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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33528
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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I lived with my husband for four and a half months( no kids)

Customer Question

I lived with my husband for four and a half months( no kids) although we were married for 2 years( it was a long distance relationship for a year and a half). I left him because of abuse and he did not let me work ever since we got married.I am on Legal Aid and a few weeks ago I had the FDR adjourned because he sent me the replies to the questionnaire 2 days before the FDR. He did make an offer of 3000 pounds at the FDR and I told him I needed more time as I felt I needed time to draft a schedule of deficiencies first. I am now being advised to accept his measly offer as a purely "economic solution" as both of us would incur costs if the case went on further and because there isn't much we could base our claims on as it is a short marriage and he has shown his income to be quite low( has interests in three motel businesses 50% and 25% ; one overseas property and sold a property in the UK after marriage. No matrimonial home. No liquid assets.) I asked for 20 but I am told by my solicitor it is an unrealistic offer and she would have to inform the Legal aid agency about all the offers and apparently they could revoke the certificate if they felt I had made unrealistic offers and continued increasing the costs in a case where there was little hope of recovery.

I don't understand what really is a realistic offer in such a case and what am I entitled to? If I make an offer that sounds unrealistic to my solicitor can the legal aid agency question me over it?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
What assets does he have?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

He has interest in three properties 2 of which are hotels. He claims his total interest in the hotels are 19,000 and 23,000 pounds and one residential property overseas in which he claims his interest is 5,000 pounds. He is also the Director of another hotel where he is a shareholder of 50% He claims his interest in that is 16,000

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What is your financial position/
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I'm unemployed, claiming benefits and help from family. I've been looking for work but because he didn't let me work for the period I was married to him, I don't have any work experience and therefore finding it hard to get a job.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What were you doing prior to the marriage?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I used to volunteer and teach occasionally in my home country

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What is your current immigration status?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am a Permanent Resident in the UK

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Is there any reason why you could not return to your Home Country and teach?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes, he's threatened to kill me in my home country.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Sorry - which country does your husband live in?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

How is that relevant?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Your is a very short relationship which severely limits your claims
The starting point is for the court simply to return you both to the Financial Position you were in prior to the marriage.
Your ex can therefore say that you simply need enough to allow you to return to your home country so that you can resume your former life.
You have said that you cannot do so because of his threats.
Those threats will be of more concern to the court if your husband is there and not here - hence the question
If there is an offer on the table of £300o - PLUS costs then on the face of it that could be a realistic offer however it may not be - and a short marriage does not ALWAYS mean no ongoing support as the Miller case proved
http://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed1912
However your solicitor is correct - if the other side make a realistic offer and you refuse it then she needs to report it to the Legal Services Commission and they can withdraw the funding
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have been advised to offer to close the door to maintenance( nominal maintenance) and just ask for a clean break as an incentive for him to accept my offer. Is that good advice?


 


Also, how do you decide what's realistic?Looking at my needs I feel at least 12 is realistic as it would cover my legal bill and give me 4 on top by the time I would get it. I would like to start a course and build my life again so I can have enough to live the way I used to. Plus I need some money for moving to a new place. My solicitor said it's not needs based anymore. We're just looking to save costs. Any suggestions


 

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Is he offering £3000 PLUS costs?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

no ,just 3000 in total. my legal fee is around 6000 now.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HI
So there is nothing for you if you accept this?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes, nothing.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Just to check - your solicitor is insisting that you accept this?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

no, she said we could ask for a few on top but don' t expect him to give you more. She thinks 12 is unrealisitc

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What was her original advice?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

make an offer of 10 but expect much,much less. And accept whatever you get.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
If she told you that from the start why did you ask for £20,000?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

she told me that after I said 20

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Did you not discuss this before you applied for Legal aid?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

If you are talking about paying my statutory charge, I was of course aware of that.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
But did she not discuss with you whether the application was financially worthwhile?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

she only told me I should not expect much because it's a short marriage.That's all.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I would go back and say you will accept the £3000 if he pays your costs to date.
Then at least you come out with something
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33528
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks Clare

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You are welcome - good luck - and remember you can carry on alone if you have to!
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Will keep that in mind. Thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You are welcome
Clare

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