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Topic:
Wife does not communicate directly during divorce and her solicitor sent injunction warning (14 Posts)
Started By:
Date:
08 August, 2017 02:55PM
Wife does not communicate directly during divorce and her solicitor sent injunction warning
david_m - 08 August, 2017 02:55PM
It has been over 3 months since she filed divorce without any warning. When I found out about the divorce, I tried to contact her. Immediately, on the same day that I contacted her, I received an injunction warning letter from her solicitor. This was as if they were waiting for me to contact her, so that they can send me the warning letter. Is this something common that solicitors do?

The injunction letter unfairly accuses me of being emotionally abusive. Something which is very subjective and anyone can accuse anyone with little or no proof.

The only communication way that her solicitor left open is by contacting them by my solicitor. This is very expensive and inefficient. Writing a solicitor letter costs £100s and it takes 2 weeks to receive a reply from the other side. Recently, her solicitor does not even answer to my letters. She left the marriage without any warning, and there are many stuff to be sorted out, to which communicating via solicitors seems really silly.

I am left alone in our house, which forces me to pay the full mortgage, while she stays at a friend's. This is financially putting a lot of pressure on me.

They do not respond about the financial matters. They refused to go to mediation for the reason that they accused me of being too abusive, which is again simply false. I feel so helpless, it seems like in this legal system one side can simply accuse the other of any degree of abuse, all they have to do is to sworn, which would be just another lie for a wife with a long history of lying.

She is 36, I am 39, married for 11 years, no children, no pensions, we purchased a property worth £225,000 with 50% mortgage remaining.

1. I know it is a bad idea, but how bad would it be if I send my wife emails about the financial matters with the hope that she would come to her senses and change her mind about this lack of direct communication. I only received a warning letter from the solicitor, it is not a court order. Can they get a court order and arrest me immediately based on an email discussing financial stuff? Or, is it that they cannot arrest me unless I send an email after the court order is issued?

2. I do not want to negotiate financial matters through solicitors. I think this is really silly when comparing the legal cost to the whole assets value. It would be like spending over 10% of my assets to negotiate to keep them. This is nonsense to me. What other options do I have, when they do not communicate directly, do not go to mediation, and have already threatened me to take me to the court? What happens when I deny negotiating through solicitors?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/2017 03:00PM by david_m.
Re: Wife does not communicate directly during divorce and her solicitor sent injunction warning
Bubblegum - 08 August, 2017 04:26PM
It is clear that your wife does not want to engage in direct correspondence with you. You can not force her to do so. You should not continue to email or contact her directly on matters of your divorce because she has instructed a solicitor who has made it clear to you that she wishes all communication to go through them. If you continue to write to her despite the warning, this might be viewed as harassment.

Yes, I do agree there is a lot of money wasted on lawyers when the parties are not amicable and there is a lot of hostility. But I also think it is a necessity for the party who feels they are on the receiving end of the 'alleged' abuse.

It might be worth speaking to your solicitor and discussing how you can manage your case more efficiently given the increased need for correspondence through lawyers. Maybe you could consider becoming a LiP and writing to the wife's solicitor yourself at no cost. You could also (possibility) retain your solicitor on an unbundled basis and just tap in to their legal advice and services as and when needed.
Re: Wife does not communicate directly during divorce and her solicitor sent injunction warning
david_m - 08 August, 2017 04:46PM
Thank you Bubblegum. Communicating through her solicitor is one thing, them not responding to my messages through my solicitor is another.

Unfortunately, it seems like they are using this approach to put me under psychological and financial pressure, and that this seems to be working well for them.

How can the legal system allow writing to her with the content which is obviously free of any abuse to be arbitrarily treated as harassment, and yet allow the other side to be silent as long as they want?

I have already tried the LiP way that you kindly suggested. After writing to her solicitor twice, I was told that I am harassing her by trying to increase her legal costs!! So they stopped responding to me, even through my solicitor. it has been over a month that they have not responded to my letter regarding finance.

I feel like I am the one who is being abused here through this loophole.

Would it be wise to move out of our house so that I am not liable to pay the full mortgage? The only suggestion that my solicitor came up with was to take them to court, which is way out of my budget.

