remedies – books for divorce

Hi, this is part of a series of videos I am doing on books which are pretty nigh essential if you’re involved in divorce proceedings.

Now this one – this book here is not anywhere near as expensive as the ‘red book’ – which I’ve done a separate video about – but it’s still something like 60 – 70 pounds. I am not sure about the precise amount. I have a direct debit and it gets paid and the book arrives each year.

It’s called – a very sexy name – the ‘Dictionary of Financial Remedies’ What it does is it summarises the case law that exists in regard to most of the issues that can arise in financial proceedings in divorce. So for example – ‘Valuation of Assets’. There’s not surprisingly quite a lot of case law about that, and it talks about how the courts have approached that. It gives you a summary of the relevant cases.

Now what you then have to do is go to those cases, but at least you know which cases they are. You can go to them by using Google search, you can probably find them on Bailii – which is a legal precedent website – which is open to all. If you do find them then obviously you can print them off or read them on screen and go through it.

But I do recommend this because it’s invaluable. It saves a lot of research time because it basically gives you positions as to where to start from. What you will find in law is that nothing is straightforward, it seems, and we live in a world of grey, where everything can be argued about if you wish to.

Now hopefully you’re involved in a case where a common sense approach is being taken. Unfortunately that’s not always so. If you happen to be in that kind of situation this is a good place to start. I can recommend it.

Online divorce – the hidden costs

My name’s Andrew Isaacs, thank you for looking at this video and for coming to my website – I hope you find it helpful.

I want to talk to you today about online divorce. Can you do it? Should you do it? Is it a good idea? What are the downsides? What are the upsides? Well the obvious upside is that because you’re doing it yourself then there are no lawyers involved. And that’s one of the problems of course. You haven’t got the legal training. You’re probably incredibly good at what you do. I like to think that I am not too bad at what I do either because I’ve been doing it for such a long time. The question is ‘Are you going to get it right?’ And if you don’t get it right what are the consequences?

Well the problem is that it’s virtually impossible for anybody to get it right first time and what I do see is quite a lot of people who have tried to deal with things on their own and haven’t got it right. So what has happened is they’ve ended up coming back to me because the court has rejected their petition.

They haven’t rejected it at the very outset, they’ve rejected it when they’ve applied to the Decree Nisi and that means that they then have to amend their divorce petition. And that is not a straightforward procedure by any stretch of the imagination. You have to go through a fairly complicated situation. So for example any words that you’re going to delete have to remain in the petition but have to have a red line put through them. Any words that you include have to be underlined in red.

If you have to re amend then you go on to doing it in green, and so on and so forth. And there’s a whole colour scheme for every time you amend. The purpose of that of course is so the court knows what came in at what time.

Now I was taught when I was articled a long time ago that the best thing to do is to get it right first time so what you need to do is make sure that your divorce petition is right, and I would strongly recommend that it’s checked by a professional before you file it. You will find it will save you a lot of time, a lot of heartache and it obviously costs more money for a lawyer to correct your mistakes rather than doing it in the first place.

So you may find that online divorce is the right thing for you, but for quite a few people it’s not turned out to be what they wanted it to be. So I would strongly recommend that you do just get your petition checked by the divorce lawyer before you do anything with it ok?

A little money at the outset will save you a lot of money later on. So it’s a bit like an insurance premium really isn’t it? So online divorce may be good, may not, but I am sure you’ll make the right decision.

Court fees in 2015 – what does divorce cost?

I want to talk to you about court fees. Now we all know that legal fees can be expensive, but part of the process involves payments that are made to the court itself and they’re what we call ‘court fees’.

Now if you’re going to get divorced you have to pay the court a fee for filing your divorce petition. And that at the moment is £410.

There used to be a further fee for your Decree Absolute. They have done away with that now. Although they haven’t really lost any money because they’ve put up a petition fee. I think overall the court fee’s gone up by about £20. So there is a £410 court fee for your divorce.

If you have contested financial proceedings then you have to pay another court fee for that. And that is £255. That is what you pay when you file what is called a ‘Form A’, which is your application for a financial order.

