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Money owed by ex wife

(19 Posts)
Smellyinthecellar Wed 22-Mar-17 17:52:38

Just a bit of advice please. Asking on behalf of dh!
During legal wranglings regarding access to children, husbands ex wife was charged with contempt of court (quite a few years ago now) and ordered to pay husbands legal costs to date. This came to nearly £30k, most some of which came from pil (dh parents).
ExW basically ignored all informal attempts from dh and his solicitor to get the money repaid and it was never enforced by the court.
Dh thinks short of getting bailiffs in (which he quite rightly doesn't want to do, as there are dcs involved), there isn't any way of getting the money repaid?

Does anyone have experience of this?

ImperialBlether Wed 22-Mar-17 17:58:51

Does she actually have the money to pay it?

FlappyRose Wed 22-Mar-17 18:06:04

Does she have any assets? Any chance of securing it via a charging order?

Smellyinthecellar Wed 22-Mar-17 18:07:55

She has the equity from the house, but denies that she still has it. We believe it may have been 'gifted' to a family member when it was sold. She then moved into a rented property, then into her new husbands house.

Smellyinthecellar Wed 22-Mar-17 18:08:51

Sorry, that should have said 'had' the equity.

Smellyinthecellar Wed 22-Mar-17 18:09:32

Equity was around the £50k mark.

bignamechangeroonie Wed 22-Mar-17 18:15:52

Unless she's got a job then you can't attach the earnings. You've no change of getting that equity now.

Go for attachment of earnings if she has a job.

Smellyinthecellar Wed 22-Mar-17 18:17:00

She does work. We'll look into it, thank you for your advice.

Underthemoonlight Wed 22-Mar-17 18:20:19

Never heard of someone having to pay someone's legal fees inregards to access before is it really enforceable

Smellyinthecellar Wed 22-Mar-17 18:25:49

Basically, exw agreed to judges terms i.e. Agreed to set visitation times and periods set specifically by the judge. This process took months for her to agree to.
After a very short period of time, she then stopped turning up. When taken back to court, she admitted that she had no intention of adhering to the judges ruling. Therefore was charged with contempt of court and ordered to pay costs.

MrsBertBibby Wed 22-Mar-17 19:37:45

Did the judge order her to pay a specific amount? Or was it just a general order?

MrsBertBibby Wed 22-Mar-17 19:38:28

And how many years, exactly?

dontpokethebear Wed 22-Mar-17 19:58:29

I'm not sure, I'll have to ask dh when he gets in. I've got the figure of £24k in my head.
I believe it was around 8/9 years ago.

Underthemoonlight Wed 22-Mar-17 21:07:56

I would leave it your not getting that money back and if it's not writing I don't know if there's anything you can do.

dontpokethebear Wed 22-Mar-17 21:31:40

Oh it's all in writing. It's just a case of working out how to go about legitimately claiming it back.

caroldecker Wed 22-Mar-17 21:35:26

You can check at the land registry if she is on new husbands house deeds. If so, you can register a charge against the house.

Allthebestnamesareused Wed 22-Mar-17 21:48:00

After the order for costs was given was an actual figure agreed or assessed. You would then have a judgment for thst specific amount. The courts don't automatically enforce a judgment- it is for the person who the judgment is in favour to issue enforcement proceedings eg. Bailiffs, charging order, attachment of earnings etc. I would start by getting DH to write asking how she intends to settle the debt and letting her know that in the absence of an indication of how she intends to settle he will take enforcement proceedings. Maybe if her financial circumstances have changed on remarriage she may be able to repay by not taking maintenance from your DH (obviously only if she does not need that to maintain the children).

dontpokethebear Wed 22-Mar-17 22:04:41

Sorry, should have said I name changed for this. Hey ho!
carol and allthebest that is really helpful, thank you.
Not particularly keen on stopping maintenance, doesn't seem fair on the children.

Collaborate Wed 22-Mar-17 22:45:41

Under s24(1) of the Limitation Act 1980 he had 6 years to enforce the judgment. It's now unenforceable.

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