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husband forcing financial settlement but refuses his side of disclosure

(20 Posts)
cannotseeanend Sun 26-Oct-14 08:32:38

Hi there
I was wondering if anyone can help me. I don't live in the UK and my husband fled there last year, leaving behind 4 kids.

He initiated a financial settlement against me with the following timetable.
1) financial disclosure Form E
I completed and had added to this since end July 2014 in full
He gave partial disclosure and still 14 items missing and not added to it at all since July 2014 and his solicitor has admitted she has some of the missing items but will not hand them over

2) questionnaire mid August 2014
I completed mine 2 weeks early.
He completed his 2 days late.

3) reply to questionnaire mid September 2014
I replied 2 weeks early, beginning September 2014
He has refused to comply and not replied, his solicitor lied to judge claiming I had submitted 3 questionnaires which was completely untrue, claiming the day before deadline she'd missed 2 of them, absolute lie, I numbered them 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3,3.1, 3.2, 3.3 etc a section questioning his Form E, a section questioning his bank transactions and a section questioning his credit cards/
The solicitor admitted she had not looked at the following pages and blamed it on me for "submitting 3 questionnaires" which was complete rubbish and does not excuse the fact that still I have no reply to the questionnaire that I renumbered 1 to 80!!!!!!
So still we are end October, the judge allowed an extension to reply to my questionnaire end September, the solicitor has still not replied. Based on the extension date, the reply to questionnaire is now 4 weeks late.

4) narrative statement 3rd week September 2014
I completed mine 2 days early.
He refused to comply. He is now 5 weeks late

So I have only a partial financial disclosure, no reply to questionnaire, no narrative. He has everything from my side. I have reported this to the judge. He never replies. I have asked for an adjournment of final hearing as my husband and solicitor have to complied with the court order for the submission of the essential documents. I have had no reply and it is extremely frustrating.

I suffer constant harassment by text that until now neither the UK Police nor the other EU Police has dealt with. I get horrendous text messages, several 100 over 15 months. Finally I hope the Police are reacting, certainly the EU Police are doing so.

In addition, my husband is refusing to comply with the child maintenance order in place in the EU country where we live, 3 times he has lost appeals and he's now on 4th appeal, but that is another story.

I am having to self represent, having failed to secure the help of any pro-bono lawyers anywhere in the UK and having no access to loans currently and little liquid cash. It is extremely hard for me and I feel the other solicitors and the court and treating me very unfairly, I rarely get any communication.

So can anyone advise me now? No good saying "seek legal advice" as I have no money to pay, I have been turned down for legal aid 2 times because I own a house. I have been turned down for a bank loan. I have no-one who can loan me enough money to pay a solicitor. I have watched my husband spend £33k of our family money, at least his partial disclosure proved that, but it left me with no liquid money.

Even worse, my husband has refused me access to the family home in the UK neither of us live in, he and solicitor have all the keys. I am paying the mortgage but I am denied access to my home. It is really cruel. I have yet to tell the court and I expect there to be no reaction?

Has anyone any idea what will happen on final hearing? Remember I have no full disclosure from my husband, no reply to my questionnaire, no narrative and the hearing is 4 weeks away and the court refuse to adjourn!!!!!!

I am beside myself with worry.

Please can someone help me.

OP’s posts: |
WellWhoKnew Sun 26-Oct-14 14:11:38

Okay - so are you planning to attend the FH?

I'm also having similar problems to you (although not so extreme!) but my solicitor has repeatedly assured me not to worry. The law is very, very simple on 'non-disclosure' - it assumes that the non-disclosing spouse has the means to pay (FvF is the case, and GvG)

If you have a timetabled divorce, have you already done FDA/FDR as you don't mention these? Because if not, then you put your issues to the judge ow can order compliance (with penal notice) so that if he carries on this way, he can be fined or jailed. This can be quite compelling for some men. You should have done these before going to FH.

Also my lovely STBXH has also collapsed all of our financial investments - these get 'added back' to the settlement figure. He will have to explain why he's done this (we're asking by way of schedule of deficiencies, following his inadequate questionnaire answers).

He will be cross examined on this anyway at the FH. I realise you have no money, but could you afford a direct-access barrister for the final hearing? You don't need one at an FDA.

A good book to read is Gordon & Slater's Family Law Made Simple.

Good luck! It is hell, isn't it?

WellWhoKnew Sun 26-Oct-14 14:18:27

PS The court has a huge amount of powers, so he can also be court ordered to return you house keys.

cannotseeanend Sun 26-Oct-14 17:20:46

I am self representing and finding communication almost impossible.

