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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.


Penniless but feeling guilty

  • Ryansdaughter
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21 Aug 12 #350875 by Ryansdaughter
Topic started by Ryansdaughter
I''ve just found this site in the middle of one of many sleepless nights and am very pleased to have done so!

I''m about to be divorced by my husband of over 20 years due to the fact that I have left him for someone else. In actual fact the marriage had not been working out well for many years and I myself had begun divorce proceedings 15 years ago, but was then persuaded into a reconciliation. I gave it my best shot for 15 years and would have continued to try had I not found someone who makes me happier than I ever dreamt possible.

I am perfectly happy to be divorced for my unreasonable behaviour (adultery doesn''t actually apply yet!) and am currently living with my parents until my new partner and I can establish a home together.

What is concerning me is a financial settlement. The matrimonial home is solely in my husbands name and basically I have walked out with my clothing and nothing else. There are no children from the marriage and both of us always worked, although my husband made all the mortgage repayments (house now fully paid for).

I can''t help feeling like a guilty party and that I shouldn''t make a claim on the home, especially as I am about to set up home with someone else (who is in a very similar position)....but I do need money to buy furniture etc. The Divorce Calculator on this site gives me a 40% share of the value of the house but I don''t want to force my ex into selling.

So far the split is reasonably amicable and obviously I''d like to keep it that way if at all possible. I work with legal paperwork and am sure I could put together my own Ancillary Relief application if necessary. But is it necessary?

Sorry for long post. I just don''t know what I should do next!

  • sexysadie
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21 Aug 12 #350889 by sexysadie
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Divorce in this country is no-fault. So even if you feel guilty that doesn''t have to spill into your settlement.

After a marriage as long as yours you are probably entitled to about half the assets. How much exactly will depend on your relative incomes, and the fact that if you are moving in with your new partner your housing costs will be less. The calculator is a very blunt instrument so don''t treat it as gospel.

We could give you a better idea about what would be a reasonable settlement if you post some more information:

your ages
pensions and their values
house value
savings
each of your earnings.

I can see that you don''t want to force your husband out of the house but it is really not fair for you to leave all that behind. Quite apart from anything else, your new relationship may not work out and you shouldn''t take the risk that you end up with nothing. And how would you feel if you left him all the assets and he then moved in with someone else immediately?

There are ways round forcing him out - he could take out another mortgage and buy you out, he might be able to give you a large share of his pension instead of the house, or maybe you have savings that you could offset against part of the house value so he needs a smaller mortgage.

All the assets are products of a long marriage in which you have contributed fully - so you need to take the share that you are due.

Best wishes,
Sadie

  • TBagpuss
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21 Aug 12 #350952 by TBagpuss
Reply from TBagpuss
It''s not correct taht divorce in this country is ''no fault'' - the actual divorce is still fault based. However, everything else which sadie says is correct.

The finacial split is about fairly dividng the assets which you have built up together through the marriage, it is not about punishing or rewarding one or other of you for the break down of the relationship.

As you mentioned that the house is in your husband''s name, the first thing you should do is register your matrimonila home rights with the Land Registry.This ensures that he cannot easily sell or remortgage the hosue without your consent, and will protect your position while you sort out the finances.

As Sadie says, it would be totally unfair if, after 20 years of marraige, you were left homeless and without resources.

Whetehr your ex has to sell the hosue is to a large extent his problem, not yours. If he want;s to stay thre (whihc he may not) he can look into remortgages et c. You have worked and contributed for 20 years,. He isn''t "giving " you anything. You already have rights.

(If it helps, remind yourself that he would not have been able to make the mortgage payments if you had not been using your wages to pay other bills and costs. It is no dofferent to if you had paid the mrtgage and he had paid the other things, or than if you had paid half each. Don''t let him guilt tip you into beliveing anything else.

After a marraige of over 20 years in which you both owrked the obvious split is 50/50. Some minor adjustments may be needed if there a big difference in income (possible higher share to lower earner) or in age (possible higher share to older partner)

  • dukey
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21 Aug 12 #350954 by dukey
Reply from dukey
People do get a bit confused with divorce, what is fault based and what is not.

Two years separation by consent and five years without is not fault based, the other three are.

  • Ryansdaughter
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21 Aug 12 #350998 by Ryansdaughter
Reply from Ryansdaughter
Thank you all for the excellent advice. Those comments have really helped me put things into perspective.

Just to explain, neither of us has a pension to speak of, no savings and we are both in our mid 50s. The house is paid for and already has a matrimonial interest order with the land registry from our previous separation.

I was reassured by the idea that my ex could remortgage for my share and thus not lose the house, which is something I hadn''t even considered at this point.

After considering all these options I have decided to submit my own claim through the courts without using a solicitor, but will go for an amount less than half but enough to enable me to set up home myself, irrespective of the fact I have a new partner. And the fact that my ex could indeed find a new partner who would benefit from possessions I have worked hard for was another factor I hadn''t considered.

So thank you all very much. That was all incredibly helpful :)

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21 Aug 12 #351002 by sexysadie
Reply from sexysadie
He will probably throw up his hands in horror and say that he can''t possibly get a mortgage at his age. But I am 53 and got one that runs until I am 70 when I expect to retire. I think they would have given me it for longer if I had asked.

A friend of mine has an interest only mortgage which runs until he dies, at which point the mortgage company get the loan amount back. I wouldn''t go for that if I could avoid it but for him it will allow him to live in the house long-term.

I still don''t see why you should get less than half the equity. There are no children to house, so as long as your incomes are roughly equal then you should go for half of it. You have contributed throughout a long marriage so why does he have the right to more?

Best wishes,
Sadie

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