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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Senior Associate
Category: UK Law
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Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor and Litigator
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My partner is in the process of getting divorced. Her

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My partner is in the process of getting divorced. Her husband is the managing director of a civil engineering company. £40000 is paid into his own company , which he takes £10600 as salary and he also claims £19600 mileage allowance ( this is for 70000 miles ) . Another £50000 is paid into his personal account which he is claiming is for cash disbursement on contracts (he has submitted an email from the company saying this is what it is for). Going through both accounts his personal expenditure for the year ( mortgage, loans , cash etc) is £80000. To me it is obvious fraud ( he only does 40000 miles pa according to mot docs) and embezzlement ( he has spent company money on himself. How does she proceed, if she exposes him will all the assets go to pay fines, if she doesn't her settlement will be far less than she is entitled too

Hi, he would need to declare his income from the company. If financial remedy proceedings have been issued, both parties have to file Form E which is a formal court document setting out the parties income and liabilities. The court would make an order for attachment of earnings or a clean break, depending on your partners financial needs and their earning capacity for the future. I would have thought the court would want to see accounts for the last three years if possible to get an accurate picture of his disposable income. The court would not make any order as regards ***** ***** as the divorce takes place in the civil courts although they can refer criminal conduct to the CPS. I would negotiate with him for a financial settlement (the courts expect the parties to negotiate) and highlight to him the possibility of consequences for him if his accounts were to be considered by the courts

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Form E has been submitted, questions have been asked and he is still insisting that he earns £10600 + mileage allowance. He has submitted abbreviated accounts for 14/15 and 15/16 but only bank statements from jan-dec 16 ( form e was in Jan) . There is a court date for April to finalise finances ( the judge has allocated 1 hour). How hard is it ethical to push, we estimate over the last 3 years he has over claimed £30,000 in mileage and received £150,000 in supposed cash disbursements. Her fear is that if he is prosecuted she will end up with nothing. They will both have barristers at court, can they negotiate a deal behind closed doors and will the judge ignore what is blatantly obvious if he looks at bank statements. If he was prosecuted could she keep her share in the property .

Hi again, the judge will want the parties to try and agree a settlement at the FDR hearing. If that's not possible, there will be a trial where evidence is given and the judge makes an order as to settlement. I presume the FDR (financial dispute resolution hearing) has yet to take place? I would be asking for bank statements going back more than 12 months. The barristers should try agree a settlement - you can argue they have only given partial disclosure and use that as a bargaining tool. The judge will simply look at the evidence presented and if they think some is missing, they will order him to disclose further statements so that an accurate picture can be drawn from his finances. If he is prosecuted then it would be further down the line and her entitlement to the assets / money should not be affected especially if you agree a settlement by consent order at or before the upcoming hearing.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
The original court hearing was a farce, it came only 10 days after the questions from form e had been submitted and they hadn't yet been answered. We now have his answers from form e , but many of the answers are so inadequate we now have a whole other set of questions. The next court hearing is supposed to be the final one. Is the court hearing the place to raise his inadequate answers and a few outright lies.

It doesn't sound like the case is ready to be heard at trial so I would suggest asking the court for a further direction as you have more questions which need to be answered. Your barrister should be able to advise on an application to the court for a further direction regarding disclosure. The court hearing would take a certain forms me a limited amount of time is given so isn't supposed to be a forum for questions and answers. Hope this helps - my advice is to make an application for further disclosure or alternatively raise this with the other side and say you want to negotiate (should go more in your favour if he's faced with a longer court process and further disclosure which could potentially get him in to hot water)

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