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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 14320
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I am currently two years into my divorce. We started off

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Hi, I am currently two years into my divorce. We started off going the Collaborative law but that has now failed. My ex wife has instructed a new solicitor and has now told me that I can only communicate with her regarding our children through the solicitor. Is this something she can enforce and if so what hell can I get as a father to protect my relationship with my girls
Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: We have both had to take on a new solicitor which I am still trying to do. Nothing has gone to the courts yet
Assistant: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: West sussex
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no

Good afternoon. I will assist with your question- be aware this is an email not chat service therefore i maybe delayed in replying.

what are the issues please?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Our collaborative law process has failed as we couldn’t agree on a financial issue. She has now instructed a new solicitor and she has requested we go to mediation again and that we only communicate through her solicitor regarding day to day care of children. Can she enforce this? It’s seems crazy that I have to pay every time I need to speak to her regarding our daughters
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I’m not in a position to call

The offer of a telephone call comes out automatically. It’s optional. You can just ignore it or request it later.


We can continue on here.

If your wife has instructed solicitors, then go through the solicitors. She is the one who is paying for it.


What she can’t do is ask you to go through solicitors every time you want to arrange contact because that’s going to be totally impractical and you need to raise that issue with the solicitors and ask them to confirm that if they want all requests to come through them, if you make a request, they will come back to you within an hour. Ask them for an undertaking in that respect. They will not give it. If they will not give you an undertaking to reply to a reasonable request in respect of arranging contact, within an hour, tell them that you will only communicate with their client in respect of arranging contact but you will correspond with them for everything else.

Collaborative law is one of these newfangled things to try to get people to avoid court but in all honesty it was going to work, it would work without the involvement of the collaborative process.

If she wants to go to mediation, then troll along. You are only bound by it if you both come to common understanding and you can always walk out if you don’t like the way it’s going. You have to try it before going to our regardless.


It will not work unless one of you is prepared to change your stance. Moving back to the contact through the solicitor regarding day-to-day care of children, I agree it’s ludicrous. However I don’t why you say it seems crazy that you have to pay every time you need to speak to her regarding your daughters. She is paying the solicitors costs, not you and if they want that money from you, tell them to get lost.

You need to remember that the solicitors will be thrilled to bits that all the correspondences coming through them because they will be charging 30 pounds for each letter in and each letter out in the same for each telephone call. Oh how the money comes rolling in!


Can I clarify anything else for you?


I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.


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Thank you.


If you still need any points clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.


Best wishes.





F E Smith and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Ok thank you, I’ll rate you after this one. I was the one who originally filed for divorce but was asked to retract it based on it not being collaborative for me to accuse her of unreasonable behaviour. My ex has now filed for divorce for my unreasonable behaviour. The reason that this is relevant to this topic is because her solicitor has stated that they will be applying for all solicitor fees accrued by my ex to be paid by me. Hence why I am reluctant to keep responding to her solicitor. Can I be forced to pay for all of her fees since we started our divorce?