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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33946
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Divorce Financial Settlement issues

Resolved Question:

Hi


I am undergoing a divorce and my Husband applied for a Financial Remedy Hearing before submitting his FormE. I finally received the FromE but my solicitor and I still have unanswered questions on it which my ex has not provided. However, I attended the Remedy Hearing this week and have the following questions;


 


1. My husband is trying to force me to sell our FMH by deliberately putting himself in debt after he walked out and claiming the 60k debt he is in is Matrimonial despite it all being in his sole name and not spent on the home. He wants to take this money on top of his equity from the sale of the house.  I am able to buy him out but not with this extra money on top. I thought this would be easy to rule out at the hearing as the debts are simply not Matrimonial, but the judge did not want to hear any information from my side and stated my ex should be repaid and that I would incur costs if it went to trial. He said a lot more that was incredibly humiliating and insulting but this is the main issue.


2. How can a so called judge make an ‘indication’ without listening to the facts? I doubt he even read my information, I would like to appeal against this and complain about his conduct. Is this possible?


3.There is simply no logic or justice in ordering me to pay towards debts taken out after we separated and are also in my husbands name only, but the judge stated my ex should get the money from the sale of the house and keep all his other assets to himself. Am I about to get some letter ordering me to put the house on the market?


I'm desperate for advice as I have run out of money to keep approaching my Solicitor and would also like a fresh opinion.


Thank you.


Jo

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How long have you actually lived together an dhow much is the equity in the property?
What income do you each have?
What were the loans used for?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare


Thanks for your response.


The property was purchased for 209k.


I moved in late 2005 we were married Christmas 2005 however my name was only added to the deeds in 2008.


The current redemption figure for the property is 225k and it was recently valued at 380k and is situated in a very popular Thameside Village.


My Income is 40k my ex is a partner in a business and has a basic salary of 80k which can rise to 6 figures with bonus.


He left in Apr-13, the loans were taken out after that; He states in Form E 30k was to help his old business (he is still director of a Ltd co.) 15k to buy a boat, 15k to buy into new partnership, he has also included credit cards, these are in his name only but he had them before he left and states on form e; 14k on one, 5k on another however the current balance of these totals 8k and he has still not provided any statements showing any transactions. His bank statements show very extravagant spending on leisure (appx 1k per month) which is no doubt what the transactions would show.


Hope this is enough info.


Jo

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare


One other thing I should probably mention is that I began suffering neurological symptoms 3 years ago, about the time I believe my ex really started to lose interest in the marriage!


My Barrister produced a letter from my doctor at the hearing which states I have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and lists the benefits for me in remaining in this area (and preferably my home) where I can continue to receive the support of my doctor and close friends. The Judge was again not interested in these facts but my Solicitor believes my illness should be taken into account as it is chronic and though has a minimal affect on my work at the moment, it is likely to have an increasing impact in the future.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What is your current mortgage capacity?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Clare
On my own, my max mortgage capacity is up to 180k but I have a friend willing to join into the mortgage with me, her basic salary is 60k giving us a joint income of 100k pre bonus.
This makes a 305k mortgage possible and would be enough to provide 80k to buy my ex out.
At the FDR we were working from a surveyors valuation from Sept-13 which gave a 360k estimatred valuation. Prices have gone up since then, I invited an estate agent round rercently and got a 380k valuation.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What capital did you each bring to the relationship?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
As my ex had purchased the house just before we got together and he was very comfortable financially, no capital was required from me. However I did contribute 10k and always paid towards the mortgage and most of the food
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What other assets does he have?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

A buy to let flat with equity of 40k in his sole name.
A day boat currently valued at 12k
Car appx 8k
Cartier watch 5k
He had a lot of investments but he is claiming there is Zero in these now.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

My ex did use appx 60k of investments to improve the house (loft conversion and kitchen extension) and I think he will use this as further argument o get more £ from a sale. However, Solicitors and my view is that these improvements are now reflected in the house valuation and consequent equity.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Did your solicitor suggest that these assets simply be used to balance the debts?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Basically yes. He is claiming he should have 60k on top of his share of equity for the debts I listed despite these being taken out after he left and his own admission that they were for non matrimonial purposes.
We have worked out that his pension pot would provide me with appx 25k so at the FDR we propose that he keeps all his assets and pension and I will give him 40k on top. The judge practically laughed and said "so the husband is then left with nothing, it's not going to happen, the house must be sold and the debts repaint"
BUT THE DEBTS ARE NOT MATRIMONIAL!!!!
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Did you up the offer to £80,000 at the hearing at all?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No. Are you saying that is what I should offer him regardless of him keeping his other assets and pension? How does this prevent him expecting more on top (the 'pretend' joint debts?) and leave me with around 15k if I'm lucky?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
One of the problems you had at the hearing is that the Offer was not realistic - there was never a chance that £40,000 would be sufficient
That doesn't make it not worth a try - but there should have been more flexibility on the dat and a 50/50 share of the equity in the property is a reasonable compromise
The FDR hearing is not meant to be a decisive hearing - it is about trying to encourage a settlement - with the Judge giving an indication based on what he or she has read
It is understood and accepted that the evidence given at the final hearing could well change the position entirely which is why this is an indication and not an Order
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks Clare


Can you please explain why 40k was unrealistic.


We were working from the following figures;


A surveyors valuation of 360k for the FMH = appx 65k each.


He keeps a flat with 40k equity and and his other assets, I give up my 25k share of his pension and we have NO joint debts.


If the house is sold we are unlikely to achieve more than 75k each and I am still entitled to a share of his pension. If you think it is inevitable for the house to be sold can you please explain why and how do I prevent him taking money for his personal debts on top of this equity?


You have also not answered my question regarding the conduct of the judge at the hearing and how I can complain and appeal.


Thanks


Jo


 


 

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You do not need to appeal - no Order was made that can be appealed.
Neither did the Judge do anything outside of his remit
A nine year relationship to which you brought no assets does not entitle to 50% of all the assets
Your claim on his pension is for half of nine years worth.
Whilst this may equate to £25,000 that figure is not cash and any equitable settlement should discount this figure
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33946
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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