This method of dispute resolution works well where the parties’ are reasonably amicable and do not wish to spend family funds on two solicitors.
One party will usually take the lead in instructing a solicitor and have the relationship with them. It is important to note that the solicitor is not neutral and can only ever represent one of the parties. The advice given to the solicitor’s client is confidential and protected by legal privilege. The solicitor is able to give the non-represented party generic advice but they cannot provide advice on the terms of any agreement reached.
This tends to work well when the parties have already reached a deal and simply require the Court documents to be drafted by a solicitor. However, a single solicitor can be used where private discussions or mediation between the parties is ongoing. It might be that the economically weaker party feels disadvantaged in private discussions and feels more comfortable with legal support. The Court documents are written in plain English and many feel competent to understand the papers and sign off on them. There is little in the way of legal jargon and the documents are perhaps more straightforward than might be expected. The family team at Anthony Gold often take instructions for clients on this basis and are happy to provide further information to anyone interested in this scheme.