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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35074
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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I am not living in the UK. My daughter is living with her father.

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I am not living in the UK. My daughter is living with her father. Her father and I are divorced. He lives in the FMH. I have not worked for a few years and he has taken me to court to pay maintenance for the years I have not worked. The court case went ahead on 3rd June 2014 without me in the UK as I was not aware of the proceedings. The previous court case January 2014(which I did not attend as he would not cancel) went ahead. The Judge was fair and in the court order said he and his solicitors needed to keep in contact with me via email with details of the proceedings agreeing a date for the final hearing etc. This was not done and as I said the court case went ahead without me on 3rd June. When I returned to the UK I went to the court and tried to pick up the court order but it was not ready. I could only pick it up 20 days after the court case. I immediately put an appeal in and am awaiting results. The court order I am appealing says we have to sell the FMH which is fine by me. They are also saying I need to pay £37,000.00 plus 2/3 of his costs of £4,000. The £37,000.00 is to be paid when the property is sold but the £4,000 is to be paid by 3rd July per the court order. I have 2 questions regarding this:
1) Do you think my appeal will be granted on the grounds of.
I was not aware of the proceedings. He did not contact me to discuss the proceedings date and time etc
The £37,000.00 figure is incorrect. He is claiming 6 years at £6,000ish. In fact it should only be 5 years as I was working for one of the years and paying maintenance via the CSA.
The court says I was able to work for the past years. In fact I could not as it took me a year to get my work visa and find work
My x has had use of the FMH for 6 years and this was not taken into account in the proceedings
2) With regard to the costs. They need to be paid now per the court order. I am disputing these in my appeal based on I could not attend the court in January. The court requested adjournment but my x refused and went ahead even thought he knew I would not be there. For the final hearing on 3rd June I was not aware of the proceedings so could not attend. Do you think I will have to pay his costs? My x is sending me emails saying I need to pay now or I will be in trouble. Can I delay payment as I am appealing the court order
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How old is your daughter and do you mean that this was the final hearing in respect of all the financial issues - including the division of the proceeds of the matrimonial home?
When did you first hear about the hearing on 3rd June?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Claire

My daughter is 16 years old. The courts are wanting me to pay for the next 2 years plus 4 years past. A total of 6 years.

I did pay for the first year being 2010 via the CSA. My x got the dates wrong by a year. I did work for a year during the past 3 years and did not pay anything as we could not come to an agreement about the amount. For the next 2 years I am not planning to work.

My divorce was finalised about 5 years ago with a 50/50 split of assets. My x still lives in the FMH as he has refused to sell. I have been away and not had the inclination to force him but last year I took him to court to sell the FMH. It was then he started with this court case. This was the final hearing for his claim for child maintenance. The first being October 2013 the second January 2014 and final June 2014 (sorry I forgot to mention the October 2013 in my initial comments). I only found out about the 3rd June 2014 court date when I returned to the UK on 20th June. I went to the court for the court order and it was not ready. I had to wait until Monday 23rd before I could collect it being 20days after the court date.

When did you last contact the court and ask about the next hearing date
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I did not contact the court. The court order in January said that the Applicant was to keep me informed via email as I am not in the UK

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Not sure if you got this but already sent a reply.

I was to keep informed of the details of the court date for January by the Applicant. This was stated in the court order for January. The applicant was to keep me informed and agree a court date and time allowed for the hearing. He was also to send me his court documents. None of this he did. I was therefore under the impression that there was to be no court hearing. I did send my documents to his solicitors. I received an email saying they were no longer representing him.

Given that you are appealing the order then you should also seek an Order staying the issue of costs pending the outcome of the appeal
In any event given that the capital funds will be coming from the sale of the FMH it is unlikely that the ocurt will sanction any enforcement action - your ex is simply trying to frighten you again
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for the reply for my point number 2. The costs need to be paid now and are not out of the capital funds. I sought advice yesterday afternoon as I needed a quick response and was advised to do a letter suspending the costs per the appeal.


Do you have a reply for point number 1?


You should also have been told that it is highly unlikely that court will order any enforcement action on the costs in any event whilst the appeal is pending
With regard to whether or not the appeal with be allowed my concern is that the court will point out that it was also your responsibility to ensure that you were aware of what was happening - and to contact the court if you had not heard from your ex.
However if your ex cannot show that he did in fact try and inform you of the date (which clearly he did not) then yes I would expect the appeal to be granted.
Your argument on the amount is less clear cut since you could I assume have worked here in the UK if you had wished to do so
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you