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familylawexpert, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 311
Experience:  Substantial experience (14yrs +) in divorce, financial cases, cohabitation, pre-nuptial agreements and civil partnerships.
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as part of my divorce i relinquished my right to claim on my

Customer Question

as part of my divorce i relinquished my right to claim on my ex husbands income and property this formed part of the financial agreement which went on to the consent order. However, I only agreed to not pursue him for half of the house and marital assets as I did not want to force him or our eldest son (19 at the time) to have to move on top of an already stressful time. It was verbally agreed in private that 'my' half of the equity in the house would be put into our eldest sons name in order to protect their inheritance that came from my input to the marriage of 24+ years. I have learned that my ex husband may remarry in the near future and none of the promises have been fulfilled. Is there any way a consent order can be overturned in court on the basis that the decision was taken at a time of heightened emotions and because of this I have jepoardised my sons' inheritance. I would like to be able to ensure that my youngest at least (who is mentally disabled) is taken care of in the way we intended during my marriage to my childrens father. I am not seeking financial reward for myself in any way
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  familylawexpert replied 2 years ago.
My name is Mac and I will be able to help you with your question.

- was any part of that agreement recorded in writing, even emails?

- do I understand you to say that you exited the marriage without any assets? If that is not correct, in broad terms what did you each leave with in total?

- were you legally advised?

- if so, did your solicitor know what you were doing?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I left the marriage with a car with an approximate value of £7k at the time. A trike with an approcimate value of £10k, both of these items have been retained by my for use with our youngest son. I left with the majority of my clothing, jewellry although some gifts were asked to be returned which I did. I also asked for the furniture from our youngest sons bedroom which amounted to one wardrobe, a chest of drawers, a bunk bed, a television and a selection of his toys. over the months following my leaving I was given first refusal on a variety of items that would otherwise have been thrown out or given to charity shops - i did not get all items that were offered to me.


I had no solicitor as i had no means of paying for one and out of a sense of 'fairness' since I had comitted adultery, i abided by the advice given to my husband by his solicitor and the belief that my sons father would not jepoardise their inheritance, especially as the child that lives with me will most likely never live independently and of course we will not be around to support him to his life's end.


i have one email in which he states that he had no intention of cohabiting and that he would ensure his kids future inheritance would remain safe...


"Just want to clarify the situation so you understand how it would pan out. Please read carefully and ask questions. I am not trying to hide anything as you have all the information yourself.


Taking into account what you already have, trike car, jewellery, etc, all the debts/loads/credit cards/tax credits etc, my stuff, contents and the house value, I reckon that if you pushed this and battled for 50% you would and up with a max of 65k extra over and above what you already have. That assumes I sell my car, bikes and the full contents of the house and that court costs and solicitors are kept below 30k which is a low figure nowadays, Brent’s was more than that 7 years ago.


Not allot really is it but I can’t fund it. So Richard a nd I end up without a home and you end up with a deposit. If the capital stays together without being diluted then the kids get looked after as it is only me who decides. Split it up and it will potentially disappear into a myriad of pockets. Every scenario that applies to me also applies to you except you are way further down that route than I am.


That amount will grow if left where it is with the house but if the house isn’t mine then I would be stupid to continue to pay for it so better to cut my losses and tell Richard we have to move as you owning half of the house means it could be claimed by someone else if you die . I am sure it is David who would talk in this manner, I was warned that this would happen and it would end up as a bloodbath because it always does. I offends me that anyone should doubt my instincts to look after my kids, I told you that the million scenarios that can be invented will not be allowed to happen, you know me better than that and I am not the type to be bullied or pushed into anything I don’t want to do.


I said I would ensure that no-one else can inherit my assets. There are ways to sort these things and I am fully aware of the implications that future events may have so I said I would protect my assets, properly, no-one is going to lay claim to what belongs to my kids.


I have no plans to move anyone into my house or co-habit. How can I, 5 weeks ago I thought my future was sorted but I do know I can and will control what happens. You have to trust in me to do what I say I will do as you can only protect a further 65k and potentially wreck everything else.


As it currently stands I have taken on all of the loans, paid off the overdraft and taken responsibility for the credit cards. That lot is 800 a month on it own. Then I pay you for Anthony and anything else he needs. In addition you had over estimated the amount available through the company by 28000 pounds due to a mistake with the VAT which has been running for 3 years. The cash available went instantly from plus 18000 to minus 10000 so I have to sort that to pay tax bills and the like. You have to remember that half the debt is yours as well as half the assets, it is the net figure we have to consider. We are living on cash give to me by my parents and beryl at the moment.


You have in reality got allot more than you think already and it isn’t just a case of splitting the value of the house so don’t allow other people to interfere as they will only make it worse and the kids will loose out in the end as a big lump of cash will go straight to the solicitors. They will just love it.


The only other issue is ICL which relies on me to sell it and provide you with extra cash to do as you please with. That is also in the agreement.


I am sure your advisor is also making assumptions on how much I personally make, you know how much that varies and it relies on how much time I am prepared or allowed to put in. If I only work a standard week then I only just cover bills as you well know. No court can instruct me to work 50 hours a week as it contravenes EU law so what you already have is probably a fair amount considering I have taken on everything else.


I am sure you can work it out yourself, Just add up what you already have, add it to the value of my stuff (bikes and cobra) and take off all the debts/mortgage/overdraft/credit cards/solicitors/estate agents/solicitors etc and divide by two. Subtract what you already have and i t comes out at circa 60-65k.


So do take this all on board. Tell others to mind their own businesses and if we couldn’t look after each other then at least leave us alone to look after our kids futures.


