Just thought I had to post my experience, have just been through divorce and 3 hearings with ex.
Husband left Dec 2008 for new woman after 13 years of marriage leaving me with 3 children 14, & twins of 11 this was kind of out of the blue & so devastating to be left in that situation.
He basically disowned me and wouldn’t have contact unless very hostile, he started off seeing the kids at weekends but situation deteriorated and he hardly had any contact with them, his new partner got involved and it got very messy.
He didn’t pay towards the children or mortgage and so went through CSA, so at least got something for a while.
He got ill and gave up work so neither him or his new partner works both too ill, suffering from ME apparently.
Contact started with kids but sporadic, was receiving 5 pounds per week in maintenance.
Started off with a private solicitor which seemed to cost loads, found Wikivorce and read up on people’s experience, asked a few questions from Wiki folk on the way.
Got rid of Expensive Solicitors, realised was using her as counsellor and she was happy to bleed me dry. Thanks to Wiki realised needed to stick to the basic facts.
Got legally aided, unfortunatley through new solicitors incompetence divorce went through uncontested.
Ex had kid with new woman and got married.
Been through mediation that broke down, ex wants me to down size and give him half of equity.
First court case basically as they say on here you don’t speak its just the solicitors, they ask a few questions and you make a date for your next hearing in which time you and stbx get all your paperwork together .
2nd hearing you go in front of a judge with all the paperwork both sides have asked for and your solicitors try and come to an agreement and the judge gives and indication of what they think you should agree on.
In my case judge seemed to be on his side, he does not work, has paid nothing towards the house or kids since he went & built up 30k’s worth of debt that he tried to attribute to me as marital debt but in the end he couldn’t as all after he left me, I however could work and earn money so was in a much better position.
His side tried to show I was cohabiting; I am in a new relationship but not cohabiting and not intending to for now anyway.
Judge said she was looking at a 40/60 split him 40 me 60, neither of us wanted anything like pensions etc to be taken in to consideration as pretty similar value & we haven’t got much else anyway.
Judge said if we didn’t agree then my cohabiting situation could be investigated further; felt this was a bit of a threat.
Again thanks to Wiki I new I wouldn’t have the same judge again next time so could get total different view but it’s a risk.
We couldn’t agree on the day his last offer was 37% to be paid when kids 18 or left education.
Thinking of my Wiki advice re unnecessary costs I advised my solicitor to except the offer the next day, however weeks later his solicitor came back with he wants 15k now and the rest when the kids were 18, I was not going to agree to this under any circumstances so back to court we went & this time with Barristers.
I have to say my barrister was great & I felt great confidence in her, she said the judge was not a matrimonial judge so unpredictable how it might go.
We never went in front of the judge in the end it was the barristers that fought it out, my barrister said the judge threw out their cohabiting argument and we ended up settling at 32% for ex when the kids reach 18 or leave education.
So that’s it, been abbreviated a lot and took a lot longer than I ever thought it would but it’s done.
I wanted to share my experience with others as I know how painful and life consuming it is going through this.
I would never in a million years think that my ex would be the type to not look after his kids or come after me for every penny he could get for himself but there you are.
The petty squabbling and small stuff does not matter to solicitors and judges it’s a waste of energy when it comes to divorce proceedings
Try and come to an agreement with your ex if at all possible