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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34478
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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Please advise. My wife was requested by Social Services to

Resolved Question:

Please advise. My wife was requested by Social Services to remove herself from the marital home in December last year. At that point I undertook to be primary carer for our four boys. After several court hearings I was granted residency of our children. At the last hearing we were asked to split assets and attend mediation to resolve finances and child access. After doing so and mediation being implemented by my ex a solution was agreed in her favour. After family debts are paid a 60/40 split was agreed, half my pension and all contents of the house and maintenance to be paid by me on the proviso she becomes primary carer to the children. Now she does not agree with the settlement reached in mediation, and the house was put on the market at her request, offer accepted etc but has now been advised by her solicitor not to sign any conveyancing paperwork. She is intending to move back into the house and I pay for her to live in the home until our youngest who is 5 reaches 18. We are due back in Court for a final hearing this month. We have received the Decree Nisi through back in May and I have recently been made redundant. We jointly own the family home. Where do I stand please.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 months ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my bets to help you but I need some further information first.

Why were Social Service involved?

How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hi Clare
Ss were involved because of an instance last year where my wife smacked our second youngest child and the school contacted Ss. We had a Section 7 report carried out at the request of the court and even as of today's latest report suggests the children remain in my care. The house has sold at £255000 and the remaining mortgage balance is £155000. After £25000 worth of debts and 60/40 split my ex would have £42000 and myself £30000. I have defaulted on the mortgage and majority of bills / credit recently hence the necessity to sell.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
The above figures are based on her being a primary carer and our next hearing is this Friday.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
To add further once Ss were involved after the incident last year they discovered emotional harm to the children caused by continuous arguing between the two of us and my wife was self harming and suffering from depression after an affair.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 months ago.

Are you certain that Social Services will not issue Care Proceedings if the chidlren return to her care?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I received the latest report last night which recommends that the children remain with me. The children have been moved from child in need to child protection level a few weeks ago.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 months ago.

So in fact your proposal - based on her having the children - is not practicable because the children would go into care.

How does this change your approach to the settlement?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
This is the difficulty I'm facing. After attending Mediation and putting the house up for sale at the request of the Judge, we are know in a position where by she is refusing to sign the contract papers for the house and although irrelevant know the memorandum from the mediator. So that there is no more fighting and everything can be dealt with quickly a 50/50 share is the fairest. The other obstacle I have is that she wants to move back into the house instead of selling which financially would be catastrophic for both of us as I need the equity from the house to be able to move on with the children. Also she doesn't feel that she should be responsible for the debts which the majority are in my name but as proven by the statements from when the accounts were opened used for buying a car for her, family holidays, family living food, house repairs etc. I am in court tomorrow morning. So any advice is much appreciated.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 months ago.

Since the children HAVE to remain with you it is the housing need of the children that come first - with you either remaining in the current home - or receiving sufficient of the equity to rehouse yourself and them in an alternative three bedroom property

If you HAVE to sell the property then you should look for a s60/40 share of the equity in your favour to reflect the fact that you have the care of the children - indeed you can ask for a 70/30 split in you favour - it is not unrealistic and it is what a mother in your position could expect

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details

Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you