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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I divorced 4 years ago. At the time a considerable sum was

Customer Question

I divorced 4 years ago. At the time a considerable sum was owed to me from a sale of the business, which was due to be paid - however it never was despite having to pay thousand in accountants fees. I agreed a financial settlement based on the "pot" we had which included the cash we did not receive. I was in a bad way mentally at the time and agreed some large maintenance payments along with spousal maintenance as I was happy to pay these on the basis of the money being paid from the sale of the company, which would allow me to start again with a new business. I have paid everything I possibly could, some £2.5k maintenance per month for 2 children and £1k per month spousal maintenance for the ex plus another £20 from the lump sum of £166k due. We agreed to reduce the lump sum to £50k with the balance being paid end of Jan 2015. Solicitors have not applied to have the original consent order enforced. I had to go bankrupt 2 years ago and continued to pay even during that time. Help please......

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year 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.
What exactly happened with regard to money you expected from the business
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Clare, the retained money was never paid due to a warranty claim made by the purchasers, I had to go to arbitration at additional cost of £20 to attempt some redress.

I am fully aware of potential Barder events and my understanding is that to attempt to set aside the original consent order will be a monumental task and a huge cost, money I simply do not have. My concern is that my ex agreed at mediation a reduced settlement which I am due to pay end of this month, I would not sign the revised consent order as the last page was asking for trouble. A sentence like "I am signing this on the full understanding that should I fail to carry out the actions and pay the said money I will be in contempt of court and liable to go to prison". I sent a markup back to the lawyer, asking them to remove the offensive sentence and the next thing I know they have issued proceedings to enforce the original consent order.

Im genuinely worried that I could end up serving a small custodial sentence for something I simply cannot do - i.e pay monies I do not have. If this happens I loose my job (I'm a CEO) and any possibility of payment of maintenance as I will be unemployable due to criminal conviction.

I need to know what should I do, I have files and files of cases where I have researched and I am a firm believer that its a good old "do a deal" but Im afraid its now a personal matter to punish me further.

Sorry I have gone on.......

Also I have another question bout phone tapping.... How do I submit it?

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
For clarity - had you again made an offer that you would not be able to stick to?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

We negotiated an amended Constent Order which I can stick to, it appears that she has changed her mind and wants the full lump sum. I have today been served with court papers for the 22nd. She is seeking to create a charge on my property for the lump sum plus interest and wants the full maintenance and spousal maintenance payments every month - which is £3k. We negotiated £1.5k maintenance for the kids, nothing for her. I simply cannot pay more than £1.5k per month

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
I am sorry - I thought you said that she had accepted it but you would not sign the paperwork put forward by her solicitor?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thats correct - i sent a markup across but they were not happy with my version. They did not come back to me, despite me chasing twice. They drafted the Amended Consent Order. The biggest sticking point was a large sentence in bold on the last page saying "I understand the undertaking I have given and that if i break any of my promises to the court I may be sent to prison for contempt of court". I did not see the need for this language or inclusion - I simply asked for its removal.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
have you asked if they would still settle on that basis?
Clare

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