I wonder if anyone went through a bitter divorce here using a divorce lawyer. Can you recommend a lawyer in Southern Brussels / Brabant Wallon? How much did it the entire procedure cost?
Sorry to hear that you're going through this. If you're really having "a bitter divorce", then your lawyer fees are going to be anything from a minimum of €150/hour upwards. You will very easily spend thousands. (and remember if you have a lawyer, your spouse will as well, and the two of you will burn money even faster)
Surprisingly, the process for divorce here is surprisingly easy if the two partners can be grown up and adult about it. It is a "no fault / no blame" divorce system, specifically designed to keep couples out of the court system. In very simple terms, you both have to accept your marriage is over and you negotiate a settlement.
My recommendation to you would be to avoid if at all possible seeing a lawyer. First of all go and see a notaire. They will not charge you initially for their advice, and in any case, if it does get really bad, and you have to hire a lawyer, you'll still need a notaire anyway to draw up certain documents and agreements.
There are also counseling and arbitration services that you can access that can help you agree your divorce settlement, that your notaire may be able to suggest to you.
But go and see your local notaire first.
Why the assumption that both sides have lawyers? As often happens, one spouse flees with the fantastic funds, leaving the other struggling financially and a lawyer is difficult. You don't need a lawyer to divorce and for some, it s an impossible thing.
Anon has given you some extremely sound advice. Belgium has, in effect, a set of equitable baselines for divorce and things associated with it like child custody. Divorcing partners can agree between themselves to vary those baselines and the notaire(s) then incorporate the variations in the written divorce settlement. If, however, it comes to court, either party is going to find it very difficult to persuade a judge to move away from them without an exceptionally good reason.
A notaire will explain to you how those baselines would apply to your divorce, but remember that they are equitable, intended to avoid giving unfair benefit to either side. Divorce in Belgium isn't about punishing the other partner.
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