I feel absolutely shattered and helpless. Even though I am paying for legal advice, I feel like I do not get the protection I need.
Re: Wife does not communicate directly during divorce and her solicitor sent injunction warning
davidterry - 08 August, 2017 05:02PM
>>Maybe you could consider becoming a LiP and writing to the wife's solicitor yourself at no cost.

That is exactly right. If this is the game your wife wants to play then you can make sure that she bears the cost by becoming a litigant in person and communicating with her solicitors at her expense. If you do this make sure that your correspondence is polite and constructive. Put proposals forward and insist upon replies. If they ignore you (which they must not do if your correspondence is pertinent to the issues and civil) then point out to them that you can and will complain.

Conducting all discussions via solicitors is absolutely the worst way to settle any matrimonial issue. It is extremely expensive, prolongs everything and the chances of settling any time soon are minimal. Where direct contact between spouses is possible that offers the best chance of reaching agreement at least cost. In general that is to be encouraged not discouraged.

In this case it seems your wife absolutely will not engage with you. She may or may not have good reasons for that but so far as you can it is in your interests to bring home the costs of this to her.

If you cannot make progress in the near future with her solicitor then you should make a court application to get the financial resolved. That will provide a determinate time table so that you can be sure there is an end point no matter how unco-operative your wife and/or her solicitors are. If what you say about the financial situation is correct you can do much of this yourself although if it ever gets as fair as a final hearing before a judge in which the finances will be decided once for all you would be wise to get legal representation for that. In this way you can keep costs down for yourself but not for your wife.

Remind your wife's solicitors in writing that you are willing to attend mediation.
Re: Wife does not communicate directly during divorce and her solicitor sent injunction warning
Bubblegum - 08 August, 2017 05:27PM
>>"Would it be wise to move out of our house so that I am not liable to pay the full mortgage? "

NO - If the mortgage is in your/joint names, you are liable for it whether you are living in it or not. You risk repossession, damaging your credit score for about six years and also incurring ridiculous charges from the lender. There is enough equity in the home not to want to risk the lender taking possession.

I do agree that the only way to force the matter is through court. It is unfortunate that your ex is not engaging in negotiations. Mine didn't either and court was the only way of moving things forward. It's a long drawn out process, stressful and costly but at least the end is then in sight.

If she is claiming abuse - do you know if she is getting legal aid funding?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/2017 05:30PM by Bubblegum.
Re: Wife does not communicate directly during divorce and her solicitor sent injunction warning
david_m - 08 August, 2017 05:28PM
Thank you very much for your advice, David.


>> In general that is to be encouraged not discouraged.

Unfortunately, her lawyer has demonstrated to not be ethical at all. They filed the petition without letting me know, without sending me a copy of the petition statement. They had the intention of psychologically shocking me. It is evident that is it in their agenda to cut the contact. It is a big unknown for me how they would benefit from this.

I should let you know that my wife has made it clear that she is after 100% of the property, something which they themselves know is impossible to achieve. I wonder if they are trying to provoke me to the extend that I do something in their favour and have some evidence of being abusive that can be used in the financial court. I am not sure if it is possible. Or that, they are trying to put me in isolation for many months so that I give up.

>> If they ignore you (which they must not do if your correspondence is pertinent to the issues and civil) then point out to them that you can and will complain.

Exactly what kind of complain is that? Is this the same as making a court application to get the financial resolved?


>> Remind your wife's solicitors in writing that you are willing to attend mediation.

I have invited them to mediation once, reminded them twice. They wrote to me only once that mediation is exempt due to my extensive abusive behaviour. This is a very bold claim, we were amicable up until she instructed her solicitor, this is clearly an advice that she received from her solicitor, but it looks like there is nothing I can do about this. Also, as far as I understand mediation is voluntary, so I cannot force them into this.

It is sad to know that these loopholes exist in the legal system, and as sad to know that there are 'professionals' out there who gain financial profits by providing a service which puts real people with real feelings unfairly under pressure. This might be out of the scope of this forum, but these pressures have increasingly injected suicidal thoughts in me.

