Maria was born into a traditional European family. Her parents brought with them their traditional strict religious and social views when they emigrated to Australia in search of a better income and lifestyle.
At first, Maria endured the usual taunts of the Aussie kids at her school but soon learned to fit in. She had an outgoing and friendly personality and found it easy to make friends. Unfortunately, from the start, her parents did not welcome her friends home unless they knew the family. Maria began to rebel from an early age.
Maria’s conflict with the values and lifestyle of her family just got worse as she grew into her teenage years. Her friends took their freedoms for granted. But Maria was not even permitted to go to parties unless she was accompanied by one of her two older brothers. Her brothers were older when the family came to Australia and were as traditional and strict as her parents.
Maria was not allowed to miss going to Church every week and some weeks that was her only escape from the house. And the house was where she and her mother did all the cooking and cleaning and waited hand and foot on her father and brothers. Unlike her brothers, she was not allowed to learn to drive. Her friends could not believe it.
Maria rebelled in her early teens, joining her friends experimenting with alcohol and cigarettes. Her father caught her smoking in the backyard when she was sixteen and beat her with his fists. Her father rarely spoke to her, but she began arguing with her mother about all the restrictions she was forced to endure.
Maria left home almost as soon as she turned eighteen, moving in with a couple of girlfriends who were doing the same university course. She did part-time waitressing to pay her way. She maintained frequent contact with her mother, but her father refused to see her or have her in the family home. Her brothers sided with her father. Once she stopped attending church, her father would not have her name spoken in his presence.
When Maria married in her middle twenties, her father refused to allow her mother to attend the wedding. The only family who attended were some of her braver cousins. Her two children grew up without ever knowing their grandfather.
When Maria divorced in her late thirties, life became the battle of the working mother. Her divorce had left her with a modest family home but also the mortgage. Her ex-husband soon re-partnered and lost interest in providing financial support to his first family. Maria gave up chasing him for money for the kids when he always seemed to be a step ahead of the laborious government child support processes.
Maria’s mother doted on her grandchildren but was allowed no money of her own. Her father and brothers were wealthy and successful but offered no sympathy, much less money.
When her mother died, Maria was told by her older brother that she was not to attend the traditional church funeral service, but she and her children went anyway. Nobody tried to turn her away but she and her kids were not mentioned in the service or on the gravestone. At least her children, now both adults, got their first and only ever sight of their grandfather and their cousins.
When her father died quite some years later, it was the same. She and her children were not welcome and not acknowledged, but attended anyway.
Some months after her father’s death, a friend who was married to a lawyer persuaded Maria to investigate her father’s Will. The lawyer husband soon found out that all property was left to her two brothers, but nothing to her. And her father had left a relatively substantial estate. Real estate, investments and bank accounts totalled about $3million.
Maria was advised to find a lawyer to investigate her rights but had no spare money for lawyers. She was then advised about litigation lenders.
This is a sample case we have supplied to our litigation funding partners and features on one of their websites