I have asked many many times for the court to do something to compel my husband to
1) complete financial disclosure
2) reply to my questionnaire
3) do narrative
4) give me house keys

I have had absolute silence from the court.

I have no idea what a FDA is.

I have spent 7 months coping with a medical condition and emergency surgery. I also carry pre-cancer cells, have 4 kids, have to work long hours, it's been a steep learning curve for me and I don't know even a fraction of what is needed to self represent.

I have no choice to attend final hearing but I am planning on hitch hiking to the UK to do it, I am so money strapped and I'll probably sleep in door way of the court, I don't have enough money to stay anyway. It's quite ironic, but all assets are in house or endowments.

I got some jumbled email from court, the only one since July, saying I have to pay £150 to ask the judge anything. I assume it now costs £150 to make my husband comply. I don't have any money other than a few hundred pounds stashed in cash for emergencies and that is to get me through to Christmas.

Sorry what does my husband have the means to pay because he is failing to disclose?I'm the respondent and I have offered him 47% of family assets. He has asked for 65% of family assets which means us losing the family home I cannot gain entry to as he has kept the key (he told the council I am owner and I have been billed 100% council tax) and even though I alone paid the mortgage until last month when he finally contributed a few quid and I've paid over 3k in the last year, making me live on a budget of £100 a week for me and 4 kids for food, it's been so so hard but proud to say we managed. Do you mean by failing to disclose, my husband has to accept my offer of 47%? It's the highest I can go and that puts me into debt by 50k to buy him out which I can afford only just.

OP’s posts: |
cannotseeanend Sun 26-Oct-14 17:30:19

I sort of remember "schedule of deficiencies" mentioned on Form E but do I apply for it? I simply answered "yes the bugger has spent 33k and the proof is in this EXCEL file" - I have inputted all 1200 transactions he's admitted to, about 400 more are still missing from bank statements he refuses to provide and payslips, it's such a nightmare trying to get him to disclose. I've decided to hide nothing, I supply every month a complete breakdown of family expenses, down to the few chocolate bars we buy, every single transaction is recorded and every single penny accounted for. I haven't even had an acknowledgement from the court they received any of it. It is so bloody frustrating. I hate it. I have pleaded for mediation but as I live outside the UK, my husband was exempted.

Someone in E... G........ is getting some huge kick out of knowing 4 kids and their mum are going through hell and living off sandwiches and pasta, they are driving around the car I paid for, they helped spend 33k of money my dad and me saved up, 2k on jewellery, 2k on clothes, foreign holidays 3 times in a year. It is really really hard for me and that's the financial disclosure I've had. All this whilst refusing the comply with the maintenance order and owes me the equivalent of the amount I live on for an entire year, me and 4 kids. It is hard not to think horrible things about the people responsible for the plight of me and the kids. I am terrified the pre-cancer cells are turning into cancer ones under this pressure. I've already lost one organ this year and 50 stitches and 3 months to recover from that.

OP’s posts: |
petalsandstars Sun 26-Oct-14 17:35:21

If the house is yours then you don't need the existing keys - get the locks changed. If you need to force the door or break a windows to get in it's your property so that is not against the law.

cannotseeanend Sun 26-Oct-14 18:01:40

Yes I know my "rights" but I live abroad, I cannot afford to travel to the UK to break into my house. I have a locksmith willing to tell me how to break in and then change locks, but no locksmith will do this without my presence. I don't have enough money to get to the UK to do this at the moment. I am living off very little where I am, I don't have anywhere to go in the UK other than my house there. He's doing it to be as cruel as possible. I cannot even get a valuation done as he is preventing access by his lawyer whose office is right next door holding the keys. She his lawyer, is stopping even giving keys to someone else like estate agent to go in and value. It's just a horrible horrible thing to do. I asked the estate agent how often this has happened over her years in the business, she said very rarely.

OP’s posts: |
WellWhoKnew Sun 26-Oct-14 18:08:56

In the UK, someone needs to apply for Ancilliary Relief (in this case, this is your husband). The process is this:

1) Exchange Form E (as you've done)
2) Exchange questionnaires (as you've done, but he hasn't)
3) Answer questionnaires and exchange
4) If you are not happy with the answers supplied, you raise a schedule of deficiencies (and exchange).
5) Attend a First Directions Hearing (this is the first of three court attendances). At an FDA, offers can be made (and accepted), or you explain to the judge why no offer can be made.
6) A judge will ask you to negotiate with the other side and you write 'undertakings' - these are promises to provide information/behave in a certain way etc, and all have deadlines which is then formed into a court order. Then, if necessary, a "Penal Order" is attached so that if either of you don't abide by the court order, you can be sent to prison (unlikely).
7) Then you go away again, wait for the information to come through. And then can make any further offers etc.
8) Then you attend the FDR (the is the second of the three court attendances). Again you will be expected to negotiate with the other side. However, this time a judge will explain to you both what the likely settlement will be/should be.
9) If you still cannot agree, then you go to a Final Hearing. This is a full hearing whereby all the matters of the divorce (and marriage) are heard, and a judge orders who pays what to whom.

