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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33946
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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My DFR hearing last week was adjourned until 10 june

Customer Question

Hello
My DFR hearing last week was adjourned until 10 june due to last minute misconduct by my ex husband's barrister. It transpared that the basis of offers made was flawed, manipulative and deceptive.Also, she tried to sneak in restriction to block application for cost of education a child. I reacted quite strongly to this when I noticed it before signing. The judge agreed with me and gave a good telling off to the barrister tellinghe she crossed uncceptabe boundary and too involved with her client to such an extent she gave no regard to the children's act. What she did consitiuted a significant breach of the children's act and it would appear that the children's need would not be effectively dealt with within the proceeding and could be used to barr future application of at least make this difficult. I want my son's dad to contribute to his education needs until he finishes secondary and ternary education
The judge indicated that there is draft order to that point.
My view is the whole negotiation was based on deception and under extreme pressure on the day I felt alone as i noticed his barrister had managed to distract my solicitor and counsel. For example they failed to advise me based on the very clear guidance given by the judge in her wisdom. I was told encouraged to accept the offers and think more of ending the case.
1) Can I ask for review of the draft order as the contents are based on deceptive manipulation and unacceptable motifs?
2) i want to put forward again my statement of position and restart, making sure that my son's needs are properly addressed. I nt to make sure that the debts caused in the marriage are paid by him as he caused the debts. Not doing this will leave me in a serious financial state if not bankrupcy which will affect my ability to cope with my son's needs and definitely lose my job.
3) I am not ready to be pressurised to a agreeing negotiation that would make my situation worse and back to square one. Can the judge impose what we doen't agree?
4) can what we don't agree be recorded?
5) if so, can I proceed to final hearing?
6) what will be the procedure for final hearing?
7) please advise how I can make appliction for extras education support for my son for until he finishes secondary and ternary education. He is 16 now in a fee paying school.
Please reply urgently.
Regards
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further information firstWhat did your solicitor say about what had happened?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

He agrees with the judge and has written to omplain to my ex husbands solicitors. He is trying to find a more subble solution I think. But I think he knows he may not get far. He has warned in his letter them that we could get to FH and the cost will be at large. Thats why I am writing to you for some independed insight

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
For clarity - this is your Children Act applictaion - or the financial part of your divorce?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

It is the financial part of the divorce.

His barrister is trying to block possibility of applicastion under the chikdrens act to cover for extra education expenses on top of the CSA maintenance. I want him to contribute top up for extra educational expenses. His financial statements shows he can. He is trying to avoid doing so, by the restriction they introduced last minute and request for NO ORDER be entered.

I feel the court should not throw us into negotiating this or honour their request with any form of wording. But to award what is fair in the face of the financial statement.

Or, that order should be made that application under childeren's act should be made in respect of the the extra education cost.

Please advise any possible effective solution to this.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
What are the headlines terms f what was agreed?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The following are

1) Lumpsum payment based on the monies discovered from information requested, undisclosed in his formE to allow me to pay down debts he left me.

2) fair order to provide:

a) at least a nominal period payments order

b) an order to make payments in respect of the expenses to cover our son's extra educational needs

3) contribute to the debts he caused

It would appear that they managed to muddle all these up somehow and I felt let down with the support I got during negotiation which i see as the reason for his barrister ceasing opportunity to mess issues up.

I agreed a lumpsum even though this ws lower than i wanted and for the reason stated in my position statement. But the Judge seemed to state a diferent reason. I found that confusing and supprise things are being twisted. I am not too sure if there had been some negitiation behind my back as i believe this could happen from people i have spoken with. the others fell apart. His barrister was trying to cover the others by the back door, asking for no order order! She was stating everything was included in the lumpsum, whic no idiot would have agreed, including child provision under the childrens act, hence my reaction. the judge in her wisdom reacted appropriately which i am grateful for, but i thing she thought all these others had been transparently negotiated in and i had accepted them.

Hope this will help you to help me.

Thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
So what agreement was made?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I don't think I understand your question. But hope this will help.

The judge awarded me my house. but i am assuming it is in draft order. Also there will be no pension sharing but his pension pot is mush bigger than mine! i assume this is also in draft.

The lumpsum is awarded, sealed to the leve discovered that he hide away in shares and with his sibblings. This is to with provide for reasonable adjustment to my house due to disability needs etc. This is to be paid from the money he stashed away with in siblings that was discovered.

I want him to pay at least 60% of the debit. He does not want to pay anything. I have a solid case and have proven he can, from 3years financial investigation which is a reflection of his practice throughout the marriage.

I want him to contribute to his son's extra education cost. The judge gave a clear guidance regarding where paying for his sons's extra eductional cost could be retrieved from. This is also what he was trying to prevent.

