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Waking away with nothing.

Posted by justanotherpaddy 
Waking away with nothing.
September 18, 2020 12:26PM
I'll try and keep this simple. My partner is divorcing me after my ( admitted) adultery. They're still living in the marital home and I've moved out into rented accommodation. The flat was mine originally before we co habited and the mortgage is in both of out names and has been for 15 years.
Last year out of the guilt I was feeling I signed a financial order giving my partner whole ownership of the flat, basically I walked away with nothing.I have still been paying part of the mortgage and bills every month.
Due to the Covid situation everything slowed down and it was only this week I have been served the Service of Acknowledgement papers to return to the court.
Question is is the court likely to just accept that the financial agreement is entirely unbalanced or are they likely to either question it or even order that it be adjusted. They have a solicitor but as I was signing over everything I saw no need to get one.
Re: Waking away with nothing.
September 19, 2020 05:03PM
>>Last year out of the guilt I was feeling I signed a financial order giving my partner whole ownership of the flat,

I am not sure that you did sign a 'financial order'. The point is, a court does not have jurisdiction to make a final order in respect of the financial issues arising from the marriage (even if both parties are agreed) unless and until there is decree nisi in divorce proceedings. If you signed over the flat last year that sounds as though you did so even before a divorce petition had even been issued. If so it is more likely that you simply signed a deed of transfer for the flat which is a very different thing from a 'financial order'.

It is, of course, hard to be 100% sure without seeing a copy of exactly what you signed but this seems most likely. If that is the case then there is no problem whatever about now seeking a share of the capital in divorce proceedings. Even if you did sign a 'financial order' it obviously cannot have been approved by a court so you can (should?) formally withdraw your agreement to it. If there was a 'financial order' that you signed you would probably have to explain why you were withdrawing your consent if your ex sought to enforce it. That would be easy enough to do in these facts. You would simply say that you acted out of guilt and upon reflection this outcome would be very unfair.
Re: Waking away with nothing.
September 22, 2020 10:09AM
Thank you David, upon reflection it was a simple contract stating that I would give up my claim on the flat and ratifying our ongoing financial agreement as having no other claim on each others finances.
I guess the heart of the question is if that agreement is presented to the court is it likely to be accepted without discussion or is the court likely to question it or even attempt to balance it out?
Re: Waking away with nothing.
September 22, 2020 12:22PM
Frankly, within the context of the divorce you should make it clear that so far as you are concerned the financial issues arising from the marriage have not been fully and formally resolved, that you do not regard a written contract as the last word on the matter and that you seek a fair settlement. If necessary (and it probably will be necessary) you should make a formal application to the court to resolve the financial issues.

The agreement you have entered into is not fair. However, it is not binding either. That being said your wife is going to assume that the contract settles the matter and so she will not necessarily do anything. She is, after all, in possession of the flat and it is in her sole name. She may well feel that there is nothing further she needs do and the more time that passes without you challenging that the more likely it will be that she keeps what she has got. Therefore it is important that you understand that you need to make the running on this. You are not going to get a share of the flat unless you fight for it.

In this case that will very likely involve you making an application to the court. You should not sit on this. It needs action sooner rather than later. Your ex will probably shout blue murder but the fact remains that this agreement you entered into was not fair and it needs to be reopened.

For what it is worth if your ex wanted to turn this agreement into a court order she would need another signature from you. Under no circumstances should you give it. The most important point, though, is that you need to take action to re-open the financial issues. It will not happen unless you do something about it.
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