So it sounds to me, like you're going to an FDA (this is where you complain to the judge about the lack of response).

There's no point writing to judges in this country, they don't write back. There are official court documents.

Please buy the book I recommend, also read 'Wikivorce' which helps litigants in person, as you are.

Good luck. It sounds as if it's a very complicated situation. It's unlikely he'll get 65% of the house, if you have four children. It's more likely you'll be required to sell it. But this depends on what you want.

I hope all goes well for you.

cannotseeanend Sun 26-Oct-14 18:20:06

oh ok, there was a FDA, but BEFORE my husband's financial disclosure which he refuses to finish. I was told I did not need to attend, as I'd just come out of hospital and had no money to travel.

then the judge ordered us to do questionnaires, mine I did on time, his arrived late and was pretty useless, the answers were nearly all in my financial disclosure or unclear so I wrote "unclear". I got legal help to reply to is questionnaire. He has refused to reply to mine.

I have NOT been ordered to negotiate at all though gosh have I tried, his lawyer refuses to respond.

I have not been ordered to do any "undertakings" either. how odd.

My husband has harassed me by various means and I have refused contact. I have told the judge but no reply. It's in hands of Police FINaLLY and one police force is utter crap, the other one finally transferred too are finally acting and I hope the harassment will stop.

No it's definitely a Final Hearing, the first one I am able to physically attend though I don't know how I'll feel or if I'll get there on time, as I will be hitch hiking for the first time since a student.

I don't want to see the house, I can give him the investments to give him 47% and I want to either move in or rent to give us some income. I cannot bear to live without anything. I' ve asked for the house to be in trust, so I receive nothing in fact, the kids own the house. their dad has taken so much, I want to protect their futures.

I so much want legal rep, but I am trying to raise some cash to pay. I don't qualifiy for legal aid as I own a house (I cannot get in to) and when the rules changed, DV victims got cut out of legal aid if they had a penny in assets.

OP’s posts: |
WellWhoKnew Sun 26-Oct-14 18:46:32

The apply to adjourn it, giving your reasons for wanting an adjournment. There will be a special form for this, which I think is this one, but do check.

Attendance at an FDA is mandatory, so who agreed that you didn't need to attend? The FDA should have been delayed due to your in-health.

cannotseeanend Sun 26-Oct-14 18:53:54

I tried to delay the FDA and submitted 14 pages of medical evidence and a doctor's certificate ordering me not to travel. It made absolutely no difference at all and went ahead without me. The judge told me I did not need to attend.

I applied to adjourn the hearing giving the many reasons like no financial disclosure, no reply to questionnaire, no narrative. I have had no reply, other than a demand for £150 if I want to apply to adjourn. I don't have even £1. How am I supposed to pay that then?

I feel like life is so hard on me. I have things of value like the house, but cannot even afford to get there to look at it. The financial abuse is well documented and I have no way of fighting it. I have tried everywhere but as a foreign spouse, I feel hugely disadvantaged and his lawyer takes huge advantage of it. She keeps emailing to tell me I'll go to prison.

OP’s posts: |
cannotseeanend Sun 26-Oct-14 18:55:49

And I do not understand as a respondant, why do I have to find £150 to pay to adjourn a court case in a foreign country I do not live in?

OP’s posts: |
WellWhoKnew Sun 26-Oct-14 19:26:28

Cannot until you get to a courthouse and explain in person to a judge, anyone and everyone can assume everything. Turn up, with all of your paperwork, and explain your situation.

A judge can then adjourn it if he's not able to resolve everything.

That's what the full hearing is for - to get to the bottom of everything. Then the judge will make a ruling. It could be that he forces the sale of the house, which you can then use as funds for your children's needs (and your own).

I'm so sorry you are in the situation, but our legal system is fair but it is not free. If you can get here, and explain what's happened, then you've an excellent chance of getting this situation resolved. He can also be ordered to pay the outstanding maintenance. So please find some funds to get here and get this sorted out.

cannotseeanend Mon 27-Oct-14 10:18:52

thanks for the advice. It is so hard to do this alone and I cannot access any of the legal advice services available in the UK as I am not in the UK and no-one in my country can help either.

