Married for 15 years, I separated from my husband in 2009 about 6 months after being diagnosed with MS. May 2010 we agreed a financial arrangement. I decided to wait out a two year separation in order to file on those grounds.
We jointly own a flat, which we rent and from which I pay the the mortgage and 2 loans as well as joint healthcare etc. A loan taken against the property for his business, he pays. My income comes from the remainder, my salary and money he gave monthly. His income came from his business and a trust. He owned a group of pubs/restaurants, which have accommodation. I live in one- rent, rate and utility free whilst he lives in another. We have no joint accounts
In Nov 2011, he told me he’d gone bankrupt in Aug; effectively selling his group for a £, including where I lived. He was now a sleeping partner. He had a 2 year lease on the pub where he lived but advised I would need to move. I could have the proceeds from the sale of our flat and I should accept this offer as he may not be so generous in future. I went to the Citizen’s Advice Bureau who arranged for me to see a solicitor, who advised not to file but wait. In Dec, there was no monthly money but in Jan and Feb there was and nothing further was said about moving. End of Feb 2012, I received an arrears notice in my name for council tax- the flat where I live has now been separated from the pub; he said he’d pay it. There was no monthly money for March and a fortnight ago I received another notice of arrears being due with an invoice for the coming year. He is not returning my calls.
I contacted the solicitor I had seen who said I should now sever financial connections and begin proceedings. But I am not certain he really understands my position. I haven’t a pension or savings and my insurance doesn’t cover MS. I think our joint property may have little equity but I can’t not afford to live there. I do not have family who can assist me. My hours at work have been reduced and my field, the arts, is struggling. I would need some retraining to find alternative employment and I am not even certain I would be able to work full time. I have a few things I may be able to sell for a little money but once sold that’s it. I am deeply concerned about my future care and I am very worried that by filing now I will spend what little money I have only to precipitate a worse situation rather than spend it on retraining or save for future rent. However, if I should begin proceedings I would want to find another solicitor. Any advice much appreciated.
I am afraid that I do not know how to advise you with such a complicated problem but i would certainly say that you need to take urgent legal advice. I would say you are correct in thinking NOT to go back to the original solicitor, I have no idea why he/she would have advised you to wait but you do need advice as to how to manage the situation you have in front of you now.
A lot of family lawyers offer a first appointment free, I would ring round and get such an appointment and if you are unsure of the advice, get another free appointment with another solicitor until you are happy you are getting good and correct advice, you may well be entitled to legal aid and if that is the case, although you may not end up with a solicitor of your choice, you will have an idea of what is the best way forward.
I wish you every good luck but would advise that you get some urgent advice