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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35065
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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My ex-husband is claiming relative poverty and wishes to revisit

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My ex-husband is claiming relative poverty and wishes to revisit the terms of the Maintenance Court Order that was put in place 15 years ago. He is currently a director of a private company, co-habits with a long term partner who is in full-time work, and appears to enjoys the fruits of a dual income lifestyle. He is also a home owner.

I am a single person homeowner with a very modest income.

Angered at the spousal maintenance payment of £350/calendar month, even though it has never been revisited from an inflation perspective, he has requested Mediation because he 'believes that I am in a better financial situation than he'; I am not. His solicitor has threatened to go to court if I decline mediation, and commented that I would be responsible for the whole of the courts costs.

The documentation requested for mediation includes all assets yet Point 3 of the court order states:

•that claims ‘for lumps sums and property adjustment orders do stand dismissed AND IT IS DIRECTED that neither the Petitioner nor the Respondent shall be entitled to make any further application in relation to the marriage under section 23(1)(c) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973’.

I would like to understand:

1 Are the terms of the Court order open to challenge?

2 Would I be liable for all costs

2 In mediation, do the assets referenced in Point 3 come under consideration?

Kind regards
Thank you for your question.
My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do my best to help you
The only part of the Order is the issue of Maintenance, but what assets you each have is relevant to the issue of what income is available and what your reasonable needs are - both relevant to how much maintenance should be payable
The solicitor was wrong - failure to attend mediation does not guarantee that you have to pay his court costs - but the court COULD consider it - but no more than that.
However mediation is always worth trying - but if you do not reach an agreement then no there is no risk that you will have to pay court costs
Also be aware - if he does want out of the ongoing maintenance then a lump sum settlement (FOR you) is a possibility
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you