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RJM Law, Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  LL.B (Hons)
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My ex walked out on me and the kids 6 months ago. He had

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My ex walked out on me and the kids 6 months ago. He had access to money and accounts that I did not (for example when we remortgaged the house he put the money in an account in his name only). I have no idea how he funded a month in hotels and then rented a 2 bed house on the most expensive estate in the area for £1200 per month.
He has since got a solicitor and has sent me his financial proposal. I did not answer immediately (lots of stress, daughter with autism), he then angrily sent another letter threatening to take me to court under “unreasonable behaviour” if I didn’t respond within a week. I don’t have a solicitor, I have told him this over and over again. I can’t get legal aid and I am being pressured by him to get on with things for months now. He angrily told me he had to spend £1000 for his solicitor to send me another email because I hadn’t responded. Rather than give me the £1000 for my legal fees. His mother also offered me 500 euros for my signature on his papers! My question is how can I get him to disclose our financial situation and how can I get him to give me the money for a solicitor? He has recently agreed via his solicitor to pay my legal fees if I get the invoices sent to him. However due to his controlling nature I don’t want this. As the first thing I will get is hundreds of messages about who I chose and how much it cost and how I should have chosen a different one etc. I feel that he has had as much time as he wants to consult with who he wants with me knowing nothing at all. Yet he insists on knowing everything from me. He STILL refuses me access to accounts/loans etc and I have no idea what he earns, what money we had or have. I am totally financially dependent on him. His solicitor suggests I find a solicitor and send the bills etc. Yet how can I get advice without the information?? I don’t know what our financial state is at all! On top of that she then requests that I choose from her list of mediators so we can get things moving. I don’t feel I should be pressured into starting mediation before having had a single bit of legal advice from a solicitor! She also says his finances will be disclosed at mediation. I feel I am deliberately being disadvantaged and the pressure is relentless. The stress is causing me physical symptoms and I want him to be told to back off. How do I go about getting him to give me money upfront for legal fees? I don’t want to ask him or speak to him as I can predict his angry response. Many thanks.

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Thank you for the question and I am sorry to hear about this matter.  If you have it in writing that he is willing to meet your legal fees then I would just go and hire a solicitor and bill him for the services.  The outcome of this will depend on if you are married or not.  If you were not married, then you don't really have "joint assets" unless things were bought together i.e. a house, car etc.  In that case you should then qualify what you own (half the value of your joint property and monies in your accounts which was yours) and be asking for this.  You have no other legal ties.   However, if you're married all of his savings, pensions, assets, property. etc. will also partially belong to you as these will be considered matrimonial assets.  He will not be able to take you to court for unreasonable behaviour if you don't get back to him quick enough, that is nonsense!    If you were married then you are entitled to 50% of the matrimonial assets these include any of his saving and pensions etc. he obtained during the course of the marriage even if you did not contribute to this.  If you were married and were financially dependent on him, you would likely be granted spousal maintenance, so DO NOT sign anything without obtaining independent legal advice as you will likely be "Duped" into. selling yourself very short.   Again, if you were married, the money he is using is also yours and your solicitor will be able to deal with this.  Go hire someone as you will have an entitlement to this money and also in writing that he would pay your fees.  Then I would advisee blocking contact from him and have everything go through your legal representative.

I shall provide you with a helpful link that will assist you in finding a solicitor/representative near your local area.  This will provide you with someone nearby your area who can assist you if required.

I hope this information proved helpful.  You will find a local solicitor who deals with these matters on the law society webpage which is as follows; (England) (Scotland) (Ireland)

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Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thank you. My ex’s claims of unreasonable behaviour relate to my mental health and things that happened years ago that he had forgiven me for. He is now trying to use it against me and threatening to take me to court on that basis if I don’t respond quick enough. I feel it is so unfair that I am having to answer solicitors letters from him myself with no representation. His solicitor has also told me how much money I am allowed to spend on a solicitor! Is that fair?? I didn’t have any say in what he spent on his. And I have no knowledge of it either. Also in terms of his wages, he earns around £5000 net per month... whilst we are not divorced yet, how much should he be paying me in the meantime? Many thanks for answering my questions.

No that is not fair, but if you can get your foot in the door with a solicitor then they will be able to enforce your rights for you.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Is it legal let alone normal for my ex to demand that I get legal advice within a certain deadline but will not give me any information about our (still joint) finances? I don't know how much he earns, what money we had and where and don't have access to any accounts, but he does. How do I possibly get legal advice?

No there is no legal onus on your to do this within a certain time, they are just trying to play hardball.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Thank you but you are not fully answering my questions which is why I kept the last one brief and specific. How do I get my ex to give me the details of our finances and can I be expected to engage a solicitor without it? Please answer that for me.

Yes of course you can engage a solicitor without it, they will be required to give it to your solicitor.  If they refuse then the solicitor can get a court order ordaining them to hand it over.

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