my questions is, can I rebuff the solicitor's letter and just say that I will not negotiate until my ex has a job?
Hopefully you'll be patient enough to read the below which explains my question (I do not currently have a solicitor).
Having almost reached a financial settlement in mediation, I had to go to hospital for an essential operation. Now I'm out, my ex's solicitor has emailed me offering a very poor settlement that conveniently ignores all assets except the jointly owned flat. My ex has been made redundant and the solicitor is shamefully using this as an excuse to pressure me in to accepting an unfair deal, saying that my ex wouldn't be able to get another job soon (despite the fact they are doing at least two interviews this week and I know they have a good reputation with similar companies and will absolutely be able to get another job and probably for more money).
All I'd like is half of the joint assets so I can also have a decent place to stay that my kids can also feel at home in. We both work, have always worked and are in the lucky position that there are enough resources that we both can own somewhere decent to stay (if we share our assets equally and with large mortgages of course). I feel that my ex's solicitor is helping them to try and swindle me out of this.
The only difference to our finances is that my ex has way more savings than me since I've been paying the mortgage and continue to, since I moved out 4 years ago but I have also been paying my rent. There's a bit of a difference in both of our small pension pots. My ex also own a "cheap by UK prices" foreign property, but we were married for about 10 years and together for about 4 years before that. Salaries are similar. I don't dare stop paying the mortgage and ruin my ability to get my own.
Can I rebuff the solicitor's letter and just say that I will not negotiate until my ex has a job? When my ex does have a job, should I just try and drive this to court and get it sorted? My ex has no reason to hurry up this process since they are saving money every month at my expense while I am breaking even. I feel maybe court is the best option to bring this to a fair conclusion and stop my ex from dragging this out (redundancy->new job, excepted) even further.
Sorry for the long message and thanks for taking the time to read this far,
If you don't engage they may make an application to court but on the face of it that would be more of a problem for the ex.
A court would expect both parties to maximise their incomes. If one has become unemployed earning potential would be considered even if they aren't actually working.
Any savings your ex has need to be considered as part of the whole pot. If dividing assets equally allows you both to meet your needs, the court would need some convincing that anything but this is fair.
If you have full financial disclosure and a clear picture of the whole position, it may be worth booking a legal financial consultation (see services) to give you a legal view and allow you to be mire certain of your position.
Thanks for the detailed reply! I have ended up booking a financial consultation via Wikivorce.I had somehow expected a less underhanded treatment from solicitors that are boasting of being Family mediation Council accredited members.