How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask familylawexpert Your Own Question
familylawexpert, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 311
Experience:  Substantial experience (14yrs +) in divorce, financial cases, cohabitation, pre-nuptial agreements and civil partnerships.
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
familylawexpert is online now

In May 2006 I was awarded a lump sum of £115,000 against my

This answer was rated:

In May 2006 I was awarded a lump sum of £115,000 against my former spouse. He failed to pay any of the award hence enforcement proceedings commenced.

I secured a charging order absolute on the property in 2009 where him and his new wife have been residing since March 2006. My former spouse has been declared as having a 50% beneficial interest in the property with his new wife having the other 50% interest. (Even though the title deeds are in his sole name)

I have not made an order for sale owing to the fact that my ex spouse has been paying me a periodical payment of £230 per month ( the order has no bearing on the lump sum award) and because his new wife has got 3 children to a previous marriage all of which were at school age in 2009.

In the last two months he has failed to keep up my periodical payments and it is looking as if they have abandoned their home...this due to substantial debts that he owes me and debts they have accrued via their business...using the company assets for gambling purposes.

What is my position with having a 2nd secured charge on the property? I am attending the County Court this week with respect to a summons on my ex for none payment of my periodical payment award. I suspect he will not appear in Court. What happens in this scenario...will a warrant for his arrest be made?
Can I request from the Judge an order whereby we can contact the mortgage lender to advise if payments have not been met on the mortgage?
Can I go for sale of property if he has abandoned? If the property is repossessed by the mortgage lender they will sell the house probably below market value and hence my interest will be reduced by a deliberate act....can I therefore apply to Court to go for her beneficial interest too?
If by any means that they are still living in the property because he has not kept up maintenance payments if I go for order of sale her children are now 19, 16 and 16 what would be my prospects in achieving a sale? Her salary pays a £650 mortgage at present (or has been!) so they could easily afford a rental property

My name is Mac. I can help you with your question.

Is it a judgement summons that you have filed with the Court (for the hearing this week)? If so, do you have a solicitor helping you with that?
If it is a judgement summons (and assuming it was served correctly), the court has the power to commit him to prison for up to 14 days if he fails to turn up to Court.

I understand that you have a charge registered on the property, but that it is a second charge. If there is a sale of the property then your debt will be paid out after the first charge is satisfied - and only therefore if there is enough equity left over in the house sale proceeds.

If you want to force a sale, you can apply to the court for an order for sale. Of course, you should only do this if you think that there will be sufficient equity to satisfy your debt (otherwise there would be no point in you doing so).
However, if the lump sum is still outstanding, I would expect that your application for sale would be successful, notwithstanding the other children to whom you refer.

You ask about information about mortgage payments. In practice, you do not need this information - either he will resume paying the periodical payments or you will enforce; more specifically, either he cooperates with you, or you choose to enforce (at least that's what I would recommend).

I hope that is helpful. If you would like me to clarify anything, please ask. If not, I would be grateful if you could rate my answer.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi there Mac


The Magistrates Court themselves have issued the Judgement summons. I am self representing.



If the property was sold at current market value there would be approx. £50 residual equity remaining (once the 1st charge with the mortgage is satisfied) I however would receive 50% of that amount. Obviously I am concerned that should the 1st charge (mortgage lender) market the property then all that they would be interested in is recovery of their monies....hence it is my concern that they would sell the property at below market value for a quick sale. Can I as a second charge holder do anything to take control of sale to ensure that it raises as much capital as possible.

Obviously this could not possibly satisfy the original order of £115,000 but it is the only hope and chance I have of ever recovery some of the monies my former spouse owes.


Could I speak to the 1st Chargee and offer the 1st chargee a cash payment from my parents to purchase the property....prior to it been marketed. If so would you suggest starting at an offer slightly below the outstanding mortgage outstanding?


Please can you answer the question that I raised originally....because there has been deliberate abandonment by my former spouse and his wife (hence my monies recovered would/could be reduced) would I be able to go for her 50% beneficial interest in the property by means of a Court application to overturn her beneficial interest?


Thank you


Taking your last question first: no, you cannot satisfy your claim against your ex from an asset belonging to his wife.

You refer to residual equity of £50. If you mean £50,000 I can see why it could still be worth your time. If you did indeed mean £50, I wouldn't consider it was worth you being involved.

There is nothing to stop you making an offer to the first chargee; it is up to them whether they accept. I can see a reason for you buying it from them if you think you can get it cheap, but if you have to pay market price for it then you might just as well buy any other property.

Bear in mind that your claim against him will continue - so you can continue to pursue him legally in any event - if and when he ever establishes other assets. The judgment summons should give you an insight into what his assets are. (And can be repeated in the future if he remains in default.)

I hope that is helpful. If you would like me to clarify anything, please ask. If not, I would be grateful if you could rate my answer.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi there


Sorry I did mean approx. £50,000...not £50!!!!


Just a couple of final questions please ....say if I recovered half of the beneficial interest of approx. £25,000 are you stating that I would still be able to continue my claim against him (because the lump sum is only partially satisfied)....bearing in mind that the majority of the debt would still remain outstanding?


My former spouse failed to pay any Court costs that were awarded (I was legally aided and fully satisfied my liability to the bill of costs...however my former spouse and his new wife have a joint liability of £23,000 of costs still not paid)

The Legal Aid board are unable to place a sub-charge on my charge on the property as the Judge made an order which would not allow this....They tried to but were legally advised that the wording of the charge on the property would not allow them to do this.


I presume that the Legal Aid Board could upon sale of the property make a claim on my ex husbands wife's monies recovered from sale to repay the outstanding costs?


If so would it be a good idea to advise theLegal Aid Board as soon as the sale completed of her capital gain?


Thank you very much


Regards Claire







Hello Claire,

Yes, the lump would remain outstanding in the amount of the shortfall that you received from the house.

In respect of the legal fees, I am not clear as to why your ex's wife had a costs order made against her, but if it doesn't benefit you for the Legal Aid board to proceed against her, then I don't immediately see why you would get involved.

I wish you the best of luck.

Kind regards,
familylawexpert and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you