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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34910
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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There, My question is regarding ancillary relief. I am

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Hi there,
My question is regarding ancillary relief. I am currently in the middle of divorce proceedings. I've received a certificate for the decree nisi, which I've been told should be granted in 2 weeks time.
My husband's solicitor asked me to sign a consent order, but my solicitor advised me not to, until both of us had exchanged form e. My solicitor has asked my husband to fill out form e and we are still awaiting his response.
But I was told that he would be within his rights to refuse to disclose the required information under form e at this point. My solicitor said that in the event that he refuses, I would need to make an application for ancillary relief and then he would be required to fill out form e, and provide the relevant information to the court.
I understand that form e requires both parties to provide documents such as pay slips, and last 12 months bank statements.
What I wanted to ask was, whilst my husband and I were married we never co-owned any property. We lived in rented accommodation throughout the course of the marriage. However I strongly suspect that my husband may have secretly bought some property during the marriage, or he may have already owned some property prior to our marriage which he never told me about.
For an application under ancillary relief, do I need to be 100 percent certain that my husband does in fact own property or would it suffice that I suspect that he may own property and I am requesting this disclosure through form e under ancillary relief?
Also as form e requires him to provide his bank statements in the last 12 months, say for example if he does in fact own property for which he is still paying a mortgage towards, is this something that would get picked up through his bank statements, and be investigated further by my solicitor or the court?
What I am a little unclear about is before I proceed with an ancillary relief application, is the onus on me to prove that my husband does in fact own property or has investments or shares? Or even if I am not sure, could I still apply for ancillary relief anyway and rely on this sort of disclosure through form e?
My divorce solicitor said that I would need to be certain that he does own property, otherwise there would be no point in proceeding with an ancillary relief application. But I wasn't entirely satisfied with this answer so wanted some more information.
I am a single mum of two little ones, and it seems a bit daunting as to how I can go about investigating on my own level whether or not my husband does own property. I was told that the land registry would not simply hand over this information to me, unless I first provide them with the property address, location, etc. Obviously these things are not within my knowledge, and I only have suspicions.
Secondly other than the property issue, I just wanted to find out what else I could be entitled to under ancillary relief. As this is also something which my solicitor did not make clear.
My husband and I were married two and a half years. We currently have 2 children under 2. Throughout the marriage, he was always the sole earner, and I did not work.
At the moment I am the primary carer for the children, and my husband sees the kids once a week. I am currently unemployed on benefits, but looking for part time work.
My husband on the other hand works full time and makes quite a substantial salary. I've seen his pay slips 2 years ago. He pays child maintenance.
Me and the children are living in rented accommodation. Housing benefit covers the rent, but my husband pays the shortfall of the rent not covered by housing benefit, as the landlord is a friend of his and he wants to keep relations amicable with him. He has agreed to do so for a short period of time until I can find alternative accommodation that fits within my housing allowance.
Is this something that he could argue in his favour under ancillary relief proceedings?
Finally if my husband remarries soon after obtaining the decree absolute, could I still apply for ancillary relief if I am unmarried at that time?
Many thanks for your help,
Sarah Hasanie
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further information first.How much does your ex earn - and what makes you think he may have purchased a property?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

I saw my ex husband's pay slip over a year and a half ago, he earns about £3,000/monthly after taxes. He's a manager at Grant Thornton (financial services).

I've always had my suspicions that he's been hiding a property purchase from me.

When we were married, I gave him £10,000 from my savings over the years in the summer of 2013 which was intended for a deposit so we could buy a property together. He told me that he put this money in his savings account, and always kept telling me during our marriage that we would continue saving and put down a bigger deposit.

Obviously the marriage broke down, and this money was still in his possession.

During divorce proceedings, he later revealed that this money had been spent on the family's living expenses during the marriage due to his financial difficulties, and could not be returned back to me.

This made no sense to me because based on my ex's monthly earnings, and based on what the family's outgoings were (monthly rent, bills, groceries, miscellaneous expenses) his monthly salary would have sufficiently covered the monthly outgoings without him having to dip into the savings that were designated for the purpose of buying a property.

I suspect that he used my money to secretly purchase a property in his own name, which I am unaware of. We always lived in London during the course of the marriage. But he's originally from Manchester and all his family are there. I am very much suspicious that he could have easily bought a property in Manchester without me ever knowing anything about this. His parents live there, and every time we used to visit, he always had a tonne of post at their house. He hardly had any post sent to our London address.

It could be possible that anything mortgage related to his property was sent to his parents address.

I was advised that I would have to bring civil action against him if I wanted my £10,000 returned in small claims court.

That is nonsense - the issue of the £10,000 is one that need sto be dealt with as part of the financial settlement.How much do you earn and what monthly payment has he offered you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am unemployed and on benefits (child tax credit, child benefit, and income support). My ex pays £500 monthly as child maintenance as we have 2 children who live with me. I was told that this is 20 percent of his monthly salary so is an appropriate amount.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Also he has not offered me any monthly payments at all. The only thing he pays is child maintenance, and the shortfall of the rent not covered by housing benefit every month.

Given his level of income Spouse maintenance should be being paidYou have nothing to lose by making an application for Ancillary relief with in the divorce proceedings - and everything to gainLooking at his Bank statements should be illuminating - so go for it as soon as Mediation breaks downI hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks a lot for your reply.

Would I need to make an application for ancillary relief before or after signing the decree absolute? I haven't been referred to mediation yet.

I really do believe that he's most certainly got something to hide. That is why he hasn't come back to my solicitor yet saying whether or not he consents to form e disclosure at this stage. And its been over 2 months since this was brought up. She did say if he was to refuse at this point, I would need to apply for ancillary relief and then he would be compelled to provide disclosure under form e. Is that correct?

My solicitor never highlighted the possibility of spousal maintenance to me, so she's not been very thorough about my options.

Just wondering how long can ancillary relief proceedings last?

Have you actually been to a mediation appointment?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No haven't yet. At the moment its just very slow correspondence back and fourth between solicitors.

Please insist on a referral to mediation as soon as possible - it is clear that he is not going to do anything voluntarily - you are likely to need a Court applictaion to force full disclosure
It is better to make the applictaion prior to Decree Absolute to preserve your claim on his pensions.
The sooner you get to mediation the sooner you will be in a place to apply for Ancillary Relief if need be
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

Thanks so much for your reply, this is very helpful indeed. Just wondering, would mediation only deal with financial issues, or would custody issues be brought up as well?

Are residence/contact arrangements dealt with under mediation as well?

Sorry to complicate things, but forgot to mention that I would also like to move abroad with my kids after the divorce is finalised so I can be closer to family and get them to help me look after the little ones. Childcare would be a lot more affordable for me as compared to right now with my restrictive budget.

Given that I need my ex's consent, do you think that this issue could complicate ancillary relief proceedings?

This issue of me moving abroad with the kids was also brought up nearly 2 months ago, but my ex has just left it pending, as he did with the form e request.

He's just dragging things out unnecessarily. I've just got the decree nisi today.

In case if he refuses to give us permission to move, would that need to be dealt with in court under a separate hearing?

Many thanks,


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