I have today received a letter from my wife's solicitor advising me they have received an instruction from her to issue proceedings for Divorce and an application to the court to resolve issues of finance and property. This is in view of my position that I would not contemplate any order in relation to pensions and that they will seeking an order to the effect that I will be responsible for their clients costs of the applications. The papers will be served on me direct from the court.
At no stage have I refused to consider a pension sharing. I had advised that my wife and I had decided to split and that divorce proceedings would take place after a 2 year separation. I have provided financial disclosure and even took a re-mortgage in my sole name so she could be paid the £60k settlement from the house that she asked for. She allowed the mortgage offer to expire and due to increased debt I then failed the credit check when a new application was made. I have therefore suggested that matters are concluded in 3-4 years when the marital debt is cleared. She is refusing to pay a penny towards the mortgage and associated joint liabilities.
In the last letter received from her solicitor, they had stated that divorce proceedings should now take place on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour on my side. I did not agree to this as it is simply not true although I have agreed that divorce is now the way forward but not under those circumstances.
I am representing myself as cannot afford solicitors fees as already have in excess of £6k on a credit card and with little progress.
I am still in the matrimonial home and paying the mortgage, insurance, mortgage protection and all associated bills.
We are yet to have a building certificate issued as there is still work to be done internally for it to meet the criteria. The council came out to do an assessment and has issued a report which I have sent to her solicitor. This highlights the key areas that need to be focused on, namely the fireproof plaster board on the garage ceiling and side extension as there are bedrooms above and a fire door needs to be installed from the house into the fire.
Her solicitor is now stating that they have advised their client that custody arrangements at the property should now be suspended until this work is completed as it poses a danger to the childrens welfare. He is saying that this is a result of MY failure to take appropriate steps in completing the work - IT IS ALSO HER HOUSE AND SHE WAS HERE FOR 3 YEARS WITH THE KIDS AFTER THE EXTENSION WAS BUILT!!!
I cannot afford to have any of the work done as I have very little disposable income every month as paying off all of the debts. As I have not agreed to a divorce, how can you take proceedings to divorce me? There has never been domestic violence against her and I am not sure of what the process is if I don't agree.
If I have to provide the court with financial disclosure, this will show that I am broke. I am consumed with debt from the marriage, have a huge debt on a credit card, my bank accounts are overdrawn. I can also demonstrate that there was a settlement offer on the table and she refused to accept it and then decided to accept after I lost the mortgage. They know that I cannot get another mortgage, they also know the property cannot be sold until a building certificate is issued. Even if a cash buyer came along, it would not doubt be sold for less than market value.
I need some help guys. I am dealing with unknown territory and not sure on next steps
I know money is very tight, but I think the best advice I can give is that you go to a solicitor for some advice to your questions - but still self represent. Get all of your questions down beforehand and stick to them when you see the solicitor, and don't get sidetracked or chat generally - ie make the absolute most out of the time you are paying for. It may well cost you a couple of hundred for the advice, but I think it will pay for itself many times over.