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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 10653
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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my ex wife asked for a divorce several years ago i didnt contest

Customer Question

my ex wife asked for a divorce several years ago i didnt contest as we had been separated for some time. I also gave her half my pension. The divorce went through then we received court papers saying that no party was liable for any court costs etc. Several months later i received new court papers saying that i was liable. I have now received papers from the legal aid board that i have to pay 1400.00 for the legal aid bill. At the time of the divorce proceedings and till now my ex wife is working full time in or local hospital, so i dont understand how i have to pay the legal aid costs as she was the one that started the whole proceedings and i seem to be the one that is paying for it. If i had known all this at the time I wouldnt have been as agreeable. Surely, she should not have received legal aid as she was and still is in full time employment. What should i do?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

What does your divorce decree say about expenses?

What are the "new" court papers you refer to ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

my wife applied for divorce after 10 years. I went ahead as we had no children under sixteen i also agreed to give her half my pension. It turns out that my wife applied for legal aid and got refused and then reapplied and got accepted even though she works full time in a local hospital. I have now got a billfor £1700.00 for her leagal fees £800 of which is from rolls royce for the pension splitting. Surely i must have some rights as i thought it was a simple divorce and i feel as though im getting penalised even though shes getting half my pension its even costing me more money. I am sure that she did not qualify for legal aid what can i do.

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Was the pension share part of the divorce or was it done by agreement?

If part of the divorce this would not have been a simplified divorce.

I am having difficulty in working out why you are being asked to pay her expenses if this wasn't ordered in the court action.

What is your own solicitor saying about this?

What did the Initial Writ say about expenses?

Please look at the papers and try to give me as much info as you can.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes initial writ states to find defender liable for any expenses imposed by said pension .to grant warrant to this initial writ upon rolls royce and to find defender liable intimate to the pursuer in expenses. but she never had any expenses and legal aid covered this of which now i am expected to pay even though i dont think she should have been accepted for the legal aid in the first place i feel as though i have been hoodwinked as i signed for the divorce thinking that it was a simple divorce and i was not opposing the sharing of the pension.

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for clarifying that.

Your lawyer should have told you this already, but as there is a crave for expenses against you, the legal aid board is entitled to pursue you to recover the costs that they have paid out to your wife's lawyer. Your wife had no expenses because legal aid paid her fees. Legal aid are now seeking recovery of what they paid out from you and they are entitled to do so.

I suspect that your lawyer could have dealt with this better for you by reaching a "no expenses" settlement which would have avoided this situation.

Unfortunately it is now too late to do anything about this. I'm sorry to have to advise you in these terms but that is the law relating to legal aid recovery.

Happy to discuss further.
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 10653
Experience: 30 years as a practising solicitor.
JGM and other Scots Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

they want 100 per month i can only afford 50 would they accept this under scots law and if i feel if my exwife shouldnt have received leagal aid could i pursue this and who to.

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
They will generally accept any reasonable offer and £50 would seem reasonable.

You can pursue any allegations of fraud with the recoveries unit at SLAB.

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