Thank you Clare.
The hearing has now taken place. She is now represented and her barrister was there while I was a LIP. The issues to be settled are
1. Is the 118k loan to my brother part of the joint assets. The judge seemed to indicate that there were arguments either way, and ordered me to set out in writing why I think it is not, then let R/W respond.
2. There is disagreement about the value of the FMH (she had 2 estate agents round who both say £275k; I used Zoopla for Form E and got £290k, but now up to £309k and told them about this). I imagine 275 is low and 290 is probably about right. Judge has directed to get a joint valuation done, and I have offered to accept my Form E valuation rather than 309 to save costs. Waiting for her to come back on this.
3. The barrister said I had not asked a question in my questionnaire about R/w's ability to work and would I like them to do this and provide the answer. I agreed in the heat of the moment and I'm not sure it was a terribly good idea.
POSSIBLE PROPOSAL:I am inclined to write to her lawyer and make an offer: house to be sold and mortgage redeemed, equity to her, she pays her sister back. I get to keep the loan to my brother if it ever gets paid back. I would be OK with this. The only problem is that the house value is going up and up, and the mortgage is going down and down (because I am paying it every month).
So if she agreed to this (she won't like it, but her lawyer may tell her it's a good offer), it would still be in her interest to delay selling as long as possible.
(In fact, even if the judge orders a sale down the line, this will still be a problem, won't it? And there's no way to specify a sale deadline, because that just depends on the market!)
I also wondered about offering to pay half her legal costs as a further incentive.
If I don't make this offer, would it be better to go for the joint valuation or ultimately just come down to 275?