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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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New to forum - assistance would be appreciated

  • M96
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02 Apr 12 #321247 by M96
Topic started by M96
I have been on this site several times and after several months, i decided to register. I am hoping to get assistance and peoples'' opinion regarding my current situation.

I am currently living with my partner and we have been married for almost 4years (4yrs in Jul) and have known each other for 2/3 years before this.

I discovered late last year that he has been and continues to be unfaithful. He doesnt seems to notice that i am aware of this (at least i dont think so).

For one reason and others i have waited to end the relationship and one is that i was hoping to save money for the divorce process but that has not really happened.

As it stands, we have a house together bought in 09 and his family put up all the deposit for the house, we have no kids, a loan and overdraft in my name (incurred regarding the house), i have a small pension of around £3k, all direct debits coming out of my account and all the bills in my name.

I have decided that i will be leaving him but want to be as prepared as i possibly can as his family are not short on funds and can be unreasonable (including him and cant see him being too reasonable during the divorce process).

Any advice would be appreciated from all.

Thank you!

  • mike62
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03 Apr 12 #321470 by mike62
Reply from mike62
Hello M96 and welcome to Wikivorce.

You say that you have been together for seven and a half years. Was all of that time actually living together?

The reason for the question is to determine the length of cohabitation. This has an impact on how the finances would be settled between you. Assuming cohabitation began at marriage, 4 years ago, it would probably be considered a relatively ''short'' marriage.

In a ''short'' marriage where there are no children or other direct dependants involved, generally the parties take out individually what they brought into the marriage and split any profit or loss on the assets of the marriage equally.

In your case, the deposit on the house was supplied by his family, so there would be an expectation that it would go back to them via him, less the amount of any joint loan or other jointly incurred liabilities.

Consideration also needs to be given to the ages of the parties, their relative incomes, other assets of the parties (over £500 - including savings, pensions etc), and any health issues of the parties.

Also need to consider your plans. Would you seek to buy him out of the property and stay? How would you divide the contents of the property?

Hope I have given you some food for thought. Have a look at this post:

www.wikivorce.com/divorce/Divorce-Advice...PLITTING-ASSETS.html

Mike

  • Marshy_
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03 Apr 12 #321474 by Marshy_
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Hi M96. Sorry that you are here and I cant add anything to the sound advice that Mike has given you. But have you not confronted him at all? C.

  • M96
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03 Apr 12 #321490 by M96
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Marshy_
I did a few times but he denied it and i had to apologise. But i havent confronted him lately.

Mike62
Thank you very much for your reply. It is grately appreciated.

We have only been living together for around 5 years as we rented an apartment together during 07/08 and bought the house in 09.

I am 28 and he is 26. we both work full time however, i earn more than he does (about a 4k difference before tax is deducted).

I will not seek to buy him out of the house as the house is located close to his relatives and was chosen in-part by his family. I am happy to pay for 50% of the mortgage and anything else to ensure that i get whatever i am entitled to from the house (should i be entitled to anything). Will this be decided after a valuation on this house? If so, at what stage of the divorce/seperation will this be undertaken.

I can not see myself fighting tooth and nail to get every penny from the house or anything else as i feel that my wages at present is ok for me to survive on.

I have made a calculation of the worst case scenario (excluding divorce fees) and i break even every month (including if i was to end up paying the rest of the debt myself).

A separation and a new start is really what i would be after. I would like to be as prepared as i can so that i can minimise any surprises and my potential legal fees.

I am also thinking about starting the process myself and only using a solicitor when required.

Thank you again.

  • mike62
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04 Apr 12 #321537 by mike62
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Hello again M96,

From what you say, it seems that the family will rally around him. Assuming that he is not going to be very difficult about things, there is no reason why you shouldn''t progress things yourself without the need to use a solicitor.

The only thing that you most definitely need to use a solicitor for is to review the Consent Order (the legal instrument that separates you as a married legal entity into two individual legal entities and dismisses all future claims you may have on each other as individuals) before signing it.

As to the grounds for divorce, the simplest is Unreasonable Behaviour. It does not have to be extreme, just sufficient that a Judge can be satisfied that it would be unreasonable to expect one or both parties to continue to live together as man and wife.

Instead of using the ''adultery'' word which carries a heavy burden of proof, alternatives could be ''inappropriate relationships'' or ''deceitful behaviour''.

If you are in the fortunate position to be able to swallow the debt, make that your last bargaining chip in the process. Keep it in reserve to tip the balance in your favour for co-operation later. I suspect that there will be outcry initially when he is confronted and it would be better to let the dust settle from the first announcement of your intentions before ploughing in with a set of proposals.

As to costs, you would be looking at the costs of issuing the Petition, plus the costs of a Consent Order. In the ideal world, these should be shared, but from what you say, this seems to be an unlikely outcome. Nevertheless, it could all be achieved, including some legal advice regarding the consent order, for under £1000.00

The kind of sums that you are talking about in terms of the loan / overdraft are simply not worth going to court over. The costs of taking it through court would quickly overtake the amount that you are seeking to recover.

Given the length of your marriage and prior cohabitation, the aseets at stake and hte lack of any direct dependants, I suspect that he would be on a hiding to nowhere in trying to claim any kind of maintenance from yourself.

You do need to think about how things might progress from telling him. Would you let him stay in the house? Are you planning to leave the house? If you leave, what guarantee is there that he will get behind selling it? Would he buy you out?

You really need to think that aspect through.

Hope this helps

Mike

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