How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Harris Your Own Question
Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
Type Your Law Question Here...
Harris is online now

I have been divorced over 20 yrs. I had a pittance of a

This answer was rated:

I have been divorced over 20 yrs. I had a pittance of a settlement and never had any legal advice. I left him and took our two kids. I was desperate and naive and he took advantage of this. Me and our kids lives on the poverty line for 16 yrs. I signed papers for little pittances' of money just to get through desperate times. I have struggled through my life , raised our kids and now feel like pay back! We had a home which he still owns, when I left it was worth 70k plus insurances and life policies etc. There is much more to thus story, I just want to know if it's all too late to su him to a settlement or compensation? For 16 yrs if our marriage and the other 26 yrs of poverty.

Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:

-Are you in England or Wales?

-Was the settlement approved by the court in a court order?

-Have you remarried?

-How old are the children?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I never had a solicitor as like I said I had no one to go to for advice. I was married at 16 and never had money of my own all through the 16 yrs of marriage. I was taken advantage of terribly when I left, I realised this years after the fact. I am now 53 and think I deserve some kind of closure........
I live in England
Not re married
Kids are grown now
It went through courts nut I never saw a solicitor or never went to court, he did it all and bought oaoers for me to sign
I received aprox 7 k in little bits and pieces
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We married in 78
Left in 94
Divorce final in 2000

Thank you for confirming. In order to have a financial settlement approved by a court you do not necessarily require a solicitor and if it is agreed without court proceedings, then there are no court hearings to attend as the court will have considered the settlement based on the paperwork. Did you received any court orders regarding the settlement?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No , the only paperwork I saw was what he brought to me to sign. I had no witnesses to the signed papers
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do have some of the papers still
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The house was in both our names. I signed that over to him without legal assistance too �� . I signed that out of desperation because I needed a bit of money for food and furniture for a home I had started renting for me and kids

Can you attach the paperwork that you have?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
when I get from work about 3pm


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can't find anything on here to send attachment. It's got add files but that not working.

Have you tried the paperclip button?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No paperclip button. Leave it with me ill figure it out
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What time do I have until?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Think that's done it?��

There is no time limit. Let me consider the documents and get back to you

Thanks for the documents. Are there any court documents as these are only letters from his solicitors?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'll have a look. But I'm sure I never had any only the divorce absolute...........dont know if this makes a difference, but during our marriage we gad 2 endowment policies 14k and 59k. He popped to mine one day as I needed help with bailiffs. He gave me the endowment and said can you sign this endowment and that half of it is mine. He assured me it wouldn't amount to much. I signed it because u was skint as usual. Several months later I asked where my share was, he said 'oh it didn't even amount to 1k , but I suspect it amounted to more than that , more like 15kplus.......surely I am entitled to a share of those endowments, even if I signed them?

Thanks. If no court order was made to approve the financial settlement and you have not remarried, you would still be entitled to pursue an application to court for financial relief.

Initially this should be attempted through mediation - you can find independent mediators here: If a settlement is agreed this can be submitted to court under a consent order (together with a D81 form outlining your respective financial positions).

If mediation does not progress you should then proceed with an application to court under Form A for financial relief once the divorce petition has been issued.

You will both need to provide each other with full and frank financial and income disclosure, as well as disclosure of your reasonable needs. The Court's starting point is a 50-50 split of all matrimonial assets and ensuring that both your needs are met in relation to both assets and income. The criteria considered is:

1. The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future, including in the case of earning capacity any increase in that capacity which it would in the opinion of the court be reasonable to expect a party to the marriage to take steps to acquire;
2. The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
3. The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;
4. The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;
5. Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;
6. The contributions which each of the parties has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family, including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family;
7. The conduct of each of the parties, if that conduct is such that it would in the opinion of the court be inequitable to disregard it;
8. In the case of proceedings for divorce or nullity of marriage, the value to each of the parties to the marriage of any benefit which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage, that party will lose the chance of acquiring.

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 using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it does not matter how many years have passed?

Legally, no the only way to end any potential claims against each other is remarriage of the potential applicant, a court order approving a settlement or the death of the potential application.

Harris and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Cheers ***** ***** help. You have given me all the info I needed.Donna

I hope it goes well. If you have any questions in the future you can ask for me directly by starting your question For Harris