I am feeling the way to resolve this is proceeding to Final hearing where all relevant matters to who is responsible for the debt can be considered appropriately. To that end I amconcidering to hire a barriste through the direct access. he is a very difficult man and does not shift unless made to and I have very good evidence and information forensic imformation already. if matters cannot be resolved at this stage despite all information it looks like this route cannot be avoided. That's why I am writing to you for advice. I want to know the form of orders I should ask regarding the issue.

Hope these answer your question. Thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Right - so you have the house, and how much in terms of a lump sum?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

£22K in Lumpsum. I need £67K to do the adaptation to my house. so it is just a small contribution from him. I accepted because I just was eager to finish with it all. I did not expect to compromise my son's needs.

He would not pay to debt of £70K he caused in the marriage.

He would not pay for extra education cost of £500pm which the judge feels he could afford from the financial analyst report but has to be agreed and if not, may lead to further litigation. but she wanted this sorted before I consider going to FH which she would like to avoid. He has alot of money moving around and further question indicated he has more than discovered.

he wants to deceptively use this lumpsum for evertything through distration and manipulative way.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Did the Judge feel this settlement was appropriate
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No, because she made clear that what was intended to be in the Lumpsum was not quatified made transparent and clear to me. She also summed up the application under the children's act could not be circumvented by his barrister by their no order request and gave her a real tell off and lectured her of her responsibility to her client had overstepped boundaries because she was too involved with him, judge said!. She ran out of time to deal with this and cleasrly visibly upset as i was. She also indicated that we could start all over again to resolve this before the nexr hearing.

Please can you advice possible options to respond to this situation.

should l appoint a new barrister through the direct access to barrister? though I thought the barrister i hd was good, i felt disappointed at the negotiation as all i get was to accept what felt wrong and then told me its my decisio, I expected exactly what the judege expected- negotiation along side her guidance. They'r was alot of meeting behimd my back so I felt their could have been some dealings. Is tht likely/

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
For clarityDo you mean your solicitor and barrister accepted an agreement that the Judge then rejected - or that no agreement could be reached?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The whole situation is up in the air! I don't honesty know what is going on ans it is a mess! These is no correlation between what my lawyers brought tp me with the judge's guidance. Hence the mess because I noticed it and basically went balistic! Either his barristers are so clever and so manipulative to distract evryone from the real bases for negotiation or there had been some agreement behind my back with hope that i am daft and unintelligent not to figure it out. There was so much you must agree now and cannot be changed; encouraged by telling me to think of the emotional toll and cost, when the cost should be at large. He earns 6 figure well proven< bonus and a car. I earn just £33k with failing health, disability and a wonderful boy being brough up by me. It's all absurd and i cannot accept it. i need to know options availble to me please.

Can I use another barrister or/and solicitor for the convinning hearing on 10th June? what options available please under this situation. I understand that it is possible everyone will be trying to cover their mess as my solicitor is of the option that i had agreed. it's a draft ordee made by judeg under a differenc understanding. I should be able to have this reviewed under that understanding now.

Please advise. Thank you

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Was anything put in writing?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

A draft order which I oppose tohaving noticed the clauses and restrictions entered by his barrister, i said this earlier. My solicitor is refusing me to have a copy of draft order right now.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
So you never approved the draft AND the Judge rejected it?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No I did not approve the draft order. That's the whole point. I noticed the clause at the point of almost signing. The judge rejected it on the basis that they were not transparent by not quantifying the component of the lumpsum he proposed to cover the child's extra educational cost. It is not possible to apportion any of the extra educational cost into the lumpsum, and doing so is nonsense as the educational cost will exceed the lumpsum.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Ok I think I understand thatSo did the Judge adjourn the hearing to try again another day?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes draft court order and basis be made transparent to for her to continue with the draft order another day, that is 10th June.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
But you say your solicitor will not give you a copy?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes. Do you know of any legitimate reason why he would not? It this a common practice? Or is he controlling? he gave a copy of the order to my ex husbands solicitor. They also had a long chat that I overheard my ex husband's barrister seemed to be complaining that if I applied for extra educational cost, it will amount to too much money. i had to go so I did not hear my solicitors reply to her.

I have my suspicion and I don't want him to force an unfair position on me. He had made mistake before, during the interim application, which went wrong and i had been able to rectify during this process through the Barrister. My solicitor kept telling me I should thik of the cot of going final hearing and end this. My barrister is of different oppion and said I could represent myself at FH and trying to show me options eg she said by statement as I have some essential document. I am thinking I may have to get a barrister via the direct access to cut the cost. But I want the cost to be at large as I believe I have a clear case. Also my ex husband has lied to court. My friend said that my solicitor's attitute shows he is not for the wife. Too many things were going wrong last minute in the last 3 court hearing to date.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
For clarity then - your Barrister was not happy with the consent order?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes, she was not happy with the draft order

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Was she happy with ANY of the terms?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes. These ones, reluctantly:

1) my house in my favour. He did not pay for the purchase or mortgage or contribute to it in any way. he did not allow repair or update as part of exercising his control and sense of importance. The equity in the house is very small as it requires significant update according to the valuation report. He does not want any of the outstanding debt charged on the house. He lied about not having any property but this is difficult to prove as all properties he went to auction to buy were on behalf of his brother an dhe just lent him the money!

