We had a farsical FDR this week and offers were as follows
Him to me
55% of house and pension sharing
on pension only accrued during marriage - married 17 years but lived together a total of 19. 55% does not give me enough to buy a house for me and the children.
Him - 60/40 to me on house and no pension sharing at all - means two thirds of pot to him - large pension.
Me 60/40 to me on house and 60/40 to him on pension. Pension values higher than house so in effect better than a 50/50 split in his favour - he said no.
We are now having an actuaries report done and will then have a final hearing. He''s also claiming that he now has mental issues going back to 2007 - went to the Drs in 2013 when we first separated - and wants to get a psychiatric report done - not sure what he''s hoping to prove. He''s also lost his job - high earner.
Am I likely to come out with enough to house myself and the children or will he somehow be able to manipulate the judge and I''ll end up with nothing. He has spent £40,000 so far trying to destroy me and I''m now having to borrow money to fight him, but I don''t seen to have any choice unless I just give in to him.
Any thoughts anyone?
Is he likely to get more at the FH then I offered him?
Percentages aren''t really helpful here. You need to work out what you each need and how those needs are going to be met from the available pot.
Have you posted a breakdown of your financial position? If you are able to remind us, we can advise more effectively. We need to know
Incomes inc benefits
Length of marriage plus cohab
Children ages and arrangements for them
FMH market value and size
Pensions type and CETV
Other assets in sole or joint names
Debts/loans in sole or joint names
Did the judge give any guidance at the FDR? Providing the financial facts are known, the steer at FDR is usually pretty close to the outcome at FH.
My advice to you would be to send a clear open offer in advance if FH. Make it clear you are doing this to save the costs of FH and that, if you do end up at FH, you will be seeking costs.
Have you produced examples of suitable alternative properties for each other?
I really don''t think you should give up on a pension share. I also think what you had proposed .. Circa £300k equity to you and £200k to him sounds perfectly reasonable. In fact I think even the £350k/£150k offer is not unreasonable, especially when balanced against the pension which, as you say, could be similarly split in his favour.
Bear in mind that he may well be able to convert all or some of his pensions
to cash at 55. This is important as it can be used to help fund housing.
I think the judge will be bemused about why something so apparently simple has got all the way to FH. I am not sure how providing evidence about his mental health is going to assist matters. It may be that he can no longer work and earn at the level he did but tbh that makes it more important that you and the children are able to manage without contributions from him.
I would set out your offer very clearly, back it with evidence ie examples of property that is suitable (1/2 bedrooms for him, 3 for you).
You do need to establish how much can be raised at 55 by cashing some of the pensions and, if there is a final salary pension in the mix, what that is really worth. This may change the way you set out your offer. E.g.. You may suggest he retains pension A in its entirety with the option of converting it to cash in 4 years and that pension B (final salary) is split to provide an equal amount of income for each of you in retirement. NB this won''t be a straight 50:50 because of ages etc but the actuary can work that out.
I know every case is different but in mine, the judge went with pretty much an 80:20 split on the equity so I could stay in the fmh
with the children. He got 80% of the pension pot which allowed him to take a large lump sum which, with the equity, rehoused him in a one bed property.
Thank you, that does give me some hope. I''m more than happy to offset some of his pension against equity for the house. I''ve got no intention to leave him with nothing. The stupid thing is in the beginning he could have kept his pension and the savings and I would have been happy with the house, but he''s determined to break me.
Am hoping the fact that he''s living with his new partner in a four bed detached house may help matters, although he states that he is homeless!!
Guess I have to be prepared and I will take your advice re properties and trust in the system.
The judge would take the view that the relationship could be transient. I guess a lot depends on how long they have been together. He still needs the funds to house himself.
Make sure you ask the right questions of the actuary. It is more,than the value that you need. You want to know which pensions
can be cashed at 55 and for how much plus what income can be derived from the rest. Also guidance on what split would equalise your incomes in retirement.
Do get a clearly marked open offer in well before the hearing. The judge is able to see an open offer and if s/he thinks it is reasonable and should have been accepted, then a costs order could be made against him.