Cheltenham
The Cheltonian > Articles

Talks Divorce

crack

Question

When I married my husband moved into my Council house and we lived there together for ten years. My husband left me and went to live back in the house that he owned prior to our marriage, with another woman.

At the final hearing of the financial dispute between us, when we divorced, my husband told the District Judge that I could buy my Council house for £50,000. I have now discovered from the Local Authority that in order to buy my Council house I will have to spend at least £90,000.

The Judge has ordered that my husband pay me just enough to buy my own home, but the Judge was mistaken in the figure.

Is there anything I can do?

Answer

Yes.

The recent case of Fallon v Fallon revolves around very similar facts, and in this case, whilst on first appeal it was decided that a Judge had no authority to change the decision of the lower Court, even when faced with a mistake of fact, this decision was later overturned by the Court of Appeal.

If you can show, therefore, that the District Judge, when coming to a decision in your case, believed that you could buy your Council house for considerably less than is actually the case, there is no reason why you should not go back to Court for a new Order.

Question

I am a single mother, having divorced my two children's father eight years ago. On divorce I obtained an Order for child maintenance but I am sure he has had pay rises since the Order was made. Can I get a higher level of child maintenance for my children?


Answer

Yes.

If the Order was made before the 3rd March 2003 you will have to apply to the Court for a variation of the Order you have obtained.

It is likely that the Court will be guided by, but not forced to comply with, Child Support Agency calculations. Currently these would give you approximately 20% of your former husband's net income in respect of your two children, and if it is the case that the Court Order was made after the 3rd March 2003 you can make an application to the Child Support Agency.

In either case, it is very likely that your former husband's income has gone up over the last seven to eight years and thus it is going to be worth your while either seeking a variation of child maintenance upwards through the Courts or alternatively making an urgent application to the Child Support Agency.