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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33948
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I am separating from my wife. My wife has been looking for a

Customer Question

I am separating from my wife. My wife has been looking for a house to buy for 18 months. She was persuaded by our estate agent to accept an offer on our house with a set completion date. I agreed to give her £5000 towards costs of renting. Is that promise, given under pressure, legally binding?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 9 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.

Yes it is.

Sadly duress can only be used where there was a threat of violence or harm
If you knew what you were agreeing to and there was no threat, its not duress

I am sorry if this is not the answer you want, nor the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is ***** ***** I have been a solicitor for more than 30 years.

To give a more comprehensive answer i need to know how long you have lived together and are there any children involved?

How far have the divorce proceedings reached and why do you wish to go back on your agreement?

Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33948
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 9 months ago.
Thank you.
We married in August 2013. She is 62, I am nearly 70. We both have children from our first marriages. We agreed to separate in December 2014, but have perforce been living separate lives in the same house.
I have a teachers and a state pension, she is an artist on a low income but has substantial savings and the expectation of an inheritance from her parents, both in care. She has a 60% share of our house and I 40%. I will have a small amount left after the sale of our house. If I have £5000 to spare I would rather give it to my daughter to help with her medical condition.
We put our house on the market in March 2015 but since that time she has not found a house she likes and my life has been on hold, over an hours drive from my children. She was persuaded by our estate to accept an offer with a completion date of in October. She said she could not afford to rent so I agreed to give £5000 towards renting, reluctantly but seizing a chance to move on.
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.

How much is the equity?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Have I signed off by rating you? Or can you respond to the additional information I gave?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
The house is being sold for £685,000, my share being £275,000.
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.

My apologies for any delay - an early start at Court today.

Mortgage free?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
mortgage free
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.

Yes she feels she will not be able to afford to rent? - with over £300,000 available?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Plus savings, plus inheritance.
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.

How far have the divorce proceedings reached?

How far has the sale progressed?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
There will have been two years separation in December this year. No proceedings have yet started. We have exchanged with completion on 21st October. I have had an offer on a house accepted.
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.

Just to check contracts have actually been exchanged?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.

Excellent news - and just to check (last question) this was a verbal agreement between you?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
the agreement was verbal but was reinforced by a note to our conveying solicitor, which she asked me to sign, stating that I would give £5000 should she have to rent. The unspoken, but hinted, threat was that she could not agree to the offer without help to meet cost of renting.
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.

The note is a potential problem - what was the exact wording - did it say "irrevocable agreement"

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
She wrote a note to our conveying solicitor, which I signed, concerning the division of the sale money and the payment of fees and added : 'In addition to this, there is to be a separate payment of £5000 to be paid from Alan to Alison if she moves to rented accommodation, as an act of goodwill. Please can you confirm that this has all been noted.'
There was no mention of an irrevocable agreement.
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.

Ok that is fine

Write to the Conveyancer and tell him/her that you are no longer willing to make this separate payment and she is not authorised to do so.

Your ex will kick up a fuss and there could be some delay in any monies being released - but this will be a problem for both of you.

She does not need your goodwill payment - she has ample resources of her own - and if she wishes to argue the point then she can do so within

the financial side of divorce proceedings

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you Clare for your careful examination of my problem.
Just one last question, please. If she took the matter to a small claims court, what would the likely outcome be in your opinion?
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.

There is no contract involved so it will fail - this is a matter to be dealt with within the financial side of divorce proceedings

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you very much for you expertise and advice
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.

You are most welcome I hope all goes well

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