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

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  • There4U
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01 Mar 08 #15450 by There4U
Topic started by There4U
My wife and I have been married for nearly 30 years, but the last 6 years our love for each other has faded, we live separate lives together and sleep in separate rooms. I have always strived to work hard to provide the best for our family and I have.

In the very early years my wife decided to give up work to look after our first a baby, even though in the beginning we struggled like mad to live, she’s been a good wife and mother I would never deny her of that.

A few years ago when our children left home to make their own mark on the world, my wife got a good job, and we earned the same salary, but what really saddened me was that she got her own bank account and would only contribute £50.00 a month into the home, but I excepted it. She was my wife!

After 2 years she was sadly made redundant, but thereafter received regular work from an agency and was still able to pay the same contribution now and again. Since November 2007 my wife has worked continually, she still has her own bank account and still continues to contribute £50.00 a month, even though we both still earn the same salary.

Late last year I filed for divorce, as I could not live like this anymore, recently my solicitor requested a run down of the household living costs, which I calculated and also gave a copy to my wife, which she promptly showed to her solicitor. On her return I was told by my wife that her solicitor had said that because my wife doesn’t earn enough, she doesn’t have to contribute any more to the household bills and I have to pay for everything, just like I have been doing for most of our married life together. I even asked her what she did with her money and her sarcastic reply was “I flitter it all away”.

I’ve tried in vain to make our parting as painless as possible, and it hurts to think that she now thinks ‘what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is my own’ so to speak.

Could anyone please advise me what I can do?

Thank you … Mike

  • BVG
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  • Elite Member
01 Mar 08 #15456 by BVG
Reply from BVG
Hi There4u, It is so sad that two people drift apart after so many years together. I know this because my wife left me after 33yrs of togetherness.
You have not mentioned at what stage you are with the divorce?

The main criteria in all of this is to keep talking and stay as friendly as possible through out the coming events. It will make it less painful and also less costly. If you can let the issue of the £50 PM payment go. Keep good records/receipts for as much as possible etc.
Once you have your divorce, then it will be time to sort out the assets,pensions, debts and other financial issues.
Hopefully you can sort this out between youselves and get a sol. to draw up a Clean Break order ( very important for both of you). If this is not possible one of you will have to file for ancillary relief (see forum Resources). This route can/will prove expensive but will result in a division of everthing. This is done via a form E declaration and court hearings (See Forum Resources again).
Emotions will run high and low, sadness, anger, bitterness will be there, but try/struggle to stay positive, think of on good aspect of your life every day if you can.
Good luck I wish you well, you have plent of friends on this forum.

  • JAYNEY's Avatar
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01 Mar 08 #15458 by JAYNEY
Reply from JAYNEY
The idea is you BOTH fill in formE and honestly disclose everything including bank accounts with statements. Of course the difficulty is the 'honesty' bit after months and 2 solicitors and nearly going off my head, my stbx hasnt done this. But good advice from last email, try really hard to keep comunitcating, you have been together a long time, will need to see each other at times (family stuff) and want to try and end with dignity in tact! Hey but you also need a future life and something to pay for it with

  • Elizabeth
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15 Mar 08 #16826 by Elizabeth
Reply from Elizabeth

I don't know if this reply will come too late but I would, if at all possible try and keep away from either of you applying for ancillary relief through the courts. It is without doubt the most costly and lengthy process and will take over your life whilst it is going on - it also causes more resentment because you will start with the Form E, which is approx 23 page document - ok, seems simple enough - not every page will apply to you - but then there are the enclosures/attachments that have to be provided - bank statements going back a year, house valuation (if it gets to this you must get a jointly instructed valuation - this is not the same as one person getting a valuation in joint names!). After this there is a first appointment, then an FDR hearing (approx 30 mins before a judge - Form E's will have to have been filed at the court by then (sworn beforehand). If you cannot agree the judge will order further statements/disclosure. The problem comes when one party is not disclosing - the other knows it but can do little about it - solicitors letters will not help.

With hindsight I would self represent as far as possible - if your wife is going to be as flippant as to say "I just fritter it (money) away" I would only employ a solicitor on an Ad Hoc basis and do as much as you can yourself - it's time consuming but will save you a packet. If it is directed to a Final Hearing then the paperwork increases and so do the costs - so much photocopying. A barrister at the FH is advisable.

As a rule the courts start at a 50/50 split, if your wife is perfectly capable of earning the same as you she wil be expected to be seen to be maximising her earning capacity. If you have pensions both of you they will be looked at and a court will want a CETV (Cash Equivalent Transfer Value), pensions can be complex but the courts seem to work using the CETV.

The internet is a great help as is this site. Read up as much as you can, a good book is The Which Guide to Divorce - the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 gives a good indication of how the courts will view things. Yours is a long marriage and therefore everything will be looked at closely.

I hope this is not doom and gloom to you, you seem to have been more than fair in your approach...hope it's been of some help.

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