Solicitor's Error Costs Client £64,000

After 22 years of marriage and a turbulent last few years of violent rows and arguments, Anna Clancy*, 42 was divorced in 2007.

It was a traumatic divorce that took two years to finalise, but what Anna had not realised was that her divorce lawyer had not filed her divorce papers correctly. After the divorce was finalised and settled, she had not been given her correct share of the couple’s assets.

Six years later, Anna made a speculative call to Divorce LifeLine. Within just four months of that telephone call, she has recovered £64,000. This was the shortfall in her divorce settlement. It was rightfully hers and had not been received at the time of the divorce.

Anna explained: “I was frightened of my ex-husband and traumatised from the divorce. Like most divorcees, the last thing on my mind after the divorce was working out and checking if I had been given my correct share of the settlement. I thought I could just trust my lawyer to have done her job properly.

“I telephoned Divorce LifeLine last year and they immediately looked into my case. I was informed by the team there that my divorce lawyer had not finalised the ‘pension sharing order annexe’ (PSOA), which is a vital document to any divorce that involves a pension. As a result, I had no status to collect my 50% share of the pension I had been awarded, but I was completely unaware of this.

“Divorce LifeLine told me my divorce lawyer had had missed out several bits of paperwork and that there were pages missing from the PSOA. I had been awarded 40% of one pension and 50% of the other, but because of my lawyer’s error, legally I had no right to claim either of them.

 “Jeremy (Wolff, at Divorce LifeLine,) sorted it all out for me. He tracked down my ex-husband’s pensions, had them correctly valued and then ensured the £64,000 I should have been awarded from the divorce was paid to me in a lump sum.

“My ex-husband was not contacted at any time in the process. I am over the moon with what they have done for me. It seems too good to be true, but it really isn’t. I can’t thank them enough.”

Jeremy Wolff, founding partner of Divorce LifeLine comments: “This is one of 750 cases we are currently handling involving negligence. It is shocking that so many divorcees have been short-changed, but we are delighted to be able to provide a valuable service to so many people who have need of our help.”

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For help and advice, please telephone Divorce LifeLine

on: 01932 240048 or visit www.divorcelifeline.co.uk

Press Contact: Julia Arnold at Elite Communications:

Telephone: 01403 711 639 or email: julia.arnold@elite-communications.co.uk

Editors’ Notes:  Background to Anna Clancy:

*Anna Clancy is a pseudonym as she is frightened to use her own name for fear of violence if she is identified by her ex-husband. She is happy to be photographed from behind, in shadow, only, but is keen to help this story become published in order to help other women who have been unable to claim their full divorce settlement and in the hopes that it will help her to become reunited with her sons.

Anna was a part time pay roll administrator and then went full time when the children were 11 and 12. Her ex-husband worked on production lines for a car manufacturer and then an electrical manufacturer.

Anna recalls: “Our marriage was good to start with, but once the children reached their teens, our marriage deteriorated and we started to have rows and arguments. It was affecting our children and when I said I would leave him, he threatened me saying that bad things would happen if I left him. He said he would make sure I never saw the children again. They were 18 and 19 years old when we were finally divorced, so I thought they would be able to make up their own minds about how to split their time between my ex-husband and me.

“Tragically, I have not seen them since then and my parents are not allowed to see them either. We are all devastated. That was seven years ago. I don’t know what they have been told about me, but they have refused to have contact with me. I would love to see them more than anything and I hope if they see this, they might understand what I have gone through and we can be re-united.”

Background to Divorce LifeLine:

Since a major change in the law in December 2000, pension sharing has been possible. This means a pension provider can be told that a percentage of the pension of their member can be allocated to the members’ former spouse.

Specialist divorce and pension settlement consultancy, Divorce LifeLine, has revealed that around 750,000 affected divorcees in the UK are set to claim for tens of thousands of pounds in lost financial entitlements from their former solicitors.

Divorce LifeLine estimates that up to half of the 1.5 million divorces that have taken place in the UK since divorce laws were changed in 2000, may have not had their divorce settlement pension correctly valued by a financial expert. Many divorcees therefore may have lost tens of thousands of pounds as their matrimonial pensions were undervalued and these sums can now be reclaimed.

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