I really appreciate all your advice and will act on it – so much helpful info and thoughts, thank you very much
I’m going to ask around among some lawyer contacts but ultimately - if you don’t have any spare money once your flat sells or more importantly, no assets of his you can prove (property/pensions) - then there is no way to pay a lawyer even if you got a litigation loan.
So you need to manage this Yourself and keep it as simple as possible.
You need to confirm on the form that there is going to be a financial agreement. It’s not like neither of you have any assets at all and you’re just getting a quick divorce - so you need to tick that box.
In order to ensure that he doesn’t have any claim on your assets in the future, the easiest thing for you both to do is have a clean break order. You don’t need to have a solicitor for that as I can send you a link to get one that’s about £300 and which hopefully he’ll cover anyway. In that clean break order for you both, all you need to do is agree a clean break. That means you can never chase him for money in the future and he can never chase you. This does not include child maintenance.
What you keep is yours what he keeps his, and there is no spousal maintenance of any kind.
However if he has got assets and income that would be grossly unfair, but that is one option that you have that I’m sure he would probably favour.
Or you can go for a consent order which is where you create as I’ve suggested a clean tidy spreadsheet that lays out your assets, your debts.
You don’t present those until he provides his form completed, and even if you don’t believe what’s on it that doesn’t make any difference unless you can prove otherwise.
In the consent order (You both agree how to split the finances and don’t need to go to court - But there may be some ongoing spousal maintenance or something to prevent it from being just a simple clean break) you will probably be asking for some kind of spousal maintenance and definitely support for the children.
Are you not able to get child maintenance via the CSA if he is in Canada? Don’t they have an arrangement with Canada? You should claim child maintenance right away as you may not have his address, but you have the address of his solicitor and his solicitor will know where he lives.
Some free legal advice just to check your progress would be great and that’s a case of hunting around - doing complimentary 30 minute sessions with people won’t really work because they won’t be prepared to actually give proper advice and look at your spreadsheet for that most likely, but you could get some help through Families Need Fathers forum because they also look after mums who need to self represent.
The most important thing for you to do Annie, is to listen to that audio I sent you. And really think about what decisions do you want to make going forwards. At the moment your life is horrible and your mindset is angry and upset, which is fine for awhile but it’s really not serving you well right now. You have to get your head around this situation and being constantly bitter and angry is what’s the real problem here. It’s stopping you thinking clearly. It’s stopping you do sensible things that other people suggest. It’s making you self-destructive. It has to start with you. This is a good thing . Because once this divorce is over it’s still going to be you, and you need to be able to live happily in the future and just getting divorced isn’t going to release the anger and bitterness.
Sorry to go on about it but it’s true and my job is just to tell you the truth.
Every time you write to his solicitor he’s going to have to pay the solicitor to send the information or discuss it with him. But it won’t cost you anything. Think about that. Presumably you have un-instructed your current solicitors and your husband’s solicitor is aware that he should be dealing directly with you?
Make any missives clear and concise. You need the completed form E for your husband. Once you have both completed your form ease, or at least laid out the financial situation in a clear and accessible way using that for me as a checklist, you also need his pre-pandemic income details and information about pensions. If he doesn’t provide those for his solicitors, then you can ask the court to create a court order and make him do it.
You don’t need a solicitor in the sense that you can do it yourself, and you’ll get help in online forums and the family court itself will be able to guide you. It’s a slow and tedious process and takes forever but it can be done.
Or you can suggest a clean break and let him get away with it all, but save yourself a lot of time and stress and move forwards. That’s a decision you need to make but I would make that decision after you’ve seen his form E.
Important thing is that don’t make claims about what he’s done or how much money he has you can’t validate because if you can’t validate them it’s just a load of words that makes things more angry, and doesn’t get you anywhere. If he’s never worked for a company then it’s going to be very difficult to discover when he’s got a pension. If he doesn’t own anything in his name then essentially he has no assets other than a potential claim on yours.
I would investigate maintenance pending suit and also give his solicitors details to the child support agency and let them do their thing, slow and inept though that might be. Explore every practical useful option.
The good news is, you have a solicitors contact and that Solicitor knows where he lives and how to get messages through to him. Make that clear to the child support agency. Talk to the debt people and ask them if there’s any way that some of the people you owe money to for which he should be partly responsible, that you say “hey mate I haven’t got any money but my husband has so why don’t you chase him? Here are his solicitor details and he can get any information through to him.”
You have a window of opportunity to pin him down so please make use of it.