I am 66; my wife (from overseas) is 44; she obtained a “Decree Nisi
” against me last November. We are still living in the same house, though with very little communication, and there are three children, aged 15, 12 and 7. She is trying to get me to leave the house.
We underwent mediation
in January to March, but after three sessions my wife said that she did not want to continue and wanted to press for court action.
Shortly after the mediation ceased, I received a letter from her solicitor, with a proposal which I found totally unacceptable (that she should pay me £12,000 – with a possibility of a further £43,000 in 2022 - and that I should move out – please note that the house was purchased in 2006 from the proceeds from the sale of a smaller house which had been wholly owned by me, plus a mortgage for £60,000 taken out on my then salary); I after some thought wrote back to her solicitor explaining at length why I did not find the offer acceptable and proposing that either matters should continue as at present – which is not ideal I know but neither is anything and at least I am with the children, in whom I have invested a vast amount of time, finance, love and guidance over their lifetimes, or alternatively that she should move out and live with her boy-friend (who is, in short, the cause of the rift between us) and leave the children here with me. Her solicitor sent her a copy of my letter; she did nothing for over a month, and then the solicitor sent her a reminder (and at the same time sent a letter from me saying that her “offer” still stands and asking whether I had a solicitor myself).
At that point, my wife went to see her solicitor again; I have not received any further correspondence, but I know that she received a letter from the solicitor a week after the interview, telling her that she (the solicitor) had not yet received a “form L17” – which I understand is a form to be completed by an employer in connection with an application for legal aid – and that she might need a further letter from the mediator.
It seems to me that the solicitor is trying to push my wife towards court action – or to frighten me into accepting some ridiculous offer by threatening court action? – and is starting to make an application for court funding?
What I really want to know is, what course are matters now likely to take, and how urgent is the need for me to do something myself (or instruct a solicitor to do something)? Is there any possibility that I might suddenly find myself faced with a court hearing without having had time to prepare fully for it? What I am trying to do is to play for time – delay matters, hoping that my wife, who is unbusinesslike and does not have any head for figures and little understanding of form-filling, might find it is all too much and just give up.