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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35054
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 parents seperated in 1997 and entered into an informal 50/50

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My parents seperated in 1997 and entered into an informal 50/50 sharing arrangement of marital assets. In 2002 there were still TWO unresolved assets to be shared
My mother had inherited property from HER FATHER but that this was subject to a lifetime interest of HER MOTHER until her death by the receipt of income from the rental of these properties
In 2002 my mother was due to receive the inheritance as HER mother had died but it was known in 2002 that the receipt of her inheritance would be delayed for probate and other related family disputes
In 2002/2003 my fathers pension was due to be paid
In recognition of the 1997- 50/50 arrangement, my father in 2003 entered into a formal agreement to pay 50% of his pension to my mother during her lifetime but did so specifically in anticipation of receipt of 50% of her inheritance when she actually received
Subsequently in 2008 my father discovered that between 2004 and 2008 my mother had repeatedly lied to him claiming that she had not received or was unable to pay over the promised 50% share to my father
In 2008 my father with my help discovered that she had in fact received her inheritance (in 2003 and 2004) and that she had concealed all this from him while she happily received the 50% share of my father's pension until 2010 when she herself died
The executors of my mothers estate are arguing that THEY are entitled to continue to receive 50% of my fathers pension (as though they have taken over my mothers position) and that they receive this money UNTIL HIS DEATH not withstanding the fact that they call it a "pension" sharing arrangement - pensions are usually only paid to the person while alive - my observation !
My fathers position is that
A/ the executors claim is nonsense
B/ he wants to seek repayment of all the 50% pension payments my mother received from him between 2003 and 2008 in view of her deceptions (similar to the fraud act 2006 - i believe) as it became clear in 2008 that she had been lying through her teeth and had no intention of honouring her commitment to share HER inheritances with my father
My father is 83 and could do without all this but i have stepped in to try and assist
He needs explanations/confirmation as to what his position is in law, before he gets bogged down in litigation
Thank you for your question.
My name is ***** *****
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Is there actually a court order in place regarding the financial agreement?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


No there isnt a court order but a single page document was drawn up that my father signed to say that he was agreeing to pay the 50% share to his "wife" in 2003 - they were not formally seperated until my father pursued judicial seperationin 2008

The problem then was that his ancilliary relief proceedings were pursued and a trial took place but despite being fully heard, my mother died before judgement was handed down so the whole litigation fell flat with nothing decided by the court

Who are the executors of your mothers estate?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


A friend of my mother and my older brother

Given what you have said they have no claim on your father's pension - the voluntary agreement is not enforceable and ended with the death of your mother
However equally I am afraid that there there is no question of recovering the monies already paid - there is no legal basis on which he can do so
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for the comments

when you say "there is no legal basis to recover" - my mother ran a number of deceptions from 2003 onwards to specifically conceal the receipt of the inheritances from my father (and the rest of her family)

Surely those actions and the specific lies that my father can prove she told between 2003 and 2008 (they are documented) amount to deliberate deception for her financial gain and the financial loss of my father

In reading the 2006 fraud act she seems to have done exactly what the act seems to address

- "deliberatley witholding information that she knew at the time would cause financial loss to my father"


entered into "a contract" knowingly to deprive my father of monies

Can you tell me specifically why all my mothers deceptions and conduct does not void the pension contract at inception in 2003

Because it was not a contract - it was a voluntary financial agreement between separating spouses.
It would have been for the family court to deal with what should happen with regard to the inheritance
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

me again !

I just found this on the net by using your phrase volutary financial arangements.

It seems to be a usa based doc and while i appreciate usa law is not always the same as english law i dont see why the law here seems to view a "vol fin arrangement! as something other than "a contract"

A separation agreement is an agreement between a husband and wife when they separate from each other.

Once signed, it becomes a binding contract between them.

It contains binding and – in most cases – final promises.

A separation agreement must be voluntary. No law or regulation requires a separating couple to execute a separation agreement.

No one can compel a spouse to sign a separation agreement.

"agreement" means that both parties sign voluntarily.

Coercion, fraud, undue influence, or lack of knowledge will void the

terms of a separation agreement.
I am sorry but this is not the case in England and Wales - there is no basis on which the money he paid can now be reclaimed
I appreciate that you find this hard to accept but there is no way around this.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

final question - i promise !

can you point me at a document that confirms this please

ie a precedent X v Y in case law


a particular law/statute which says a "vol fin arrangement" for sperating couples is not a contract

You are correct that I do find it difficult to believe that english law would be so unjust as to deprive someone a remedy following a deception / fraud being committed on them whatever the title of a document

The financial relationships between married couples are dealt with within Family law.
You can read more about this issue you have with this here
One of the most important safeguards is that both parties have independent legal advice.
this clearly did not happen in this case.
had it done your mother would have been told that your father had only a very limited claim on her inheritance whilst she had a clear claim on hal fof the pension that had accrued whilst they were married.
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