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Harris
Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1943
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I have a financial hearing due and thinking of getting

Resolved Question:

I have a financial hearing due and thinking of getting private investigator to gather evidence of my husband's cohabitation. My question is whether it would be admissible in court (as there is no specific direction for it)? Also what would be enough evidence to prove cohabitation? how is it likely to affect the judgement if his dishonesty is proved (as he has denied it on record). Thanks
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 6 months ago.

Is this to do with the divorce? What aspect of the divorce? Can we have the background detail please?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
it is to do with a Financial hearing that I have scheduled as part of my divorce. As part of it, we have got the directions but I could not see any specific directions related to submitting evidence of cohabitation. The next deadline we have is an updated disclosure three weeks before the FDR. So before hiring the investigator, I wanted to know: a) whether such piece of evidence is admissible? b) What is seen as a conclusive piece of evidence for Cohabitation? (will pictures showing them together on 3 different occasions or her car parked at his place sufficient?) c) as he has denied his relationship on paper, if we submit this evidence and hence prove his dishonesty, is it likely to shift the balance in my favour in the judge's eyes?Please let me know if you need any more details. You can also call me if you prefer. Thanks much.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 6 months ago.

Thank you. This isn’t really my area so I will opt out for another expert.

Expert:  Harris replied 6 months ago.

Hi, thank you for your question. What is the purpose of you attempting to prove his cohabitation in relation to the financial relief proceedings?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
1) He earns incredibly well (£230k + benefits etc) and yet he is not prepared to give me 30% for child and spousal maintenance together (13 years of marriage with one son 11 year old). So if I prove his cohabitation, hoping that the financial pot will get bigger (as she earns fairly well and has a house of her own) even after taking her expenses out.
2) More importantly I am hoping that this will prove his dishonesty as he has denied the relationship on record (and potentially contempt of court?) . So hoping judge will be more sympathetic and see his real personality and more likely to give a judgement in my favour?Shout if you have further questions. Thanks.
Regards
Expert:  Harris replied 6 months ago.

Thanks for confirming. Firstly, his assets and finances will not be increased if you prove cohabitation, as you cannot seek any of his partner's assets and you can only seek a share of matrimonial assets as part of financial relief proceedings.

Furthermore, I would not suggest you hire a private investigator as even if you proved cohabitation, hiring a private investigator to follow him may be considered by the court to be a dishonest action. The court will not have made a direction for such action and any evidence you obtain cannot be admitted unless a court direction is made for it to be obtained.

Furthermore, cohabitation is if they were living together as husband and wife and her car parked at his property three times will not prove cohabitation.

Given that you are aware of his high income and possibly other assets, you would be best served to focus on these and to ensure that you have fully outlined what your (and the children's) reasonable needs are in order for the court to make a decision that meets these needs.

I appreciate that this may not be the answer you would have hoped for, but if you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you,

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks for your answer. I got the impression that even though I cannot get a share in her assets (and neither do I want it) but if as a couple they have bigger financial resources, this will leave more disposable income for him and hence he can't argue that he has not got enough for himself?Would you please shed some light on why it is not advisable to ask Court to make such a direction? Is it because it takes long or is it because the court is likely to reject that request anyway?I will of course give you a positive rating at the end so money is released. My purpose was not to get an answer that i had hoped for but more to gather the facts and guidance on how I should approach the FDR. Thanks.
Regards
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
One more thing, they are actually leaving as husband and wife. In fact he is introducing her as a girlfriend to his friends. The investigator said he could get evidence such as pictures and evidence for a week that her car is parked there every single day. Does this not prove cohabitation? Thanks much.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
living*
Expert:  Harris replied 6 months ago.

Yes, if he has a partner who is long-term and they cohabit then a court can consider her finances which will likely reduce his needs, but her full financial position will not be investigated by the court as she will not be a party to proceedings.

In relation to the private investigator a court will not grant a direction for this and it will be for your husband to disclose his relationship, and in the event that he does not or he does not tell the truth, he can be questioned about it at a final hearing and a judge will make a decision as to whether he is telling the truth or not. In relation to investigations, a court will want to focus on his finances and assess if he is cohabiting or not when this is examined.

Again, for cohabitation periods, it is difficult to prove only based on her car being parked there and in any event the court will want to see if the relationship will be long-term or not.

Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1943
Experience: Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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