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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.


Do you need help sorting out a fair financial settlement?

Our consultant service offers expert advice and support to help you reach agreement on a fair financial settlement quickly, and for less than a quarter of the cost of using a traditional high street solicitor.


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29 Apr 12 #327092 by Carla 1
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Hi everyone,

I''m new to this site I saw the info on BBC 1 last week and wish I had known about the site two and half years ago!

I would have been been married for 25 years. I am divorcing a lieing womaniser and a lot more! My ex has lied on form E saying he is living at his mother''s house but is living with his new partner and has built a 6 bedroomed house on her land. I am due to go to court for a FDR hearing. My solicitor thought at the beginning of the divorce I would be entitled to the house or the proceeds of the sale and my ex would keep his business and pension. I worked for him for 11 years and could not continue to work with him under the circumstances and therefore lost my job aswell. Our son and daughter are not dependent but my son lives with me.

18 months down the line I am at the stage wether to accept 70/30 and half his pension or 80/20 and half his pension or 80/20 or keep fighting for the proceeds of the house sale with no guarantee at the end of the case and could end up getting less.

I have found a new job which is not permanent, I am on a debt managment plan and would not be able to get a mortgage.

My dilema is do I cut and run of fight?:unsure:

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29 Apr 12 #327114 by hadenoughnow
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Carla

Welcome to wikivorce. Many of us wish we had found the site sooner .. but at least you are here now.

It is hard to answer your question without knowing the figures involved.

However there are several things to consider:

What is actually in the marital pot? If he has not declared assets, what steps are your legal team taking to force a declaration? Have you asked for business accounts as well as personal accounts? Would these show the building costs for the 6 bed house? Is it in his name, the company''s or the OWs? The value of the company should be part of the marital pot.

Where is he registered to vote/pay council tax?

How you will house yourself .. will 80% of the equity buy you a property? Your strict need is for a 1 bed place as you have no dependent children (unless son is at university).

What about income? How does your income compare with his? Do you think this is a case where Spousal Maintenance would be appropriate - especially as you have lost your job with his company? Or could you argue for capitalised SM - giving you more equity but no monthly payment?

You mention a debt management plan. Whose debt is this? It may be in your name but is it a marital debt? What was the money spent on?

As to whether you fight on ... what is the difference in cash terms between 100% of the house and 80% of the house?

Can you prove - or at least show strong evidence to suggest - that he has assets he is not declaring?

Going to FH can cost tens of thousands. You would need an estimate from your legal team and also their view (ask a barrister who knows the local courts) on how a judge would view what evidence you have re his assets.

Hadenoughnow

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29 Apr 12 #327139 by Carla 1
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Hi Hadenoughnow,

Thank you for responding so quickly, the marital pot would be £177,000 from the sale of the home and £37,000 from his pension.

The most recent business accounts have not been carried out. There is a lot of questions that need to be answered regarding business and personnel accounts which my solicitor asked him to do from the replies to the 1st qestionare.

Without having up-to-date accounts it is difficult to see the building costs for the house and it is not in his name but will be in his undoubtebly be in his new partner''s name. Who he is not co-habiting with? My solictor suggested an inquiry agent to proove he is lieing and would cost approx £500.00.

He has made the business look less profitable than it is but which my solicitor has questioned.

I don''t know where he is registered for council tax but is down for voting from the marital home which should be changed.

He said on form E he is living with his mother and pays her £600.00 a month board and his additional outlay totals £1340.00.

80% would give me £141,000 and after paying my debts would leave approx £120,000 which would buy a flat or might buy an ex council house. I was brought up in a council house and have no objection to this but bearing in mind that we would have to leave our home because of my ex''s behaviour.

I would also like to point out that I am shocked that none of his unreasonable behaviour will be brought up in court.

Re-maintenance this has been a grey area for me I have received no maintenance other than him paying the mortgage which I agreed to reduce the payment by £500.00 per month making the payment £339.00 per month (not interest only) and council tax which he stopped paying which led to me recieving a court summons, he has now agreed to pay the arrears and reienstate the current payment of £177.00 per month.

My current income is £10,656 but this is a contract only to September 2012. Compaired to his £500.00 per week self employed official wages.

