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Support for those unfairly treated?

  • Enough Already
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25 Feb 13 #381219 by Enough Already
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Hi all,

Without trawling thorugh all the previous threads, can anyone simply tell me if there are any review / pressure groups available to help those who have been unfairly treated by the courts in their divorce? Also, if they have been poorly advised by solicitors? (I don''t mean complaining to the Law Commission).

Seems to me that myself and my partner along with many other people are the victims of biased / unfair court orders that have been drawn up in cases where for example;

a) One parties'' legal bill far outstips the other so they are disproportionately represented and this is reflected in the judgement. Plus having to self- rep at times due to lack of funds and courts patronising/strong arming the LIP.

b) Terms of the order were not properly explained by the solicitor acting on your behalf and the long term ramifications are significant.

c) Lies are told to the court by the other party but cannot be disproved.

d) Judge makes no attempt to facilitate a Clean Break. Hides behind disparity arguments etc. and sees them as set in stone rather than flexible / temporary. Creates dependency on the payer of maintenance for life with no incentive for the payee to change / improve circumstances.

e) You are legally strongarmed by the other party''s representation to sign the court order or risk being awarded their entire (exhorbitant) costs.

f) Global maintenance is applied so the child and spousal protions are indistinct and therefore hard (and costly) to discharge.

These are some ''for examples'' that apply in our case but I am sure many other examples exist and the end result is a disparity in judgement. Even the wording of our 20 plus page summation was extremely biased and my partner had never even ONCE defaulted on any payments - even when we were both out of work! The judge just believed the lies he was told and the picture that was painted.

If no such body exists, would any members of this community want to form one?

Once the judgement is done and you have been screwed in a straitjacket for many years, it seems to me that you have no help, support or anything available unless you want to appeal (unattractive and costly after one disappointment) or try and vary the judgement (laughable and need adequate grounds). How can it be right that people are stuck in these situations for years - often at the cost of their mental health, relationships with partners, family etc.

I know there are others out there suffering and just wondered.....anyone...?

  • groggletop
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26 Feb 13 #381279 by groggletop
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I feel I know where youre coming from....
I spent 2 yrs trying to get a solicitor to help me. Each time I saw one..they would use the free 20 mins to do a legal aid calculation, apart from one...who waffled a lot and was really quite stern and rude to me and finished the cinversatiin with*I will be adding todays consultation to your bill if you decide that you want me to represent you*..each solicitor said the same thing...I was not eligible for legal aid due to the chaange in the rules...and so I never really got anywhere.
Once I put in my first set of paperwork to the courts I returned to a solcitir that I had previously seen to gain some advice because of the circumstances of my divorce...I was advised that they now did an ''all in package''which I paidffor. This turned out not to be the case and then proceeded to have information from different solicitors from same firm. Without too much detailnow, same firm have just come off the record and left me fend fir myseld. Even though I made it clear about domestic and emotional abuse and threatening behaviour I was ignored. I didnt feel that I was lisyened to let alone heard. I was in an even worse state tthan I am in now, and needed someone who would *bat for my side*if you know what I mean. I am now a couple of thousand pounds worse off...I dont feel like I was treated fairly and dont feel like I have anyone to turn to.
I hate to think that this is commonplace, but I get the feeling that it might be. For most people divorce is stressful enough....and id like to think that if youre paying you have the right to be treated with some regard....

I dont want to complain abiut how ive been treated as such....but I would like to know if there is something I can do to stop this happening to others. Ive often thought along the same lines as yourself ....ive not had any complaints about judgement s as such just yet...but if I bought and paid for a faulty appliance I would take it back to the shop or the maker and ask for a replacement or refund.... why should we put up with bad representation....but who do you complain or clarify things with?


  • Enough Already
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26 Feb 13 #381291 by Enough Already
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Thanks for posting. I think in your case where it was bad solicitor advice then I would look at complaining to the Law Commission but it depends how long ago it was.

I think a lot of this goes on to be honest but it just reaches a whole new level of nightmare when you reach court. I appreciate it is legal and not emotional support they are offering but there seems to be far too many cases whe these people run roughshod over others'' lives creating misery and poverty with no recourse. Where is the fairness and the common sense? These are humans they are dealing with, not objects. People suffer for years due to the decisions made and I am sure a lot of stress, depression and suicide often ensues as things seem hopeless. But we don''t gt to hear about that and nor do the judges or solicitors who made it happen. My partner is depressed and suicidal after living with our judgement for years. The fact there is no end in sight is the worst thing.

