You and the Law – 13 July 2010

Losing sleep

After a three-year battle to get my share of the marital assets from my divorce my wife was finally forced to sell the former matrimonial home.

We agreed what percentage each of us was to receive, but it took nearly two months, and many sleepless nights, from the sale of the property for my cheque to arrive from my wife’s solicitor.

I’m told the delay was the result of a dispute over my wife¹s bill, but that was nothing to do with me. SB

Your own solicitor should have ensured that, as a condition of your signing the transfer document, your ex-wife’s solicitor entered into a professional undertaking to pay over your share of the net proceeds as per a completion statement previously approved by you.

Had this procedure been followed, your ex-wife’s solicitors would have been most unlikely to have delayed paying over your money in breach of their professional and contractual duties.

However, since the most you will have lost is two months’ interest, it’s probably not worth pursuing.

Wallet surgery

We went on holiday with my mother. She ended up having to have a pacemaker fitted at a cost of £15,000. The travel insurance company now says it won’t pay for this, and I’m not sure what our position is. FC

I take it you were holidaying outside the EEC, where your mother could have obtained either free or reduced-cost treatment in most countries.

You don’t say why your mother’s insurers are refusing to foot the bill, but the most common reason is that the person insured has failed to disclose a previous medical condition.

If your mother had a history of heart trouble but failed to tell the insurers they will probably be within their rights to refuse payment.

You will have to check the terms and conditions of the policy carefully.

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