I need some advice on a final order made in a the Final Hearing at Court. I will go some way to try and explain as best I can to explain what was ordered and the reasons why the Judge gave the Order and what was said. My question is ultimately is there anyway to appeal the decision given by the Judge. I am now at a loss.
My partner is divorcing his wife and Ancillary Relief started. During this time my partner has paid his stbx wife £314 CSA and £820 Spousal maintenance (ordered to be paid following a MPS payment to go towards the mortgage). THis money paid to her totals £1134, his wages are £1950 per month (with no prospect of increase) which leaves him £816 to live on per month.
He currently lives at his mothers house in one room that is barely big enough to house himself let alone the 3 children he has. There is no money all of it is debt and debt only. Below is the position of what the courts ordered at the final hearing and why. (she has the luxury of a solicitor and barrister paid for my mummy and daddy, husband had to self represent as couldnt afford the legal advice with only £816 to live on.)
The set up is as follows:
They have 3 children all under 11years old the youngest is 7years old.
House valued at £250,000 , currently have a mortgage on this of around £225,000. On top of this they have two secured loans which takes secured borrowing to around £260,000 (so more than the house is worth).
Husband works fulltime with £1950 per month income (minus £1134 he pays her £816 per month)
wife works part time with £1450 income
CTC of aroudn £410 per month
CB of £204
Then the money he give her of £1134 per month.(CSA and SM)
Wife put forward a proposal to keep FMH and him and her to pay half cost of mortgage and two secured loans (£820 each)
TO have total control over the FMH with him excluded. If she wanted to sell she can and then use the money accrued to buy another place and which he has to agree to. Her proposal also stated that she would not have a pension sharing order done and would not seek costs. That was her proposal put to the final hearing in a nutshell.
His proposal was a reduction of the SM of £500 so that he could use this as rental for a place to live where he could have an active role as a father and share the care of his children lifting the pressure from her shoulders. This in turn would enable her to work and extra 8 hours per week to obtain the £500 she would be losing and he would have the children on them days. (they work in the same job so shared care is a viable option.)
FOr this he offered a 60:40 split in her favour of the equity in the future, (he would in effect be still meeting his obligation of 50% towards the secured loans which is where the equity is eaten up).
The Judges decision was this.
He is to pay £820 a month until his youngest child reaches 18years or finishes fulltime education so could be 21years.
All the property in the FMH is to remain with the person who is currently in possession of it (this is the wife) the husband has only ever taken his clothing as he has nowhere to store anything else.
A pension sharing order in her favour.
Husband to pay half the wifes costs. Wifes costs were around £19,000 to which he has to pay £9600.
We argued that with no place to live it meant that he could not house his children overnight as he has nowhere for them to sleep. The Judge stated that they kids could camp out or stay at my house, (which we did give as an option to the wife but she said "over my dead body") but she told the Judge in the hearing that she didnt mind (a lie). In addition the Judge stated that his mum could convert her office to a childrens room for the kids. She gave no regard that it is not his house and that this is not a viable option to sleep 3 children as the room is a box room. (we did provide photos but the Judge showed no interest in them).
We argued that the reduction would afford him a place to live giving him the ability to house his children overnight lifting pressure from the wife.
They did calculations stating that the husbands disposable income was only £200 less than the wife yet she had 3 children. the Judge did not take into account that the wifes disposable income was after she had a roof of her own and the husband didnt.
The wife basically rubbished him as a father for not seeing his children much this year. We tried to tell the Judge that she keeps cancelling contact times and changing them. In addition we tried to explain that the husband works shift work and we made a calander, again the Jusge was not interested and just washed over it. Her barrister then objected stating this isnt a contact case. The Judge agreed. The Barrister then questioned him on contact with his children, the judge just sat there until he objected stating to the judge, "you said this wasnt about contact" The judge agreed saying to the Barrister that she had said it to him so it was only fair to extend it the other way, but all the same could he just answer the question put to him and thats it.
We explained to wife''s barrister then asked about inheritance as husbands father had just passed away 2weeks before the hearing. We produced the will which stated that he was not a beneficary of the will so was getting nothing. Barrister and the Judge homed in on this stating that his mother would see him alright.
So we got onto the pension sharing which she was given. We argued that the wife had failed to correspond to us in relation to this and we had heard nothing in relation to the pension expert which the court ordered back last year that the wife''s solicitors would take the lead and appoint. the wife stated that the husband hadnt given his consent for the pensions expert to act, we produced the letter where he did. The Judge asked if the pensions expert had been paid, Husband replied no and the Judge said "well he wont do anything unless you pay him". She then asked the otherside if they had paid their half to which the answer was no the Judge negated this and said nothing. She Ordered the amount to be paid to the pension expert and a sharing order to be made.
The otherside then mentioned their costs. They said that he had brought the matter to court unnecessarily (I dont think needing a place to live is unneccessary). The Judge then asked the Husband what he had to say. He stated that he could not afford legal advice so has had to do all the proceedure himself. He explained his current financial position clearly to the Judge. He then stated that if she was to make an order for costs it would drive him to bankruptcy as he didnt have the money. The Judge ruled that he was to pay half as it wasnt fair on the wife to bare all the costs on her own. The Judge then said and i quote, "you can get it from your mothers inheritance, i am sure she will see you alright."
He then pointed out in the Order that she was going with from the otherside that it stated no order for costs. The Judge replied, "you lost thats it."
However, he put his proposal to keep the FMH the arguement was basically a reduction in the SM not anything else, he agreed with all the rest, so technically the Judge went with both Orders for retention of the FMH. The only reason we went to the Final Hearing was for the reduction nothing else we argued with nothing else in their order. It was to obtain him some money to rent and live thats it.
I think i have explained everything. Is there anything we can appeal on....we are on a time limit so quick replies would be gratefully accepted..
He has 21 days in which to appeal. It''s a technical procedure and he would definitely need legal advice to embark on one. The maintenance order sounds distinctly odd on this arithmetic. To succeed in an appeal he has to show that the order is plainly wrong - one which no judge could properly have made. So it''s a tall order. There may be other ways of approaching this so it might be an idea to give me a call.
He needs to gather the proof, you help him but make sure it all looks like he did it. When you have gathered everything then appeal but get him to find out from your local court/where order was given, what time limit is and good luck.