The only other court fee that you would pay in those financial proceedings is possibly a £50 court fee if you come to an agreement with your spouse. That is what happens when you have what is called a ‘Consent Order’. And when you file your application for a Consent Order, there’s a court fee that’s payable – that’s £50 – and the usual method is that it’s shared, alright? So both of you pay £25 each.

That would be the only other court fee that you pay in financial proceedings.

If you have proceedings in the Family Court over your children then the court fee for a C100 application is £215.

So you need to be aware of all of these things.

You can possibly be exempt from paying court fees, it depends if you’re on benefits.

If there are no exemptions at the time that you apply then what you can do is you can apply for a refund within six months if you then become exempt. Now I wouldn’t hold myself out as an expert on exemptions because I don’t deal with it as a matter of course, but the rules are there. But you will find that the civil service, who operate the courtrooms are not keen on refunds, so you may well have to argue your corner, and you may find that it does get rejected a few times before they finally relent. That’s been my experience anyway.

The family law protocol book

Thanks for watching this video – it’s about – it’s one of a series of videos that I am doing about books that you really ought to know about in any divorce proceedings.

This is the ‘Family Law Protocol’. It’s the latest one. It was issued in November 2010. It’s not the most recent in terms of date but it is actually. I do use it you see, and what you’ve got is it’s issued by the Law Society. You can get it through the internet and what it does is it sets out how you’re supposed to approach a divorce.

Now you may find that this is useful because… if you’re going through an acrimonious divorce, you may find that the solicitor on the other side is not complying with the protocol. It might be useful to refer him or her to the protocol – the relevant extract – in order to bring it back online.

The whole point of the protocol is to avoid acrimony wherever possible. Now it talks about various codes of practice, ADR, which is about mediation, mainly, but can be about arbitration.

It talks about pre-nups; domestic violence; children; law; whether or not you’re getting to see your children, or somebody’s trying to take the children away from you.

It talks about public law, which is care proceedings, where social services may be involved, and it also deals with other areas which you hopefully won’t come into contact with, such as abduction. I mean, that’s an awful thing when child abduction occurs.

And it talks about also divorce, child support, Schedule One proceedings under the Children Act – that’s where you’re not married but you have children – or a child – and you’re saying “Well surely I have some rights?”, and yes you do. The Children Act 1989 deals with that. And in particular Schedule One can be very helpful to you. It also talks about financial proceedings within divorce and talks about cohabitation.

So it’s actually quite a useful book, I can recommend it, it talks about how you should prepare for court – all sorts of useful things are in here.

It’s not too long, it’s about 145 pages, and then it’s got various appendices with details of other books which you might find useful.

So a great starting point – Family Law Protocol. 3rd edition – obviously when they bring out a 4th edition I’ll have to bring out another video!

My radio chat show

Hi, My name’s Andrew Isaacs. I am a divorce lawyer, thank you for visiting my website.

You’re probably wondering what I’ve got on… why I am wearing this tie… what on earth I am doing as a sensible lawyer doing that.

Now, I’ll give you an answer, and that is that I also have a secret – and what I do is I have a regular weekly radio show. Yeah, we have a chat show, which I host, and we have on every week. We’ve got people coming on who live in my home town. Now the show is called ‘Doncaster is great’, and if you live in Doncaster, you’ll understand why – and if you don’t, come along and you’ll find out.

And what we do is we chat.

It’s on a Wednesday at 10 o’clock, for one hour. And the radio station is Doncaster’s only community radio station. It’s called ‘Sine FM’, and if you go onto the internet at sinefm.com you can listen live to any of the shows that are on. You can also find on there a podcast of every show as well.

And what you’ve got, which I will show you now on my iPad is the page on Sine FM website, where it shows details about our chat show, which is called ‘Doncaster is great’. Underneath my photo is a link for a guest information sheet. So if you go on there, click the weblink on there – then you can see what is involved.

So if you want to come along, let me know, and I am more than happy to have you.

Now I can’t promise that I’ll always be wearing as colourful a tie as this on every show, but it’s important that you show a bit of character, I think, and there’s more to life than work – also there’s a little bit of fun. And also working with people, and that’s what the show does.

So I try to help people with whatever I do – whether I am at work or not, so… that’s it.