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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35058
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I have been divorced for 12 years My divorce was handled by

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I have been divorced for 12 years
My divorce was handled by a family solicitor. It was recommended to me that the pension sharing should be left until after the divorce.
To cut a long story short this has still not been completed despite my chasing the solicitor every few months. I was told that it was taking a long time due to court proceedings which would make an order for the sharing to take place.
I have moved house and job 3 times in 4 years and maybe have taken my eye off the ball somewhat. I did make a complaint to the senior partner in 2010 and was assured it would be resolved within 4 - 8 weeks.
I have now made a further complaint and the case has been taken over by the senior partner, from what I can gather no progress whatsoever has been made with the case. My ex husband with whom I have no contact does not have a solicitor and they do not have an address for him. I have searched the electoral roll myself and paid to find his address for them.
I approached the ombudsman but am obviously out of time for them to become involved. The stress and anxiety has led me to be unwell with anxiety and depression resulting in medication and counselling and having to take time off work. I have explained all of this to the company but seem to be wading through treacle.
When I married-the a financial advisor said that I did not need a pension as my husband's pension would be more than enough for us both.
I find I am now approaching 60 with no prospect of being able giving up work.
My ex husband was addicted to gambling and my fear is that he has received the lump sum and pension for some years now and I will not be able to claim it back.
When my father died the original solicitor held back £2000 to pay legal expenses for the divorce and pension sharing.
I have made it clear that I do not expect to be charged any more and in fact may seek compensation from the group.
Do you feel the solicitors have acted reasonably?
Am I within my rights to suggest compensation?
Should I be doing anything else?
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Do you mean that none of the Financial issues were dealt with?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No issues were addressed. My ex husband only made a few payments to support our 3 children. The solicitor said she wanted to sort everything informally but nothing ever happened.

I completed 3 declarations re my salary and details of my small pension payments I have made over the last 10 requested and sent them to her.

I am more than a little concerned.
Please confirm which part of the UK you were divorced in.
Please confirm that you have not remarried
Also - again for clarity - there has been no formal financial application within the divorce
What assets and debts were there
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I was divorced in North Wales which is where I was married.

I have not remarried but do live with a partner

I left the matrimonial home which was later sold and I did receive a share of the equity

There have been no formal financial arrangements apart from that.

My one and only concern is the pension sharing issue as I become older and want to plan ahead I really need to know if I am realistically going to receive my part of the pension to which I am entitled.


What was the split of the equity - what percentage did you receive?
How long were you living together?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi I was married for 21 years

The equity in the house was split 50/50

I dread to ask - have your solicitors actually done anything at all?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I don't believe that they have and that I have been lied to about progress.

I have copies of emails where I have been given time scales but they have never been met. The judge has had a heart attack and everything is behind, solicitor has a cancer scare, on holiday, cant get a reply from other solicitors, waiting for court hearing, judge suggests trying informal resolution are just some of the things I have been told over the years. As I said this solicitor was valued by my late parents and I have been very reluctant to keep chasing them, have reached breaking point now though

Have you seen any paperwork that is meant to have come from the court relating to the Financial matters?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No. Nothing

Do you by any chance still have a copy of the your original divorce petition?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm not sure and will need to check and get back to you

That is fine
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I can;t find anything and don't think I ever had the paperwork

Do you still have your Decree Absolute?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Then your starting point is to contact the Court and ask if any Financial applications have been made.
I fear we both know the answer, but either way ask then to forward you a copy of the original petition - and, if I am wrong, a copy of the latest orders made within the financial application
However I have to be honest and say that any financial Order should have been made prior to or just after the Decree Absolute - and Pension Sharing Orders especially need to be done promptly.
Once you have the details from the court you can decide the way forward
The starting point will be to recover your file so that it can be reviewed by another solicitor to see what has actually been done.
An application can then be made and if you have in fact lost out then a negligence claim can be made
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much - at least I know where to start now


You are welcome - although I fear the next few months will be difficult
Clare and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you