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UKfamsol, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience:  Very experienced specialist family law solicitor, qualifed in 1994
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Good morning, I was married 23 years, all of that

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Good morning, I was married for over 23 years, all of that time i worked and contributed to bills etc. We were divorced in 2010. We agreed that my husband stayed living at the house and he paid me a lump sum, about 1/4 of what the property is worth now. I am now struggling to make ends meet, ( in private rented accomodation) and he is still at the house, running a new BMW. and having a good life. I have been told that i can claim a percentage of his pension. He did offer me some money last year, but pride comes before a fall, and i refused it. Please could you tell me if i am entitled to any money from him now. Thank you. Ann XXXXXX.

Hello and thanks for your question.

I need a bit more information to be able to answer:

Was the agreement between you & your husband turned into a consent order and approved by the court?

If not, was the agreement verbal or in writing, and did you get independent legal advice before you agreed?

How much was the lump sum that your husband paid you?

Was the house then transferred into his sole name?
How much was the house worth at the time he paid you the lump sum?

How much is it worth now?

If there's any mortgage on the house, what's the total mortgage?

What's your annual income?

What's the annual income of your ex-husband?

How old are you both?

How much would you guess his pension pot is worth?

If he's already receiveinbg his pension, how much does he get?

I'm assuming there are no dependent children?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Good afternoon, thank you for getting back to me. I am sorry but i do not talk to my ex husband, he wont answer letters i write. As far as i remember the details were all done legally with solicitors. I received a lump sum, of £42,000. as far as i can remember. The house was worth about £150,000. It must be worth at least £200,000 now. I do not know what his pension is, but he worked most of his life for london transport, so i think its quite high. My income is £11.000 which includes help from council towards rent and council tax. We are both retired. I am 66 years old, and he is 68.I live i a private rented house, and he lives in the family home. I have a bus pass, and he drives a new B.M.W. I just need to know if i can claim anything from him. As i said he did offer me some money last year when he sorted his finances out, at the time i was just getting by, and pride made me refuse it. Now i am struggling and really do need it, i wrote to him asking him to reconsider his offer, but i have had no reply. I am sorry i cannot be more helpfull, but he wont speak to me. If i know were i stand i can get a no win no pay solicitor to write to him on my behalf. Thank you. Kind regards ***** ***** Fowler.

Hello again and thanks for the extra information.

When you say that the agreement was all done via solicitors, it makes me think that there probably was a consent order drawn up, which you both signed, and which the court approved, which made it binding, because that would be the usual way to make an agreement on divorce legally binding. The problem you have is if that is what happened, a consent order usually states that it is in full and final settlement, and that neither one of you can make any claim against the other ever again, including against the other's estate after their death. Although any court order allows for the possibility of appealing against it, there's always a time limit to make the appeal, and in your case, I'm sorry to say that 5 years later is far too late.

But if there's any doubt in your mind about whether or not the agreement was made into a legally-binding consent order, you could go back to the solicitor that acted for you in the divorce to ask them, or contact the court that dealt with your divorce (they will ask you for the divorce case number) to check, and if there was a consent order, you can ask the court office or your solicitor for a copy of it.

If it turns out that there was NOT a consent order made, then you CAN now make a claim against your ex-husband in relattion to your marriage to him. How the court would decide that claim would be to look at what would have been a fair division of the matrimonial assets, and see whether you should be entitled to a further lump sum if the sum already paid to you was not sufficient, taking into account not only your needs, but also your ex-husband's ability to pay. You would also need to explain why you waited until 5 years after the divorce before making the claim. If he is not yet receieving his pension, then you can apply for a pension-sharing order, which means a share of his pension po gioing into a separate pension pot for you. If he is already receiving it, then that might not be possible - but instead you could apply for spousal maintenance from his pension income and any other income he might have.But you will only be able to make a caim against his pension or income if there was no consent order made at the time you divorced.

I am very sorry not to be able to give you better news. The only other thiing I can suggest is that you go to your local citizens' advice bureay to check that you really are getting all the benefits that you are entitled to. Here's where to find your local CAB:

If you would like to have some face-to-face legal advice from a specialist family law solicitor, here's where to find one near you:

I hope this helps anyway, and I wish you the best of luck.

Thanks and best wishes...
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