I HAVE been separated for two years and solely pay the mortgage, insurances etc.

My husband, who agreed a settlement, has changed his mind and now wants half the equity in the house at today's market value minus the missed mortgage payments. If I can't come up with this amount can he force me to sell, and if so how long would this take if I refuse?

Every case like this has its own twists and turns, so don't just accept - see a good family lawyer who can view the whole picture in case there are reasons to allow you a better deal. As for the sale of the house, he can only force this if the court allows it, and if you have reasons to defer a sale such as having young children and no alternative accommodation, you may be able to put it off - even for years.

My son says that I cannot disinherit him or his brother. Do they have an automatic share of my property when I die?

All children have a legal right to claim on their parent's estate, whether there is a will or not. However, that claim is only over the moveable estate (ie bank accounts, savings, jewellery etc - NOT the house if this has been willed away) after debts have been paid and any surviving spouse has been paid out first. The best idea is to get legal advice and make a clear will.

I had a credit card cloned and had to claim money back from a bank after someone made fraudulent withdrawals. I have now been called to court as a prosecution witness in a trial of a person whom I have never heard of. I don't want to appear in court - can I make a signed statement instead?

If called to court you must go and answer all questions, like any witness. It is a public duty and failure to appear would mean you getting arrested and brought to court. But as your evidence is purely formal, ie to confirm you owned the card and gave no authorisation to anyone to use it, the procurator fiscal and defence lawyer might be able to draw a joint minute - a document that allows this evidence to be agreed in advance. Speak to the fiscal who sent you the citation.

I bought a leather suite and took out insurance. Three weeks ago I noticed one of the armrests had a bend in it. I contacted the store and an upholsterer came. They said I would have to pay for repair as the damage was caused by customer misuse. When I bought it I asked if the warranty included the shape of the sofa, so if it went baggy or mis-shapen we would be covered. They are now saying the sofa is only for light use and the insurance is only for the leather.

You should always check the wording of any contract before signing it, as it is now your word against the salesman. If he won't fess up then get an expert upholsterer report through trading standards and claim your money back if it shows the sofa was faulty.