Hope this makes sense, it isn’t meant to be threatening just factual, if you decide to go down a different route then let me know, preferably today so I can instruct my solicitors accordingly and they don’t charge me for work that isn’t needed. I love my kids and have worked my whole life to give them everything they needed, that at least hasn’t changed and it won’t change in the future."


a further quote reads:

I simply won't allow anyone else who comes into my life to have a claim on what belongs to Anthony and Richard. It isn't going to happen, I don't know any other way of saying it. No way, no how, not happening.


further checking of emails between me and my ex husband has brought up one such email where he told me what I should say to avoid the judge overturning the consent order and to avoid our eldest child to suffer any more emotional trauma. I complied has verbal promises had been made about putting our eldests name on the mortgage or deeds and it was my intention not to make him or my ex husband homeless because I had chosen to leave the marriage



immediately before the court date for the consent order i have another email where he states the agreement as being one where he would put my eldest child on the mortgage to protect what was my half of the estate and further comments made that he would never allow anyone to come into his life and put his kids inheritance at risk.



We owned a business which has sold and as part of the divorce agreement, the loans etc which my ex husband supported were to be repaid before the balance was split 50/50 I received an amount of 8.5k, i used 3k of this to repay debts, the balance is in an account and forms the capital gains tax due on the sale of the company as a whole and becomes due in the new year. there is a further payout of approximately 58k to be made by the buyer but this is dependent on the successful issue of a patent currently going through the european patents court. this could take a few months to several years. this second payment, if received, will also be split 50/50

Expert:  familylawexpert replied 2 years ago.

Thank you.

1. What is the date of the consent order?

2. And what did he tell you to tell the court to avoid overturning the order?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

consent order was made in december of last year, the 19th i think.


below is an excerpt of an email from my ex husband who stresses what i should say for a positive outcome, using the fact that our eldest son who resides with him was suffering stress and anxiety caused by me leaving and the continued uncertainty should his home have to be sold, i felt under pressure to do 'the right thing' and keep my son in his home and therefore reduce his stress etc...


I guess that in court they are going to ask you if you understand the arrangement, you are happy with it, maybe why you are doing it and why you haven't sought legal assistance. You said that you did look at getting legal aid which was at odds with what you said in the beginning as the first instance you said you didn't want it, perhaps you could explain why you changed your mind as I have only followed what you have asked to do and a simple statement like that throws a host of doubt out there. Additional solicitors now won't help but will be happy to chuck in another bill for 2500 quid.

Anyhow that apart, I think you need to tell the judge that yes you understand the implications of the decree absolute (i.e. once and for all, dissolving of the marriage and setting of financial arrangements), you didn't want to spend money on more unnecessary legal council and fully understand the family financial arrangements and goals as you helped set it all up and don't want to change any of that. Maybe if pushed say that you will hand the money back, but not in an aggressive way as the judges expect you to kowtow and grovel to them.

If you say you cant afford legal council etc the court will crucify us and that would be end game. We are once more into a total unknown arena which hurts both Richards and I, the out come is not certain as the judge can order you to do things you don’t want to do and that is a total nightmare for us. It is not helped by the fact that they take weeks or months to get round to it, couldn't care less how detrimental that is to individuals health and charge you loads more for the pleasure. I am pretty sure there will be additional court fees to add as well as solicitors fees, I am guessing that it will be another 341 pounds.

Richard and I both need to get past this and further delays are not helping either of us at all. I am considerably better able to cope than Richard who puts on a brave face but suffers underneath and there is nothing that anyone can do to help him. He just needs it to end so he can become himself again and perhaps get some sleep because that is a major issue at the moment.

Expert:  familylawexpert replied 2 years ago.

Is your aim limited to hopefully getting him to provide for 'your' share of the house to go to your son in the event of the father's death?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes, it is not my wish to take money from him for spousal maintenance. I require that some sort of caveat be placed upon his mortgage that allows 'my share' to be protected for the sole benefit of our disabled son Anthony who has lived with me since the separation. I need to safeguard him as much as possible since he will never work nor live independently and otherwise may have to rely upon benefits or the generosity of his remaining family on my side whereas during our marriage of 24 years I both worked and contributed to the marital assets in order to have a decent standard of living but more importantly once Anthonys disability was diagnosed, to make sure that there was money to take care of his needs when his parents were unable to to this for him. I would seek to place any funds in a discretionary trust or invest it in a home for us which could later be sold to provide capital to once again lodge in a discretionary trust account.

Expert:  familylawexpert replied 2 years ago.

It will be a difficult and uncertain affair to seek to get the court to set aside the current order and replace it with something very similar but with more protection for your son. On your side, you will have the undoubted sympathy of the court for your son, the fact that you were not legally represented, the fact that you are evidently not seeking greater personal gain, and the fact that he has not done what you felt was agreed. On the downside, it was an order by consent, and he may or may not still give your son sufficient assets (at his own wish).

If this is going to fight through the courts, you are going to need to be very patient and organised and calm about it. Unless you have someone who can help you with funds, you are also probably going to need a very helpful pro bono (ie free) lawyer (and there aren't many of them), or do a lot of the work yourself.

However, you could start by writing to your ex with a calm and balanced summary of your grievance: namely that you entered into the agreement and consent order on the basis of your understanding from him that half of the house would be irrevocably put in your son's name, but that he has apparently not carried that out. You could go on to say that you would like him to confirm in writing that he will put that half into your son's name within a fixed timetable, or you will apply to the court for the order to be set aside. You could also offer to go to mediation to talk about the proper structure of the transfer, if he would like to do that.

It's definitely worth trying.

I hope that is helpful. If you would like me to clarify anything, please ask. If not, I would be grateful if you could rate my answer.

Expert:  familylawexpert replied 2 years ago.

I noticed that you have not rated my answer, and wondered whether there was some aspect of your question on which you would like further help, or if you were happy with it? If you would like further help on it, please let me know.

Kind regards,

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