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Ask Harris Your Own Question

Harris
Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1770
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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Separated from wife and she has put block on proceeds from

Customer Question

Separated from wife and she has put block on proceeds from sale of property after agreeing fifty fifty split signed by both parties it's been a year since property sold what can I do?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 10 months ago.
Hi, thanks for your question.
Have divorce proceedings commenced? Was the signed agreement approved by the court? Who is holding the proceeds of sale?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No divorce papers have been served either party, signed agreement in regard to split of proceeds copy is with house solicitor and proceeds of sale are still with solicitor who dealt with the sale of property
Expert:  Harris replied 10 months ago.
It would seem that she is denying the release of the proceeds as she may be attempting to claim a higher share.
As part of divorce proceedings, the court will consider all the assets that both of you hold and look at your needs, her needs and the needs of the children when deciding how to split the assets. The starting point is a 50-50 split of all assets and this is departed from based on the following criteria:
1. The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future, including in the case of earning capacity any increase in that capacity which it would in the opinion of the court be reasonable to expect a party to the marriage to take steps to acquire;
2. The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
3. The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;
4. The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;
5. Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;
6. The contributions which each of the parties has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family, including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family;
7. The conduct of each of the parties, if that conduct is such that it would in the opinion of the court be inequitable to disregard it;
8. In the case of proceedings for divorce or nullity of marriage, the value to each of the parties to the marriage of any benefit which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage, that party will lose the chance of acquiring.
I would suggest that you consider pursuing divorce proceedings and a financial relief application in relation to the finances. As part of this application the agreement that you refer to can be disclosed to the court, however, if the needs of both of you, and any children cannot be met if the agreement is carried out, then the court can overlook the agreement.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
There are no children I.e maintenance issues as step children are adults in their own right now. Also she obtained all of the contents of the property there has been no division of this as she has refused and I believe they may have be sold now. Since we separated over 15 months ago she has found out that through logging into my own personal bank account that I have received refunds through PPI but these were historical before we ever met going back some 20 odd years can she claim any of this as I think she is going to try and do?
Expert:  Harris replied 10 months ago.
If they are major payments, she may attempt to claim a share of them given that they were acquired during the marriage. Her financial misconduct by logging into your bank accounts can be raised in the application as, despite being married, she has breached your confidentiality.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Does this mean that PPI that was claimed after we separated and bearing in mind she never made any financial contribution in regard to this because loans that it related to were way before the marriage she can still attempt to claim?
Expert:  Harris replied 10 months ago.
Yes she can. She is able to make a claim against assets until a final order is made by the court, or until she remarries.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Can I counter claim for value of contents that she has taken? What about car that she has will this be an asset that she has to declare? Will she have to declare as an asset the value of contents that she retained regardless of where they are now? So far although no divorce proceedings have been started I have already had to pay a solicitor over £2000 over the last 12 months and yet I am no further forward in getting anything sorted especially in relation to the house sale could this be resolved prior to any divorce action and how quickly in your opinion?
Expert:  Harris replied 10 months ago.
It is usual for only possessions worth £500 or more to be disclosed as assets, including cars. However, if it is a substantial amount of property she has taken by all means disclose it in the financial claim.
I would suggest you do consider issuing divorce proceedings and pursuing an application to court for financial relief. The court application will set a strict timeline for dealing with the matter (usually 6-12 months) whereas attempting to negotiate directly or through solicitors may prolong the process as there is no obligation to settle. Prior to proceeding with a financial relief application you will need to attend a mediation assessment session yourself to see if mediation is suitable.
Mediation is where you both attend a few sessions with an independent mediator to attempt to reach an agreement, and if an agreement is reached solicitors can assist in turning it into a court order for approval by a judge.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Would the timescale bear in mind it has already been 12 months since the sale went through or would it be another 6to 12 months from when I apply?
Expert:  Harris replied 10 months ago.
6-12 months from when the financial relief application is submitted is the usual guideline.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
What could I do if she refuses mediation session?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I served in the army for 22 years and am receiving a pension of under £1000 per month. I came out of the army in 1994 and I am 62 years of age at present and only source of income is this pension. I didn't meet my wife until 1999 and she is now I believe attempting to make a claim against this pension, yet she is 46 years of age and works, would it be plausible that I make a claim for maintenance or would this factor be taken into account when consideration is taken into division of proceeds of sale of property ( which incidentally was my home prior to us meeting)
Expert:  Harris replied 10 months ago.
If she refuses mediation then you can pursue the court application for financial relief.
Maintenance would be for your reasonable day to day needs. If your current income cannot meet this, then you can make a claim for maintenance from her and would not influence the split of assets. However, she would also need to meet her own reasonable needs so this would need to be considered.
In relation to the pension, if this is an army pension/private pension (ie. not state pension) then she can make a claim against this, although this is usually only limited to what has been accumulated during the marriage, and not prior.

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