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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1390
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I am in the middle of mediation sessions with my ex in order

Customer Question

I am in the middle of mediation sessions with my ex in order to settle financial matters.
We were married for 2.5 years with two children, I did not work during most of the marriage as I was constantly occupied with childcare.
My ex has been earning a fairly substantial salary of £3,000/month net income roughly. This has been his take home pay since 2014.
I gave my ex £10,000 3 years ago for the purpose of putting towards a deposit for a flat purchase. The flat purchase did not go ahead and he told me that he had apparently put this money into his savings account for a future flat purchase for the family.
He later on revealed during the divorce proceedings that he had spent all this money on the family's living expenses and that it could not be ringfenced.
However as I have been pushing for this money to be returned to me for quite some time now, the ex agreed during yesterday's mediation session that he would pay it back at the rate of £300/month for however long it takes him to clear the full amount.
I would like to know is this an acceptable proposal?
Secondly I have just found out for the first time yesterday that my ex owns a property jointly with his mum which is worth about £150,000/£160,000. He brought in a letter stating that they were in the process of selling it.
I believe this property was bought before me and him were married.
Just to state, we always lived in rented accomodation during the course of the marriage.
I would like to know would I have any claims on this property that he jointly owns with his mum and is now planning to sell?
From what I understand this is a grey area because the marriage was shortlived (only 2 years) but we also had 2 children in this short period of time.
Would this be something worth pursuing in my case?
Thirdly the mediator bought to my attention yesterday that I could have an entitlement towards my ex's pension.
She explained that my ability to acquire a pension for myself is restricted as I am unable to work, and have been unable to work for the last 3 years due to childcare issues. I had one child, and then soon after the second.
Fourthly I would just like to find out whether I could be entitled to some spousal maintenance?
Just some quick background about myself- I am currently on benefits (have been claiming income support for the last one and a half years since we split up).
My ex pays £576 in child maintenance and £124 worth in childcare vouchers.
There have been no issues with maintenance thus far.
If you could kindly provide me with some legal advice on these four issues, that would be great.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:
-How old are you both?
-Did you cohabit immediately prior to the marriage, if so for how long?
-How old are the children and proposed arrangements?
-What other assets and pensions do you both have (both sole and joint), together with values?
-What is the value of the property, and what is the outstanding mortgage?
-Who is now living in the property?
-Whose name is ***** ***** property in?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We are both 33 years old. We were 28 years old when we got married. And we did not cohabit before the marriage. Only started living together after the marriage.
My children are 2 and 3 years old. I am their primary carer but they do have weekend contact with their dad regularly, and two overnight stays twice a month.
He has been paying maintenance since we split.
There are no other joint assets. No matrimonial home. I do not have a pension because I never worked during the marriage. Prior to the marriage I was always in temporary work contracts so never paid into a pension.I am referring to the figures from the financial pack from the mediation sessions provided by my ex.
It states that the total value of all pension assets is £13, 189.24.Details of the property are as follows:
The ex husband is in joint ownership (50 percent ownership) of it with his mother.
It was purchased in 2001, the purchase price at that time was £136,000, and a deposit of £30,000 was paid.
The current price of the property is £150,000, less mortgage 1- £106,199. This is an interest only mortgage.
Estimated sales costs are £3,700.
The net equity is £40,101.
The ex husband and his parents do not live in this property at present and never have. I believe that it is being rented out to tenants and has been for a while.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. You state that there is no other joint property, but what about other sole property, savings or assets that either of you have, other than has been mentioned above?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My ex is living in rented accomodation, pays £700/month. His financial pack states he has £667 in savings in another account. His balance in his current account shows he has a little under 3 grand leftover, if you can call that savings.I have about £5-6000 in savings. This is what I accumulated over the years and what was given to me as cash gifts from my parents.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am currently living in privately rented property and have been since we separated. The property during the marriage was also rented.
As stated earlier we never bought a property together.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just to add further, I have wedding jewellery which is both gold and silver, that is probably worth about £3,000, but my ex claims that it is worth £15,000 which is a gross exaggeration.
He is saying this because he wants me to return to him whatever his side of the family gave me as wedding gifts.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Harris if it wouldn't mind, could I please request Clare to answer my question.
I have asked her a few times in the past, she would be quite familiar with my case as I have asked her questions about this.
Would you be ok to transfer my question over to her.Thanks,
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Yes Sarah, that is fine. I will opt-out and allow Claire to assist. Good luck with your matter

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks a lot. :)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hiya,I still haven't had a response to my questions yet from Claire. The message above states that I should get a response within 24 hours.
Is she aware of my questions?Thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The message still says you have been referred to a new solicitor.
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're OK with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Nicola,Yes I am ok to wait for you to find the right person. Is Claire not available to answer my question? I was originally assigned to Harris, but then asked him if he could refer me to Claire. That was yesterday evening.Regards,
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you. I will send this directly to Claire.
Thank you for your patience,
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Hi Sarah

My apologies for the delay - I did not see your question until now!

For clarity - do you object to returning the jewelry which his family gave you?