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Divorce Solicitor Re-instructed by Client to Help with Finances on Separation

23 June 2013

Georgina Chase was recently re-instructed by a client a year after the conclusion of his Divorce and Financial Settlement. The parties had entered into a Consent Order during Financial Proceedings upon Divorce which provided for the former matrimonial home to be sold and the net sale proceeds to be divided in agreed percentages between the husband and wife.

At the time the parties entered into the Consent Order, they had accepted an offer on the former matrimonial home and it was envisaged the net sale proceeds would be divided in accordance with that offer.

Shortly after the Consent Order was entered into, the prospective buyers pulled out. To protect the client, at the time of negotiating the Consent Order, Georgina had ensured that a fall back position was contained in the Order for the property to be placed on the market for sale if the envisaged sale fell through, with the net sale proceeds to be divided in the same percentages.

The husband however, didn’t want to sell the property, despite the Consent Order in place for the former matrimonial home to be placed on the open market. The husband instructed Georgina to reluctantly return the case to the Court to renegotiate the terms of the Consent Order. Georgina advised the client that this was not necessary and indeed, as the Consent Order had been approved by the Court and made legally binding, this would not be possible. Instead, Georgina informed the client that he could re-negotiate the terms of the Consent Order direct with this wife by agreement. 

The husband therefore made an offer to the wife to purchase her interest in the property by way of a lump sum payment (representing the agreed percentage that the wife would have received from the net sale proceeds) and have the former matrimonial home transferred into his sole name.

Although in principle the wife was agreeable to the transfer, rather than the sale of the former matrimonial home, the wife initially rejected the Husband’s offer due to the fact that she did not agree with the value the husband was placing on the property and threatened to make an application to return the matter to Court for enforcement of the Consent Order together with a claim that he pay her costs.

To save the client’s costs in the case being returned to Court, Georgina suggested the client obtain free of charge market appraisals form local Estate Agents in support of the value he placed on the property. Thereafter, if there was a continued dispute regarding the value, Georgina advised the client to propose that there be a formal valuation of the former matrimonial home at joint expense, binding on both parties.

A Chartered Surveyor was instructed at joint expenses and the Surveyor’s report came back with a value of the former matrimonial home similar to that that the husband had placed on the property. The wife therefore agreed with the husband’s initial offer to buy her out and the property was transferred into his sole name.

Georgina had assisted the client not only in implementing the financial settlement in accordance with his wishes (despite the Consent Order entered into for there to be a sale of the former matrimonial home) but also in saving the client incurring the legal fees of the wife making an application to return the matter to Court for enforcement and the risk of having to pay her costs.

Georgina Chase is a Family LawDivorce Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.