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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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I got divorced 18 years ago. At the time my son was 7. I was

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I got divorced 18 years ago. At the time my son was 7. I was told (by a solicitors) that I would receive 100% of the marital home. I didn't think this was fair, so I split the proceeds of sale 3 ways, I took £35,000 and my ex had 18,000. He has never complained about this until November 2014. He is taking me to court and claiming an award against all 3 of my properties.
We did not go through the court 18 years ago, we just agreed the distribution of funds and child maintenance payments between ourselves. He never paid the agreed amount of child maintenance on time, or in full. I had to wait 11 months, then 18 months and longest time 22 months before he would pay.
He has been living in a flat that I own for the past 9 years. 4 years ago I asked him to move out so that our son could move in. He refused. 2 years ago I asked him again to move out, again he refused. I served notice 21 (incorrectly) 17 months ago and again (correctly using an agent) in April 2014.
He asked that we go for mediation which I refused on the basis that there was nothing to mediate over. Then 11 months (November 2014) I agreed to go to mediation and asked to see sight of his claim so that I could understand what it was he was seeking. I received a letter from his solicitor letting me know that they had informed him that he would need to provide full details of his claim before mediation took place.
3 days later I received a letter from a different solicitor informing me that they had been instructed by my ex in the matter of our recent divorce. Given that we divorced 18 years ago it was hardly recent!
I recently received a court date for a preliminary hearing (as per his application). I am in the process of completing the Form E and feel that I should complete it as things were 18 years ago, when I didn't have anything other than the money from the sale of the marital home.
His application is for an award to be made from 3 properties that I now own.
According to my son what me ex (is father) wants is for me to give him the property he is currently residing in and some money.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
My question (after all that) is do I fill out the form as per my circumstances 18 years ago or do I have to complete as my current circumstances. If it's the latter I cannot see any space on the form to set the story straight - should I send a chronology with the form?
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 did he come to be living in your property?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

In 2005 I found a property (known as St Nazaire). I asked my ex if I could borrow the deposit to buy the property, he agreed (without hesitation). He asked if he could do the property with me and so we bought it in joint names.

We re-mortgaged the property in 2006 (£17,400) and split the proceeds 50/50 (£8,700) however, he owed more than the amount he was due (£9,500) so he didn't get anything.

In 2006 I went on to purchase a home for myself and Max with my Partner Simon Neal. My ex maintains that I used the money from the re-mortgage to buy the property and therefore he is entitled to a share in the property??

Because ND's money was tied up in St Nazaire, my partner and I loaned him the deposit to buy a property (known as May Terrace, we didn't have any interest in this property, we were clear that he was buying it for his own interest). In 2005 he got into financial difficulty (he wasn't working) and wanted to sell the property to release his capital.

In November 2005 I purchased Durnford Street (as an investment for myself, nothing to do with him or anyone else). He came to me and said 'I have found the perfect tenant for you, when I asked who it was he said 'ME!' I told him I wasn't happy about it and didn't want to mix family with business. The real reason I didn't want him as a tenant was that he has been so bad with money, I have a history of him not paying his maintenance payments (as agreed) and I didn't want to find myself in the situation I am in, where he doesn't pay the rent in full or on time.

As a sweetener, he offered to decorate and renovate the property, I said that I would think about it and after a few weeks of him pleading with me, he moved in (2006).

In 2008 when the mortgage went down from 548 to £121 he opened the letters (addressed to me) from my mortgage company and decided he was only going to pay the mortgage and not the agreed rent. When I questioned him on this, he said that he didn't have any money and played the suicide card.

Since 2010 (having lived in the property for 4 years) he has done some cosmetic decoration to the property, but this was his offer, as a sweetener for me to take him on as a tenant. The work that he has done, he maintains he has done it for me, however, he is now suggesting that he has improved the property and therefore he is entitled to any proceeds of sale, so clearly he has done it for himself and to support his claim against the property.

He has never asked me or consulted me about doing any of the work, I have only found out through my son that the work has been done. In 2013 I found out that he was going to change the windows in the property, I sent him a text message asking him not to change them, but he ignored me and went ahead anyway! (I have a copy of the text message).

There are two tenancy agreements in place, one from 2006 (the original) and a second one that was created in 2009 by a colleague of mine who had a property management company and was concerned that my ex would do something like this. I have given his original solicitor the original tenancy agreement, unfortunately I cannot find the second agreement (my ex has had access to my files and may have taken it). The colleague has since sold his company but is more than happy to sign a statement of truth with regards ***** ***** tenancy agreement).

I have a copy of a text message that he sent to me on 31st October suggesting he was going to look at another flat to rent (proving that he knew he was a tenant in my property). We spoke on the phone, he apologised for his behaviour, said that he was sorry and that he loved me and appreciated everything I had done for him. He said that he didn't want to leave the flat. I said that he could stay in the flat but on the understanding that he paid the full amount of rent £550, on time every month and that I never found myself in this situation with him ever again! He agreed.

