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Separation: what should I expect if we end in court?

(10 Posts)
itsnotpossibleisit Thu 15-Sep-11 21:25:18

ExP and I have been separated for 4.5 months now. Up untill now everything has been dealt by our respective solicitors but today my solicitor has told me that we may have to go to court as it does not seem possible to reach an agreement. He is not willing to go to mediation as he thinks it is a waist of time and money.

What will happen if we go to court? What should I expect? Do we have to talk to the judge and expose our opinions?

We have a house which we bought together as well as a DD who lives with me. ExP believes that I am not entitled to any financial part of the house because I have not paid towards the mortgage even though I have paid for bills and food while we were together. There is a declaration of trust which explain that I am entitle to 35% of the value of the property, his mum owns 30% as well.

He has recently offered me £3000 which is not even half of the amount I am entitle from the house. I am a mess and scare of going to court and I am not sure if to accept his offer even though I know I should be getting more. I gave up my job after my maternity leave ended to look after our daughter so I gave up my career and I had to move out of the property we bought because he was not willing to leave and the situation was unberable.

Any advice much appreciated. THank you in advance

mumofsoontobelawstudent Thu 15-Sep-11 22:00:15

Sorry about the breakdown of your relationship. Never easy sad
I'm assuming you are not married? This makes a huge difference.

If you have a decaration of trust saying that you have a 35% share of the house then I do not understand how he is now claiming you are not entitled to anything. Where are you living now?
Is he paying any maintenance for your DD?

If he thinks mediation is a waste of time and money does he not realise how much money he will potentially waste going to Court?

You should not accept any offer without first discussing with your Solicitor. All well and good having 3k now but not if you are going to be left without a roof over yours and your DD's heads.

How old is DD now? Any chance of you returning to work in the near future?

Sorry for all questions but hard to advise without more info

itsnotpossibleisit Thu 15-Sep-11 23:38:42

We were not married, he already told me that "thanks god we were not married because if not he would have ben completely fucked" shock. I have rented a house for DD and myself which I pay fully as I have ben denied housing benefit (appeal in place and waiting). He is not paying full child maintenance as according to him we have not reached a full separation agreement. So if he does not pay the full amount this month I will go through CSA.

He believes that morally I am not entitle to anything. He has been very controlling in all aspects and he is still trying to control me in a lot of different ways.

My solicitor thinks I deserve the full amount and at the moment I already owe £3000 to friends and family who have been helping us to get a house and live up until today. DD is 2 years old

Hope this helps and thanks

mumofsoontobelawstudent Fri 16-Sep-11 06:48:48

He sounds like a real charmer!
Am still somewhat confused. So you own a house in joint names. There is a declaration of trust setting out that your share is 35% (and presumably his is also 35% and his mother who presumably contributed is entitled to 30%). So you went down the route of setting this all out in a legal document and he now thinks that you are not entitled to anything? On what basis? (apart from of course the fact that he is being a twat!)

Do you know how much equity is in the property?

As you are not married things are not the same as if you were with regards to Court applications (different process). I have to confess, I have only dealt with applications to Court under divorce proceedings and am only familiar with that. I have always encouraged non married parties to try to resolve issues without going to Court as of course it gets expensive.

Hopefully experienced family lawyers like mumblechum, collaborate and babybarrister will come along soon and be able to advise you with regards to proceedings for unmarried parties.

I would however still stick by my advice NOT to accept any offers at this time. Presumably you are having to borrow money from family and friends to cover your rent and obviously you can only do that short term. I hope someone else comes along soon with more helpful advice.

itsnotpossibleisit Fri 16-Sep-11 15:27:48

Thank you very much for info. I do not know how much equity is in the property at the moment and yes you are right he owns the other 35%. His basis is that morally I do not deserve anything. He has just change solicitors and their last proposal was very harsh.

I was hoping we could deal with this without going to court but he is not willing to reach an agreement (another way of trying to keeo controlling me) and I am not sure if I have the energies to go to court, I a really scared at the moment as I do not have family around and I am on my own with no support, I am from Spain and all my family is there.

Yes I am borrowing money from friends and family for the last 4 months and I do not think I will be able to do this for much longer so I need to fix this as soon as possible.

Thanks again for your advice and hopefully someone else will be able to advice my a bit more.

cestlavielife Fri 16-Sep-11 16:17:44

first off get an idea of market valuation and find out how much equity there is in the property - otehrwise you have no idea whether 3000 is good or bad. tehre is no point speaking to lawyers without all teh financial detials you can gather together - look online for property valuees of equivalent properties and find out how much teh mortgage is owing on the property.

as you have the declaration you need to ensure you get that amount - plus mainteance for your child.

remember that court is a way to ensure bullies dont get away with it -the judge will decide based on the evidence you provide .

mumofsoontobelawstudent Fri 16-Sep-11 16:59:53

Agree with cestlavie, get a valuation asap. I appreciate that as you are not in the house this might be a little difficult but some agents may be able to do a 'drive by' valuation. If the mortage is in joint names you are entitled to a copy of the mortgage statement and you should therefore be able to work out the approximately equity.

itsnotpossibleisit Fri 16-Sep-11 17:38:06

My solicitor did all the calculations and she says I am entitle to almost £8000 for the property. I have been checking and properties in the same road are being sold for the same price that we bought it or just for a bit more. So the calculation my solicitor did should be pretty accurate.

What should I expect if we go to court? What are the procedures? Do I have to talk with the judge? Will I have to expose or will it be my solicitor doing all the talking?

He is willing to pay what CSA calculator says that he should pay according to his earnings but he is not paying the full amount as we have not reached a separation agreement so up until now he already owns me money for hild maintenance (another way of controlling).

itsnotpossibleisit Sun 18-Sep-11 08:32:10

Anyone please? sad

sneezecakesmum Tue 20-Sep-11 20:35:48

call the CSA straight away, they only collect maintenance from when the application is made and do not backdate.

If it goes to court (reiterate how stupid he is thinking mediation is cheaper than court!!!) Your solicitor will fill in your witness statement with your paperwork etc and the reasons you are entitled to the stated amount. They should also ask for costs against him (all or part) because his intransigence has brought the proceedings about by not co operating with you. In our case the initial hearing was 15 minutes and then a court date set. (still waiting for that) The judge may speak to you, but your solicitor does most of the work. It is usually very informal and just the plaintiff (you) and the defendent (him) plus solicitors and the judge. Not an open court. No family. They are not interested in anything other than the property in most cases involving property. Intrusive questions, guilt, affairs etc do not get a look in.

The solicitor will guide you through the process so don't worry.

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