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What are we each entitled to in our divorce settlement?

What does the law say about how to split the house, how to share pensions and other assets, and how much maintenance is payable.

What steps can we take to reach a fair agreement?

The four basic steps to reaching an agreement on divorce finances are: disclosure, getting advice, negotiating and implementing a Consent Order.

What is a Consent Order and why do we need one?

A Consent Order is a legally binding document that finalises a divorcing couple's agreement on property, pensions and other assets.


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Can we appeal a Judge''s direction made at FDR?

  • Lyria
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08 Jun 12 #335746 by Lyria
Topic started by Lyria
Hello,

My Partner had his first FDR yesterday, nearly two years after his wife petitioned for divorce.She is living in the marital home which they shared for 23 years. Their three ''girls'' are all away at university at least 50 miles from home.

Without the house, the other assets are split approx 35/65 in the wife''s favour. My partner is not interested in taking her assets but needs his half (or even a third) of the family home to rehouse (we have now been living in near squalid circumstances for 2 years whilst the wife lives in the million pound house.)

The judge yesterday suggested that my partner shouldn''t ask for a share of the house as selling it would uproot the ''girls''. The judge does not usually do divorce cases but works in the children''s care courts. Such a suggestion would leave my partner with less than 10% of the total assets. Obviously I am biased toward my partner but this seems like a very unfair decision, especially considering the marriage has been such a long one.

After hearing the judge, his wife has refused to offer anything but the bare minimum which would leave him homeless and unable to rehouse so he has had to turn it down.

The trouble is that the final hearing is now scheduled for more than 7 months away in 2013! We are now struggling with rental and legal costs. We have been advised that at a Final Hearing his position will be looked on far more favourably but until that time we will struggle with rental and legal costs. Is there any way this judge''s directive could be appealed before the Final Hearing?

Alternatively, is he (if not myself) legally allowed to just move back in to the family home for this time? He is, after all, the owner of the house on paper.

  • Fiona
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08 Jun 12 #335750 by Fiona
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It''s always difficult moving back into the former matrimonial home once someone has left and is rehoused. Rights of ownership are balanced against the human rights of the person living in the property to privacy and a family life. Your partner doesn''t live there any more, it''s his wife''s home not his.

There is nothing to appeal. The judge was just given an opinion how they see things. Although the welfare of children under 18 is the priority over 18s in education aren''t irrelevant and it is considered reasonable for them to be provided with a base even if they don''t live there all the time.

Perhaps a way forward would be for your partner to retain an interest in the former matrimonial home in the form of a chargeback until the youngest child finishes their first degree. If no agreement can be reached in the meantime another judge will consider the finances in more detail at the final hearing.


PS As far as the court is concerned there is no "we." It is the couple divorcing who are subject to the courts stipulations, orders or legal sanctions, no one else.

  • Wiser
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08 Jun 12 #335775 by Wiser
Reply from Wiser
Just to point a few things out after reading your post;

If you decide to live in "near squalid" conditions that is up to you and your partner and what the 2 of you can afford. It is not the stbxwife to pay for you or her stbxhusband - the suggestion is ludricous.

Your partner''s legal costs are his, nobody else''s, if he can''t afford them he needs to go litigant in person.

The judge orders on the financial assets of the marriage. It''s not your marriage or finance.

Your partner made the decision to leave the marital home and as Fiona says, it would be very difficult if he wanted to move back in - where you thinking of moving back with him? then you would have to contribute to the expenses and your finances taken into consideration.

I don''t see why you are judging the judge stating he doesn''t do divorce cases, no other parties are allowed except legal team. A judge is a judge that''s what he does. Seems you have been mis-informed.

I suggest you don''t get involved with your partner''s divorce and concerntrate on just supporting him emotionally. It would not be a good idea to financially support him as it is unlikely you will be repaid unless you have a valid legal contract with him.

I understand your concern though and you''ve got to realise no-one can manipulate the judge or the court''s timetable. It is so.

  • revenge
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09 Jun 12 #335875 by revenge
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My husband moved into the ow house which is 2 bedroomed ours was a large 4 which I am sill in. We have no children and over a year on is telling me to sell it as he wants a place of his own ( with the ow) he said its difficult for him living in a small house, hey ho he chose to move in there. I don''t really know what to do the house is to big for me to be honest but I don''t want to be rushed into selling when I''m still very emotional. If the conditions one lives in are squalid can it not be done up a bit to make it more homely.

  • Lyria
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10 Jun 12 #335952 by Lyria
Reply from Lyria
Wiser, A simple ''no'' would have sufficed.

That idea that we choose to live in squalid conditions is ludicrous. The reason we are in this situation is because his wife emptied his bank accounts before having the locks changed on the house, leaving him with literally nothing. As I said in my first post, I would have no intention of moving in with him- obviously I have no such right to do so.

I''m only on this forum at his direction as he is not familiar with online forums so I am supporting him in the best way I can.

We have since been informed that we have a valid reason to complain to the OJC as it is on record that the judge made a number of fairly extreme sexist comments. The complaint cannot be investigated until the divorce is over but it is something to know that our concerns were not unreasonable.

  • Lyria
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10 Jun 12 #335954 by Lyria
Reply from Lyria
Revenge, thank you for your thoughtful response,

A two-bedroomed house sounds pretty luxurious to our conditions at present! If he chose to move in there that does seem to be his problem, but if you own the house together and have done for some time, if you do choose to divorce then the courts will look at the case to begin with that the assets should be split 50/50. If you are still talking it would be much better to come to an agreement together. I would seriously consider what YOU want if you feel the house is too big for you. It might be good emotionally to find somewhere you can call your own without him.

We share an old operating theatre room in a derelict hospital (with the Camelot Organisation as protective guardians for the building) which means there is very little to pay in rent. Unfortunately it means there is little we can do to make it more homely. We have managed fairly well but never thought we would be stuck here this long, but whilst the wife is in the house she is trying the make the FDRs drag out, so far postponing three of them. With no rent and no mortgage to pay, she has no compelling reason to get the divorce over. Her best way of ''winning'' ie, paying nothing to the husband, is to run down all his salary on legal fees so that he will give up and walk away with nothing.

This is why the behaviour of the judge the other day was so upsetting. Even the girls have now stopped talking to their mother after she lied in court about their father and they often prefer to stay with us than go home to her. Maybe this will finally make her realise she has gone too far.

  • hawaythelads
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10 Jun 12 #335955 by hawaythelads
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Just to put your mind at rest.
I don''t believe any Judge will only award him 10% of the marital assets.
All the best
Pete

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