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Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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This enquiry is on behalf of my fiancé Paula, she has asked

Customer Question

This enquiry is on behalf of my fiancé Paula, she has asked me to look for legal advice on her behalf.
She was with her previous partner for 23 years, married for 17 of them. They had two children together. He was very controlling, intimidating, and a bully to Paula and their children, to the point that he chose what they did, what they wore, who they talked to etc. He was a serial adulterer.
Once the children were old enough Paula wanted to end the relationship. he intimidated and harassed her relentlessly. He intimidated Paula into leaving the family home with their youngest daughter, making them homeless. Several weeks later his lover’s parents moved into the family home and started to pay him rent. Eventually Paula found the strength to report him to the police. For harassment.
The police feared for her safety and took the matter so seriously that they skipped the usual warnings etc. and served him with a harassment/ restraining order straight away.
Paula was a shell of a woman and when it came to the matter the divorce, and the division of assets. He told her that he would give her £15,000 for her share of the family home (a fraction of what she should have got), and that if she didn’t comply he would drag the divorce out and cause her problems. Due to more than two decades of emotion, verbal and some physical abuse Paula had no fight in her, and agreed but only so that she could get him out of her life.
Paula used the money she got to set up a new home for herself and their youngest daughter.
Paula split from her ex nearly 4 years ago, they have been divorced nearly 3 years.
He has barely contributed to the dad to day living of their youngest daughter.
He claims that he can’t afford it, but manages to haves a lavish lifestyle. For over 12 months, whilst his lover’s parents lived her family home, he and his lover lived in a £1200.00pm rented penthouse. holidaying in America several times a year, weekends away, buying brand new cars for him and his partner, buying horses and greyhounds, eating out at expensive restaurants several times a week etc. Me and Paula both work full time and we just get by. Understandably this upsets her, and she feels stupid for not being strong enough to stop it happening. she is getting her fight back and remembering things.
One of the things that she remembers is that he did not declare his business assets to the court at the time of the divorce, she also remembers that he had more than £125.000 in the business account which he didn’t declare. Paula has applied to the court for copies of his declaration regarding assets which confirm that he kept it hidden.
He paid his divorce settlement of £15.000 to Paula the next day from his business account
At this time, he is a self-employed driving instructor, he is also a semi-professional singer in clubs. None of his earnings made as a singer are declared
Paula’s questions are
1. can she be reimbursed for the reduced equity payment in her family home that she received due to the abuse and harassment that she was subject to at the time of the divorce.
2. Does she have any claims to the business assets that were not declared at the time of divorce.
3. How does she go about it?
4. Is she eligible for her case to be taken on a no win no fee basis?
5. If not will her legal costs be paid by him when she wins her case
I look forward to your reply.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thank you for your questions. Just a bit more information to provide you with a full answer:-Was the financial settlement approved by the court in the form of an order detailing the settlement, if so when was it granted?-how old are the children?-has she remarried?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
as they wanted a fee per page, she has only applied for his declaration, I can only assume that the court made an order based on what was in front of them, and that there was no objection at that time
at the time of separation their oldest was 18. she has cystic fibrosis so was in hospital most of the time, the youngest was 14.
me and paula are due to be married this august, he is set to marry june next year.
hope this helps
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Thanks - was she aware of his non-disclosure of assets at the time of signing the consent order?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
absolutely not
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
How did she become aware of it?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it never entered her mind at first, it was her family that suggested it to her. she then applied to the court and they confirmed it
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. In response to your specific questions:1. Abuse and harassment will not be considered a factor in relation to the financial settlement unless it can be proven that there is undue influence or coercion or he has committed financial abuse.2.+3. In relation to the undisclosed business assets I would suggest that she obtains his full disclosure from the court as this will be necessary in order to fully confirm if he concealed his assets at the time. I appreciate that this may cost her a bit more but it will be required if she were to apply to court regarding his non-disclosure. If the full disclosure comes back and he did in fact not disclose his full asset position, then she will have grounds for the court to review the agreement/order that was made to settle the financial matter. In order to be successful in varying the settlement one thing she will need to demonstrate that had he disclosed his full financial position the court's decision would have been different.4.+5. This will not be a no-win no-fee type of case and she will have to pay a solicitor to deal with. Given the complexity of these type of matters it will likely be expensive. The court has the power to award a costs order if it is found that his conduct has caused unnecessary legal expense - but this is never guaranteed. If you have any further questions regarding this please let me know. In the meantime if you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Hi, this question remains open. If you found my information provided helpful please could you rate my response positively as I will not be credited for my response without a positive rating.