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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34106
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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Me and my wife separated last year. We have one daughter

Resolved Question:

Hi
me and my wife separated last year. We have one daughter which is living with my ex. We were religiously married and not under UK law. I got separation agreement prepared by my solicitor which both me and ex signed as she didnt hire her own solicitor. The separation agreement was signed last year after which I traveled to US and currently living here. The main points of separation agreement.
1) I will have access to my daughter without any restrictions
2) I transfer the house to my ex name in exchange for lump sum amount (as agreed between me and my ex), part of which was paid at the time of signing the agreement and remaining will be paid on signing of the transfer deed. (The deed is not signed yet and i have been sent the transfer docs to sign just now)
At the time of signing the separation agreement I refused to sign the papers and wanted to walk out the solicitors office as I felt he was not acting my best interest , however I had to sign and pay him because the solicitor threatened to issue CCJ against me.
The finances was agreed as she will pay me 34k to buy me out of the house. The house was valued by three estate agents at 280k which give an equity of 100k. Out of this 100k, we deducted 30k for the deposit that she paid from her bank account, plus the 8k mortgage and bills that she has paid for few months on her own less the 10k i spend on refurbishments. The remaining 68 was divided equally between us.
As I was under lot of stress and tension I didnt realise till now that the 30k deposit for the house was half my contribution as before buying this house we were living in another house and i paid all the mortgage and bills by myself for two years so my ex can save the money for the deposit. The two year expenses that i paid by myself was around 15k. Also the property in question has a land on the side which could be used for building a new house. If the land is approved for planning permission then the land will have a market value of 80k as per the estate agents. This land was not mention in the separation agreement.
My question is that since I have already signed the agreement how can ensure if my ex decide to get planning permission for the land and sell it, the half of which 40k which would have been my share , be used for my daughter as a gift from me and my ex and her future partner has no right over that amount.Can the separation agreement be amended ? I have already discussed this with my ex and she has agreed to it verbally but there is nothing in writing? ideally I want this is to be agreed before I sign the TR1 documents for the transfer of house to her name.
Also is the separation agreement legally enforceable as it was done by one solicitor and the fact of the matter is I am abroad now I want to protect my rights to see my daughter. I have been sending her money every month and will continue to do so.
please advise ?
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.
How old is your daughter?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi,

she is 6 years old.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hello ???

i requested and paid for urgent service ???

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Answer came too late.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Answer came too late.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HiThank you for your question and my apologies for the delayMy name is ***** ***** I shall do my best to assist youIt is unlikely that there will be any progress on the enforcement applictaion prior to 20th May but that does not mean you shoudl not issue it on the basis that it can be listed at the same time.The form you need is herehttp://www.jordanpublishing.co.uk/system/uploads/attachments/0008/5543/D50K.pdfWith regard to the harassment there is nothing to be gained so far as the financial applictaion is concerned in making such an application.In order to stop the abuse you should inform him that abusive texts and emails will not be answered - and if he continues you will block the numbers/address and the only form of contact will be by post.If he approaches you in the street again then call the policePlease ask if you need further detailsClare
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
My apologies for the delay
For clarity - you say that your ex is in fact willing to change the agreement to reflect a position whereby IF the land is sold separately half of the monies will be held on trust for your daughter.
Is that correct?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No she verbally agreed bit now she is saying that whatever was agreed in separation agreement .

Considering how I was forced to sign the agreement and it was done by only one solicitor acting on both parties behalf, is this agreement legally enforcible ?

Please give a complete answer considering all concerns raised in my first post. Thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Ok
For clarity - how often did you see and speak to your solicitor?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I think we spoke three times, and the main point we discussed was that i want to protect my right to see my daughter but when he drafted the agreement, he omitted everything about my daughter and the whole agreement was just about the house transfer explaining I have no rights on the property and i cannot reside in it etc etc, I have a strong feeling that my ex spoke to him behind my back as she has been accusing me of not supporting the family and she being primiary carer for my daughter. however i have bank statements to prove otherwise.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Did you see the paperwork BEFORE the final appointment?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No... the draft that we agreed before final meeting was different to the one that he presented to sign in the final meeting. The final papers to sign as mentioned above omitted the clause about my daughter...upon objection he threatened to issue me CCJ..

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Answer came too late.
i paid for urgent service and its been almost 24 hrs , and still I havent got my answer
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
The problem you face is that you DID sign the Agreement - and agreement which was drawn up by the solicitor you chose to instruct and which from what you have said DOES reflect the financial agreement that was made between you and your ex.
I can only assume that this issue regarding this extra land was known to you at the time of the agreement - or should have been
Having said that it is open to question whether the agreement is enforceable it does not appear that your ex has in any way acted to her detriment to date.
However you woudl then face a far greater risk of her making an applictaion using the Children Act for the right to remain in the property until the child is 18 - so that whilst you will obtain a better pay off you will have to wait for it.
What is clear is that you do have the right to report the appalling behaviour of the solicitor to the SRA
http://www.sra.org.uk/home/home.page
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

i dont have any problem with financing agreement or to transfer the property to my ex name..I just want my share in the land to be for my daughter, if my ex decide to get planning application approved a later date..I want to protect my daughters right in case my ex starts a new family with someone else and lives in the same property. How can I go about this which can be legally enforceable.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Ok.
So that is all you wish to change - you will accept everything else if that one - single issue is addressed?
May I ask why it did not occur to you earlier
(That is not a criticism I am asking the first questions a court would ask!)
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes I am ok with everything else.. I was suffering from severe depression and stress at the time and was not in a state to think clearly. I just want to protect my daughter's interest , that's it.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Ok I think there are some possible ways forward
Have you put this request in writing at all?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No...

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Then that is your starting point.
Write to the solicitors who sent you the paperwork stating that you will not sign the TR1 unless a suitable "Overage" clause is added in favour of a trust for your daughter
Details of such clauses are here
http://www.propertylawuk.net/propertytransactionsoverage.html
She will threaten you with Legal Proceedings - let her, stand firm your request is reasonable and enforcing the agreement will be far more costly than agreeing this
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

One more thing, on the TR1 take says in the consideration section that " I have received 34k as consideration for the transfer".... as I mention I only recieved 20k and 14k was agreed to paid upon transfer...I did send an email to the solicitors handling the TR1 process mentioning that I want 34k on Tr1 and that 14k is outstanding. They do say they will issue me money via chq upon completion in their letter but no mention of 14k ... but on TR1 it sayS I have "received" 34k for the transfer... is thus normal procedure???

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You write and tell them that they will have to hold the TR1 until you have received payment of the £14,000
Clare
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