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Disclosure on original Form E for variation hearing(12 Posts)
Hi, my ex-husband has applied for a variation of joint lives spousal maintenance but moved house last year to a more expensive property. He has not disclosed his new address, I used an agency to track him down. I suspect he paid for this house with unvested shares he claimed had no value on his original Form E. They were left out of negotiations for our consent order. Do I have any comeback on this? Will it affect calculations for the variation?
On a variation application a court could decide that maintenance should cease and be replaced by a capital payment.
You could only reopen the original order if your ex failed to be open in his disclosure at the time of the divorce. He clearly disclosed the existence of the shares. If he was aware of some fact that would have made the court believe the shares had a significant value had he shared that information you may have a case, but I suspect finding the evidence is going to be the hard bit.
Thank you for your answer. I don't particularly want to open the original order and I am applying for capitialisation of the maintenance as this is the second time he has claimed financial difficulties to try to undermine the consent order without any evidence of a change in circumstances. He said the shares had negative value at the time of the consent order but I never saw any supporting paperwork. If he has benefitted substantially from them and is trying to vary the maintenance down, is there any benefit in pursuing this?
Sorry, I meant what he's done with the shares. Should be fairly easy to uncover regarding the purchase of his new property which he hasn't mentioned and is using a third party address on his court documents. I suppose what I am trying to get my head round is how you can claim a need to downward vary the maintenance when you have gone out and bought a new house. Is this additional capital counted as a source of income?
I have recently gone through this again. Unfortunately when applying for a variation a full Form E is not required, I think it is a Form E2? Basically this form provides very minimal financial disclosure, which obviously will be to your ex's benefit. However you can request further financial disclosure through your questionnaire.
My ex had just purchased a 600k house, so was trying to essentially reduce maintenance payments to fund his new home.
I have been to court 7 times with the ex, I finally succeeded in having joint lives maintenance payments capitalised. Hope it works out for you.
Hi Crimson, can I ask did your ex have valid reasons to apply for the variation ie a change of circumstances? How do these things get to court if they're able to fund a new house or was he trying to hide it?
You should write to him in advance of exchange of form Es to confirm that he'll be completing the full form E. If not, write to the court and ask that he be directed to file the full version, as the court will not be able to consider exercising its power to capitalise without that information.
An application to vary must be based on a change in circumstances.
Thank you Collaborate, that's what I thought about the change of circumstances. The purchase of a new house either through shares or remortgage doesn't seem to suggest a decrease in his finances, particularly as he has remarried and his outgoings decreased accordingly. The lack of transparency is very frustrating!
I wrote to the judge requesting that my ex must complete full Form E in order to provide full financial disclosure and also to his solicitor, it made no difference. He only submitted Form E2, I filed full Form E.
After extensive research from self repping through 5 hearings it is clear that an 'application to vary can only be brought if the paying party can prove a downward change in financial circumstances'
However my ex's application still went ahead based on the fact that ' joint lives periodical payments were now very rare!' and so mine should now come to an end. Nothing at all to do with a change in his circumstances which he admitted as well during the hearing.
After hearing this the judge dismissed all the questions from my questionnaire regarding my ex's bank statements as now the onus was on me to prove why in my mid fifties I could not resurrect a career I gave up 20 years ago!
For the Final Hearing I hired a barrister, luckily I had kept every piece of paper work from the previous 7 hearings including the original Form E.
I also had kept a copy of all the jobs I had unsuccessfully applied for over the last few years proving I had made every attempt to maximise my income.
We never made it to the Final Hearing on the day, according to my barrister I was a very good witness which she told his barrister. My ex's solicitor and his barrister must have eventually made him see sense and they had all our arguments set before them. After several hours he agreed to capitalise rather than go before the judge again.
Hi Crimson, hope you don't mind but I have pm'd you.
What you have said is my fear, that variations will now be used to challenge joint lives orders. My consent order isn't very old, been challenged twice already, although not got to court so far. Capitalisation may mean justifying the maintenance at all.
Are there any legal bods out there to comment?
Can I ask Crimson did you get the full amount for capitialisation?
No I did not get full amount, but enough to purchase another house. I so wanted to capitalise in order to get him out of my life and for the financial control to stop. I settled for less but do not think you can put a price on peace of mind and to be rid of him. I knew how much I needed and was happy enough with that rather than run the risk of spousal maintenance payments continuing and to be heading back to court continuously with this.
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