1. "I get paid cash in hand"
The phrase "cash in hand" strikes fear into the heart of any decent divorce lawyer. Do they need to report you to the Financial Crime Agency? Probably, but there’s a mammoth amount of paperwork and general faffing involved. They’ll have to dust off their firm’s money laundering manual to check who the Money Laundering Officer is (praying the whole time that it isn’t them) and then decide whether it needs to be reported. Chances are, they will report it to the FCA because otherwise they risk being sent to prison themselves, although the thought of a nice little "holiday" away from billing targets and diary notes *might* appeal.
Do everyone a favour and be whiter than white when it comes to your finances.
The truth ALWAYS comes out in the end and remember…you never know someone until you divorce them. Wifey might’ve been more than happy to turn the other cheek when all was well at home, but she’ll be looking for reasons to throw shade on you now.
2. “I’ve stopped him seeing the kids because he wasn’t paying child maintenance”
Gah! It doesn’t work that way in the eyes of the courts. Children aren’t commodities to be bought and sold. That goes both ways though…absent parents should be paying regardless of whether they see the kids or not, and children should see the absent parent even if they don’t pay maintenance.
And while we’re on the subject, no it doesn’t matter that your Baby Mama is shacked up with a millionaire now, they’re your kids so you have to pay for them!
3. “Do you believe me?”
Any divorce lawyer worth their weight will swerve this question before you’ve had a chance to notice. The first rule of law school: don’t ask a question unless you know the answer.
4. “I emailed you this morning and I haven’t received a reply"
Likely to be met with a laugh. Solicitors prioritise their work in the following order:
- Urgent work to be done on a file where someone is at risk of harm.
- Files where there are actual court deadlines set by an actual Judge who won’t be very forgiving if we don’t follow their timetable.
- Files where the client is always polite and never chases us.
- Any other work even if it’s boring and unnecessary and in no way urgent.
- Any other work for clients who always chase us even though it isn’t urgent. In other words…the more you chase, the further down the to-do list you go.
5. "I’m not paying my bill"
The all-time worst thing you can say to a solicitor. We sue people for a living. Trust us, people: ALWAYS pay your solicitor’s bill!