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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35051
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 my decree absolute and I'm completing form E.

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Hello. I have my decree absolute and I'm completing form E. My questions are:
1. We are supposed to exchange form Es by 16 June, but I will be going to China on 16 May for work and not coming back till end of June. It will be quite inconvenient to try and gather the recent documents while in China, so is it OK to send the form e and supporting documents before I leave (ie a month early)?
2. Section 3.1.2 shows income needs for children. I am currently paying for the mortgage on the family home, although I don't live there, because it's in my name. I'm also paying for other stuff like water rates and her mobile phone (as well as my son's mobile phone., school lunches etc etc). What I have done is to put everything down in the left column (present) and changed some of these things to 0 in the future column (mortgage, because I want the house sold, car insurance and water rates etc because I shouldn't be paying these things. Is this the right approach?
3. I have a girlfriend but she lives and works in China. We plan to live together when we can both get jobs in the same country, but we have no idea when that might be. She will be staying with me in my flat for a couple of months over the summer, and our pattern at the moment is to spend about 2-3 months per year living together. We work in universities and get reasonably long holidays. So, what do I need to put in 1.9 and 4.6? I think nothing, but please can you confirm this?
4. Is it possible to send you the whole form for you to have a quick look?
5. At mediation, I offered her the whole equity if the house is sold. I think this is fair. Should I mention this in Form E (5.1/4.3), or just say that the equity should be divided without specifying how?
6. I want to encourage my ex to find a job and buy a shared ownership house with the equity from the sale. Is it appropriate to enclose some job and house listings as evidence that she should be managing and getting on with her life? If I had retained a solicitor (which I can't afford), I gather these are teh sorts of representations that they would have been making to my ex.
Thank you for your question.
My name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you
1. You can send the form as soon as you like provided you have all the information that you need - or at least the bulk of it
2. Since the children do not live with you the only expenses that are relevant will be the costs of contact
3. Since you do intend to live with your new partner albeit part time the answer is yes to 1.9 - and you can simply confirm that she lives and works in China in 4.6
4. If you wish
5. You can put it in 5.1 if you wish
6. No these do not belong in the Form E
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

THanks Clare. Attaching the form e. There are some comments, which are for you.

Attachment: 2015-05-03_212157_form_e_tp1.pdf

Why have you lent your brother so much money?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

He buys, does up and sell houses. I lent him the money about ten years ago. It is an investment for me as he pays me interest. My ex is aware of the arrangement.

Because of the difficult circumstances now, I've asked him to repay the money. For the moment, though, he's unable to do so.

How much is outstanding on the mortgage of the Matrimonial Home?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


What pension share are you offering?
What income does your ex have?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

My pension is minimal so nothing to really share. Figures not to hand, but old one is £34k, and the current one I've only been working here for 3 years so again minimal.

She is claiming benefits and also has a lodger who pays her £500 a month or so.

Have you offered spouse maintenance at all?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No, I am suggesting it should be a clean break.

Given the figures I am far from certain that the Court will accept this
The value of the matrimonial property and the amount owed to you by your brother are balanced and your income is well in excess of that of your wife.
The key here will be the employability of your ex - and you may have to pay spouse maintenance for a limited time while she gains qualifications.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks Clare.

1. Ought I to incorporate an offer of spouse maintenance into the form and if so where, and in what amount? NB the CMS will go up to £493/month if the house is sold (because I then won't have to pay the mortgage). Her position is that the house should not be sold, and that I should continue to pay the mortgage for the rest of the term (15 years): this is I think untenable and It's why mediation broke down. I would have thought it would make sense to claim "clean break" at this point; but please advise.

2. Please tell me if what I have written at 4.3 is appropriate.

3. Please tell me if what I have put at 3.1.2 is appropriate, and if not where these expenses should go in the account of things.

4. Please address my comment at 4.6

5. If I send the docs to my ex by email, will this meet the requirements, or does it legally have to be on paper/by post?

1. No you should not mention spouse maintenance in the Form E - just say you are seeking a Clean Break.
2. Frankly no - this should just be left blank
3. The first three items should be removed
4. I cannot see a comment - what you have put in is fine
5. Best send it by post to the court as well as by email to your ex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

1. OK

2. OK

3. OK but they are outgoings. If I just miss them off, the court will not be aware of them?

4. 4.5/4.6: I don't think my ex really needs to know all this and I would rather leave it blank (but I don't want to get into trouble, obviously). How is this likely to affect any judgement if stated as I have here?

5. Email to ex, post to court, no need to post to ex then?

3.They are not relevant to that question and will not effect the outcome
4. leave 4.5 in take 4.6 out for now
5. You can send by post as well - but there is no requirement to do so
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Attachment: 2015-07-09_145222_20150709100106513.pdf

Hello Clare

I have now received my ex's Form G and documents, and attached it here.

It seems that they are not planning to attend the first appointment. I don't agree that my original disclosure was incomplete: the only documents missing were one CETV and the additional state pension documents, and these were sent along with MY Form G last week.

1. This form G is in fact two days late, as was their Form E. They also claimed previously that my Form E had not been received by the court or by them, when in fact it had been received by both. I suspect that the lawyer is trying to create an impression that I am causing delays when in fact the delays are being caused by her and my ex, in order to make me pay for her legal costs. Is this possible?

2. Some points in the chronology are inaccurate. Do I need to correct this, and if so how? In particular, it gives the impression that my relationship with my new partner has been continuous, and that she and I had a plan to end my marriage from the outset. In fact, this is not true; when I and the family returned to the UK from China in 2012, I was not involved with her, and had hoped that the change of context would offer a fresh start to the marriage.

3. Do I still need to attend the court for the first appointment?

4. Should I now respond to the questionnaire? Should I send a copy of the responses to the court? Are you Clare able to assist with answering some of the points with which I am having difficulty?

5. Please let me know what sum I should upload to cover your costs for dealing with the present post and the questionnaire.

6. When should I expect a response to the questions I raised in my own questionnaire?