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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 16984
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My husband and I divorced 9 years ago we had two houses and

Customer Question

Hi ... my husband and I divorced 9 years ago we had two houses and 2 children . I left him and in court he agreed to pay me 10000 pounds before 10th Jan the folowing year and then the houses would be his . He paid approximately 6 then gave me a lump sum of 2 if I signed a peice of paper saying he had paid it all . I was forced to sign the bit of paper written by him . He now wants me to sign the houses over to him as he has remarried ... can I fight this and get legal aid ? I work part time and am on universalcredit .
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: No he dropped this on me via a solicitors letter
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: Leicester
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: That's basically the whole atory Story
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 7 months ago.

Good morning. I will assist with your question - be aware this is an email not chat service therefore i maybe delayed in replying.

what do you mean he forced you to sign?

was this a financial settlement?

why 2 houses? is one rented?

what is your preferred outcome?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
one was rented out and one we lived in (he still does ) . He refused to pay me any more money unless I signed the paper . Yes it was a financial settlement in court . And my preference is that he pays the rest of the money he owes to my kids then I will sign the houses over
Expert:  F E Smith replied 7 months ago.

Thank you. I assume that at the time of the signing of this other piece of paper, you didn’t take any legal advice.

You should have taken him back to court to enforce the order and given proof of what he was now coercing you into doing. Anything that you have signed under pressure is not legally enforceable.

However you are going to have to prove that you signed it under pressure/duress and to do that it’s probably going to be relatively easy because there will be a paper trail of the payments coming out of his bank account and into yours and therefore he’s going to have to prove how he paid the balance.

You may find that a strongly worded letter from a solicitor threatening a court application and an application for costs, may focus the mind without actually the need to get to court.

Check your house insurance to see if you have legal expenses cover that would pay for the legal cost of taking this to court.

He may think that he has been smart but in all honesty, he has not been smart enough.

Because this is over 6 years ago, you are going to have to have the consent of the court to make the application for enforcement.

If he is pressing you to sign the houses over, then that is good because it puts you in the driving seat.

It is unlikely there is legal aid for this but if you succeed in any court proceedings, because this is as a result of his unreasonable behaviour, you should get all the court costs and solicitors costs awarded against him.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

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Thank you.

If you still need any points clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

Best wishes.