What you need is pots of money for good representation and few of us have that but those who do are laughing at the rest of us. Much like my patner''s ex wife is after spending 50k of someone else''s money to get what she wanted.

  • spooky
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26 Feb 13 #381299 by spooky
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I am having a really bad day today and although my divorce was some time ago I feel like it was yesterday.

I went to court yesterday as my x husband sought a downward variation in spousal maintenance.

This is a man who earned £160,000 last year. He lives in a house worth £675k, drives a Porsche, his wife drives a new merc. They have horses, a holiday let and her child is boarding at private school. They have just returned from a skiing holiday in Switzerland.

He claimed he is stressed and so cannot work full time so guess what ..... The judge has said that he doesn''t have to pay spousal maintenance for a year and then he can vary tha amount again next year. No medical evidence, no questioning of his finances, no nothing!

I have 4 kids , a full time job and because I will cope ( no choice) he will probably get it dismissed next year!

I can appeal (I think) but will have to get a barrister and a forensic accountant and I can''t afford it and if I lose I will have to pay his costs.

I am alternating between tears , anger and hopelessness as yet again my dreams are shattered.

The law is an ass and there''s nothing I can do.

Sorry for the rant! Even the Judge said it was unfair. He will be working half time and I will have to increase my hours somehow.

  • Enough Already
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26 Feb 13 #381301 by Enough Already
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This is exactly what I am talking about - unfairness and playing the system.

I realise this is not a gender issue or an issue of just ex-husbands being turned over by ex-wives as that is not the case. It just seems that some people get away with awful behaviour or lies or pulling the wool or using very expensive legal reps while the other self reps and it is intrinsically UNFAIR. There is no level playing field and I am sorry but many judges are BIASED and more importantly they are never held to account for their decisions.

Why can''t the legal system see this?? Why does no-one care? Surely BOTH parties need to make their best endeavours to ensure that the children and themselves are looked after and things are in balance with the adults taking equal responsibility for things (where they can)?

All that happens is needless hearings take place and the courts are stuffed full, solicitors make stacks of blood money and people are miserable; they suffer financially, their relationships suffer, kids are alienated etc. etc.

This is wrong and the system seems to be self-serving, unequal, unfair and hugely disparate. Where is the justice?? Are judges blind? Where is the common sense here?

Sorry but this is a modern travesty that people are living in misery over and it appalls me after years of having dealt with it and knowing that others are too.

I can hear the impotence in your post and I live with it every day too because we cannot beat the system (and if we try we incur massive cost with the potential cost of the other party piled on tp for extra pressure). In your case, why is the judge making pronouncements if your ex has only made an application - have there been no hearings? Surely the judge needs evidence? I seriously wonder if judges are being bought off by some people - really I do as I cannot fathom it. Where the hell are these decisions coming from? Can you not order that he produces documents to substantiate this claim? Most people who are stressed would be signed off work altogether. Is he self-employed or employed? If employed and stressed then what about sick pay?

My partner is on the verge of a breakdown but still holds down his job and pays massive amounts of inflated maintenance that should never have been set so high as the kids are adults. If we tried what your ex has then the judge would just laugh at my partner and turn the thumbscrews tighter. How is he getting away with this??! You work full time so it is not like you are taking advantage for god''s sake! He should be grateful you are a responsible person.

Why do people who lie and take the mickey out of everyone get away with it? Why does the system let them? What if anything can we do about this? This is the topic no one ever speaks publicly about and we all have to suffer in silence. Personally, I have had enough. The only way out is to actually break the law yourself and that cannot be right.

  • AnaisM
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26 Feb 13 #381327 by AnaisM
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Enough Already

I could write a long post on this but you have been very articulate, and I could not express my views any better than you have. I agree wholeheartedly with you, the system is wrong and unfair and no-one speaks about it. I am astounded at how this all works (or doesnt for some), maybe some before us have tried to change the system but have failed, I dont know but the pain and grief from a break up is only the beginning of a lonely journey which leaves us feeling more isolated,and violated.

We do have a lot of very unhappy, desperate people in our society now and I do wonder how many of them have been affected at some time, in some way by this system.

I support your views 100% and if there is a pressure group I would be interested to know.


  • Enough Already
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26 Feb 13 #381328 by Enough Already
Reply from Enough Already
Thanks AnaisM.

What we need is some people to jump into this post who have a view on reform, pressure groups, petitions etc. who may be able to advise. I am just waiting here in the shadows for them to join us ;)

If anything happens I will let you know.

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