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Solicitor holding funds from house sale

  • Tunneller
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08 Jul 18 #502641 by Tunneller
Topic started by Tunneller
Hi,
I have been separated from my wife of 9 years now for a little over 4 months. The split initially was amicable and we agreed to divorce, put the house on the market and sell it splitting it 50/50 and then deal with the other issues following on. The house was sold in 4 days and my wife who had moved out to her mothers informed. I found a house to buy had an offer accepted and got the process moving but 6 days after a meeting with her Solicitor I was informed the house proceeds were not to be released by a third party in her family by email. I find my self having to rent now at £800 per month.Her Solicitors have asked to hold the money until the financial settlement is completed.
There are no children, she has a £40K a year job and pension. I am a police pensioner and now having to work full time to fund my Solicitors costs, which up to now are eye watering with no movement forward.
I would like to know the following
1. Do I have to allow her solicitors to have my proceeds from the sale?
2.What guarantee can I expect under the Financial Service Compensation scheme
3. I feel this puts her solicitor in the driving seat having control of my assets
4. Is my Solicitor giving me good advice to allow this to happen as it was just a brief matter of fact phone call.
5. Can I demand what account it is held in and demand to see accumulation of interest on my share?
This matter is already degenerating into the abyss. I was advised to deal with the whole process by mediation which I requested and was refused.I put £80K of my police commutation into the property with an equity of £140K from our old house which I had paid the mortgage off with £64000 of my personal savings in 2008 before we were married. I do not expect or ask for half of that money to be returned, just a clear 50/50. I just feel giving the proceeds of the house is putting her solicitor in the driving seat which makes me very uncomfortable.
Thanks

  • .Charles
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09 Jul 18 #502651 by .Charles
Reply from .Charles
It is a fairly usual state of affairs for a solicitor to hold the money pending settlement. It doesn't matter which solicitor holds it.

Normally the opposing party would request an undertaking from the solicitor not to release the monies until an agreement/order had been made. The solicitor should accede to the request and this would prevent release of the monies to either party.

The FSC does not have jurisdiction, I'm not sure why you would think it does? If you have any further information in this respect please share.

You don't need to know what account the money is held in as the money will be held on 'client account'. Client account is usually one bank account which has an accounting record recording tracking the ownership of the money. It is like you and your mates putting unequal amounts of money in a box. To track the amounts you would write down the contributions on a piece of paper and change it as people added or subtracted money. Every now and again you would count the money and check it matches the written record. This type of (electronic) reconciliation occurs at least monthly with solicitors accounts.

The reason the money is held pending settlement/order is to retain all flexibility. If you had a chunk of money to purchase a property, some of the flexibility would be removed.

This also focuses the parties' minds on reaching settlement. You might be reasonable but your spouse's solicitor does not know this and it is merely a standard approach to dealing with the case. The reverse is true with your spouse and your solicitor.

It is a formulaic transaction - put the money in a box and distribute it when the proportions are known.

It sounds to me as though nothing is awry and it is just a matter of sorting out the details and submitting a draft order to the court for approval. There are steps required to achieve this though, particularly where pensions are involved.

Charles

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