I again thank you for your advice and this forum. It is very valuable for people like me who are in dire straits.
Re: Wife does not communicate directly during divorce and her solicitor sent injunction warning
david_m - 08 August, 2017 05:33PM
>> NO - If the mortgage is in your/joint names, you are liable for it whether you are living in it or not.

Yes, I understand that. At the moment my wife is not contributing a penny to the mortgage, because I live in the house. The question was, if I opt to move out, can I at least ask her to contribute 50% of the mortgage? Or, hopefully, she would move in and pay 100% of it. That way she will have to cooperate with the financials, as the time is not in her favour. I hope this clarifies the question.

Despite her position, I still see going to the court an unnecessary overhead. I wish there was an option to simply make a complaint to the court to send them a warning in order to get engaged with negotiations.
Re: Wife does not communicate directly during divorce and her solicitor sent injunction warning
jill_of_all_trades - 08 August, 2017 05:35PM
My divorce is an ongoing saga because my not yet ex-husband sees it as a very low priority. Get your solicitor to write a letter making it clear that you will seek a financial settlement that reflects the fact she is not contributing to the mortgage and that you will not be responsible for any debts she incurs. Check with the mortgage company about taking in a lodger if you are prepared to rent out a room - even if you put the house on the market now you would not complete the sale before Jan/Feb and you might want to keep it anyway.

The upside of dealing with someone who cannot be bothered/refuses to deal with things in a timely efficient manner is that you have the time to organise things for a single life that suits you.
Re: Wife does not communicate directly during divorce and her solicitor sent injunction warning
david_m - 08 August, 2017 05:48PM
>> Get your solicitor to write a letter making it clear that you will seek a financial settlement that reflects the fact she is not contributing to the mortgage and that you will not be responsible for any debts she incurs.

I do not know if my lawyer is extremely conservative, or that she is completely right about this: She told me on day one that whoever who lives in the house pay the full mortgage. She said that in the final financial settlement, my wife's lack of contribution to the mortgage cannot be subtracted from her part. Is this correct? If not, I am not even receiving the right legal advice from an expensive firm with a good reputation.

>> that you will not be responsible for any debts she incurs.

Unfortunately, from the lender's point of view, we are both responsible for the debt. Yes I can damage her credit, but at the cost of damaging my own credit.

>> even if you put the house on the market now

I cannot do that by myself, she is against the sale and wants the house. Some 8 years of mortgage is left to pay.
Re: Wife does not communicate directly during divorce and her solicitor sent injunction warning
HatMan - 08 August, 2017 06:01PM
Well...if she wants the house she will have to buy you out won't she! - This is a relatively simple situation financially ( or so it appears ) - You are both entitled to 50% of the value as there are no dependent children etc so she either pays you the money for your share or the house gets sold and you each pocket half.

The reasons for the divorce are completely separate to the financial consideration and in this case it will be 50/50 on all assets no matter who says what and who did what to whom.
Re: Wife does not communicate directly during divorce and her solicitor sent injunction warning
david_m - 08 August, 2017 06:08PM
>> Well...if she wants the house she will have to buy you out won't she!

I know this sounds surreal, but she wants 100% of it, for free. This is their first and only offer that they made 2 months ago.

I know their offer is ridiculous, but, correct me if I'm wrong, even if their offer is crazy, when they do not negotiate I have to take them to the court. We barely have any assets which is worth going to the court. When one side is unreasonable, it takes the other side down too.

I wish there was a more efficient way of sorting this out without going to the court. Even if I decide to represent myself, it will take a lot of research and stress, and many months of my life.
Re: Wife does not communicate directly during divorce and her solicitor sent injunction warning
Bubblegum - 08 August, 2017 06:09PM
david_m Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> Yes, I understand that. At the moment my wife is
> not contributing a penny to the mortgage, because
> I live in the house. The question was, if I opt to
> move out, can I at least ask her to contribute 50%
> of the mortgage? Or, hopefully, she would move in
> and pay 100% of it. That way she will have to
> cooperate with the financials, as the time is not
> in her favour. I hope this clarifies the
> question.
>
> Despite her position, I still see going to the
> court an unnecessary overhead. I wish there was an
> option to simply make a complaint to the court to
> send them a warning in order to get engaged with
> negotiations.

