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ancillary relief proceedings (4 Posts)
Started By:
19 October, 2009 09:43PM
ancillary relief proceedings
singleguy - 19 October, 2009 09:43PM
Hi - i wonder if you can offer any advice? I have been a single man for 2 years, divorced for 6 months. I have two children under 16 that live with me, i have a residency and prohibited steps order with a no order for contact in respect of the children. I also work full time whilst the children are looked after by a minder. I have paid for all proceedings up to date from the savings that we had.

My 'x' is living with someone else but they are unemployed, she does not pay toward our mortgage, maintenance or anything else towards the children - i assume as she is unemployed and in reciept of benefit?

She would now like to apply for ancillary relief and i wonder what would be a reasonble division given the circumstances? I ask as i am not entitled to legal aid and i guess i am looking at a very expensive case? I would also like to clear up issues surrounding pension and my inability to change the mortgage i.e to a fixed rate, as we are jointly signed on the deeds?

Can you advise?
Re: ancillary relief proceedings
davidterry - 20 October, 2009 08:28AM
Yes, I guess your ex wife does not pay anything because she is unemployed. If she has a low income then her child maintenance liability is minimal even though she is the absent parent.

You obviously have a property which you own jointly with your ex wife. It really is very important that you sort that out as quickly as possible. If you do not then you may find that you pay the mortgage for the next five years or so only to find that your ex wife then pops up to say that she wants half the house.

It is very much in your interest to force a resolution of this now while property prices are depressed and while you need the property as a home for two dependent children. This is the best time for you to tackle the problem and you can force a resolution of it whether your wife wants to co-operate or not. You will do this by issuing an ancillary relief application to the court. What it costs you is likely to insignificant in terms of what you might lose if you delay and in terms of what you stand to gain.

Similarly this application will enable you to get closure on issues such as your pension otherwise you may find that you are contributing to your pension only to find that your ex wife makes a claim on it in some years time.
Re: ancillary relief proceedings
singleguy - 22 October, 2009 07:57AM
Hi - thank you for this advice, it makes perfect sense and i appreciate it. I guess i am a little confused purely by the logistics? I have not recieved a penny in maintenence or support for the last 2 years from my 'x' and of course she has not contributed anything to the mortgage either! My 'x' worked full time all through our relationship apart from taking time off for maternity when the children were born. I am currently fully supporting the children and recieve the basic contributions from family tax credits and child allowance, the family tax credits are completely taken up by paying for child care. I do not qualify for legal aid as i am over the limit for assistance, but this is only by about £50? The savings have been completley discharged on the previous court cases.

I am concerned that athough i work and i am in the odd position of having residency of the children i still have to compete with a partner that is not working, living with someone else and will recieve legal aid, which i assume provides her with a 'potentially'' limitless purse? I fully understand that this issue needs to be resolved as soon as possible but do you think i am at the 'mercy' of the courts or will all these facts be considered when a decision is being made?

Losing a percentage of your pension and a substantial financial chunk of the value of the property to a partner that leaves with no commitment at all does seem a little like a double hit in the chest to me?

What are your thoughts?
Re: ancillary relief proceedings
davidterry - 22 October, 2009 10:31AM
Well, things are not as bad as you might think. Normally it is the mother who stays in the matrimonial home with the kids and the father has to live in a bedsit. Admittedly you are not getting any child support from your ex because she is unemployed but there are other positives.

For a start, because of the children their need to be accommodated and yours rank above those of your ex. Your claim to the matrimonial home is therefore much stronger than hers. Second, she is cohabiting. That means the financial circumstances of her cohabitee need to be taken into account and to the extent that they share accommodation it weakens any claim she might otherwise make for the matrimonial home to be sold.

This is absolutely the best time for you to settle financial issues between you and your ex once for all and you should not delay in doing so whether she gets Legal Aid or not. Legal Aid will not affect the outcome. The longer you leave this the greater the chance that she will cease to cohabit (and consequently claim that her needs are greater) and the more you contribute towards any mortgage or pension that she may make a claim on. It is very much in your interest to force a resolution of these issues now while the facts are about as favourable to you as they will get. I hope this helps.
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