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Ask MARCUS Malin Your Own Question
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2499
Experience:  Consultant Solicitor at Setfords
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I am going through a very difficult divorce as well as being

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Hi, I am going through a very difficult divorce as well as being taken to court by someone else regarding unpaid fees which my ex husband was supposed to have been paying but as now changed his mind about and also under investigations by HMRC as my ex husband wasn't paying his taxes unknown to me (unfortunately I was a director). My solicitor is know refusing to do anymore work for me as I am about £1500in arrears. All my savings have gone on her fees, I do not earn a lot and the little I earn just about cover rent and expenses for me and my son. Can you advise. Thank you
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I keep getting an error message?

Hello, my name is Marcus.

Can you explain more about the court claim that has been made against you.

Where in the process are you in terms of resolving financial matters?

Thank you.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hi, I am due in court in February 2020 for the financial settlement although my solicitor has advised that she wants to arrange for a meeting this month between a barrister and the other side. I strongly believe I am wasting my time and money I haven't got. My ex husband is a narcissist and is making things as difficult as he possibly can mostly due to the fact our 14 year old son has refused to have any contact with him for more than a year. Our adress has beem kept from him and he has attempted to hack in our emails
In 2018 he contacted me to say that he was investigated by HMRC for non payment of taxes, he had asked me to be a director of his company when we first married therefore as a director I am also involved. To make it clear I was only involved on paper. He employed a tax advisor, I was told to sign a contract with them and they would sort it all out, my ex said it was all down to him and would pay their fee (I have a letter from the tax advisor saying that) my ex didn't pay them and we ended up paying them £17500 (half each) so we could sell the FMH but still they are now suing both of us for £35000 I have received paperwork for a multitrack? I am totally shocked they are even going after me (a barrister my solicitor employed thought I had a good case). My ex has now employed an another tax advisor (I have not signed a contract with them) my ex is under the impression I should pay half of their bill too I have also received a letter from the taxman from HMRC who interviewed us that he has not heard from me and that I'm in a lot of trouble if I don't send them my disclosure which I haven't got because I thought my ex was dealing with it, I have not had any access to the books or anything related to the business. I struggle to look after my son and I on the low income I earn, I am at a loss to know what to do my solicitor won't represent me because I owe £1500 I have had reservations if her abilities for a long time but because funds were low I was worried I would have to start all over without money I have already spent £15000 and have achieved nothing. Will be grateful for your honest advise. I am a foreign national, UK laws and legal jargon are totally unknown to me, my mental health is at an all time low an after 3 years I have lost faith in all of this ever getting sorted. Thank you


You mentioned you sold the FMH. When was that?, What were the proceeds of sale and how were they divided or are they being held on account?

Was the taxable income generated during the marriage?

Thank you.


Customer: replied 7 months ago.
We both had £20k the rest is on account. Yes to the income. My ex used to pay himself dividends and in paper I guess I was too but was only getting housekeeping money every week

How much is being held on account.

In terms of the tax liability regardless of who technically owes it it could be considered a marital debt if the income was enjoyed by the family.

Would you say your husband personally benefitted from the income as oppose it being used for the family as a whole.

Thank you.


Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I think about £180k is being held. I didn't have a fabulous lifestyle but our son was sent to private school and my ex was always a big spender, all the money I was given was spent on household expenses and very little on me


That is helpful.

So, as I inferred eaarlier regardless of who name the tax liability is it will be considered a marital asset and paid from the proceeds of sale being the sale proceeds being held.

You could however seek a greater division of the balance based on needs and also an element of bad conduct of your husband on how he dealt with the tax affairs.

From here your needs - as you have a child - come first.

So how much do you need to buy a house and what is your mortgage capacity. The difference being your need for a deposit.

Thank you


Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I'm not sure how much I would need to buy a house I don't have a large income I'm a small business owner and last time I enquired I could only raise about £40k on a mortgage.

My approach would be that any tax liability for the period of the marriage should be discharged from the net proceeds being held.

You should then receive between 60-70% or more if you can demonstrate you need it to buy a house - that may not be possible.

What are your respective incomes - what is the nature of your husbands self employment - just seeing if his business has a value.

Thank you.


Customer: replied 7 months ago.
He is not a contractor any more but earns in excess of £6000 a month I'm a dog groomer and earn about £20000 a year but then again never guarantees my income. My biggest worry now is that I have no money to pay my solicitor. I owe her about £1500 which is fine I can probably pay this in the next few weeks but she is refusing to do anymore work unless I put £5000 on account and she thinks I will need another £5000after that. I have probably already spent £15000 and not achieved much. My ex is saying that, because I'm not backing down because he said he was responsible for HMRC and the tax advisor and now has changed his mind, that he will apply to have his legal fees paid by me


I light of your incomes you should certainly receive the lions share of the equity.

I am disappointed that your solicitor is not prepared to defer their fees - you do seem to be paying a lot. I quite often defer fees in these circumstances.

You husband is unlikely to recover fees as the general rule is that you pay your own costs. He has to look closer at his own conduct.

Finally - at those fees - your solicitor should be competent enough for there to be no need to instruct a barrister.

Thank you.


Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I am not confident that she is, she said she's not a tax solicitor I have had to pay for a barrister to deal with the tax advisor, I have now enquired with a tax solicitor too to deal with HMRC who want me to be in touch with them by 9th December. They were advertising as no win no fee but they will not do it unless I pay £1500up front which I haven't got. I just don't know how to go forward I have 3 fights on my hands, I suffer with anxiety with it all and it's all getting too much. Would I be able to look at legal aid

Legal aid is only available if there has been domestic violence.

As for the tax issue - is it accepted that the tax is owed?

It maybe a red herring as whatever is owed is likely to be a marital debt regardless of whose name it is in.

So unless the amount is in dispute then it should not be an issue.

Thank you.


Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for all your valuable advice. I am very grateful. Thanks Sandra

You are most welcome Sandra

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