My partner and I met after her husband of 8 years (they had been together for 15) was caught having an affair with a woman 15 years his junior. They had met in the Roman Catholic School where they both teach. My partner and her husband understandably have a very acrimonious relationship relationship because of this (the affair came as a bolt out of the blue from an anonymous caller which he first denied and then denounced in October 2009). The relationship is is compounded by the fact that he refuses to have anything to do with his former wife and does not communicate with her on any level about anything. They have two children 6 and 8 which she grants him plenty of access to. Despite this he still took her to caught as he wanted more access which would break the children''s routine (he lost the case as it is was found to be not in the children''s interest and was very obviously financially motivated).
He left his wife in debt and struggling. She was forced to sell the house, the proceeds of which are now sitting in a holding account and she is forced to live in a rented small two bedroom house with no outside space whilst he enjoys a large four bedroomed residence and attached grounds with his new partner and their baby. My partner works part time and is unable to drive so cannot move out of the area as she does not want to interrupt the children''s life any further. He lives with his partner in a less expensive area; both of whom are in full time employment).
He consistantly refuses to acknowledge any solicitors letters and will not reach a settlement. All the costs of the divorce (a decree was granted over a year ago) and the sale of the house has been paid for by my partner (his ex wife).
My partner is intimidated by him and despite her encouraging as much access to their father for children, we have evidence that he is trying to turn them against their mother and threatening to take them from her quoting ''...you won''t see them for dust!''. On some weekends when he has had access he has refused to bring them back.
All that is happening so far is she is spending money on solicitors (so far two) who charge her for letters which are sent and subsequently ignored.
My question is Can he be forced to reach a settlement via a court order and what %age can she expect? How does she go about getting this off the ground?
Yes a court can impose a settlement if one cannot be agreed between them. If he does not cooperate with the court, he could end up paying her costs or even going to prison although this is rare.
She needs to apply to the court for financial settlement. She should see if the case can be fast tracked to final hearing if he is likely to be obstructive. Chasing someone who will not play ball can be very expensive if done via a solicitor. She could self rep in the early stages at least to save costs. The initial stuff is mostly administrative.
As to what share she would get, it is impossible to advise without knowing more financial details. The settlement will be based on needs first. His first family is the priority.
Many thanks. We''re keen to manage this process ourselves rather than use solicitors for the early stages. My partner has used two separate solicitors to try and bring this to a successful conclusion. The first racked up a small fortune in sending letters to his solicitor all of which were ignored by her husband. The second solicitor is even more inept ;having been instructed to take this to court for settlement over three months ago he has failed to do so and now can''t even be contacted.
I think it would be wise to save the resources for an effective barrister on the day. Is this right?
Is there a form we can download to get this underway asap?
To be fair, there is not a great deal if equity in the house to be split (£60k) so i believe it important that she gets the majority of this so she can at least get back on the housing ladder for her family. The house she sold was probably worth more to be honest, but he had left it in such a state of disrepair (he didn''t do ANY maintenance or DIY) that she needed to sell it quickly as the damp was beginning to affect the children''s health.
So am i right in thinking that he can''t argue for more on the grounds of having a new baby to support?