When my divorce proceedings began, I wanted to do what I thought was best for my ex and our 2 children.
We lived in a comfortable 4 bed house which whilst would prove too costly for the ex to keep on post divorce, I offered her all the equity (between 100/120K) in the house, 20% net of my monthly salary for the kids and for her to not claim against my pension (14 years old and have lived with ex for the last 8). The only other request was approx 9k worth of debt be cleared using the equity. No was the response, she wanted what I'd offered, plus 50% of my final pension (I've still another 16 years worth of contributions to make) and £1000 month spousal maintenance on top of the 20% I'd offered, and this came via her solicitor.
I net approx £1800/mth, she with tax credit and child allowance on top of her wages, about £1400/mth.
My query is this. When we get to court and I suspect at least an FDR, (as she has said she isn't interested in negotiating), is my initial offer counted as my starting position, or could that be revised downwards?
I'd also be interested in any views on whats been proposed by both sides.
I would,nt worry mate , you are being more than reasonable , any judge worth his sort would see that. Your ex sounds like mine was . Took all her "legal" advice from friends at coffee mornings. Remember tho , dont screw yourself over.
My initial reaction to what you say is - why doesn't she ask for your head on a platter while she is at it ?
The fact that you have kids means she will probably get the house, or at least a large proportion of the equity. In return for that, I would think there is a reasonable chance you would be allowed to retain your pension in full.
You have no choice about the 20% child support, £360 per month, which reduces your income to £1440 a month. You say she has £1400 per month which will therefore rise to £1760. And she wants spousal maintenance on top of that ? Well she might get a nominal order, but not £1000 a month for Heaven's sake. That would give her 86.25% of the joint incomes and wouldn't give you enough to live on.
I am incredulous, frankly. I don't understand it. I think your offer was well within the parameters of reasonableness. The fact that you may have made it may make it difficult to offer less, but if your wife sticks with this line she will almost certainly be ordered to pay all the costs.
What is it with these women? Greedy, miserable women who want to cause as much misery as possible! Why? Does it make them feel better?
Her solicitors will be more than happy to go along these lines, all the way to a Final hearing! I wonder why?
Is she claiming legal aid too? (wouldnt surprise me in the slightest!)
Your original offer, will have to take into account that she may just lose anywhere between 5k to well who knows in legal fees, fighting for something that is soooooooooooooo UNREASONABLE.
Your original offer was a written,dated offer was'nt it?
If this goes to a FDR or FH, lets hope she gets what she deserves, a rollocking from a Judge and less than you originally offered.
Heres to Justice.
Like Dobber says " dont screw yourself over" lol.
I think you are being reasonable, however with regards to being awarded costs I have been advised otherwise.
I have spent £7500 so far (FDR in Sept, another £2K) in trying to be reasonable.
My ex wants a 90/10 split of FMH assets or 83/27 of total assets and we have one child each, me having the youngest. There are other factors obviously but nothing so extreme to warrant her division. (no swiss bank accounts, no huge pot of equity, no massive pension etc etc)
It has taken months to get where we are and cost me plenty, she is on legal aid, and has requested not to pay back her costs out of settlement as she argued there will not be enough capital to do so, therefore her costs will be deferred and charged onto the new property she wants to purchase.
Yes it still needs paying, but not as much of a worry as it is to find £9k + upfront for my fees.
All this time my share is being eaten away fighting for some reasonableness. My credit card debt which is now at its limit with legal fees will need settling out of my split of proceeds. Its madness.
I asked my sol about getting my costs awarded from her if it has to go to a FH because of her unreasonableness, but he advised that her behaviour has to be much more unreasonable than this!!!! How ,I dont know?
Trouble is your solicitor may know the local district judge and his/her idiosyncrasies.
I have seen quite a fair bit of academic opinion to the general effect that sticking to unreasonable offers could result in a costs award ; for example :
• In considering what order, if any, to make for costs the court has a (non-exhaustive) checklist of matters to consider:
1) Failure by a party to comply with the FPR, any Court order and any relevant PD, e.g. Where form E has not been filed by the time of the First Appointment in breach of FPR, r. 2.61B;
2) Any open offer to settle made by a party, e.g. Where a respondent has made a generous offer at a stage where the applicant has sufficient disclosure to evaluate that offer which is declined without adequate explanation, the court may consider the sanction of casts against the applicant;
3) Whether it is reasonable to raise, pursue or contest a particular allegation or issue;
4) The manner in which a party had pursued or responded to the application or a particular allegation or issue;
5) Any other aspect of conduct in relation to the proceedings which the court considers relevant (catch all provision);
6) The financial effects on the parties of any costs order.
• It should be noted that litigation conduct includes conduct before proceedings, including premature issuing without giving reasonable opportunity to settle and attempts to defeat claims.
• Conduct does not have to be obvious e.g. non disclosure and obfuscation; it can extend to whether or not it was reasonable for a party to have incurred high, disproportionate or unnecessary costs on a particular allegation or issue. Failure to negotiate, success or failure on a particular issue, might enable one side to argue that money has been wasted on costs that should be reflected in the award.