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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33010
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I went to court on 21st May having filed , to settle

Customer Question

I went to court on 21st May having filed for divorce, to settle finances. My husband has clearly been hiding his earnings, which whilst we are unable to categorically prove, it is blatantly obvious as he has been travelling constantly this year and there is no expenditure for these trips on any of his bank statements. We had hoped to bring this to the judges attention on the 21st, but she listened to my barristers opening statement, then my husband who was representing himself, who lied from start to finish and my barrister was not given a chance to respond before we were sent out of the room. There have also been thousands of pounds exchanged between my husband and his brother which he was unable to explain. He received £14k in salary last November, just after I was removed from my husbands broking business as a director, which was also not referred to. The judge was very fierce and quite unreasonable in her approach to our case and certainly didn't take into account the needs of the children. My husband rarely sees our four children and refuses to agree regular contact as he is always away. He is away now for two weeks in Spain and is away for two weeks in the summer, without our children. We walked out of court on the 21st with an agreement that I receive just £28 per week in maintenance for each child, plus £400 in spousal payment. My husband deliberately had our home repossessed last year after I filed for divorce. I am now having to rent a home for five people. During mediation last year, it was agreed my husband would provide a small mortgage to bolster funds for a new property for myself and the children. My husband told me he would not provide us with a mortgage as he would be worse off. The equity I received from our house sale has been split and I have no option but to use mine to provide rented accommodation depleting funds enormously. I understand my husband has bought himself a house which he is moving into in less than two months. Obviously in court he suggested he would have to rent and made no mention of purchasing a property.
We have both yet to sign off on the court order, I have my nisi. Is there anything I can do to challenge the outcome or do I accept a decision has been made, even though the full facts of the case were not heard?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
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.
was this a Final Hearing?
Did you actually agree to these terms?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello Clare, I have only just seen your response, I assumed it would come into my email, but it didn't. It was not a Final Hearing. It was very rushed by the judge and we were urged to agree a settlement to avoid incurring costs of the Final Hearing. We were constantly being called in to see if we'd made progress with little input from the judge. As I said, nothing came out in relation to the discrepancies with my husbands finances, the judge did not seem prepared to listen and had already told us she had to leave early! As I said, my husband gave no indication he was purchasing a property, in fact saying he would be renting! I did feel under pressure to agree the terms to avoid further court costs so yes, I agreed even though I was incredibly unhappy my husbands financial status had not even been discussed, which I think would have put a completely different spin on the outcome.

I would appreciate you coming back to me as soon as possible as I have to sign off on the court order asap.

Kind Regards

Charlotte Bunn

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
It appears that you have agreed to a Consent Order, and that the Heads of Agreement were signed off on the day.
What evidence do you have of the house purchase?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Clare, I am endeavouring to get clarification of the house purchase. I understand my husband is moving in over the next few weeks. I assume if at the time of him completing his Form E he had no financial interest as such in the property he is purchasing there is no recourse? It is devastating that we agreed in mediation for him to provide a small mortgage on a property for myself and the children which he then went back on, refusing to provide us with a mortgage, then he goes and buys a house himself. He is safeguarding the equity he received from the sale of our home, whilst I was not left with enough to purchase a property and will realistically in two years have little left of the funds I have and be homeless. The judge on the day really did little to safeguard the welfare of our children.


Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Unfortunately it was not a decision made by the Judge on the day - it was not a final hearing and accordingly she could only make the Order if both parties agreed.
That is why no evidence was heard and the case was not explored in full
It is hard to overturn a Consent order unless you can show that there has been some serious failure to disclose.
It is possible - and only possible - that the house purchase MAY be sufficient to overturn the Consent Order.
The person who could confirm this is your barrister.
Please ask if you need further details

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