I don't want to sell the house, it's the last thing I want, I worked so long for that. I'm just very very scared. He has taken the liquid assets and left me unable to fight him. He's asked for 2/3 of assets and we 5 have to share 1/3 of assets. My friends say for what he's done he should get nothing, but I'm not vindictive, I've spent much time trying to persuade his lawyer that 47%, that's almost 1/2 is very fair with us 5 sharing 53%. That will leave me having to pay off 50k on debt and the only way I can do that is to rent out the house to make that money, then I can decided whether I bring family back to UK, at the moment, I am too scared, the beatings were very traumatic and I'm so grateful for the water between us right now.

I've got 2 friends who've worked their socks off trying to reason with my husband, but the legal and financial stuff, I've had to do it all alone and that is so so hard to do.

Thanks for the advice.

OP’s posts: |
Lalala7 Thu 26-May-16 18:08:50

I wonder what happened with your process, since thread is quite old (?)
In case it is still ongoing, I thought I'd mention that you are entitled to free legal representation in case of domestic violence (you mentioned beatings).
If these weren't logged by police (and therefore you can't prove them), in your situation you would most likely be entitled to exemption from court fees: For this, each time you make an application notice to court (Form D11), you also add a Form EX160 for fee exemption with relevant copies of proof of earnings. Most application fees for Financial Remedies (i.e. Form D11) are either £155 or £50, but you would be exempt if you post the exemption form together with your application.
When court gives directions with a stated date for exchange of 'answers to questionnaire' for instance, if husband does not comply, rather than loose your rag and time arguing with him (he is doing this on purpose!), simply fill in Form D11 applying for a Penal Notice to be attached to him. Judges/ Court can only act upon the receipt of 'application notices'.
Then court will send you the signed order of Penal Notice, that will give a new date for husband to comply (generally max 2-3 weeks later), which you will have to send husband Registered/Signed For, and write to court that you have done so. If husband still does not comply with new date given by court, you then file a new application form (D11 again), this time asking for "committal, further to penal notice of ...". From then on, the judge/court will issue a new order for committal giving husband a new date to send all answers to you and court, and a new hearing date 2 weeks after that date; this order will be sent to you and to husband. If he doesn't comply, he will be in contempt of court and you will have the choice to have him sent to prison, do community service, pay a fine.
Note that he will still be in contempt if he produces at the last minute inadequate answers to your questionnaire (as in "I've lost this as my computer failed", "I don't understand the question", "documents to follow" etc).
Good to know that you can ask to be present live by phone if you live abroad - phone will be put on speaker during hearing...
All in all, remember that at the final trial hearing, all his behaviour and documented refusal to comply with the court directions will work against him and in your favour, as he will have willfully derailed the process.

Namechanger2015 Fri 27-May-16 13:30:38

Thank you so much for your post, I am in a similar position as my exH has not complied with the court-ordered deadline for submitting answers to my questionnaire.

The judge ordered all replies by 28 April, which exH asked for an extension to May 13 (granted during the first/FDA heading).

He didn't meet the deadline and asked for a further extension to 27 May, which is today. Still nothing from him. He has a lot of questions to answer, but has not provided even very basic and easy to obtain answers. Nothing at all.

We have our second hearing mid-August, and I am worried that I will have no choice but to postpone the hearing, as exH is not disclosing anything at all, and so I am not in a position to negotiate a settlement. I don't want to drag things out any longer than they already have been.

I'm going to apply for a penal notice to force disclosure as I am at my wits end.

Is there anyway to force him to pay fines for non-disclosure? I think it's the only thing that might work.

Namechanger2015 Fri 27-May-16 13:32:36

All in all, remember that at the final trial hearing, all his behaviour and documented refusal to comply with the court directions will work against him and in your favour, as he will have willfully derailed the process.

Would the courts even care who/how he has derailed, or would they just be interested in splitting the assets?

Pisssssedofff Fri 27-May-16 16:44:02

They don't care honestly they don't. It doesn't seem to matter how badly the other side has behaved all they want is for you two to come up with a solution.

Namechanger2015 Sat 28-May-16 19:56:19

That's the impression I am getting. I am really angry that my children are suffering in a process that is not of their doing.

ExH really couldn't care less and bizarrely missing court deadlines seems to count for nothing. I can't believe the process cannot be speeded up with fines and more stringent processes. I understand courts are booked up but I assume it's cases like mine that are clogging up the system?

As an aside his solicitors seem to be colluding in his bad behaviour. No comeback for them?

Pisssssedofff Sat 28-May-16 20:33:20

Again I don't think so .... Only thing is the longer it goes on the more he pays them so he's not benefiting the tool. You'd think there would be a point where a line should be drawn

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