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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.

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sorry, more questions

  • in_shock
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23 Jul 07 #1515 by in_shock
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I'm finally resigned to the fact that we are past the point of no return and could do with some advice on the best way forward.

In a previous thread I said that he had payed for on-line divorce, petitioning in my name without my knowledge (on my credit card - bare faced cheek). We have no children (only 4 cats of which I get custod). The only major asset is the house, which I'm getting valued this week. I have told him I'm not signing the petition until I have sought advice. He's not keen on this and says it'll just end up us costing thousands etc.

In an on-line divorve at what stage are finances settled?

Initially he only quoted about 6 things he wanted to take from the house, but that list appears to be growing. How does one go about gefining these sorts of things? Is it a case of him getting an inventory together of what he wants, if agreeable it is all signed off and he can't keep coming back with further demands?

How do I ensure he has no recourse to anything of mine in future? I've read horror stories and should I win the lottery after divorce (however unlikely but you get my drift)I don't want him sniffing round. Or me him for that matter. I need to understand how the whole thing gets done cleanly. Do I need to speak to a solicitor? Finances are tight.

Also he is viewing a rental property today. If he decides to rent he will stop paying his half of the mortgage until house sale or me buying him out occurs. What are the implications of this? Would this entitle me to change the locks? I'm very conscious that things could go walk about in my absence if he has an unfurnished retal property and it could turn really acrimoneous. House is in joint names currently.

Thanks ever so much for any advice and support.

  • sexysadie
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23 Jul 07 #1516 by sexysadie
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Hi in_shock,

I think it would be worth your seeing a solicitor even for one session (most will give you a one-off meeting for a fixed fee and I see from other people's postings that some will even do this free).

My gut feeling is that with someone untrustworthy enough to file for divorce in someone else's name you will need a solicitor anyway. It sounds as though he is constantly moving the goalposts and if this is the case then you need someone looking out for your interests.

My understanding is that, if the house is jointly owned, legally you can only change the locks if you have a key cut for him at the same time and provide it if he asks for one - which rather undermines the purpose of doing it, unfortunately.

Best wishes,

Sadie

  • LittleMrMike
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23 Jul 07 #1517 by LittleMrMike
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I have to admit rather ruefully that I am not sure what you mean by ' on line divorce ' . There are some firms who will offer legal services, such as drafting the petition, serving it and assisting with the completion of forms, on the Internet. I have no personal experience of them, and don't know how good they are, but perhaps they might be useful if there are few complicating factors, the finances are relatively straightforward and so on. For a divorce where there are difficulties, I would have thought they were less suitable.

So looking at your situation, the obvious question is what happens to your house. A Court will ask itself the question as to where both of you are going to live after a split. If your husband finds and secures rented accommodation, then he has answered half of the question for them, so that all the Court needs to worry about is you.

I'm afraid, ma'am, that there is insufficient information in your letter to give you more than general advice. The obvious question is, whether it is possible for you to continue to live in your present home, and that depends on a number of things, including your income, and what share each of you has in the house. That could depend on factors like to the length of the marriage, who paid for the deposit, who has been paying the mortgage, and so on.

You say you are having the house valued shortly, and you know more or less what you owe on the mortgage. I think the likelihood is that, with a marriage of any length, with no children involved ( the pussies don't count, I regret to say !! ) the Courts would tend to go for a 50/50 split, but there might be reasons why a Court might award a larger share to one or the other of you. One of those factors might be your own need for accommodation.

You don't mention earnings, so I can't judge whether spousal maintenance is an issue in your case. Nor do you mention pensions - it would be useful to know ; you might, for example, be able to offer a ' trade off ' of getting a larger share in the home in exchange for leaving his pension alone.

As to possessions, well yes, make a list of what there is, get your husband to agree it as factually correct, and see if you can decide between you who gets what.

As to changing the locks - well, strictly, he has the right to enter the house if he owns it, even jointly with someone else. That right can be restricted or taken away altogether by a Court in certain circumstances.
But if he gets this house, you are effectively separated, and personally I would try to get him to agree that he will only come to the house by prior appointment. But you know your husband better than I do, and I can't judge how he might react to any attempt to restrict his access.

As to sorting out the finances , this is normally done as part of the divorce process, and you need to consider - like NOW - whether you might have any claims against him. The ideal situation is a ' Clean Break ' when both of you go your separate ways, and neither can make any further claim against the other. You have to do this as part of the divorce, in my opinion - you risk prejudicing your rights if you let things go by default.

I think this is probably enough for one post. The problem is, I don't know enough. If you consult a solicitor, you will be told - and correctly - that it i not possible to advise without full details of the financial situation of both parties. I'm afraid, ma'am, this is correct advice, and if a solicitor can't, neither can I. You should not act on the advice in this or any other post without checking out the advice with someone qualified to give it.

With every good wish
Mike 100468

  • Fiona
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23 Jul 07 #1520 by Fiona
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  • in_shock
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28 Jul 07 #1601 by in_shock
Reply from in_shock
Thanks both.

I earn more than him, we met at work, I'm his line manager currently. So I wouldn't be looking for maintenance or similar. (and hope won't either) We are both members of the Local Government pension scheme, but I have been paying in for about 10 years against his 4 years. My income is just under 40k. His just under 30k.

He has now decided that for a quick settlement he will accept a lump sum payment of 30k to buy him out of the house. I've got a free solicitors initial appointment booked next week and also intend to speak to a mortgage advisor. So things are progressing, even if it is all still very raw and painful.

Thanks again for your support

  • Sera
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28 Jul 07 #1607 by Sera
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in_shock wrote:


How do I ensure he has no recourse to anything of mine in future?


:laugh:Drown him. Just kidding.

OK, in my divorce 1999, we had a 'clean-break' divorce, which looks at all assets. I was asked then, to list all items over the value of £1,000 (I think?) including art, jewellery, including engagement rings), stamp collections... and all of that added to the 'pot'. Everything else: Books, CD's, cats, plants, cheese graters etc, came down to our own negotiation at the time of packing. Loosley, we each kept what we'd bought, and did a 'swap-shop' on the rest: ("yes, I know you paid for the antique French chairs, but I'll swap those for the clock... you don't have a garden"! )

Since you don't have kids, you should get a Clean Break divorce, ensuring he can't make further claims.

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