I was with ex for 30 years we have three grown up children. He was an abusive, violent alcoholic. I never made a complaint against him, although the police came. We moved to Spain in 2003. Our capital was almost spent when I received a lump sum (75,000 pounds) from my father which he wanted me to invest. My husband insisted I support him (and the kids) and lend to him so he could open an organic food shop, I knew he would turn nasty if I refused so I made him swear on his life that he would repay me every last penny of my father's money and he said he would 'even if it kills me'. One of my sons will bear witness to that. He also borrowed off other people. He lost everything. We had nothing, I told him to go. He went back to the uk promising to send support and repay me, he said 'trust me and say nothing'. I waited two years, I had to take care of the kids, one under 18 and all variously depressed on drugs and unemployed. He didn't work for two years and never contacted his creditors. Then he found work, moved in with a woman, then said he owed me nothing as there was nothing when we separated and the kids were old enough to work. I wrote to him like crazy, he cut off communications. Then last year after five years apart he applied for a divorce. I could not afford a lawyer and he refused to discuss money as he said he owed me nothing so there was no settlement. I said if he didn't settle things with me, I would contact all the others he owes. His lawyer instructed him to go to the police and report me for harassment and blackmail. His creditors then wrote to the MD of the company that now employs him as a financial advisor to start up businesses (can you believe it?) to let them know he'd done a runner from the Costa del Sol. They questioned him. He said his wife made up the letter and showed them his complaint to the police so he kept his job.
I've received a police notice warning me to never say anything about him at all or contact him or I risk arrest and prosecution.
The lies, deceit, manipulation and emotional blackmail, guilt tripping and so on that has gone on has been unbelievable, the damage caused to me and our kids is immense. I have been depressed. The kids are sorted now but it has taken years. I work part time as a cleaner as I have had no qualifications or financial basis on which to rebuild my life.
Now I want to know if I have any grounds to make a claim against my husband for any of this. Applying for a financial order is going to be difficult because he is a born liar and will inevitably deny his debt to me (it is not in writing) and will use his complaint against me to back up his claims and I don't have the money to do it anyway. His creditors have given up hope of ever getting their money back.
Any advice please?
I am not surprised you are finding it hard to find someone. Although this kind of treatment of women is so commonplace, it seems there are few laws in place that will protect them.
I am happy to wait but if it takes longer than a week, could you ask me again if I still am willing to? Things change all the time, something new may come up.
I look forward to hearing from you again.
Thank you for responding.
All I know about my ex's current financial position is that last year he was on a starting salary of £28,000. It was an eighteen month contract which finished in June this year. He still works there so his contract must have been renewed. He may have had a pay rise.
He lives in his partner's house, I believe she owns her house outright. He owns a car.
I am afraid I don't know any more than that.
No I don't have a partner and have not remarried.
Sorry I didn't get a notification that you had replied again.
I have been unemployed for a long time, but since April this year have been earning £1,000 per month.
I don't know! He is an extremely dishonest man, hides things, which is why I wanted to apply for a financial order.
Interestingly the lawyer he chose when the divorce was going through also specialised in inheritance, he will inherit a tidy sum from his mum I expect and will want to make sure he keeps it all. He has always talked about it.
I am glad you said that it is about him squandering the family assets, it is what he did but he uses the line 'there was nothing left when we split so'...etc. You are the first to accord with me on this so have given me hope, thank you.
I live in Spain so can't approach a family mediator, I would not feel comfortable with the idea of mediation anyway, is that why you said this is not a case for mediation?.
The cost of me applying for the financial order on such a low income is prohibitive. I understand the cost is around £250 Is there any way around it?
Would I have any grounds to claim against him for the distress caused by his false accusations, defamation of character, financial abuse, etc?
The Decree Absolute was granted in October last year, the court that dealt with it was Bournemouth & Poole, Dorset, UK.
Hi Clare, I have a further question in relation to this subject.
The good news is that my ex has finally done a turn around and made an independent decision not to take his lawyer's advice to apply to court to get an injunction against me and sue me for libel, probably because he knows he'll never get any money from me because I don't have any and his kids will never speak to him again. Instead he has agreed to apply for the financial order. The pressure has finally worked!
