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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34584
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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My wife and I separated over thirteen years ago after a short marriage

Resolved Question:

My wife and I separated over thirteen years ago after a short marriage lasting three years. There are no children involved. We agreed a financial settlement acceptable to us both at the time. Now she has sudddenly re-appeared demanding a divorce and another financial settlement. Where do I stand?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 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 settlement was agreed at the time - and what is she asking for now?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

She didn't contribute any capital to the purchase of the house. I paid the mortgage and all the bills (and for expensive holidays!), which the exception that she bought most of the groceries. My financial support allowed her to work part-time for around a year to complete a part-time degree, which enabled her to get get a very well paid job.

The settlement agreed was for around £30k, around £23k in cash and the remainder in shares, This enabled her to put £15k deposit down on a house costing £105k. Her new job's salary was £30-35K and she had no problems raising the mortgage. She kept the job and house until around 2009 when she moved to Scotland to be near her bereaved mother. I believe she sold the house for £185k.

I didn't hear from her then until about two years ago when I got a drunken phone call from her late one night. She was living in Hastings, she had found a new man, he was concerned about me having any claim on joint assets and would I start divorce proceedings. I agreed, expecting her to ring back to let me know her address, etc. but she never did.

Then out of the blue, the divorce petition popped through the letter box. She is on long term sick leave with a degenerative back condition and is unlikely to work again, with no capital nor savings There are no specific sums being claimed but every box in section (3) of Part 10 is ticked, apart from maintenance pending.

She has had her back condition since before we met and, as a health professional, she must have been fully aware of the possible consequences. At the time of her moving to Scotland, she was pursuing a damages claim against the NHS after a failed operation on her back and gave the impression that she would be awarded a considerable sum. She has also worked for the NHS and Metropolitan Police for at least 25 years, which would qualify her for a pension through ill-health (as far as I'm aware).

I hope this information helps.

Regards,

John

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
For clarity - is it the ticked boxes that concern you or has a specific request been made?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

The mutually agreed financial settlement allowed her to make the new start she demanded. I'm just surprised that, having recklessly spent her way into the position she's in now, she has the audacity to claim anything. We parted as friends and now I feel totally betrayed.

I'm prepared to pay her a modest lump sum to tide her through until she is fit to work again or to claim her pension and then draw a line against any future claims. Is that unreasonable?

John

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
But has she actually asked for any settlement in any way OTHER than by ticking the boxes?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

No. All the correspondence is coming through her solicitor.

John

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
HI
What has her solicitor asked for so far?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

Nothing specific. She suggested I male an appointment with a solicitor who was in the Resolution scheme, which I have done for Friday,

John

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Ticking the boxes does not necessarily mean she will try and make a financial claim at all - they also make it easier to apply for a Consent Order in the future dismissing all claims
Assuming you in fact only lived together for three years the chances of her making a successful financial claim against you now is remote in the extreme and in any event before any financial offers are made your ex will need to give full disclosure of her financial position - including what happened to her previous assets and the details of her pension
You need to have details of this before you consider making any offer at all
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
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