After my s2bx rejected my proposal for financial settlement, we arranged another go at mediation. I wanted advice, and I wasn't getting much help on wikivorce, so my mother made an appointment with her solicitor.
I went on Friday. We sat down, I asked if there was a problem with getting the DA before financial settlement and he just said "No, not at all. Do it. Do it now!" Then I ran over my proposal and he just said "That's complex and unneccesary. She should downsize."
There is no downsizing, though. A 2-up, 2-down terraced is what we had, and that is not adequate for a parent with a teenaged boy and a teenaged girl. Because of that, the solicitor said I was paying way too much at the moment anyway, and to leave it for a year, as the s2bx needed to get a job and the girl would turn 18. Then we could look at a consent order. He said I should pay enough to keep themortgage lender of our backs and the CSA rate for child support - don't tie into an agreement to pay the mortgage for 10 years, not even the interest on it.
So, I cancelled the mediation and asked the firm I had engaged for a refund of the money I'd paid for a consent order. No way, they said. We advise you to get a consent order.
So now what do I do? I've conflicting advice! The firm I had engaged say they don't refund the fees and they are going to close the file. I feel they've cheated me a little, here. They are advising me to get a consent order without having seen the finances, whereas this other bloke HAS seen them. Then they want to be paid for work they are not going to be doing, and as they've had the money, I don't get anything back.