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Legality of a lawyer's letter
#1
Hi Guys,

I've just received this letter from my ex's lawyer today.  The lawyer's clearly been given a condensed version of her half of the story, but in a nutshell the main points are:

- The ex has apparently provided me with a "comprehensive and sensible contact arrangement".  This is totally untrue - it is ad-hoc, with little notice usually given, subject to change without notice, entirely at her discretion with no input allowed from me, and insufficient in quantity according to mine and the kids' wishes.

- If I "harass" her by attending her property at any time, calling her or texting her then they will apply to court for a "non-molestation order", and if such action is deemed necessary (by them) then she will also be "seeking the full amount of her costs" from me.

- The above also applies if I go within 100m of her property.  So apparently I can no longer visit any of my neighbours of 10 years, some of whom I'm quite friendly with and occasionally catch up for coffee or a drink.

Can she actually LEGALLY prevent me from going to visit the neighbours?  Is it enough just for her to state that this is her wish, threaten me with the legal proceedings, and then enforce this?  What about over the easter long weekend, when she will be away for 4 days and I was actually planning on catching up with one of the old neighbours?

This all seems a bit ridiculous.
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#2
Hey AussieCol,

Don't get too wound up over it, they are only doing what your ex wants. Does the letter actually state what these "comprehensive and sensible" contact arrangements actually are?

As I've mentioned in other posts with you, 50/50 of quality time is the presumed norm.

Regarding their assertions about applying for a non molestation order, how are you supposed to have contact with your children? Are they to be collected from your ex's place?

The threat of applying to the courts is just that, a threat. They need evidence to proceed and you have every right to defend yourself and cross examine her (If you self rep) on any allegations she makes in her application for the NMO.

In the short term, I'd write back acknowledging you have received their correspondence and request that if they apply for this NMO they ensure you are served with a copy thus enabling you to attend and defend yourself.

As for who you visit.....there isn't an NMO in place currently so you can go see who you like as you see fit. You might want to record things if you choose to go anywhere near your ex's place, just in case she kicks off and then calls the police alleging all sorts of drivel. If she does, remain calm, replay recordings to them proving otherwise and hopefully she'll get done for wasting police time. This evidence could also come in handy if they do apply for the NMO.

In short, don't panic, be sensible and carry on as normal. Don't reply to them agreeing to anything or explain yourself, you might inadvertently dig yourself in a hole depending on what you say. Just tell them you've received their correspondence and let them make all the running. If your ex goes running to them with her "evidence" which she relies on in court, once it gets there you can go to town on her (In a legal sense)
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#3
There's no mention of the specific contact arrangements, and I have detailed notes (dates, all text messages, etc). I'm sure I can show in detail how "sensible" each contact has been (for example waiting outside for 4 hours the first time, waiting outside 40 minutes in the rain another time). Also for every claim she's made, I can easily counter-claim with all the history I have. And regarding general harassment - my phone SMS notification (personalised for her - first 2 notes of Jaws theme tune) goes off constantly, expecially at night with increasingly angry and profane texts most days.

Apparently the kids will always be dropped off and collected here from now on.

Thanks for the sound advice - I'll draft and send the minimal response you've suggested ASAP and bite my tongue on the rest of it. They have also got a financial mention, which I'll explain:

Years ago we used to put money in cash ISAs every year. One year I had nothing to put in mine, and she gave me £5k. In this letter they claim she "invested the money in my name" to take advantage of the tax benefits. They say "accordingly, my client is entitled to recover that money from you. Please confirm this is agreed"

Now, as far as I'm concerned that was a gift and there is no correspondence or paperwork whatsoever to refute that. In addition, she still has our car which I jointly paid for and was valued in January at about £5k, and I had to spend about £14k of my savings over the last 6 months on household expenses as my job was no longer enough to cover it - this includes proabably £7k on a holiday to Australia and a few more on a UK holiday. So, disregarding my 7 years of contributing 50% of everything, and my 3.5 years of contributing EVERYTHING (my understanding is that as we were never married, I have virtually no chance of getting anything out of the home equity), I reckon for the savings alone she owes me nearly £10k, and even if I accept what she says about the ISA, call it £5k still owed to me.

How would you respond to this part of the letter? Simply "regarding the financial issues, I do not agree2 ?
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#4
I'd suggest it was repayment for a cash loan you gave her....you do remember giving her that loan don't you? Smile

Don't agree to anything.

Edited to add question....Are you named on anything regarding the house? Deeds etc? If not then sadly I feel you are unlikely to get anything.
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#5
(03-24-2016, 02:02 PM)Norfolk n Good Wrote: I'd suggest it was repayment for a cash loan you gave her....you do remember giving her that loan don't you? Smile

Don't agree to anything.

Edited to add question....Are you named on anything regarding the house? Deeds etc? If not then sadly I feel you are unlikely to get anything.

Ah yes, I remember that now ;-)

No, sadly like a fool I'm not mentioned on anything and was only engaged for the 10 years, so looks like I can write off my last 10 years financially ...
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#6
Whatever you do, don't try to play games with the solicitor, keep it simple, acknowledge receipt of letter, deny any claims regarding financials. This then makes them prove their case and just like you, if you don't have evidence you don't have much of a case.
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#7
There is several issues raised in your post what need to be addressed seperatly.

"comprehensive and sensible contact arrangement".  I would ask her to prove this.

If I "harass" her by attending her property at any time, calling her or texting her then they will apply to court for a "non-molestation order", and if such action is deemed necessary (by them) then she will also be "seeking the full amount of her costs" from me.   I would go on record as saying its due to the absance of arrangements and frequent changings by their client you need to contact her. Should any non molestation order be applied for you will incure costs in defending it, what if its not awarded you will be seeking her to pay.

She can not do anything about you going near her house unless she can prove it it to harrass or cause her any harm. You going next door is nothing to do with her.

At a Non Mol hearing, it is subject to the Judge deciding if it can run. If so it will be put down for a hearing, where she would have to prove all stated in it, and that it could cause her distress or harm.

Money comes under different law and will have no bearing on any Family Law application.
Its clear the £5,000 was her contrubution to joint excepces incurred during the relationship.
If you feel your out of pocket, you could try to recover this via county court, but you will need to be able to prove all you paid, and account for any money she has ever paid into any account in your name.

Keep in mind also, she has admitted commiting an offence, of defrauding HMRC if she gave cash for you to put into an ISA. I am sure you was not party to this fraud, as she remibursed you some cash, and as you had it spare you put it in an ISA, so done nothing wrong.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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