Sorry, I take it that this is a joint mortgage. This is a contract you both have with the lender. You have 'joint and several liability'. So the bank doesn't care who lives in it or who pays it - as long as it is paid. And if it is not, they will pursue either one/ both of you regardless of where you live. Would it be cheaper for you to live elsewhere? Do you think she would want to move back in and does she have the money to pay the mortgage if she does? The last thing you want is to be paying rent elsewhere and then end up being chased for the mortgage arrears too. Jill's suggestion of 'rent a room to a lodger' might be a good option to help you out financially for the time being.

Sometimes the application to court for financial remedy is enough of a warning for the other side to sit up and listen and engage. It costs £255 and is done by completing Form A. Just because you issue proceedings - does not stop the parties from reaching a settlement outside of court. But it will force matters to progress.

I expect to some extent the solicitor has to take what their client is telling them at face value. If your wife has presented her circumstances as a victim of domestic abuse to her lawyer, the 'no contact' approach is understandable. Maybe the wife is dragging things out and not giving instructions to her solicitor as to how she wants to respond. Surely her solicitor must be advising her as to the likelihood of getting 100% of the assets after 11 year marriage where you both have equal needs. You need a damn good needs case to get 100%!

I'm sorry that you are feeling so low. Many people who are going through this will identify with the despair you are feeling. Please seek support from either friends and family or the Samaritans. It does help to talk thinks through and get things in perspective. It took me over four years to pluck up the strength to divorce despite being separated. Then 18 months of going through the hell of divorcing a vexatious ex. But you do get through it and things do get better.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/2017 06:33PM by Bubblegum.
Re: Wife does not communicate directly during divorce and her solicitor sent injunction warning
david_m - 08 August, 2017 06:30PM
>> Would it be cheaper for you to live elsewhere? Do you think she would want to move back in and does she have the money to pay the mortgage if she does?

I can certainly find a cheaper place to live. None of us can pay the mortgage alone, she is well aware of this, and is using this as a weapon to put financial pressure on me. I do agree with you that it is a bad idea to pay for rent and part of/whole the mortgage. My point was that, maybe this action would help to put some pressure on them in order to engage with the negotiations.

I am not at a good state and may even let the bank to repossess the property after I move out. It is my understanding that in this way I can at least secure a long term rental before my credit goes bad due to missing mortgage payments. I do not have the mental capacity of going to court and fighting over this for many months.

>> Sometimes the application to court for financial remedy is enough of a warning for the other side to sit up and listen and engage.

According to [www.gov.uk] , I cannot even do that! It says I must be the party who 'started the paperwork to divorce'.

I do appreciate your emotional support.
Re: Wife does not communicate directly during divorce and her solicitor sent injunction warning
Bubblegum - 08 August, 2017 07:03PM
>>According to [www.gov.uk] , I cannot even do that! It says I must be the party who 'started the paperwork to divorce'.

That is actually very poorly worded and I think probably incorrect. (Maybe MR Terry can confirm?)

*********** abstract from www.gov.uk ***********
Deadlines for applying
You can ask the court to make a financial order if both of the following apply:

you’ve started the paperwork to divorce or end your civil partnership
you haven’t yet applied for the final legal document to end the relationship
The final legal document is the:
decree absolute if you’re divorcing
final order if you’re ending a civil partnership
*******************************************************
The wording 'You've started' is misleading.
It seems to say that you can't apply for a financial order if you have the decree absolute. But my understanding is that you can as long as the boxes were ticked in the petition. Very confusing!

I did report this on their website about a month ago but they obviously didn't think it was worth correcting.
My understanding is that once you have the decree nisi, either party can make an application for financial proceedings by completing Form A.

Look I'm a 'glass half full' kinda girl and I think there is always hope. My ex threw me out of the FMH, then moved out shortly after and didn't pay the mortgage. Speak to your lender, explain the circumstances and ask if they will consider a 'consent to lease' until the divorce is settled. Then write to the ex's solicitor and say that she can either move in and take responsibility for the whole mortgage or agree to let the house until a settlement is reached. I did this as neither of us lived in the FMH. The mortgage was paid and there was even some money leftover each month. A share of the rental income might be an incentive to get her to sign.
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