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What does the law say about how to split the house, how to share pensions and other assets, and how much maintenance is payable.

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First Appointment - Getting Worried

  • scottishlady
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26 Nov 07 #7763 by scottishlady
Topic started by scottishlady
I have my 'First Appointment' on 4th Feb.... and after my last conversation with my sol I am becoming increasingly 'concerned' about my 'situation'...
A quick recap... just over 4 months ago... my husband walked away... I find out he had taken our joint savings... and later again... about his affair....
I filed for divorce on the grounds of UB... it hasn't been contested (of course not)
Anyway.... he seems to be doing his utmost to avoid giving us any financial help, although he has been paying the mortgage and council tax (approx £450 per month)...
My sol filed for Maintenance Pending suit... but now she says that because he is paying the mortgage and council tax the court will see it that he is infact paying maintenance.... bearing in mind that he earns approx 4K per month I am wondering if this is 'acceptable'?
When my sol suggested to his sol that we exchange form E's (before she filed at court) with a view to coming to a financial arrangement... all of a sudden, his bank balance went to just over 1K... from approx 20K... claiming that he had 'lost the money gambling'....
I have no intention of trying to 'shaft' my STBX.... but his actions seem to suggest that he thinks I am about to try and do exactly that....
Will the MPS be looked at when we attend the 'First Appointment'?.... or is this all the help that I am likely to expect?
In another post, it was mentioned that not a lot of attention is given to questions raised on Form E's.... so, can I expect that he will 'get away' with hiding all this money?
Thanks for any thoughts

  • Shelia
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26 Nov 07 #7773 by Shelia
Reply from Shelia
Had my First Appt today. The court is a cross between a airport and a hospital waiting room.

From what you have said I think you have nothing to loose. You could ask him to provide information on the missing money. How had he gambled it away, horses casino etc.

There is an equation that can be used for SM. Add together your 2 incomes, divide by 3 and the difference between the answer and your income is used as a guide to how much maintenance you could get and should have.

He can be made to provide information before a given date. The emphahsis seems to be to drive things forward towards an outcome so they are more concerned with the larger financial matters at this stage, and 20K seems pretty large to me! So these are the answers they will focus on.

Have you got some idea what sort of outcome you are looking to achieve? It helps to have an an idea what you would consider a good settlement and then you can work towards it.

I was worried about going to court, but whilst it was not the most pleasant of exeperience. it was really nothing to worry about. Seeing my stbx reaffirmed with me why I was getting divorced, and pleased I was going home alone.

Take care


  • scottishlady
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26 Nov 07 #7778 by scottishlady
Reply from scottishlady
Thankyou so much for your comment....
I'm happy to hear that you didn't find the experience 'too' distressing...
I,like you, am hoping that seeing my S2BX will 'lay to rest' any emotional connection I feel towards him...
As for 'knowing' what financial settlement I may be 'aiming' towards.... I really don't have a clue!!!!
I suppose, I am hoping that I am able to 'start' again... how does one come to a fair conclusion?
Is it a case of adding up X, Y & Z..... minusing Q.... dividing by 2 ?... and there, we have what's fair?
I do not wish to disadvantage my S2BX financially.... but, nor do I want to 'start again' at a disadvantage...Is this something I have to sit down and work out?... my sol hasn't given me any idea of what sort of 'settlement' I should be looking for...although she has a general idea of our financial situation....
I'm a little lost as to the direction I should be taking....

Confused?.... oh yes:S

  • attilladahun
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26 Nov 07 #7788 by attilladahun
Reply from attilladahun
If a formal applcation has been made for interim maintainance your solicitor should have written to your H solicitor and set out:-

1. Your reasonable monthly income needs for you and the children
2. The income from all sources you have available to you.

Clearly if there is a significant shortfall it could be for the following reasons:-

A. The income needs are not reasonable and some "pruning" is necessary -hopefully not the case
B. You have not maximised your income by either claiming benefits e.g. Child Benefit, tax Credits, Council Tax Benefit etc -To claim tax credits you need to be living with the children alone and work 16 hours+
C The likely reason is H is not paying enough PPO (Periodical Payments)

If H does not voluntarily bridge the gap even for a few months until the finances are being sorted out the Court will hear the application for interim PPO.

Usually this is an urgent hearing and you will be amazed how basic and short these hearings can be. District Judges (DJ's) don't have time to hear life stories etc...only very short cross examination is allowed...so if there is a significant shortfall and you can show H can or should pay you are likely to get:

[1] Int PPO
[2] Costs of and incidental to the application for PPO payable by H which the Court will Summarily Assess..est £750 -£1,000.
Hurt a bad payer in the pocket it helps to give a reality check and he will be keener to settle the case long term sooner!!

Now if Solr is suggesting applying at 1st Appointment this could be either:
(a) A genuine attempt to get the issue sorted if the 1st hearing is very close BUT
(b) Because progress will be made at the 1st Appointment it may be harder to get costs v H so I personally wouldn't apply then unless absolutely nec'y.
(c) Maybe solr is less than confident you may not get int PPO more than bills he is paying. I have to say if he is on £4K net you should have no real worries:)

Tactically your solr will file a Questionnaire of info you need re his finances including trying to get evidence of the alleged bet/wager!!

The last time a plonker tried that his replies to the Q're were a joke and having given oral evidence at in Int PPO hearing of when, where he placed the bet the DJ ordered him to file corroberation.

He failed to do so and rather that acceed to my request for a production Appointment / Subpoena to compell the Casino manager to attend Court an order was made that in the absence of H replying with documentary evidece of the bet..the Court would draw adverse inferences and with regard to the Matrimonial Pot the "missing" sum would be added back in!!!

In relation to the "1/3rd rule" referred to above it is with respect a tool not a rule and really not approp for small or large cases. Need is the yardstick.

There is dicta from the Court of Appeal in bigger cases that rather than expend £ on Int PPO -parties should borrow in the interim and refer in the Form E to why the loan is being made. The pot is naturally reduced so indirectly H is paying..its only cash flow in issue!!!

Actually if there is no real history og H betting DJ is not likely to believe him.

If there is evidence the cash has been gambled consider:

-Obtaining an injunction to prevent further betting by H until final hrg ( I have done this in a case) or

-Possibly the betting is wreckless and it may be one of the very rare instances in Form E you will allege conduct is relevant-his financial irresponsibility.

If he seriously tries to persude the DJ he has gambled the money at the Int PPO hrg the DJ will take an instant dislike to him and you are home and dry!!!

On a proposed settlement get the solr to get a written opinion from Junior Counsel (often v good value) once you know the pot. You will have more confidence then knowing your offer made before the FDR is likely to seriusly put H under pressure at the FDR.

Don't forget 95% OF CASES settle by end of FDR.

Chin up all will be OK

Hope this hepls.


  • scottishlady
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27 Nov 07 #7891 by scottishlady
Reply from scottishlady
Thanks Attila....

I think I will have to read your advice a few times.... but, it is SO helpful.....
Hopefully my S2BX will realise that he can't behave in such a manner, and 'get away with it'....

Kind Regards

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