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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 28277
Experience:  25 years experience of all aspects of family law
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I am seeking advice on the following scenario: 1. While

Resolved Question:

I am seeking advice on the following scenario:

1. While still married and prior to a divorce but unknown to me my wife sold the property( while I was working away) which I had put in her name several years earlier and then kept the entire sale proceeds.

2, Subsquently I received divorce papers which ended up in expensive and prolonged legal proceedings ending up in County Court. In fact I have two final and absolute decree's dated Sept 1998 and one for MAY 1999. Reason is that the court cancelled the first one due to her claim for divorce grounds proved a lie.

3 However most of the money from the sale had 'disappeared' by the time it went to court, but my lawyers manage to get 16% of the sale proceeds back while in court due to paper trails

4.It has know be made known to me that in fact she failed to disclose to the court that she retained a plot of ground adjoining the sold property and did not disclose this and inform the court that she had kept this.

5 This land is registered in my ex wife's name and she is currently in the process of obtaining planning permission which if / when obtained will be worth appox 130-150k

6 Is it possible that I could claim a percentage of the sale proceeds due to the fact she failed to disclose retained assets from the court many years ago

7 Or can I put a ' lien' on the land via the Land Registry or stop a sale due to dispute until she can agree to discuss percentage without going to court or tribunal ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Family Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I am Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.
Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that case. I will be online and off-line all day today.

It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me while I gather some further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully.

When did you get your divorce?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

First Sept 1998 then May 1999 after Judge cancelled the Sept one due to lies given for grounds.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.
I am going to opt out of this for another expert. The thread will now open to all experts. There is no need for you to do anything and please don’t not reply otherwise it comes back into my inbox. Another expert, with the suitable expertise, will be along shortly.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
When was the Final Financial Order made within the divorce proceedings?
Was it made after a full fought hearing or by Consent?
Claire
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Hi


 


It was made after a fully fought county court hearing.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
When was the Order made?
Do you still have a copy of the Form E?
Claire
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Hi


My solicitor at the time could only find 24k that had been deposited in a account which Judge made her pay this to me via my lawyer during the hearing. I do not have any written docs on this point

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
So you had the chance to look at the sale documents at the time?
Claire
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi


No I never had sight of them, as she sold the property before the divorce and as i was in her name I had no powers to examine them. the property was sold to one of my daughters for a lower than market value and there was an 'agreement' to pay an extra sum privatly over a number of years so that it kept the price down for the 'planned' divorce disclosure

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Why were these not requested as part of the financial side of the divorce proceedings?
Claire
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi


the court accepted her lawyers docs and statement stating sale price and that there was no seriouis amounts of money left, I believe that due to the time factor between selling the property and instigating a divorce. She was never asked for proof of were it had gone by the judge and it was only by investigation by my solicitors that they found 24k in ireland

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
What was the time factor involved?
Claire
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi


around 14 months from receiving divorce papers to actuall court as there were 2 failed mediation sessions during that period when the 'judge' tried to tell my ex wife to settle out of court but she would not conceed to any form of agreement

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
What was the gap between the sale of the property and the divorce proceedings?
Claire
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Hi


 


From being informed by fax she had sold the property to actually being in court would have been 14mnths approx

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Did your solicitor ask for or get a copy of the sale details?
If not why not?
Claire
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Hi


 


yes, the figures were made available to my solicitor who questioned that they were not the true value of the property but were accepted by the court

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
But did the Solicitor ask for evidence in the form of a Copy of the Transfer Deed and if not why not?
Claire
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi
Good question !


I presume they did but I did not actually see it in person , the figure was contested but to no avail

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
This is the crux of the matter I am afraid.
Just to check - what is the value of the land without Planning Permission?
Claire
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi


10k approx


 


But there is another situ ! My son in law told me he had paid 12.5k to my ex wife on an agreed 25k total on a seperate agreement a few years ago but did not pay balance as he was not happy the way it was going. but it was not done via any lawyers only on e mails and verbal as a long term investment , But he can show payments made on his statements. In fact she is trying to sell it twice

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
I am afraid that the only way in which you can establish a claim upon the proceeds of sale is by going back and having the original Financial Order set aside on the basis of her failure to disclose her ongoing ownership of this parcel of land
The position with your son in law is irrelevant I am afraid.
However my concern is that the Court will say that this should have been discovered at the time IF your solicitors had done their job properly so before starting possibly expensive litigation you need to have a copy of the file and check what questions were asked.
In addition you will need to show that if the Court had been aware of the true situation then the outcome might have been different - which if the land was only worth £10,000 then could be hard to prove
I am sorry that the answer is not more positive - but as a starting point get your old file from the solicitors and see what was actually done (or not done)
Claire
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 28277
Experience: 25 years experience of all aspects of family law
Clare and 2 other UK Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

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