He is going to a mediation assessment on his own. I am now going to ask him, via his lawyer, if he is willing to entertain the possibility that he does owe me some money, if he says he might then I will try to get to UK and go to a mediation meeting. If he says he will not move on the matter whatever I say, then there will be no point, he will have to proceed with the Financial order.
What I want to know is two things: first will he be gaining any advantage by being the one who makes the application?
And the second query is having been asked by his lawyer why I am insisting on this application going ahead when there was nothing to split when we separated to which I replied because there are 'other factors that the Judge will take into consideration'. I did not want to be any more specific for fear that he will attempt to counter my argument in his part of the application. My question is: was that the right thing to do?
Again I will not be able to afford a lawyer to help me through the financial proceedings but I have armed myself with enough information and guidance packages to (hopefully) get through it successfully....although naturally without professional legal advice, it is a concern.
Hello again, and thank you for your prompt reply.
His solicitors wrote to me saying they had advised him to apply first for an injunction. I am in breach of the Police warning not to make any contact with him or say or make any comment whatsoever to anyone about him and I did. I wrote two letters, one to him to which he didn't reply and another to his mother to ask her to help persuade him to settle things with me. I accept I am in breach, but to my mind the complaint of harassment is unfounded anyway.
Neither of those letters produced the results I need so I then wrote to his employers. Here's why: My ex has reinvented himself after running away from the Costa del sol. He got his job by lying about this past and his profile on his company website makes claims that are untrue. When his angry creditors saw his profile they wrote a letter to the company MD making things clear. To save his neck my ex claimed his ex wife was out to ruin his life and career and so had fabricate the letter herself. To back this up he showed them the harassment complaint he had made. The company must have been concerned that they had not kept to their policy by vetting him properly before employing him. To avoid heads rolling and potential bad publicity, rather than investigate further (using the list of contacts that came with the letter) they accepted his explanation.
When he and his mother did not respond positively to my contact I decided to write to the company to first tell them that I was not responsible for the letter from his creditors, although I had seen it and it was entirely truthful and (believing I was in an advantageous position), to suggest they see to it that he settled matters with his ex wife.
When my ex showed his solicitors that letter as well, they advised him to sue me for libel. They will have believed his well spun stories so naturally think he would have a case. But he would have to prove what I said was untrue and he knows he can't, he won't have a leg to stand on but he doesn't want to let on. That is why I think he has now decided to back down and deal with the finances, at last....(It's been a long hard road I can tell you but I am grateful for the experience as through it I have found the courage to stand up for myself, it takes a lot not to be beaten down by characters like this).
Sorry this is long but I felt I had to give you some background history.
I feel very safe in the knowledge that I am in the right here and have enough evidence to defend myself should my ex ever decide to do such a stupid thing as to attempt to sue me.
My ex's view is very black and white regarding the money. He considers that losing all we had was a case of back luck, nothing to do with him and he does not think that the disparity between our financial situations has any bearing on the matter now. It is a mystery to me why his solicitor goes along with that view. Maybe she is just saying what she knows her client wants to hear.
However, what you have said gives me confidence that an order will be granted in my favour because of this I have decided I won't offer to go to mediation.
Would I be able to use this service for advice during the process? If I did, would I need to pay an additional sum?
Ok, Hopefully I will get you again. Can I ask for you specifically?
Hello again Clare,
I have today received an invitation to attend an MIAM meeting. I know there are some exemptions to the requirement to attend these meetings, and from my previous reading of information I would be exempt. Please can you advise as to how, given what I have told you so far, I should respond to the invitation?
I am of the understanding that one has to meet at least one of a large number of criteria in order to be exempt. In my case domestic abuse cannot be cited as I have no proof other than the word of my children and my own, and my husband's admittance to having 'behaved appalling'. I did call the police but never reported him, or ever consulted or used any other service other than the counselling I had. Also I understand that it only applies if there has been domestic abuse within the preceding 12 months.
Thank you. I hope that will be the last of my questions on the matter.
I really appreciate your help, you have been wonderful.