2) Lumpsum payment towards adaptation to the house. this was quite small but it was based on what was discovered from further information over 3year period. This revealed how he has been investing his money through his family - businesses and properties. Further investigation would reveal more, and given the fact that minimum salary he had in 16 years was £104K which he could not account for how he'd spent it for each year and given he paid nothing towards the home and claimed to be poor throughout the marriage and still does; descovery of further shares and hidden pension etc

He is a very difficult man with strong evidence of his family's collective hostile financial control.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
OkBut she also thought it was worth pushing to a final hearing?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

She explores and discusses this, making suggestions regarging how i could keep the cost down etc, I believe she felt so. When I thanked her for what she'd done, she said don't thank me yet I have not got you the order you need. So I think she would want to push for FH as I would too. It is clear the only way to get anything from my ex husband towards the debits and extra educational cost will be this. These will significantly affects my ability to support my son well and defeats the whole purpose of application for financial relief. it's serious.

Just as he was difficult to the end with the divorce until it was clear we were going to trial. He is very difficult and my barrister found him to be extremely controlling in the negotiation. I believe he would not like to go go to FH because he knows more will come out and he is protective over his family. i believe he is playing games again and I am concern with what is real he does not care and extreme.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Then write to your solicitor today and say that you no longer agree with any part of the Order and are not prepared to agree it
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

1) what basis should I include, from all information I had given you please?

2)And what if he says I could not do this? what should be my appropriate response

3) Is there anything that could stop me rejecting a draft order?

4) can a judge enforce any part of the draft oredr without my consent?

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Simply say that in view of the approach of the Judge and your reservations about disclosure you no longer agree itHe cannot refuse your instructions - you are the clientThe other side will try and argue that the agreement is already made - but given what has happened the Judge is more likely to agree with you than himNot as a Consent order no
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Many thanks for this. i feel confident now. One last thiing please. Can I restate my position regarding what I want as settlement in the letter, indicating the guidance the judge gave which include how it could be met by my ex husband? or should i leave this out?

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Keep your letter simple to start with!
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33946
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Many thanks for this. I have sent a letter to my solicitor along the line you suggested. I will come back to you regarding advise and guidance on how to prepare for FH as this might be a possibility. Kind regards. Joyce.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello again Clare

1) I have instructed my solicitor as advised. I believe he does not like my instruction and trying to desuade me by saying that the judge would not agree with me. He also said that by disagreeing the "draft agreement (which was not approved) would suggest that I was in conflict with him and the barrister as my advisors and I will have little chance with the judge agreeing with me or allowing me to go to final trial should that be the case. Can he be right?

2) The recorded "terns of settlement" ( he has since said that there is no draft order, just record of terms of settlement, as he put it), which was flawed due to lack of quantification and misunderstandings associated with these, as rightly pointed out by the judge, hence the adjornment. therefore I cannot agree these anymore without the necessary quantification taken into account. Impact of not doing this would be severe for me and my son. Can I reiterate and make this clear to him again- that the basis of terms of the recorded settlement has to be reviewed and reset appropriately?

3) I am also objecting to my ex husband's barrister's insistence that there should be an order preventing me from applying for "cost of educating a child" under the childrens' act. The judge made it clear that I could and my ex husband's barrister was wrong. Hence I would like an order made in respect of this. It was one of my position stated and i would like that to be fulfilled for my son's sake. Is it ok - to re affirm my positon regarding my son's education needs by way of an order being made for this as part of the finacial settlement?

4) He also has special medical needs. I want an order that provide a proportion of cost contribution. Can I do this an under what legal provision?

5) I would like him to pay proportion of the debts he caused in the marriage. He had not explained what he did with his money over a long period of time, at least 16year of 6 figure salary without any contribution to the home whatsoever and lived on me which had been proven. I want his contribution to the family to be taken into account to be taken into account as he has

6) Also, my solicitor stated his letter as this "I note the comments you’ve set out in your email of 29 April timed at 16:25".

As this is the first time he ever reply me in this fashion, recording the time. Is there any significance of this, legally?

I loo forward to recieving your reply soonest

Thank you.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
I. Unlikely - and from what you have said your Barrister was not happy either - remind your solicitor of that2. Yes of course you can3 and 4 These are issues for the Judge to decide
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Many thanks. What about my questions 5 and 6?

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Sorry I missed those.5.That is for the Judge to decide if no agreement is reached6. I suspect he is now being more formal

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