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Halting divorce proceedings

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12 Jul 12 #342765 by cookie2
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Why have you asked for a barrister? They are very expensive, and really not needed until the later stages of financial resolution.

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12 Jul 12 #342766 by csh
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It had been the recommendation of my solicitor that we engage a barrister, cookie2

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12 Jul 12 #342767 by hadenoughnow
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Hmm. The two children is a new bit of information.

Did you have to sign anything agreeing to support them when they came here? Do they receive any support from their biological father?

They will be counted as children of the family - and as such will increase her "needs" - under Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act. You need to look this up.

Once you have applied to the courts for settlement, you will get her form E etc (and have to complete yours) with supporting evidence. This should give you a clearer idea of her financial position.

You may be able to make an offer that will head off court proceedings and won''t cost you any more than you would pay in legal fees.

I am astonished that your solicitor has not advised you to go to the courts before now. Are they a family law specialist?

Hadenoughnow

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12 Jul 12 #342768 by cookie2
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(I very much suspect his solicitor HAS advised him to apply to court before, especially seeing as he''s been advised to get a barrister already... this wouldn''t be necessary unless he''d also advised court!)

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12 Jul 12 #342779 by csh
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Thanks, Hadenoughnow and cookie2, for your responses.

My spouses received maintenance for her two children from their biological father. I voluntarily contributed further (e.g. clothing) as per their needs. At the time we married her eldest child was 18, her youngest 12. The youngest is now 20, and employed; the oldest is 26 and no longer resident in the UK.

We exchanged Form E and subsequent questionnaire in December 2011 and January 2012. My solicitor agrees that her financial situation is far from clear (which therefore accounts for yet further frustrating exchanges of letters that took us no closer to a true picture.)

My solicitor and I made an offer of a ''Clean Break'' in light of the relatively short duration of the marriage and of the fact that all my assets (house, pension, etc) were pre-marital. She then countered with her bizarre claim for £50,000

And yes, my solicitor is a family law specialist. He advised going to the courts only after I pressed him to look at ways to bring this divorce to a conclusion. I''d written in one email:

"To-ing a fro-ing with [name of spouse''s solicitor redacted] as we have been doing is taking us no closer at all towards a resolution: it is pointless and costly, and merely gives [spouse''s name redacted] the opportunity to compound lie upon lie. I feel we now have to firmly take the lead in pro-actively combating this evil and abusive behaviour on [spouse''s name redacted] part. We have ample evidence that she has continuously and cynically lied; we have ample circumstantial evidence that her primary goal in coming to the UK was not marriage but citizenship. I would like to suggest therefore that, if we can, we tackle her head on as soon as possible and put an end to this idiotic charade. "

and in a subsequent email:

"unless you have a clear idea of an alternative strategy that we might adopt, I believe it would be counter-productive to engage in yet further pointless exchanges to answer allegations for which [spouse''s name redacted] can provide no evidence. The moment has come where, it seems to me, we have no alternative but to insist that we proceed solely on the basis of well documented facts. We might, in that case, simply respond to that effect; and indicate that horse-trading on the basis of untrue and unsubstantiated allegations appears to us both unethical and immoral."

Pn this basis he has proposed engaging a barrister and taking the case to court.

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12 Jul 12 #342781 by hadenoughnow
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If the "children" are no longer under 18 that solves that problem - her strict housing need is for a one bed property.

Like Cookie I am afraid I have a bit of a problem with the clarity of your communications with your solicitor. I believe in setting things out in plain and clear English. I am concerned that you do not seem to have had your options explained to you - ie if she messes about then we need to take her to court for settlement. The same applies to any paperwork you produce for the court. Short, simple and to the point!

The Whys and wherefores of the marriage - ie that it appears to have been a sham on her part - are not a matter for the financial proceedings but may be of interest to immigration officials.

This is a simple case of what you have, what she has, what you have jointly and how that should be divided to meet your respective needs bearing in mind the length of the marriage - which is now 8 years. Apply for the Absolute asap. As it stands, if you died, she would have a claim on your pension. She may also have a claim on your estate. (you need to sort out a will that reflects the current situation). Is your property in sole or joint names?

You do not need to have sorted the finances to have the Absolute.

Have you given her any money since you separated? You say a clean break was offered - what were the terms of that?

Cookie is also right that there is no need to have a barrister for first appointment - that is really a short admin exercise. You may though find it helpful to talk the situation through with a barrister who is familiar with your local courts and can give early guidance on a fair settlement.Also if she is likely to be tricky, you may be best fast tracking the case to a Final Hearing if an FDR is unlikely to be of any use in sorting it out.

Hadenoughnow

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12 Jul 12 #342785 by csh
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Thanks, Hadenoughnow.

I''d not been aware that one could proceed to the Decree Absolute without having first resolved financial matters.

I''ve given her no money since we separated in August 2009, though I did buy her a laptop when hers died and I did buy clothes for her younger son.

As regards my house, do you know whether I have the legal right to put it in joint names with my son while the financial settlement is still pending?

Best,

Chris

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