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How long can this drag out?
March 02, 2021 03:38PM
Hi,

Have been trying to divorce my ex for 6.5 years. She does everything possible to avoid responding to my solicitor and gives incomplete information to the court. When we get to court she has excuses up her sleeve and never gives a straight answer. The court process has been slow enough, and COVID has not helped recently.

There's 2 kids - 16 and 17.

Due to the mental pressure of remaining anywhere near her, I moved out the FMH after 3 months and have been paying the mortgage and utility bills ever since - she will not pay a penny. If I stop paying the bills then the kids lose the roof over their heads. She earns not much less than me (but add on benefits and she earns more), but is LIP claiming she can't afford a solicitor and doesn't understand the process. The judge takes pity on her every time. I've paid over £20k in solicitors costs and have got nowhere fast so I've now stopped using the solicitor. We are at FDR stage now but still don't have a date for the hearing.

There's no savings, no pensions, only £50k equity in the property. She can't afford to take over the mortgage. I don't want to - I need a clean start. The house has been on the market for 12 months, but she keeps making excuses not to have viewings, so we've lost out on many possible buyers. The estate agent has recommended a revised price but my ex wont agree, so we have an overpriced house that no one can view, meanwhile I pay for the house and don't stay there. I'm still on reduced hours due to COVID and have came close a few times to calling it a day and declaring bankruptcy - it's very tight.

I've also found when I've came to pick the kids up that items have vanished from the house - she's sold them on ebay or Gumtree - tumble dryer, dining chairs, games console, patio set - all things were bought by me while we were married, but she's sold them without my permission and kept the cash. Is there any way I can stop her from doing this? There'll be nothing left in the house at this rate.

Is there any way I can force my ex to provide complete and correct paperwork via the court?

Is there any way I can get the court to rule over the house sale and allow the estate agent to determine the price and prevent my ex from blocking the sale?

Is there any way I can stop her selling household items unless we have an agreement to do so?

Thanks,

Dan
Re: How long can this drag out?
March 04, 2021 11:00AM
If there is only £50K equity in the property you have to ask yourself where your wife and children will live if the house is sold. Unless there is a satisfactory answer to that a court may be reluctant to order a sale of the house. On these figures I don't think that can be taken for granted.

As to selling items in the house the realistic answer to that is that it is probably not worth losing sleep over. The fact is that their value is their second hand value which is often not much.

As to getting a conclusion all you can do is persevere with the court process. It does have a finite end although you are right that Covid has slowed things down even more and that judges do tend to give litigants in person a lot of leeway (unless they are exceptionally obnoxious).
Re: How long can this drag out?
March 08, 2021 04:49PM
Thanks David.

Where will my wife and kids live? Where will I live - I can't pay a mortgage for her and have somewhere myself - the agreement is we will have the kids 50/50. This kids only have another 1-2 years at home - they're both going to university - will the court consider her housing needs as short-term? Why can't my wife rent like I will have to?

The problem with her being LIP is the court giving so many concessions, even though she could afford a solicitor but choses not to. I just need the nightmare to end.
Re: How long can this drag out?
March 08, 2021 06:40PM
Like I said, I can't see a court ordering a sale of the property to release £50K of equity and certainly not if the effect is that your wife and children need to move into rented accommodation.

You are wrong, though, in thinking that you need to pay the mortgage and the utility bills. Your wife has the benefit of living there and so in principle she should pay. You do presumably pay child maintenance. She can use that child maintenance to pay the mortgage. It is not a case of having to pay the mortgage and child maintenance.
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