This is not a letter I ever wanted to write. However the consequences of my partner losing a variations order proceedings are catastrophic. Legal fees of >£170K. A cessation of spousal maintenance that means that her needs are not and can not be met. As a consequence she is having to sell half her current holiday letting business to reduce costs, pay off debts and of course reduce her income further. She will have to take additional work to make ends meet and she has only the smallest pension provision..
Her legal team were staggered and appalled by the judgement although there was nothing unlawful in what the DDJ did, just that her discretion was skewed on every facet. She is now left with the unavoidable conclusion that her team messed up. They had consistently been warned what the opposition would do - paint her as greedy, say she was never meant to work, show she had extracted a huge capital sum on the divorce. Nothing could have been further from the truth and her team had been warned beforehand by email and verbally and also by supporting documents eg the original offer of settlement to prepare against the likely line of attack. None of these were deployed. To make a lawful decision the judge had to be convinced that my partner had been able to adjust without undue hardship. She was therefore convinced that the holiday business was new money, a change in circumstance that replaced the spousal contribution. The offer for settlement supplied in advance to my partner's team showed that the PP was set at a figure below her needs at the time and that she was fully expected to work, maximise her income and start as soon as their child went to nursery. It was not used to counter the H's position and the judge ruled accordingly.
Does failure to use information provided and briefed to one's team, that materially affected the judgement, constitute negligence?