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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34910
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Hi My friend is going through a divorce and at a December

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My friend is going through a divorce and at a December 2012 court hearing, it was agreed that they would split the finances 75/25 in her favour (finances just equal a property). Heads of Agreement were written up and signed but now her ex husband is disputing it saying he now wants a clause written in that states a time frame when she will remove him from the mortgage. She can't do this as it's impossible to know when she will be able to take over the mortgage (she's been on benefits since they split in 2010 and only just got a part time job paying minimum wage). She spoke to the mortgage company but they confirmed they would not remove him and they have also sent a letter to him stating this. At a hearing in February (to hear the Heads of Agreement), the judge said he didn't have time to fully hear her ex's reasons and therefore advised another court date would need to be set and in the meantime her ex was advised to send his reasons for wanting a time frame included to my friend by 26 February; she was then to respond and then a new court date would be set. He has missed the deadline and no contact has been made by his solicitors (she is acting for herself as she can no longer afford representation now legal aid has ceased due to her starting work). Can she push forward with this directly to the court? Or does she need to contact her ex's solicitors to chase them up? They've been incredibly slack and wasted a lot of time and will not push forward with the actual divorce until the finances are sorted but is there anything my friend can do to push things along? Thanks
Who agreed the split?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

They mutually agreed to split but he started the divorce proceedings.

court cannot order him or her removed from the mortgage unless the lender consents
Although it can order him or her to be removed from the title deeds.

can order an x to pay the mortgage however, and to indemnify him/her against
any claims by the lender, but it does not stop the lender pursuing them both.

If she
is acting for herself and he has solicitors, then she can deal with this
herself and she can tell them that unless they respond to correspondence, she
will make the necessary application to court herself. If she thinks that he is
being obstructive, she can apply to court for an "unless order" which is an
order that says that unless he deals with something by a particular date, then
something else will happen.

not certain if that answers your question. I am happy to expand and answer any
further points

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The thread remains open for us to continue this exchange

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks. When you say she can make the necessary application to court herself if he doesn't provide his correspondence - what application are you referring to and what will she need to provide? Just her reasons why she can't give a time limit to get him removed from the mortgage?


If she applies for the Unless Order and a deadline is set, what will happen if he fails to meet this deadline?

Which particular aspect of the divorce are you referring to? The house?

Will the lender consent to the mortgage change?

Are there any children involved and if so how old are they?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

2 children, 11 and 6

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I am referring to the house. Do you mean she can apply for a Unless Order seeing as he has missed the original deadline and then if he fails to meet the deadline on the Unless Order there will be consequences? If so what are the consequences?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Are you still there?

For clarity does your friend have any immediate plans to remarry/cohabit?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.


In that case he ex would not be able to force a sale of the property until the youngest child of the family was 18 - or she chose to remarry/cohabit.
That being the case she may wish to offer this as a long stop date.
If so she should write to the solicitors and suggest this and give a three week time limit for a response after which she will apply to the court for the matter to be set down for a final hearing.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

We already know this and have offered this but he's refused.


Can you please answer my earlier question:


Can she apply for an Unless Order seeing as her ex has missed the original deadline?


or should she write to his solicitors first and set her own deadline but state if this also fails to be met then she will apply to the court for the Unless Order?

She doe snot need to apply for an Unless Order at all.
She writes and re-offers that long stop and gives them three weeks to deal with it and after that she simply writes to the courts and asks them to re list the matter for the next hearing
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

As I've said, this has already been offered and he will not accept a time period of more than 24 months and therefore nothing is moving to get this resolved.


At the hearing in February he was advised to send her his reasons for wanting a time period set and then she has to respond to this and then a court date is set. He has missed the deadline and no contact has been made.


Can she apply to the court for an Unless Order to force him to provide the information he's supposed to?

She does not need to do so
She can simply ask the court to list the matter for the final hearing - it is his problem that he has not given the reasons and he will have to explain himself to the court.
Your friend has nothing to fear from the court

Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34910
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks Claire.

You are most welcome - good luck