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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33004
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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All, Family law. Thank you in advance through the follow

Customer Question

Hi All,
Thank you in advance for wading through the following. I have tried to include only the most relevant highlights, but obviously there is a lot more.
A short resume up to today.
My wife and I were married in August 2001. But we were together for about four years before this date.
I sold my flat in Bath and moved in with her putting all the proceeds from the sale of my flat into a new joint account.
I had a serious non fault car accident and received a substantial payout in 2001, this money also went into our new joint account.
Unbeknownst to me, although if I were not so gullible I should have known, my wife had her own personal bank account with a different bank.
She had a good well paid job and I now know that all of her wages were paid only into her private account, as well as other amounts from shares, ISA’s and a few other things that I have only just this week found out about.
In April 2007 we moved to Southern Italy. To assist with the move and the purchase of our property here she sold her house along with a business that I had built up. The two were sold to the same buyer.
Again, being trusting and gullible I did not even think to ask where the proceeds from the sale went to, I now realise it all went into her private account, including the proceeds from my business.
Within weeks of arriving here in Italy we bought a rundown property which I renovated over a period of 4 months. We paid 60,000 Euros and sold it for 140,000 Euro. Profit would be less about 30,000 Euro for renovation costs.
Again I did not question where the money came from or where the sale money went to.
We used some of the money to buy and renovate another property, but this time only made about 20,000 Euro. Again I worked my little socks off, having a fantastic time doing as much of the work as possible.
In August 2013 we got up as usual, I was due to take her to the airport for one of her regular trips home to see her children, she gave me a hug and a kiss at the airport, turned and waved with a beaming smile a few times and that was the last time I saw her.
She had been planning this move I now know for nearly two years before this date, her flat had all been organised which she moved into the same night, it was only after I had spoken to her a few times on SKYPE which we did every night when she was away, that she broke the news that she had left and would not be coming back.
Within 3 months I had two mini strokes and have largely lost a lot of use of my right side, I do manage, I have to, but it has been hell for the past 18 months.
She wrote a few weeks after leaving to give me a list of everything that she would like to be shipped over, including my car.
Like a total idiot I complied with her wishes to the letter and spent three weeks carefully packing everything up for her and arranging and paying £1500 for it all to be taken over to her.
The car that I shipped over had been purchased in my name and was paid for from my personal account, not the joint account.
Within three weeks she sold the car and kept all the money. She had to sign the logbook with my signature as I did not even know she was selling it.
Yes I do know how stupid I was, but as far as I hoped, this would all blow over and she would return, I also loved her very much and really thought that we were very happy, we went out for a meal with a group of friends the night before she left and did not give a single clue to anyone, we had a lovely evening.
About six months ago, for the first time since we met I forced myself to go onto my on-line bank.
She had taken all but a few thousand. Hardly enough to pay the bills on this house.
She is insisting that I sell the house because she insists that she wants half of the proceeds.
I have a forensic accountant working back through both the UK and Italian bank statements to see if she can work out how much is actually missing.
Her preliminary findings are that my wife had NEVER CONTRIBUTED one single penny to our joint account and day to day living expenses. The accountant cannot find any record of any of the house purchases, sale or profits going anywhere near our joint accounts. All the transactions must have been carried out using her sole personal account.
I fully realise how stupid and gullible, naive, call it whatever you want that I have been, but I was truly one very happy little bunny, we had a lovely life here, a lovely group of friends and I was really content and happy. BUT, also completely blind to any signs.
The accountant has suggested that I write to her to ask for some urgent help with some expensive repairs that have to be done to this property, she has made me a short list of a few of the amounts that she can prove are missing with no explanation and to ask her for 50% of these amounts to be returned at once.
She has said that as she is not living here any more then she is not responsible for any maintenance costs and that I should pay them.
But she still insists that as a 50% owner
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Do you intend to divorce her - if so which country do you intend to use?
What do you wish to achieve?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Clare,

Thank you very much for taking the time to try and help.

I think divorce is the only option, my intent in contacting you is really to try and settle my mind on a few matters and to try as hard as I can not to drag too much rubbish through the courts which will only hurt not just the two of us, but families and friends.

I will of course arrange the divorce in the UK.

Just a very brief addition to the above to help you, I hope.

I do have all the original documentation to confirm all of this information.

Before moving to S,Italy, we bought and sold 3 properties which required extensive renovation, we made reasonable profits on each sale.

Unknown to me, because I am so stupid and did not check. All the financial arrangements, mortgages, etc, were being made and dealt with through my wife's personal bank account/s. The mortgages were in joint names.

After settling in here in S, Italy we decided to do the same thing, buy, renovate and sell some properties which we did very successfully.

Again, none of the transactions ever went through our Italian or UK banks.

I have only in the past six months or so steeled myself for the very first time in nearly 20 years, to actually start looking into my bank situation.

I had complete faith and trust that I would find a considerable sum of money that could be equally divided.

I was shocked to find that I was almost penniless apart from the meager UK pension and even then she was still accessing the account almost on a daily basis and actually paying her rent as well.

The forensic accountant is a retired lady who now offers her help free of charge to assist people in my situation.

She has discovered by going back 7 or 8 years into the UK and Italian bank statements that the planning my wife went through has been amongst the very worst she has ever come across.

I hope this small extra bit of information helps.

I am now 70 years of age, I am not a greedy or selfish person, I would rather deal with this in as civilised a manner as I can as my health after two small strokes due entirely to the stress of this matter, is not the best.

I would like to make her an offer.

She can keep every penny from the sale of her own original house, Half the money from the sale of my business which was included in the house sale, that she lets me have, say, £50,000 and signs this Italian home over to me.

She can keep all of the rest of the ill gotten gains and we both walk away with some dignity.

Is this feasible?.

Thank you again for your time.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Warm regards ***** ***** Italy


Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
In fact it does not matter which account the monies are in - the starting point for division of ALL the assets is 50/50 which makes your offer very generous.
You can offer to try and discuss matters with your ex using Family mediation
If that fails then you will be able to make a claim within the Divorce Proceedings for the financial issue sto be dealt with
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33004
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Clare,

Thank you so much for your response.

I have now written to my wife to try and do a deal, or make her an offer for full and final settlement between us.

I really do not want to go down the court road because if she is as guilty as we now know her to be, then it will be so humiliating for her, so I would rather try the bargaining route first.

If this does not work, am I able to contact you to act for me in taking this further?

My accountant, Yvie Le Boutillier: ( *****@******.*** ) is more than happy to work with you on my behalf as she lives in the UK and has been working on trying to sort this mess out for some time and is fully appraised of all the facts.

I await your reply.

Warm regards ***** *****


0039 -(###) ###-####/p>

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
You can contact me via the site any time - I hope all goes well

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