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JeremyT1020
JeremyT1020,
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I am currently going through a divorce, and now reside in a

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I am currently going through a divorce, and now reside in a hotel in Bournemouth, Dorset.My soon to be ex wife effectively kicked me out of the family home. In order to be rid of me she applied for an Non Molestation Occupation Order (Aug 2020). However, her witness statement was a fabrication of complete lies and exaggerations, and parts of it were clearly not her own work. I submitted evidence to the court proving the above, but at the Directions Hearing (Oct 2020) the judge simply asked me if I was contesting the order, without any reference to my submissions.I chose not to contest the order on the basis that a) I couldn't afford it (I was having to pay my wife's costs as well) and b) it would serve no benefit to anyone other than proving my point that most of her statement was false. So instead I made an undertaking to the court in lieu of an order.I then awaited divorce papers. Having heard nothing for a couple of months I submitted my own petition to the court in mid December. At the same time I sent my wife's solicitor an email indicating that I was prepared to walk away with nothing more than my personal possessions, and that I would pay for the legal documentation, but each party should then pay their own legal costs. My reasoning behind making such an offer was that my wife had been living with a benign brain tumour for 10 years before I knew her, and as I didn't want to cause her any additional stress; furthermore the marriage had only been for 3 years.A few weeks later I received a typed agreement which I duly signed. I then received a statement of my wife's financial position and was asked to complete my side. I have to admit that I was surprised at the size of my wife's financial wealth (£750,000) in comparison to my own (£90,000).I have now found out from my mother-in-law that my wife's tumour has turned malignant and she has started a program of intravenous chemotherapy. This change to her tumour could explain her complete change in personality around the time she wanted me to leave the family home and to seek a divorce (change of character is a known and documented side effect of a benign tumour turning malignant).We had been cohabitating since early 2015, and after the conclusion of her first divorce, she bought a bungalow in Sept 2015. After I spent time making improvements and decorating, we moved in together with her two teenage daughters (now aged 20 and 16) in the spring of 2016. Over the next four years I spent considerable time, effort and money in making improvements to the property which has now increased in value by £100,000 since it was purchased.I sent my wife's solicitor an email explaining that my open offer was made in the belief that my wife would be able to benefit from the fruits of my labour for many years to come.
I went on to explain that as this would no longer be the case, then I should like to withdraw the offer and replace it with a suggested figure of recompense for my contribution to the increase in value of the family home. I explained that I would be willing to defer any such payments until such time that either of the girls wanted to leave the property and convert their inheritance into cash. I also suggested that any agreement should have a provisional expiry date of possibly 10 years time, at which time, if my wife was still enjoying a longer life than anticipated, then my financial interest would cease.I explained that during our time together I had spent over £200,000 on not just day to day expenses, holidays, entertainment and the wedding (Aug 2017), but also on improvements, especially in landscaping the garden. I therefore invited her to make a realistic offer and suggested a figure of £75,000 as a starting point.The solicitor has written back advising me that my wife's prognosis has not changed, which is clearly not the opinion of the medical world. She also suggested that as I was aware at the outset of our relationship that my wife had cancer, then nothing had changed. This again is incorrect, a benign tumour is not cancer, a malignant tumour is. The prognosis for each is significantly different. She also suggested that I had been mis-informed in regards ***** ***** wife's condition. I find this very hard to believe. My mother-in-law (an ex state registered nurse) would have no reason to make such a dramatic statement if it were not true.The solicitor went on to say that if I don't apply for the Decree Nisi in the next 10 days and allow them to proceed under the terms of my signed open offer, then they would submit their own divorce petition, and apply to the court to accept my original open offer, along with an additional order for me to pay all my wife's legal costs.So finally to my question - do I have a realistic chance of being able to withdraw my signed open offer in favour of a time constrained negotiated settlement?
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
The system appears to have missed off my last paragraph.......
offer, along with an order for me to pay all my wife's legal bills.So to my question, would I have any realistic chance of success in my attempt to withdraw my signed open offer and replace it with a time constrained negotiated settlement?
Secondly, can I use the possibility of reporting her false witness statement as a bargaining chip? If needs be, to whom should I report it?
Good morning and thank you for your question. I'm Jeremy, a solicitor specialising in divorce, separation and financial matters. I'm sorry to hear about the sad background to your divorce and I'd be happy to offer some guidance. First and foremost, please would you confirm that your offer was made without either of you having entered into any exchange of financial information about one another's assets? Thanks, J
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Nor did you have any legal advice prior to making that offer?
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thanks Jeremy,
The offer was made prior to any discussion about financial disclosures and prior to any legal advice, however, I did seek legal advice before signing the typed document.
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Hi Jeremy,
Please find attached, a copy of the letter from my wife's solicitor.
You're unrepresented and you haven't had proper legal representation. Tell them you're withdrawing your offer now you've had proper time to consider it. If you'd had full disclosure, legal advice and signed heads of agreement before backing out, I'd say you were bound by what are known as Xhydias terms (and you'd struggle to escape the agreement if they referred it to court). This is very, very different and they're just trying to put lots of pressure on you.
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thanks Jeremy, I will seek legal representation and withdraw my offer.
What about the second part of my question? Can my wife be held accountable for her false witness statement?
Good evening. Yes, she can be held accountable. Arguably, you may have to start committal proceedings which are a whole different ball game and beyond the remit of my guidance here. If you are going to enter into proper disclosure, it's quite clear that your wife's health is a significant factor. You should be asking for a prognosis from her GP or a consultant.
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Thanks Jeremy
My pleasure. Good luck.