I will be representing myself in court and I have been researching cases to try to justify/build a case of my own: I am making a financial claim twenty years post divorce. Do I need to quote cases ? Will it help my case if I quote cases?
For example: My ex will probably argue that I agreed the terms of our finances at the time of the divorce even though they were unfair to me. I now want to redress that unfairness and claim what I should have done at the time. Will quoting previous cases help my case?
EG“ In Edgar V Edgar Lord Justice Oliver said:
Men and women of full age education and understanding, acting with competent advice available to them, must be assumed to know and appreciate what they are doing and their actual respective bargaining strengths will in fact depend in every case upon a subjective evaluation of their motives for doing it. One may, of course, find that some unfair advantage has been taken of a judgment impaired by emotion, or that one party is motivated by fear induced by some conduct of the other or by some misapprehension of a factual or legal position, but in the absence of some such consideration as that – and these are examples only -the mere strength of one party’s desire for a particular result or the mere fact that one party has greater wealth than the other cannot, I think, affect the weight to be attributed to a freely negotiated bargain.”
Have you taken any legal advice on your situation? I think that would be the first starting point so you can discuss your situation and whether or not you are likely to achieve anything by pursuing a claim 2 decades after the divorce.
Quoting case law is often unhelpful, and it is better to focus on the facts of your case. Edgar v Edgar was in 1980, some 40 years ago and probably won't assist your case.
No, I can't afford any legal advice, but thankyou. I feel I have good reason for making a claim and feel I can justify why the twenty year gap. I have looked at other more recent cases, Wyatt v Vince in particular and delay as a stumbling block. I understand, and it may well be wrong, that due to delay I a have to have a good reason for the delay and then prove the need I have is as a result of the marriage. I believe I can meet this criteria. Am I along the right lines?
I would agree that quoting case law as a litigant in person can be unhelpful. The judge will be well aware of the relevant case law and or will have a look before reaching a conclusion.
Before you get to this point of court proceedings there is ample opportunity to build your case and establish what assets you missed out on at the time of divorce - and perhaps how the lack of those assets has impacted you. I note that somewhere else you mentioned that the divorce was in 1999. This predates pension sharing legislation. I am therefore not sure if a pension share could be implemented. I would hope it could ... the legislation was well overdue ... but you may need to establish this as one of the "issues" in your statement of issues.
A lot will depend on the disparity in current assets and incomes and how those were achieved.
Thankyou. I wasn't sure about case law. I am going to try and hit the essence of the case law in my 'issues'. My issues are that I retrained, in order to have sufficient income as a one parent family, to support our children and that has left me with a debt and as a consequence I was three years without income. My ex had a key to my house, an ex council house I purchased and fully paid for , because he helped with babysitting, work allowing. I was the main carer. I was the one who put our kids first. He carried on as a single person, didn't miss work. I had to say on a supply teacher because I needed the freedom to be available for our kids. As a result I have not built up a pension, I have not earned the full potential as a teacher and I am on zero hour contract, so no security. My ex on the other hand owns 3 properties, one joint with his new partner. I own one: an ex council house. His is a private four bed with garage. He rents a second one and our daughter lives in the third. She is paying him £50 per week until she owns it. Our kids, particularly our daughter, suffered anxiety which meant I would have to turn work down on occasions and did not take a full time permanent position because I am a mother first. This meant I could afford to pay into a pension because along with this I was trying to make a dirty ex council house, previously inhabited by a drug user, a home for me and our children. We had rats, damp, filth... It took any disposable income I had for years and years. PHEW, that feels better