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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35042
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Can you explain to me the section 37 of Matrimonial act and

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Can you explain to me the section 37 of Matrimonial act and how to apply and whether third parties should be served or just the respondent ?
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** I shall do my best to help youWhat is it that you are trying to achieve?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

I have been advised that I should consider making an application under s37, I want to know how it works and who should be served.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
And please could you also tell me if there is a deadline for making the application, the final hearing is in 5 months. Thanks
What is it that you need to prevent your ex from doing?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't understand, s 37 purpose is to prevent one party from dealing with assets, no?
Yes but what specific asset is the cause of concern and what is the potential risk?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Can you answer my question first please
I cannot answer it without have some idea of what assets are involved - without knowing that I cannot say who needs to be served
I could give you a general overview if you would prefer
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Can you answer my question, it is clear what I want, besides I mention third parties so it means that the respondent has involved other persons by putting assets on their name and charges during the proceedings + he sold properties
A S37 applictaion is a serious matter which can rebound badly on the applicant if it is unjustified.It CAN be made without giving any notice whatsoever to the other party although doing so increases the risk of a refusal -and a possible Order that the applicant pays the costsIf the application goes beyond one to PREVENT dealings and is also effective as an application to set aside a dealing alreadycompleted then yes the other party - the new owner/holder or the asset will have to be given notice and given a chance to put their argument to the CourtIt is essential that any application is backed by a full Statement giving details of how the applicant became aware of the assets aand the proposed disposal - and undertaking with regard to costs will also have to be givenI suspect you need further information - it would be helpful if you could let me know which areas you would like me to expandClare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
And what is the latest an application can be made before the final hearing?
The application can be made at any time up to the final hearing assuming that there is reason to suspect a transaction is imminentIndeed arguably it could be made at any time up to the Judgement being given although it is hard to see how it would be worthwhileat such a late point
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If I do not make the application, will the judge at the final hearing disregard my evidence that the respondent intentionally intended to defeat / reduce my financial remedy claim?
Not at all - the Judge would still take account of it - and the fact that you chose not to take precipitate action
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Could you please explain how a judge could consider an application unjustified since the section 37 deals with the intentions of one party who has to prove that what they did was not meant to affect the financial remedy
All the actions taken by the respondent have been done during the divorce proceedings, not before, isn't that a serious justification for the application ?
It is hard to answer that without knowing more specifics about the case.One reason could be if the information that proves the intention came form a source that is notacceptable to the court (going through his private safe)Another could be if there were sufficient other assets left that could be used in the settlement which more than balance the assets disposed ofAnother is that there was a long history of assets being acquired and disposed of as part of the normal business dealings.None of these may apply to you - but they are reasons!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No private safe, he started putting assets on others names after I filed for divorce, he started selling assets something he has not been doing for years, the third parties are friends of his...etc
All should be well then - it seems to be a clear pattern of conduct
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Clare, is it OK if I get back to you tomorrow in order to check I haven't forgotten anything and then rate your answer?
of course
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Great, good night.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Clare, I am litigant in person and the respondent's counsel has given me a deadline for making the application, is this acceptable by court?
What deadline have they given?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
30 September, and after that they say the court will not deal with any such application should I wish to make one!
When is the final hearing?Why are THEY giving a deadline - it is up to you if you think there is a risk
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
In about 5/6 months, not listed yet.
They brought the subject during a previous hearing ( related to respondent not complying with orders) and would like a judge to make it an order
So he has been disposing of assets - are there more assets in his sole name that he can dispose of - and are they more valuable then the assets he cannot dispose of?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes there are still assets and among them is the matrimonial home.
Are they all in his sole name
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes they are
Have you registered your Matrimonial Home Rights and how much is the equity
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't understand where your questions are leading to. Would a judge out a deadline to section 37 application?
The issue is how much is at risk and is the applictaion really necessarySo if there is substantial equity in the Matrimonial Home - more than enough to cover a settlement - and that is safethen the Judge will be less sympathetic to an applictaion than if the opposite is trueHowever on a generic basis it is not for the other side to set deadlines for such applications - and you are free to make one at any timeuntil the final hearing
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for this clarification.
But would a judge put a deadline and why? And what could be the reason for the other side to bring this matter to the attention of the judge?
The judge is unlikely to set a deadline - and frankly they are simply trying to frighten you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So what was their interest in talking about s37 to the judge who was not at all dealing with that ?
What did the Judge say when they raised it - did he ask you your plans?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes and they've been informed that I was worried about the costs and possible financial consequences and I was thinking about it. So I don't understand that a deadline can be put on such an application. As you said it is a serious matter so why would a judge pressurise a person to take a decision and make up her mind so quickly. Does this benefit the respondent ?
Did the Judge tell you personally that there was a deadline?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I haven't heard that from the judge.
I thought not.You are being bullied by the lawyers - I apologise on behalf of my profession.Ignore them and decide what to do based on what is right for YOUR case
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