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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 23754
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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My ex husband is taking me to court to take my home. We’ve

Customer Question

My ex husband is taking me to court to take my home. We’ve had the first hearing and his solicitor no doubt doesn’t expect any award from me. There has been no invitation to a second hearing despite being well overdue. My question is: how long can he leave me in limbo like this before it is concluded I.e the case closed with no award and how can I achieve this if he never proceeds to the second hearing?
JA: What steps has your ex-husband taken? Has he filed any papers in family court?
Customer: Yes we’ve exchanged financial statements and answers to further questions. His solicitor is working for nothing to be paid at from his award but now I guess his solicitor is refusing to continue without payment as my evidence suggests he’ll get nothing. Is there a time limit that I can impose on him to proceed before it could be thrown out of court? And how can I make this happen? I have no legal aid or representation.
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county does your ex-husband live in?
Customer: Hereford
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I don’t know
Submitted: 20 days ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 20 days ago.

Hello. Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to assist you with this today.

Please bear with me as I will be online and off-line from time to time and therefore, may be delayed getting back to you. You will receive an email when I reply.

Can you tell me what is the issue with the marital home?
and how long has this been going on?

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
We separated in 2011. He started divorce proceedings in 2014. He never concluded it so I paid for the decree absolute in 2019. Then he waited for my parents to die and my youngest to reach 18 and started financial claim a year ago. The second hearing was supposed to be 10 weeks after March 2 but I’ve not been given a date yet. I’m guessing he isn’t proceeding because it is so unlikely to succeed but I can’t stand another 7 years of limbo. How long before I can get this thrown out of court if he doesn’t proceed and how do I go about it?
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
The marital home was mine before he moved in. It was a 29 month marriage before he was removed by the police for domestic violence. I’ve demonstrated that he contributed nothing and also that I supported him and paid his debts during that time. I’ve also evidenced all the lies he told on his financial statement.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 20 days ago.

On the understanding that the house is jointly owned:

No one can be compelled to continue to own a property which they no longer wish to own and they are able to force a sale through the courts if necessary.

The remedy is to make an application to court for an order for sale under section 14 of the Trusts of Land Appointment of Trustees Act (the Act).

Anyone wishing to sell 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 having the need to get to court.

If I were advising anyone who has received a letter threatening an application to court under the Act and an application for legal costs, I would tell them to get the agents sign up immediately and cooperate with the sale because if they make the court application, they are likely to get it and they are likely to get costs awarded against them.that’s my advice to you.

It would be completely different if you had children under 18.

It’s not really a case of how long he can spin  it out for,it’s a case of how long the legal process takes.  The longer it goes on the more legal costs are going to be awarded against you and you could easily end up being on the receiving end of a legal bill from him of GBP30,000 so if you have no children under 18, my advice to you would be to get the house on the market immediately.

If however it isn’t jointly owned it would depend on how long you had been together for, before you got married because you don’t say whether the children who are now over 18, are children of the relationship/marriage.the longer the marriage, even if the property is not in joint names, the bigger the claim he has against it.

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
It is not jointly owned. I told you it was mine before our 29 month marriage. He’s rocked up 10 years later to take it from my children. They are not his children. I told you he started divorce proceedings in 2014 and I finished the process in 2019. He contributed nothing. As I said. I’ve evidenced his lies to the court. My question is: if he never invites me to a second hearing how long will this go on before I can ask the court to kick it out and how do I go about this?
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
I’ll try to explain again. It’s my house. He’s lied about his contributions. He is not proceeding to the second hearing because his solicitor will no longer work for free on the understanding he will get paid at the end. My ex will not pay for the second hearing. How long until I can ask the court to throw it out if he stops paying his solicitor. I want to know the timescale and how I resolve this if he never continues proceedings as he did with the divorce. I want an end to this not a forever limbo. As it stands I can never move on. I can’t live with anybody else because he could rock up another 10 years later and pursue the 2 of us. How to I put an end to this if he doesn’t take it to the next hearing?
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
he’s taking me to court to take my home. He’s not invited me to a second hearing and is not likely to. How long until I can put a stop to this if he never invites me to a second hearing. That is the question? And how do I go about it?
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
I just want to know if he continues to delay proceedings how can I bring this to an end.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 20 days ago.

You told me it was yours before the 29 month marriage, but you didn’t tell me what happened afterwards because many people get married and transfer the property into joint names.

It would be the court that sends you notice of any hearings.

If he refuses to go ahead with this, then you need to take control and if he does not turn up any hearings, and it’s likely to go in your favour by default.

How long is this likely to go on?  It could be settled very quickly or it could be 14 months if not years depending on how cooperative awkward he is.if you are waiting for him to make an application, it’s going to be longer than if you take control.if he doesn’t take it to the next hearing, then you take it.

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
How do I do that?
Expert:  Stuart J replied 19 days ago.

I haven’t seen all the paperwork you have received so I don’t know how far down the line he has gone with his financial order but you could always make your own application.

here are the notes from the government on how to apply for a financial order:

https://www.lawteacher.net/cases/financial-matters-on-divorce.php

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
I can’t see how to make a financial order myself with no solicitor from your link. How do I actually actively take control of this situation with no solicitor and very little money?
Expert:  Stuart J replied 19 days ago.

Here are some notes from the government

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/i-want-to-apply-for-a-financial-order-d190

On applying for a financial order

This is the form you need to start the process: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/885814/form-a-eng.pdf

And how you go on from there depends on whether you agree with what is happening with the finances or whether you are going to have an argument.