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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34885
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Hi, my ex husband and I have been negotiating our financial

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Hi, my ex husband and I have been negotiating our financial settlement via our solicitors. He is now refusing to engage with his solicitor and saying he will only settle when he gets what he wants, backing me in to a corner against the advice of my solicitor and I presume, it must be against his own, since he is not returning any of her calls.
He is possibly going to be made bankrupt and refusing to complete the financial matters so that me and our two children (7 & 4) can stay in the FMH - with me taking over the mortgage.
We have been trying to negotiate privately since he won't speak with his solicitor but it is not a negotiation - simply him making demands that if I don't agree to, he won't carry on and wants to leave everything open to risk.
He chose to leave the FMH a year ago after meeting someone else and moving in with them.
Is there nothing I can do?
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How far has the divorce reached?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Decree nisi has been granted.

I am living in the FMH with our two children and am their main carer. He sees them once a week and is reluctant to increase that care.

He is going to be paying minimal child maintenance and had agreed to handing over the equity in the FMH in order than I would stay here and take over the mortgage.

My solicitor insisted on a nominal maintenance charge, he refused. We suggested it again with a termed order until my youngest is 13 or that we use an arbitrator to make the decision.

Since we sent that letter, his solicitor sent him a draft letter to approve and he has refused to respond - not even contacting his solicitor after her leaving daily messages.

I need a letter to be signed before I get my remortgage offer, saying that he will have no future interest in the property - since the financial settlement has not yet been sealed at court.

There is the threat of him becoming bankrupt after some poor financial decisions he has made since we separated - my name is ***** ***** in any of them. There is currently one interim charging order against our house with the hearing set for October so we were all working towards sealing the financial order by then so that the house is ring fenced but he is refusing to co operate.

He has told me he has received a bankruptcy petition a week ago, but neither me or his solicitor has seen this and thus far nothing is showing on the insolvencies register or the Land charges register.

Against the advice of my solicitor but in order to close things, he wants me to agree to remove the nominal maintenance order and only when that and the childrens access arrangements are agreed and filed at court, will he sign the letter for the remortgage (By which point the order will be sufficient anyway), but there is very real threat of bankruptcy coming up first.

I feel bullied in to doing something that isn't in my best interests just to get the house secured which is in my best interests. However, i know that he will continue with this line of attack in his involvement with the children. He claims he wants to see them, but refuses to have them in any holidays or for anything outside of his 24hr period from Sat eve to Sun eve.

I have requested that he put his requests in writing via his solicitor but he says I need to do it.

I believe his solicitor has possibly advised that the nominal maintenance options we suggested were reasonable, but since this doesn't suit his requirements, he is now disengaged.

Similarly the same was the case when we went to mediation. He refused to go after the second time because it wasn't getting the results he wanted.

Can he really dictate so much, and yet still claim parental responsibility and where we live etc?

How much is the property worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Property value is between £600 & £700k.

Mortgage is £250k

What income do you each have?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He earns £32k now. I am newly self employed so my income is variable.

We've been through the division of equity etc but he is not engaging and there seems to be nothing I can do.

How much did you earn last year?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
About £4k
Is the nominal maintenance order the only issue between you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

As above, he is refusing to engage and will set his own terms about the children as well.

The biggest point is that he is just ignoring us until we agree to his terms.

I thought that if I agreed to remove the nominal maintenance he would give us a lump sum as this is what he suggested, but now he has changed his mind and will only sign anything when it fits his agenda to remove the nominal maintenance charge and when he has set out how and when he will see his children.

How was the original purchase funded?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We both had equity which we put down and had a joint mortgage as well.My biggest issue is my rights if he doesn't co operate.

I appreciate that - but does he have a large pension that you are giving up your share of?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He doesn't have a pension.

However, he sold his company and then worked for the purchasing company on an earn out basis. Under their ownership, the company went in to liquidation.

They prevented him from working within his industry for 2 years under contract (even though they had gone in to liquidation). He is in litigation with them and there is a chance he could win between £50k and £400k.

He also owns a share in a warehouse, worth approx £125k.

I am redeeming my interest in these two assets.

His current job, is working for a company that he and his current girlfriend incorporated in February this year. She is the Director, he is the employee. His salary is low. They live together. Presumably any profit they make will be drawn down by her but enjoyed by both parties.

If he is in Litigation with a possibility of that kind of return is he the type to risk it by going Bankrupt?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I don't understand the implications of that.
We are lead to believe the litigation only has a 5% chance of being successful.
If he were to be declared bankrupt, would he be unable to accept any winnings then?
Whilst working for the purchasing company, he signed around £50k of personal guarantees which are the threatening charges and bankruptcy petitions.
If he goes bankrupt then no he would not receive anything that was awarded by the court (if anything was) .
I have to be honest and say that whilst I understand why your solicitor is suggesting a nominal maintenance order, the capital deal that you are getting means that it is not unreasonable for your ex to say that he is buying out and spouse maintenance liability.
Indeed that would make it more likely that the Order would survive a Bankruptcy without challenge
On that basis I would be minded to concede that request
However if you do not wish to do that then the next step is to file a Form A and trigger the Court timetable for the determination of the Financial issues.
This should focus your ex's mind on bringing matters to a conclusion sooner rather than later
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks Clare, I was unaware of that.

However, my problem still remains that even with me conceding the nominal maintenance issue, he is still disengaging from the process and my fear of issuing a form A is that he will go ahead on that basis and neither of us have any money to pursue a court case. He is a very stubborn character.

He is going to hold this bankruptcy over all of our agreements - children included, and something on which we are still not agreed.

However, I think you are saying that if there is a real threat of bankruptcy then he would lose everything too so he would do well to avoid bankruptcy, and in which case if he is not hurrying the process along since he is disengaging, then there probably is limited threat to him going bankrupt?

Either way I have no idea how to deal with someone who doesn't respond to anyone including his own solicitor.

What is the disagreement over the children?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
He simply won't engage in agreeing to a long term access arrangement. He sees them once a week at the mo which was an interim arrangement.
We almost agreed on every Weds from 5pm taking the boys back to school on the Thurs and then every other weekend from Fri at 6pm til Sunday at 6pm.
I asked him when he would like to have them in the holidays and that if one of his weekends fell on a Bank Holiday, could he keep them until the Monday.
At this point he decided to stop interacting saying he wasn't going to have them for any of the holidays (he has employee holiday entitlement) and that since I was adding things in he was no longer going to engage and stick with the current arrangement.
He has always been inflexible to swapping days at the weekend etc if we had an engagement with my family.
When does he currently see them?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Currently Sat 5pm to Sun 6pm.

If he is being petitioned for bankruptcy, does that mean he wouldn't even be able to hand over his share of the equity and so it is an empty offer?

Do you want the contact to be alternate weekend so that you have the children for a weekend?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Then if he is refusing to agree a new system simply write and say that from now on you will have alternate weekends with the children and that if he wishes to have extra time with them then he can have the time previously agreed
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