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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35056
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 have a question regarding insurance excess payments. Last

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I have a question regarding insurance excess payments. Last November I moved out of the family home due to divorce. A day or two before moving I was in the loft retrieving my stuff when I accidentally broke a water pipe. Water poured down through the light fittings but fortunately I managed to get outside and turn off the water. My friend who is a plumber lives around the corner and rushed around to fix the pipe. Whilst he was doing this I rang the Insurance company and lodged a claim. As I then left the house and moved to another property I informed my wife and the Insurance company to sort it all out between them. I have absolutely no idea what she has claimed for. In May I received a cheque from the Insurance company as the policy was in my name. The cheque was for £2745. I rang my wife to tell her the good news. Her reaction was rather surprising. " No " she said " It should be for £2845 " I explained that there was a £100 excess charge on the policy. " You owe me a hundred pounds then " was her reply. I told her that I would pay her only what the Insurance company had paid me, and I duly did so. She is still claiming that I owe her £100. In fact she has now stopped me from seeing our 11 year old daughter until I pay her this sum. My daughter used to stay with me every weekend and all holidays. She is understandably upset, as I am I. Do I really owe her this money ?
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Has there been a financial settlement within the divorce proceedings?
has she given you a break down of what she claimed for?
When did you last see your daughter?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare, yes there was a financial settlement at the end of the divorce. I signed over my half of the house to her for £15,500. I put this money toward buying a new place. Despite asking her for a claim breakdown she has refused to give me any details. I last saw my daughter properly over the weekend of May 9th to the 11th. However I popped over to my ex wife's house last Sunday ( June 29th ) in an attempt to speak to her and reconcile this situation. She was out but my daughter was there alone. We hugged and chatted. It was quite emotional. I did not stay long or enter the house as I did not want Lily to be put into a weird situation if Corinne suddenly came back. She said she would TELL her mum that she wants to see me this coming weekend. Later that evening I received an email from Lily. It said " Mummy says I can't see you until you pay her the money you owe her ".

Was there a court order dealing with the finances?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I don't think so.

The law says that a child is entitled to contact with both parents and the court's will enforce this if necessary.
The court does not link finance and contact and will not be happy that your ex is trying to do so
You shoudl try and discuss matters with your ex using Family mediation ( and if that fails then you can apply to the court for a Child Arrangement Order using the form here
and paying the fee of £215.
Given her age your daughters wishes will be of great importance and your previous pattern of contact shoudl resume - and be enforceable if need be
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare,

Thanks for the answer. My ex wife is holding my daughter to ransom for £100. I see no sense at all in then paying £215 ! You have told me nothing I already don't know. My question, which still appears to be unanswered was / is - am I legally tied to pay her the £100 which is the excess I paid to the Insurance company ?

If she is holding you to ransom now she will do it again in the future - £215 will ensure that she cannot do so.
If you have already paid the excess to the Insurance Company then they should have paid her in full.
If not then whilst there is no legal obligation to pay the excess you may wish to do so as good will since you caused the problem.
However since you have no idea of what was or was not claimed for you cannot work out whether she has had to pay the £100 or not.
However even if you have there is no contractual obligation for YOU to pay it
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you