My debt acccured from 2002 when I left him for 2 years to pay overdraft and credit card fees which has been refinanced 3 times over the years I considered this my debt and did not include it the marital debt my solicitor has not advised regarding this am I too far down the line to back track on this?

My solicitor has pointed out about proof of assets and none declaration and the implications involved and there is strong evidence of this.

This seems to be the negotiating tool that he is using which brings me back to my dilema as my ex will agree to 70/30 but not sure about the half the pension but I would rather have 80/20 and leave the pension or would I be entitled to 80/20 and half the pension bearing in mind my solicitor has stated on form E that I wanted the transferal of the marital home to myself but could not afford to pay all the bills and the mortage on my current wage.

The difference between the proceeds of the sale and the 80/20 is £37,000 and the difference between 70/30 and 80/20 is £16,000 the pension is worth £37,000 which split would be approx £18,500 which I understand now is in pension form not monetary form. I would rather have the 80/20 split than the 70/30 and half the pension.

Finaly my solicitor estimated the legal cost could be approx £3500.00 but I am not sure what the barrister costs would be. I will need to confirm this. I do not qualify for legal aid which was a devastating blow and I have relied on family loans to fund the legal costs so far which will need to be paid back from the final settlement.


Thank you again.

Carla 1

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29 Apr 12 #327189 by hadenoughnow
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Carla,

I am afraid that behaviour has no bearing on the financial outcome no matter how galling that is :(. The only time it may be counted would be if he has say injured you in some way that makes it impossible for you to work. At a push the fact you were employed by his company but no longer are can be brought in but you clearly do have earning capacity now even if it is limited.

The court would look at needs (your respective strict need is a one bed property), the marital pot and how those needs can be met from the available pot and income.

His pension is not big ... so you may well be better going for more equity but would have to bear in mind how his housing needs would be met. Even if he is likely to cohabit, there is no guarantee the relationship would last so he should ideally also be in a position to buy a 1 bed property. Has your legal team asked him to provide evidence of what size mortgage he could obtain?

The debt is tricky. If it was spent on stuff solely for you, then you would have a hard time proving it is marital.

One factor may be your ages .. how far off retirement age are you both? Is his a limited company?

Without full financial disclosure, you are in a difficult position re settlement. If his assets really are so much more than declared, it is probably best to wait until you either have answers to the questions raised .. and/or see what view the judge takes at FDR. Remember FDR is for negotiating and listening to the judge. There can be no settlement UNLESS you agree one .. you can, and should, make sure you have had plenty of time to think over any offers made on the day rather than just agreeing on the spot.

You need to check costs to FDR AND costs up to and including FH including barristers.

If you have had family loans to help pay legal bills, you need to make sure these are properly documented with an agreement for paying them back. The trouble with loans from family is that a court views them as "soft" - ie not intended to be paid back.

Sorry - there are no hard and fast answers - just possibilities and sometimes probabilities. Try searching for section 25 of the 1973 Matrimonial Causes ACt - this sets out what is considered when finances are settled on divorce.

Hadenoughnow

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30 Apr 12 #327348 by Carla 1
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Thank you Hadenoughnow,

SORRY it''s late I have just read you reply, I have to speak to my solicitor tomorrow to agree the draft letter to be sent to my ex before Wednesday the date of FDR.

I think he wants to try to avoid the hearing and wants me to confirm that I want the 70/30 and half the pension split and to see if my ex agrees the same. Which brings me back to the cut and run or fight dilemma!:S

I know the final decision is down to me and I take on board your all your valuable advice. I may not end up at the FDR meeting after all would this be a good thing apart from escaping the costs involved?

Thank you again

Goodnight

Carla

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30 Apr 12 #327376 by hadenoughnow
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Carla

FDR is your chance to hear a judge give their view on what is fair. You will get a steer on how the new build is viewed. The judge can make orders re disclosure.

In your shoes I would be wondering why he is making what appears to be a generous offer and wants to avoid FDR. I would suspect he thinks he is going to be rumbled. I would want to know how he will house himself, what his income will be and have sight of his business accounts as well as proof of ownership of the new build.

Hadenoughnow

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