To claim expenses from someone I'm helping..

(34 Posts)
HappyGirlNow Thu 07-Feb-13 20:37:45

I'm acting as a witness for an ex-colleague I was friendly with in his divorce case. Basically, we worked in the same job a few years ago and while he left work to be a stay at home dad, I progressed further up the career ladder. What he is trying to prove in court is loss of career and earnings because he became the stay at home parent in the marriage.

My employers only allow unpaid time for witness service. I've discussed with my friend's lawyer and he said that my friend would be responsible for reimbursing me.

AIBU to ask to be reimbursed? It's well over £100 for the day and I have lots to pay at the moment as we've just moved house. My partner inferred that maybe I should just do my friend a favour and now I feel tight. I will also have travelling to pay and wouldn't ask for anything towards that. Am I being tight?

HarrietSchulenberg Thu 07-Feb-13 20:40:25

I'm not sure but I would think he should pay your costs then include them in his claim for his own costs, should he win.

Journey Thu 07-Feb-13 20:45:47

I'd tell him to get a statement from the hr department on what salary and position he could of been on to save you taking time off work. I doubt anybody would feel comfortable asking a friend for £100 especially since the friend hasn't mentioned it and it is only coming from his lawyer.

Just because you did well and climbed the career ladder doesn't mean he would of so it is all a bit subjective.

HollyBerryBush Thu 07-Feb-13 20:49:53

I have to say you agreed to be a witness, the costs are yours to bare - you could submit a statement.

BabyRoger Thu 07-Feb-13 20:52:18

TBH I think that is a bit tight.

Could you take a days annual leave instead or just do a statement?

CloudsAndTrees Thu 07-Feb-13 20:53:14

If you are in a position to earn £100 a day, I'd say you can afford to do your friend a favour at quite a difficult time without making it more complicated for him.

That's not to say you don't deserve reimbursement, but I'd feel tight as arseholes if I asked to be paid for something like this.

HappyGirlNow Thu 07-Feb-13 21:01:46

Thanks everyone. I'm with a different employer now. I can't take a days holiday as they are very tight on holidays and I have commitments this year that mean they're all accounted for.

If it had been a closer friend it wouldn't have crossed my mind to expect reimbursement. And also if money wasn't so tight at the moment.

I take on board what you're all saying and I do feel uncomfortable asking for it I suppose.

yummumto3girls Thu 07-Feb-13 21:37:19

I'm intrigued by his claim, who is he claiming against? To be honest he is in the same position as most women who do this but never challenge it, it's life! As a friend I would hope that he would offer to contribute to any travel costs but not to loss of earnings.

HappyGirlNow Thu 07-Feb-13 21:48:20

Thank you. He's claiming against his wife. It is subjective and I can't attest to anything bar we were in the same job, we were of similar abilities and attitudes and he could (possibly) be in the same position as me now if he'd carried on with his career. I suppose his solicitor knows what he's doing. It's just a lot of money for me to lose at the moment, money is really tight..

HollyBerryBush Thu 07-Feb-13 21:50:23

Dont do it.

Send a witness statement.

whois Thu 07-Feb-13 21:52:47

Oh defo claim expenses. Of he wins it will be of more benefit to him than the £100! It's a cowhide you were friendly with, not a 'BFF'.

HappyGirlNow Thu 07-Feb-13 22:09:41

Thanks all. We were quite friendly and have had slight contact over the years but I haven't even seen him in over 4 years and I'm already doing him a favour (it's taken up time already as I have had to have dealings with his lawyer and I need to spend more time discussing with the lawyer before the case goes to court, plus the time on the day, plus the cost of my travelling..) And I didn't feel it was unreasonable not to want to be significantly out of pocket too.. I'm normally a generous person but this just seemed a bit much tbh.

HappyGirlNow Thu 07-Feb-13 23:09:44

Any more opinions gratefully received grin

wineandroses Fri 08-Feb-13 00:03:04

I think it is perfectly reasonable to expect to be reimbursed for your lost wages and travel costs (why should you use a holiday day, as someone suggests?). You are doing this guy a serious favour by agreeing to be involved in his court case. No one should expect you to be out of pocket. If you are embarrassed to discuss it with him, then prepare a note of your expenses and give it to his solicitor, asking when you can expect to be paid. Don't feel bad about this, it really is not unreasonable at all.

YANBU my DH brings home around £100 perday & we definitely couldn't afford to lose it & his leave is tight. So the comment up thread about you being able to afford to lose one day's pay is rude & presumptuous.

Gingerodgers Fri 08-Feb-13 01:16:53

Tell him you can't afford to lose a days pay just now. Then he can decide whether or not to offer you the money, if he doesn't, then he will understand that you won't be able to attend.

HappyGirlNow Fri 08-Feb-13 08:07:59

Thanks everyone, really appreciate the views here. I think if the shoe was on the other foot I'd be making sure that whoever was helping me wasn't out of pocket too much. I just can't use a holiday as my employer is tight on them and I've a lot of commitments this year where i need a holiday, they're basically all allocated. I'd rather not be acting as a witness at all but felt I should do this favour.

ZillionChocolate Fri 08-Feb-13 08:20:17

If you wouldn't give him £100 cash then I wouldn't lose £100 of pay for him. Same goes for any expensive travel. It's his choice to rely on you as a witness. I'd contact his lawyer and say you are reluctant to attend as it will cause you to lose a day's pay so you would be looking to reclaim that. Ask whether there's any chance your statement would be agreed.

Is this case in the UK?

TheFallenNinja Fri 08-Feb-13 08:24:26

Why on earth would you need to attend?

Either way, he's obviously doing this for his own financial gain, he's paying the lawyer, why shouldn't he pay you?

Speculate to accumulate.

HappyGirlNow Fri 08-Feb-13 08:28:11

Hi zillion, yes it is in the UK. It won't cost a lot to travel, only about £20ish but money is very tight. We just bought a house and had to find an extra £8k deposit after mortgage comment reduced offer from mortgage in principle. Plus I've only had £350 pay since December as I've just changed jobs and had to take some time off in between and new company doesn't pay until 15th Feb so will take a couple of months to find my feet again.

Lost pay would be about £125 net and no I wouldn't give him that as cash.

Thank you for your input.

HappyGirlNow Fri 08-Feb-13 08:29:57

Thanks ninja - I don't know, I'm assuming his lawyer knows what he's doing... And I have thought that, if my statement makes a difference he'll presumably make a reasonable financial gain from it..

ZillionChocolate Fri 08-Feb-13 08:32:38

Your statement presumably supports his case. You can't know whether your attendance will help or not, that's the risk he takes in relying on you.

I imagine that her lawyers don't agree your statement which is why you have to attend. They probably want to cross examine you.

DontEvenThinkAboutIt Fri 08-Feb-13 08:35:33

There is nothing tight in asking to be reimbursed. He should have offered.

HappyGirlNow Fri 08-Feb-13 08:59:38

Thank you zillion - I would presume so - not looking forward to it..

And thank you too don't even - I didn't think so either until my partner put doubts in my head! confused

DeepRedBetty Fri 08-Feb-13 09:07:26

I think you should ask for all the costs to be reimbursed, both travel and loss of earnings - after all, this whole case is about lost earnings really isn't it!

Speak to his solicitor - you could start it by saying 'Hi I've rung to give you the details of who to make the cheque payable to for my expenses when the hearing takes place next xxx. I'm losing £x pay and travel costs are £y, so that's £x+y altogether...'

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