4 days later, he hadn't paid the rent in full or on time so I phoned him. I asked him what was going on and he said that he had changed his mind and put the phone down on me!

I then served section 21 notice (incorrectly) and asked him to move out, giving him 3 months to do so. He was due to move out 1st February 2014 but he didn't. Instead, I got a solicitors letter on that day suggesting that he would be remaining in the property until ordered to leave by a court order.

As I explained previously, we have spent 11 months going backwards and forwards with his solicitors, trying to ascertain the details of his claim. Using an agent we served section 8 and 21 notices correctly and should have escalated the matter through the court, however the most important thing for me was to lessen the damage and not to cause impact on my son, who was getting drawn into the issue.

My son (now 25) went to see his Dad a few weeks ago, he was furious that after 11 months of suggesting he was entitled to the proceeds of sale of Durnford Street, his dad was now seeking monies from Adelaide Street (tenanted) Baynards Green (family home) and not just Durnford Street. Max asked his dad what it was that he wanted and he said 'I want her to give me the flat and some money'.

Max (our son) was party to the conversation when ND told me he had found the perfect tenant for Durnford Street (he was 16 at the time). He explained to his dad that he has been living in the flat as a tenant for the past 9 years, 7 of which he has only paid £121pcm (way below market value). He has had all of the benefit out of the property, whereas I have had none.

ND told Max that he wants me to give him the flat (because I only put down £4K deposit (actually it was £5K) and that money was his because it was the shortfall amount on the sale of St Nazaire.

In 2010 I sent ND an email suggesting that I did not want to fall out with him over money and I would be quite happy to give him the £4K shortfall (not that I owed it to him) save destroying our family relations. He didn't accept this at the time and is now clearly seeking to be given the flat (Durnford Street) in its entirety.

Thank you so much for your response.

For clarity - what happened to the original property - ST Nazaire?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It was sold. ND received all of the proceeds of sale.

Just for clarity.
1997(ish) Matrimonial home is sold and divided between you
2005 you purchase a property together with him providing the deposit
2006 it is remortgaged and you take all the mortgage proceeds
? it is sold and he gets all the profits.
can you put some figures to the deposit and the sale proceeds please
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The re-mortgage proceeds were as follows:
£5,700 (deposit for May Terrace) paid to Simon Neal
£2,000 loan from me
Backdated maintenance payment (June 04 to Feb 05) £1,800
Total owed by ND £9,500
Remortgage of Nazaire = 50% of £17,400 = £8,700 each.
Property sold 07 ND maintains he only got £8K back (he paid £12K deposit). I am sure (but not certain) that he got back £13K. The file of paperwork I had for this property is missing and the company has since closed so I can't get any info from them.
When was May Terrace purchased?
What was the date of the decree absolute?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
May Terrace was purchased in January 05
I don't know the date of the decree absolute (I will order a copy from the court).
Here's a chronology of property:
1994 - separated
1997 - divorce
1998 - marital home sold for £118,000
LD had £34,970.63
ND had £17,894.78
Mortgage £65,005.35
Fees £129.24
1998 LD purchased 83 Punchards Down as family home for myself and Max
1998 ND purchased St David's Terrace house for himself
2001 LD sold Punchards Down and moved into rented accommodation
with Max and new partner Simon Neal.
2002 ND sold St David's Terrace and purchased Halwell (investment property with Marion Baker)
2004 ND sold Halwell
2004 LD and ND purchased St Nazaire (ND paid deposit) mortgage in both names.
2004/5 ND purchased May Terrace (Simon Neal and LD loaned ND deposit)
2005 re mortgage of St Nazaire (ND to repay SN and LD deposit)
2005 SN and LD purchased Adelaide Street as family home (with Max)
2005 relationship with SN dissolved
2005 LD purchased Durnford Street (solely)
2006 ND moved into Durnford Street
2006 LD remortgaged Adelaide Street
2006 LD and MGT (new partner) purchased 2 The Cottages, Baynards Green (current family home 2015).
2007 LD rented out Adelaide Street and has been renting it out to date.
You need to complete the Form E with your financial position as it is NOW
In paragraph 4.5 you set out a Chronological account of the financial interactions.
Since the St Nazaire property was never the Matrimonial Home and was not purchased using matrimonial funds the issue of whether or not the mortgage funds were used to purchase a further property are essentially irrelevant
This is a try on.
The fact that the matrimonial home was sold and the proceeds divided between you so many years ago should mean that he has no further claim on you or any of your properties
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you Clare, that's really helpful.
Just to clarify section 4.2 says 'brief details if the standard of living enjoyed by you and your spouse/civil partner during the marriage/civil partnership' this is where I list the chronology.
Kind regards
No it is at 4.5
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