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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34278
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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Madam, I am looking legal help and advice.

Customer Question

Dear Sir/Madam, I am looking for some legal help and advice. I have recently discovered that my ex husband failed to file a consent order and final clean break agreement with the court when we divorced approx. 18 years ago. This has come to light as I have had to contact the court over an endowment policy that has matured recently. The insurance company is refusing to pay me my half of the policy as my ex husband is refusing to claim his half as he does not want me to have half.
This was agreed when we divorced and I have solicitors papers to show this but my ex will not make a claim. The insurance company refuses to pay me until they receive notification in writing from my ex husband that this was agreed and he claims his half. I was going to go back to the original solicitor bus she wants £200 for the appointment which I cannot afford. I need a consent order and clean break agreement and I want what I am entitled to. Can I now claim half of everything he owns? He has remarried and has 3 properties. I am single and have just one small bungalow which is heavily mortgaged. We have another endowment which is due to mature in 2 years time. He has already tried to commit fraud by signing my name to say he had bought me out of the policy, which he has not done. He was caught out when the company wrote to me asking me how much I had been paid.
Please can someone help me move forward on this? Kind regards,
M I Robinson
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.
Do you have a copy of the Order that was agreed at the time and which should have gone to the court
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

I don't have a copy of the order but I can email you copies of two letters from my solicitor at the time if this would help at all.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Do they confirm that there was a draft Order which you had signed?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hi

Confirm may be a strong word but they certainly state that she enclosed the forms for us to sign and lodge with the court. The consent order apparently set out the terms of the agreement and clearly states it relates to the two endowment policies and the fact we will have equal shares on maturity.. The only other thing it mentions is child maintenance. It also states it was supposed to be a clean break.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Just to check - you have not remarried at all since the divorce from your ex?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No I have never remarried. He has remarried though.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
In that case you are still entitled to make an applictaion to the family court for financial provision.
At that point you can either ask the Court to make the Order agreed all those years ago OR you can ask the court to make an assessment based on his current financial position
It is unlikely that you will get much more than was agreed originally - but it is not impossible - and if nothing else the risk may well force your ex to agree to the old order being sealed.
The starting point is to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment meeting with a Family mediator
www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

If I contact a solicitor, it will cost me. The court has already told me they have no record of any order being filed which basically means although he told me he would sign and lodge the order with the court, he didn't.

If it goes back to court will it cost me? Can I claim back any costs from him? My original solicitor wants to charge me £200 for the initial appointment. I just want a letter sending to him telling him I could make a claim if I wish and asking him to play fair with regards ***** ***** two policies. I actually don't want anything more from him. I do feel we need a clean break though. How do I go about organising this? Again I don't feel I should have to pay for it as I paid already for the original advice which he apparently has totally disregarded.

Thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You start with the mediation meeting.
Then you can apply to the court in person if you wish.
You are also entitled to an explanation as to why your solicitors did not complete the Order the first time
and left you in this position
Clare
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Would that have been their responsibility? The letter I have from them suggests that it was up to me or my ex-husband to file it with the court. I do find this strange as my ex could not be trusted at the time and it now appears I am right as he certainly did not lodge it with the court which they have confirmed.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
If they were acting for you then it was their responsibility to do it
Clare