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Clare, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 33947
Experience:  family solictor with 25 years experience
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I am close to getting divorced and have this week learned

Customer Question

I am close to getting divorced and have this week learned that my property has a second charge over it. The land register search confirms this. I absolutely know that I would not have knowingly signed for this charge which is £80k to my soon to be ex husbands business partner. It was taken out in nov 08 and during a year when I was mentally ill. I spent 3 months of that year in a mother and baby unit psychiatric hospital. I have not gained sight of the documents yet but presume that my signature has been forged or that my mind was elsewhere or under the influence of drugs. My husband was drawing up a financial agreement and I has hoped to achieve £85k from the house sale. I has initially been promised £100k. His solicitor has now flagged up the charge and I was completely unaware. I have very little money to lay for a solicitor if at all and don't know whether it's bear to ask someone to investigate or just go to the police. I'm so shocked and sad and at a loss as to how to proceed. Would the charge be valid if my signature was forged.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.


Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

How much is the property worth and how much is outstanding on the first mortgage?

What other assets are there?

What was the nature of the business - and what were these funds used for?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi ClareMany thanks or your reply. IThe house is worth around £350 to £370 I believe. We have £225,000 on mortgage. The charge i am told is for £80,000.
I have a car worth about £3000 and normal average family furniture. We both have pensions too.
His businesses are property development and planning reports. I have no idea what the funds were used for as I wasn't aware that this had occurred until 3 days ago. 2007/8 was a difficult year for the whole country so it could have been to inject money into the business. I have always been adamant that our family finances not be involved in the business. I had a personal and working relationship with the his business partner. He has never mentioned this agreement to me but was also fully aware of my mental state in that year. I was subbsequently diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I am currently well maintained and balanced on drugs but have been discharged by the psychiatrist as i am now stable. 2008 was a very different picture and was incidentally one of the reasons he cited for leaving me in 2011.I have not sought solicitors advice through lack of money. He wanted to divorce this year and we were tying up our financial agreement ready for him to send to the courts as he was "doing the divorce himself"I signed away my share in the businesses within 28 days of our separation in return for him taking on about £20,000 of credit card debts which were in his name but were from living expenses when we were short of money due to my illness affecting my work as a midwife and his business not producing enough profit. He asked me to do this as he cited it would be uncomfortable for the other partners to run the business with a divorcing couple. Whilst shocked at the circumstances of our marriage break up I was of sound mind at the time as this was 2011. He drew up a separation agreement downloaded off the internet and i signed this and the business paperwork. He headed off to his business partners to get the signitures countersigned but returned saying the partner did not want to confirm my signiture on the agreements but did on the dissolution. We were together 24 years and stupidly I trusted him to do the right thing. i was in a complete state of shock and struggling to keep going with children of 14, 4 and 5 years old. i moved out of the family home that year for 10 weeks but returned at his suggestion due to renting issues and he left the home shortly after to reside elsewhere.Since then we have not sorted our finances and this year he began the divorce process when i asked for the agreement to include me getting £85k or 55% of the profit whatever is the greater as agreed verbally. He had initially asked for me to accept 55%. His solicitors are a local reputable firm who have obviously asked how i can achieve this when we have a charge on the property. I am not certain that they are aware that i did not know but have not replied to my letter requesting the alteration before signing. During heated arguments this week over the agreement i said fine lets just sell after Christmas and then he dropped this massive bombshell in. I asked when this occured and how much and he said gave the answer £80 and 2008. I immediately replied that i would never have done this and in any case i was ill that year.Sorry this is lengthy. Just trying to provide the background.
I also live in the property and it is a buy to let mortgage. I understand that the mortgage details are registered at our former address. We cashed in the endowment on our first home in Dec 2012 at his request to pay off the credit card debts(yes i have paid twice for them. They were an almost similar amount). When the monies were transferrred he asked if he could use the money and not pay them off as his business was struggling and he needed funds for his daily living. Foolishly i agreed.Thank you for any help you may provide.Lynn
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
£350 to £370K
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

What does he claim the money was used for - and how much is the business worth - you do still have a claim on it!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He didn't say I was so shocked. I just said "absolutlely not. you know i would never have agreed to that". i just thought i need to consider this before i say anything so said i need to go amnd he said i'll call you back tomorrow or Monday.The one business was valued at £60k with 4 directors. His other business never really trades much as all the transactions go through his business partners business for which they both work full time. His third business had the same chap and another guy as directors. I don't think i was a director of this one but it has has since been sold/taken over im not entirely sure as that happened after we split.Thanks Clare
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Do any of the other businesses have a value?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
one was valued in 2011 when we split at £60k i,m not sure about the others. He has a special agreement with his business partner and they share profits of two development companies they own separately . Mainly his partners is the one that active. I would have no legal interest in that one though x
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Actually you have a claim in family law on the assets owned by your husband - including these businesses

What income and pension provision does your ex have?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i dont know his imcome but his pension is 1/3 of mine
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I really want to know how i can proceed with the fact that i was unaware of the charge.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

As a starting point once the paperwork arrives you may of course be reporting the matter to the Police as a case of Forgery or Financial Fraud.

If that is the case then the Charge will not stand.

Even if the signature is yours the close relationship between your ex and his business partner means that the partner had a greater responsibility to ensure that you were fully aware of the nature of the document that you were signing and given your illness it is unlikely that he will be able to justify accepting the Charge without having spoken to you directly regarding the matter

Finally even if it does stand however all is not lost as your ex will have to account for the monies - and may well have to renegotiate a settlement leaving you in the house until matters can be resolved.

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Clare.I have felt in trumoil all weekend. I shall wait to see what the form shows but i'm 99% certain it won't have my signiture on it. I have absolutely no recollection of it and coupled with the fact its taken 7 years to come out I believe it was wholeheartedly intentionally kept from me.Many thanks for your advice. Enjoy the rest of your day.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

You are most welcome and I hope all goes as well as it can