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Help sought re divorce

(10 Posts)
siliconglen Wed 19-Mar-14 23:55:35

I filed for divorce in London while I was living there. My wife was living in Scotland with the children.

Due to intervention by social work, the children are now in my care and I am living in Scotland with the children legally secured in my care.

However the divorce in London remains and I would prefer to move it to Scotland as everyone is based here now. My wife is refusing this, at exceptional cost and inconvenience to me. I instructed a solicitor who deals in mediation in order to keep everything away from the courts as much as possible, however my wife's solicitors seem keen to put everything through the courts including decisions as frivolous as whether I get to keep the pot plants my now dead father left me. I have had enough of this. I am now being told I need to attend court in London which I cannot do as I have 3 children in my care, I cannot take them to London due to a court order and I do not have overnight childcare during the week either. My wife seems to qualify for legal aid, I do not. I do not think she should be receiving legal aid as she is a 50% shareholder in my company and earned £5000 in dividends in the last 2 months. I have not paid her this income as it appears from her divorce papers I have received that she has systematically been defrauding me by failing to declare £1200 a month in state aid she was receiving when we agreed a voluntary settlement while the children were in her care. (she was on an income equivalent of over £75000 a year between my support and the state aid)

I have been instructing a solicitor in London but she has racked up a huge bill, 4 times the original estimate despite my best attempts to keep it down.

I am looking for suggestions on

1. A good solicitor in London
2. Options for keeping everything away from the courts and doing it myself as much as possible (McKenzies' friend or other similar advice)
3. What I can do to actually force the action up to Scotland despite my wife disagreeing.
4. What legal rights do I have?
5. What emotional support I can get?

many thanks

Spero Thu 20-Mar-14 00:03:52

I am not sure you can 'force' the action to go to Scotland; you can apply to transfer but Scotland is a different legal system so it won't be as simple as just asking to move within England and Wales. If she doesn't want to, you may not be able to.

But jurisdictional issues aren't really my field, so hopefully someone who knows better will be along.

If you are worried about high legal costs, then I don't think you need a solicitor. Financial proceedings are relatively straightforward, unless you have lots of assets in different jurisdictions, companies or trusts etc. Or you could get a barrister via the public access scheme to provide one off advice or represent you at a hearing; this would be cheaper. The Bar Council has a list of qualified public access barristers.

'what legal rights do I have' is a very broad question, I am not sure what you are referring to here.

'what emotional support can I get' - don't make the mistake of trying to get this from your solicitor; that will rack up bills in no time. It sounds like you are going through a very stressful time so if you don't have friends or family who will help provide a shoulder to cry on, I would consider getting some professional help; just someone to vent/talk to who will be cheaper than a solicitor.

Cabrinha Thu 20-Mar-14 00:04:50

Can you withhold her shareholder dividends legally?

Cabrinha Thu 20-Mar-14 00:07:20

What stage is your divorce at? As it is you than is divorcing her, can you not just stop your action and start again in Scotland? People change their mind during divorces, I don't think there's any point at which you can't just stop, before you've put in for your absolute.

siliconglen Thu 20-Mar-14 06:38:29

By "transferring" the action I mean stopping the action in London and starting a new action in Scotland. This will not result in a delay as everything is on hold until July anyway pending the outcome of a permanent decision regarding the children's care through a social work action.

The divorce in England is at decree nisi and an application for financial settlement has been made but cannot move due to the other social work court action in Scotland.

Spero Thu 20-Mar-14 07:45:53

The trouble is that the English court now has jurisdiction so if you withdraw the English proceedings and try again in Scotland, your ex could apply to stop this.

But it does sound like your situation is very difficult so it's worth trying. Maybe get a one off advice on issues of transfer and jurisdiction from a public access barrister?

Quejica Thu 20-Mar-14 08:13:06

There is a barrister called Alan Inglis who practises family law in Scotland and England. It may be worth seeing if you can get some direct access advice from him.
He's very knowledgable and approachable.

Spero Thu 20-Mar-14 09:39:45

I know Alan! He is FIERCE. He would be good to have in your corner. (not so much fun as his opponent mind you...)

He is Scottish but practised in England for ages. I think he is now in Scotland?

daverussel Thu 20-Mar-14 23:11:41

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Spero Thu 20-Mar-14 23:20:06

I may be missing something, but how on earth is a Texan attorney going to be any help to someone in Scotland or the UK?

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