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Does solicitor have a duty to report insurance fraud if I tell her?

(3 Posts)
HappyDay5 Thu 07-Jul-16 11:07:45

Quick question in case I accidentally drop my STBX in it... I'm in the middle of a divorce and we're between nisi and absolute. My ex is a compulsive spender and I was financially abused by him throughout our 10 years together. Just before I left with the children, he'd made a fraudulent insurance claim on his watch and received £5k. I was not named on anything and did not benefit from this financially (he went on to spend it on a holiday abroad with a new date, a games console, a new amp etc and did not attempt to pay off any debt).

He's now fighting to have our house sold and wants me and the children to return to rented accommodation (everything is in his name - don't ask) and wants all of the equity - £45-50k to pay off his debts. I moved back in with the children when it became apparent the house was mostly vacant while he stays with his girlfriend.

My solicitor has asked me to list examples of his financial misconduct so that we can put a proposal to his solicitor (buying a £20k car without telling me etc) and aim to settle out of court. I want to emphasise his reckless spending behaviour in the hope his own solicitor will realise the equity will not be used wisely and we'll be out on our ear. My question is, if I put this in the list, will my or his solicitor be bound to report this to the police? I don't want to see my ex in prison for his idiocy, let alone do that to our children. This will also have a massive impact on our already stretched budget if he's no longer earning. However, I would like advice on how to 'suggest' he did this. Morally, I feel like I shouldn't mention it but then at what cost? The children and I could lose our home to protect him. A few close friends have said 'you only have one bullet in your gun, if you're gonna fire it, use it for something big'. I suppose this would be it.

Is it possible his solicitor has arranged payment from the equity? I honestly can't see how he can afford this person as he's the managing partner in his own law firm.

My solicitor has advised that if we go to court to fight this, it'll cost between £10-25k and even then the judge may still award him a portion of the equity because of his own debt. Any advice?

Collaborate Thu 07-Jul-16 14:02:25

They will not be under duty to report it - in fact they will be under a duty to respect your confidentiality. Would be a bit different if the £5k was still there and you were fighting over it, and wanted your share of it to be paid to you through your solicitors, as you'd be asking them to effectively "launder" the proceeds of crime. But you're not doing that, so you're alright.

HappyDay5 Thu 07-Jul-16 14:49:05

Thanks Collaborate. That sounds fairly sensible. I suppose if it ever reaches court I can 'encourage' him to add the watch to his list of those assets over £500. He may decide to bow out if he thinks he'll be rumbled.

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