Can anyone talk me through their 2nd financial hearing (FDR)? I have mine next month and I am scared..

(8 Posts)
Namechanger2015 Mon 25-Jul-16 13:30:11

My FDR hearing is scheduled for mid-August, I had a first hearing in March, and exH basically lied his way through it.

His questionnaire was badly answered with inconsistencies and outright lies, but my sol has advised us not to chase up on too many of these in the interest of proportionality (i.e. what I get might not be as much as what I have to spend in legal fees).

He has been siphoning money off to his family and friends, and they have now backed him up with narratives that say things like 'ExH owed me £100,000 as I lent it to him. I have no details on why I lent him this money but I now need it back urgently for my children's education'

None of it makes any sense. Assets are valued by my sol as approx approx £900,000 - however as I moved out of the marital home and now live in London with my parents, I need a sizeable chunk of that to be able to house my children. Moving back near my ExH is not an option because of domestic violence.

I am realyl scared about what happens at the next hearing. My sols have asked for the hearing to be extended from 30 mins to 2h, and have requested a senior (circuit) judge for the hearing as they deem this to be a complex case, due to H's inconsistent evidence throughout.

I can't see exH coming up with a sensible offer as he tried to offer me £250,000 at the outset, and sees all of the money earned as his. He is evading CMS payments also, he pays short every month because he says he can't afford it, but he has a high-earning job (self-employed).

I have spent approx £20K on costs so far. My solicitors have estimated that it will cost approx £100,000 more to get to final hearing, as we will have to have other people joined to proceedings, and will need preliminary hearings to ascertain true value of assets he has disposed of. So I'm now under pressure to settle at the FDR, as I don't want another year of this. I can borrow the money from family but don't really want to do this either. I have 3 young children and it's not fair on them as we are living in cramped conditions at the moment.

Sol did warn me that I can't expect the judge to be my knight in shining armour - s/he will simply look at the offers made and say whether or not they are reasonable. ExH's conduct will not be called into question, or my/childrens needs further examined until we get to final hearing.

I'm feeling scared, and my stomach is in knots about this already. It's just over 3 weeks away. Can anyone talk me through what to expect on the day?

MilicentKing Mon 25-Jul-16 21:10:49

Crikey, for £100,000 I'd really expect your sol to be able to walk you through it!

Sorry you are going through this. I can't help, though I am going through similar, but on a scale entirely different to you.

donners312 Mon 25-Jul-16 22:10:10

I am also in your position but with less money.

I have now let my solicitor go and am representing myself.

From what i understand as advised by my solicitor (when I did have one) he will not get away with saying he has lent money to this friend etc to deplete marital assets. That said will you actually see any money?

If he has offered you GBP 250K could you start a new life with that - it is better than nothing? Move further north? or support yourself with a job and use that as a deposit.

or self represent and just threaten him that you will sit it out and are not bothered if it goes to a final hearing or to not agree to a clean break?

I don't know - sorry i'm in exactly the same boat. I have been told i'll get nothing (husband has emptied all bank accounts etc pays no maintenance)

You have my every sympathy!!

Namechanger2015 Mon 25-Jul-16 22:25:42

Solicitor did briefly explain what would be happening, but we discussed and tend to discuss the more legal and procedural aspects, rather than the personal experience of the day. Just thought it might be comforting to hear how other people's days went.

Donner £250,000 is really not enough when you consider my earnings and contributions to the marriage and the children's housing and longer-term needs.

I have seen really mixed messages about whether people get a decent outcome at FDR and I'm trying to balance whether or not I should have a figure to settle on or see this through to final hearing.

My solicitor and barrister have both said they would love to be able to cross examine him at final hearing as he has made so many dubious and illegal manoeuvres, but it's obviously a hugely expensive gamble to make.

I need to move on from this but realistically need enough to house me and children in London, close to children's school, my family and to work.

Namechanger2015 Mon 25-Jul-16 22:27:45

I work full time and did so throughout our marriage, bringing in approx £60k per year. However he was financially abusive and kept all of my earnings in an account he would not let me access. In a period where I earned £100,000 in total, he gave me access to £16,000 and kept the rest. He has now disappated to his family.

Would the judge look this level of detail at the FDR?

MilicentKing Tue 26-Jul-16 07:36:52

I could be entirely wrong here, but I imagine the judge is interested in working out the assets of the marriage, so your STBX siphoning off money to family WILL taken into account. They will be interested in housing both parties and the ongoing needs of the children.

I suspect they are not interested in financial abuse unless it was a criminal matter. But really, your sol should be explaining this.

ddrmum Thu 28-Jul-16 15:58:56

So long as you can prove income & the fact that you were prevented from accessing it should give the judge a good idea if what he/she is dealing with. If he's claiming family loaned you money , he has to prove it. Your solicitor should be starting at 50/50 depending on the ages of your DCs. Try not to panic. I got dragged through every hearing possible eventually self representing due to costs. It wasn't too bad. Best of luck know OP.

babybarrister Thu 28-Jul-16 19:22:35

The fdr is NOT the hearing when any issues of fact will be resolved - it is only a negotiation assisted by a judge. The judge cannot decide anything and if there is no deal that judge cannot hear the final hearing . It is really hard in your position so just approach every step in a commercial way - will it bring you in more than you will have to spend. Finally, ignore the listing time - you. Need to be prepared to be at court from 9 to 5

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