Hi, i'd like familylawexpert to answer. Please opt out.
Thanks very much for getting back. I wonder if we could pick up the conversation threads I had with you last year. http://www.justanswer.co.uk/family-law/82kpp-friend-going-difficult-time-separated.html
Is it possible if we keep the conversation consistent by you replying there?
Thank you very much for your response. To follow our last conversation threads, there have been some updates to my partner's divorce. However, we felt that he's a bit trapped at the moment. You might have remembered from our last conversation that they were going through mediations. They had had a number of sessions with the mediators, unfortunately, she didn't engage and some sessions ended up with her being hysterical or asking for more money. It seemed like mediation didn't work for them. The only conclusion he's got from the mediation was that the children want to stay in the house and are not especially bothered about contact with him.
At the moment, she only had one more session available on her legal aid, and my partner is still paying his costs off. Having said that, the divorce did proceed. She finally agreed to be divorced for her unreasonable behavior, and we're told by the solicitor that the Decree Nisi was supposed to have been issued on 23/12/2014.
The financial situation is getting more and more difficult for my partner because he's paying this unaffordable house mortgage. The problem is, before the divorce proceedings started, she has taken out a land charge (quite a while ago) preventing him from selling the house. When they're waiting for the divorce result, he has been paying the mortgage (£1205/month) and some expenses like football club, school lunch, tennis course etc. for the children. And now she has issued a request for Child maintenance effective from 27/12/2014. It came with a surprise to us because he's still waiting for the result of the divorce from the Court. The CMS are sending him a form to apply for a reduction as the amount's unaffordable for him to pay on top of the mortgage. He's contacted the building society, and they're willing to discuss a reduction in payments if the reduction from CMS doesn't work. But for long term (and as you suggested before), my partner would like to sell the house. She has signed up for the various benefits she's entitled to including JSA. From what we understand, she can get housing benefit and my partner would actually be happy to pay her deposit or other removal expenses.
The problem is that she won't discuss this as an option at all. At the moment, my partner has an expensive solicitor waiting on him to start sending things for the "full and frank declaration". We're not very confident about the solicitor because it seems like she's been charing him a lot just to send a standard letter, sometimes he had to draft it first and she'd even made mistakes like putting the wrong name etc. He still now has a £250 on account with the solicitor. He's worried that a lot of more money is going to go nowhere with the ex-wife not engaging until she's told by the Court to do so.
1. In this case, would it be simpler for him to handle the rest of the divorce procedures by himself?
2. What would you suggest him to do by steps?
3. We understand that he can start Decree Absolute after 6 weeks of the Decree Nissi date, does he have to finish the financial and child care agreement before that, or can he just go ahead to pursue Decree Absolute?
4. Is there any way that he can propose to sell the house? From what we understand is that she doesn't have any income apart from the benefits she has signed up so she cannot afford the mortgage. We have no idea about her financial situation because she kept it all secret, however, accidentally we found out that she's actually renting out a room (although after that she explained very vaguely that she's not charing that lodger much because the lodger was around to help with the children). So there's no way we can no what income she's having.
5. Contact with children: is there any way that he can make it on the legal terms? He has been trying very hard to maintain contact, but setting up each and every visit has been a struggle. Every time she'd make excuses to make things difficult. Sometimes she even pretended that she didn't know they had arranged, and when he showed up at the door step, she'd make the children to refuse to go out with him and he had to leave. He's been calling the children frequently but very often no one picks up the house phone, or she doesn't pick up her mobile phone. So far, the children have been with him overnight about 5 times in the 18 months since separation, and a further maybe 10 meetings for lunch/outings.
Sorry if it's a bit complicated. Please let me know if there's anything else I should clarify. Thank you very much for your time!
Sorry my question was a long one. I'd appreciate if you would be available to answer.
Thank you very much for your time.
1. Can he not pay the maintenance yet until the financial proceedings are ordered? Will he get into any trouble? Or would you suggest him starting paying now? She has issued a request effective from 27/12/2014.
2. How do the proceedings work? Will she be required to fill in the form as well? Will the proceedings be delayed if she refused to engage or cooperate (it is very likely that she will simply ignore it and won't engage by saying she doesn't understand English)?
3. From your experience, is this why many people take a long time to get a divorce - to reach agreements before decree absolute? In his case, will there be any consequences/disadvantages to him if he gets decree absolute sorted before the financial proceedings? Of course he wants to start sorting the financial arrangements now, but it's just an possibility he read the UK law website but I'm worried that we might interpret it wrong..
4. As you suggested, he should start by telling her that the house should be sold. However, she has taken out a land charge quite a while ago preventing him from selling the house. She surely knows about her right. Does it mean that he cannot put the house on the market if she doesn't withdraw that land charge?
5. I hope you won't mind me asking this but how do the financial proceedings work? Will the Court look at the finance and decide the order, or does he need to provide a statement to explain the situation? His monthly income is 2298, mortgage is 1205. I'm currently paying his rent (but I'm NOT living there) but that won't be shown on his bank statement. Will the rent be disregarded as part of his outgoings?
6. Do you think the Court will NOT order the house to be sold as long as he still has money in his banks account?
Thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it.