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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70635
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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ive started divorce proceedings against my husband of 20 years

Resolved Question:

ive started divorce proceedings against my husband of 20 years due to mainly domestic abuse and drug taking and his affairs. in the past he told me to sign his name on documents and now he is using this to get revenge and frighten me because i have dared divorce him. He has actually gone to police and reported i signed his name on a remortgage document ten years ago. he told me to do it and i dont know what to do. there are obviously mitigating circumstances to me signing the form, he has more than had his fair share of it, and now the police are apparantly coming to question me to see if there has been an actual crime. what do i say to them? if i went back to him tommorow he would stop this straight away, but i do not obviously want to go back to violent relationship, i left for my own safety
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Is your question about the marital aspect or about the potential criminal aspect please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

it is about the potential criminal aspect i have solicitor dealing with the divorce

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

it is about the potential criminal aspect i have solicitor dealing with divorce

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Did you forge his signature?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes under duress because he told me to just did everything he told me to he was very controlling and threw tantrums if i didnt do as he asked

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thats not duress I'm afraid.

Why did you need to forge his signature? Why couldn't he sign himself?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

because he was a violent bully if faced with a financial reality and by telling me to sign, i think in his mind he thought it wasnt his problem. i have already reported this to the police and they are aware there is a history of abuse in the marriage as is my own solicitor who obviously knows more of the background surrounding this, but hes away till monday which is why i have visited this website. i just needed advice but obviously its how the police perceive the matter and if they decide to go forward with it.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Okay.

Ultimately if you signed his signature then that is forgery.

I'm afraid that you don't realistically have a defence in duress. That is a very high test and you literally have to show the garden was immediately held to your head.

Similarly the fact that you have made reports about him to the police does not mean they will not investigate his against you.

You will find the primary offence here

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/45/section/1

Which is made out if you signed his name with the intention of introducing another person to accepted as genuine and therefore to act to their prejudice. In this instance, if you submitted it to the mortgage company in the hope of gaining a mortgage then the offence is made out.

Whether it would be prosecuted or not is another matter. I have to say that I have found generally they are much more willing to prosecute mortgage fraud than previously. It is clear that he's only made this report because your relationship has broken down but that doesn't really stay CPS's hand very much. After all, most reports are made because people are displeased with somebody else.

Whether they can prove this or not is another matter. Handwriting analysis is quite expensive for them to do.

The trouble is, you can often be acquitted of these things but it doesn't really make much sense at all to say that he forced you to sign his name because he was a violent bully. It wouldn't seem to be at all in his advantage to do that. If I can be wholly honest, which is in your best interests although it may not be what you want to hear, if I were prosecuting this then I would put this on the basis that you are using this as an excuse to escape the consequences of your action. That may or may not succeed but that is the way that I would expect it to be run. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that for some women domestic abuse has become a bit of an excuse for every form of misconduct.

I'm very sorry but I have to give you truthful information.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

that is fine you are not aware of many other facts and to an outsider looking in it may look that simple.


 


thanks

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Sorry about the typing error above. That should have read 'Gun is held to your head'. That is my dictation software.

This might all disappear into difficulties proving that it was a forgery.
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