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

My wife has appointed a solicitor to help her file for

This answer was rated:

My wife has appointed a solicitor to help her file for Divorce. In her absence I have discovered that she had inherited £27,000 and failed to notify;
1. A debt management firm looking after our affairs
2. Claimed benefits without notifying them of her inheritance.
Can her solicitor still help her with her file for divorce or is it a legal obligation for the solicitor to abstain from representing her?

Hi, thank you for your question. What stage of the divorce have you reached?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry IT trouble! As far as I'm aware it was filed under irretrievable breakdown. Paperwork relating to Family court was sent but i mislaid it whereby her solicitor asked for acknowledgment of receipt. I advised in the meantime that she had committed fraud and that they should forward me a copy of the paperwork but have not heard anything for 2 weeks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have a letter dated 11th july from her solicitors confirming divorce proceedings and advice that i should receive paperwork from the court. I did but this was mislaid. since then I've heard nothing whilst in the ,meantime I've been advising her solicitors of her impending investigation for fraud.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did tell her solicitors that i had mislaid the paperwork and requested a further copy and as i say heard nothing for two weeks.

Have either of you pursued an application for financial relief arising out of the marriage, or have there been any negotiations regarding a financial settlement?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
None as yet.
I did contact CMS regarding child maintenance which infuriated her. She then advised me that any further negotiations had to be done through her solicitor. In the meantime CMS then decided that my claim although agreed had to be cancelled as I was not currently in receipt of child benefit or the like. Since then I have received no financial help from her or the government. Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As you can imagine its been hectic trying to get financial help from those that should do so.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The consequences arising from the file for divorce are as follows:
She had intentions of leaving me and taking my children away from me and selling the house (shared ownership).
In her absence i then discovered her fraud whereby I confronted her about this.
She videod me on her mobile phone stating the reasons foe asking her to leave the household.
She threatened me afterwards that she would use the video in a way that I would be embarrased but as I felt threatened i forcebly took the phone and dropped it into the toilet! I had also confiscated her laptop as evidence of her use to commit fraud.
Given this, she filed for divorce on the grounds of irretrievable breakdown.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In the meantime I have advised her employer of her fraud. The debt management team who are asking for evidence of this despite her offering an early settlement to close the agreement down, the Benefits system who are now investigating her claims.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am left with my youngest therefore i am a lone parent. We have shared equity of 25% in our housing association property which Im trying to get her to sign over her 12.5% share to me for the benefit of my 12year old.

Thanks for the further information. Firstly, as there are no financial relief proceedings, she has no obligation to provide full and frank financial disclosure to you or her solicitors. The divorce proceedings do not need such financial disclosure.

In relation to the child maintenance, you can contact the relevant benefit agency to inform them that you now have sole care of the child and to request child benefit be transferred to your name - you would then be able to apply to claim child maintenance from her.

In relation to the home, as you are married and have a child together, it is not a clear cut 50-50 split of assets. 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. For your information the criteria considered by the court in these matters 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.
HiThank for the info. Unfortunately I've not received the expected answer to my original question.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Which was 'Does a solicitor have a legal obligation to discontinue his representation of a client once he then is advised that the client is being investigated for Fraud?

Apologies for that - the solicitor does not necessarily have to discontinue acting for a client if that client is being investigated for fraud. If there has been intentional deceit or dishonesty by the client towards their legal team, it is for the legal team to decide if there has been a breakdown in their relationship to merit cessation of acting, but in the circumstances you have outlined I do not think this is met.

I hope this assists you. 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 your question without a positive rating. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Than you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Rather...Thank you!

Hi, I note you have left a negative rating. Please could you confirm what you are not happy about so that I can provide you with all the information you require to resolve this matter.

Harris and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you