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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.

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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First post and need help please

  • robdf2
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18 Jul 07 #1442 by robdf2
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Hi everyone , i came across this great site by chance , just a shame i dint find it a year or so ago.

This is my first post so be gentle lol.

first i will state the facts then get to my dilema.

I am male aged 37 and my wife is also 37 , we have been married for 13 years to date but seperated for the last 2.

I have 2 lovely duaghters aged 5 and 9 who currently live with their mother in the matrimonial house.

Our house has been valued at £230 k and we have a mortgage of £92k , we also have an endowment valued at £14k , we both have pensions which have been valued near each other so we have both agreed that we will not touch each others pensions.
so all in we have equity at around £150k.
there is a debt of my credit card that was used in our marriage of £8k
we dont have any other assets or savings.

My wifes father is seriously ill but has been for a long time and she will recieve a large inheritance of around £350k on his death.

Things are not amicable between myself and my wife.

We got our Decree Nisi over a year ago and for the last year we have been trying to sort out the finances (a great cost to myself with solicitors fees)

I had to leave the former home 2 years ago and was lucky that i could move into my mums.


I am employed and I have a net income of £1800 per month.
My wife does not work and does not want to work.

When we were married my salary paid for everything , my wife used the family tax credit for day to day things and her cigarette habbit of £130 per month.

Since leaving the home i have continued to pay for everything , mortgage £600 per month , bills £280 per month , endowment £78 per month and on top of that also child maintanence of £280 per month.
But in Novemeber 2006 i had to stop paying the bills because i was £1900 overdrawn and was in danger of missing a mortgage payment and i have only just got my bank acoount back into my overdraft.

We had a verbal agreement that if i paid for evrything until our youngest daughter was in full time school then she would seek to get a job.
My youngest started full time school in September 06 and
Since then she has made no effort what so ever to get a job.

I am currently paying for my former home minus the bills and also paying towards staying at my mums who is a pensioner with food , rent , clothes and toys for my children ect.

Since our split my wife has said of her intention to move away by about an hours car journey to be nearer her mother.

I have already had a first sppointment and hearing at court in May of this year.
Upon attending court my solicitor was greeted by my wifes barrister who informed her that my ex wife had found a suitable property for her and the children to live in.
The property was for an 80 % share with a total purchase price of £142k.
And that she could get a mortgage of £30k so would need £112 at least to secure the property.
I was keen to make a deal that day and for her to move into her property.

She said that she was prepared top offer me a lump some of £14k from the sale of the house and sign the endowment over to me which is valued at £14k so £28k total , on top of this she wanted maintanence payed at the CSA rate roughly £350 per month (i do not have a problem with this) but she also wanted maintanenece for her self of £450 per month for a year to help get her on her feet !

Bearing in mind also that she is going to take all fitiings and furnishings from our house to her new 1.

Even though i thought her claims were extorsionate i responded by asking for £20k from the sale of the house and the endowment which she refuesed and didnt budge from her original offer.

this would have paid off a majority of my debt.


We eventualy saw the judge 2 hours later who said that i had been more than generous in trying to reach a settlement and asked my wife to find the balance of £6k to get the matter settled which she refuesed to do.
So we were told that unless we could reach a settlement before the final hearing a charge will be made on the property.

Since that day in court my wife will still not budge on her inital offer and my debt has continued to rise with debts near £30k.And the house she was after has been sold.

She has also got very bitter and keeps stopping me from seeing our children on my contact days and blaming me because i didnt give her what she wanted.

I am just starting proceedings for a contact order for acess to my children.
I have now had to pay my solicitor off and go it alone into the unknown with the final divorce hearing and the contact order.

Her solicitor bills are being paid for by her wealthy mum its unclear whether she has to pay her back but i doubt it.In the meantime im supporting 2 households with no contributions being made what so ever by my wife.

In my eyes she is being totaly unreasonable not only with her offer but also in the fact what she expects me to pay her as a monthly maintanenece.

Our final date has been set for September 2007.

So now my dilema , firstly my apologies if i have waffled but so much to say lol.

What can i reasonably expect from the final hearing in the way of a settlement?


I am not against there being a charge on the house but she is totaly against it and is adament that there wont be one even though she was told by the judge there will be one.

I am loathed to pay her such a high maintanence , the childrens maintanence is not a problem but i dont want her to buy a property which is damp or unsuitable for my girls.

I have also asked her for proof of this 30k mortgage offer she has but i still havent seen anything from her solicitor.bearing in mind she soesnt have a job.


I have paid everything so that she can stay in the house and my girls are settled and made as happy as i can. will this be in my favour when it goes to court?.

Any comments and help would be welcome.

  • Dockley
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19 Jul 07 #1462 by Dockley
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Robdf2

Yours seems to be the post left unanswered for the longest time, so jus so you don’t feel left out, thought I might start the ball rolling, hopefully other contributors will follow. (in fact I'm sure they will):pinch:Someone may give a likely outcome.

The way I see it (IMHO)

Your total outlay on the FMH was £1240 and your nett pay is £1800. At the moment you have no high living costs to fund on top of that, as you are living with your parent, although I assume you are paying the debt on the credit card and also contributing to your new household.

It would appear then that you could have surplus income after you have met your own needs, which could be used to meet the needs of your wife and children. Does she receive any other income in benefits?

Now you no longer pay the bills, your wife’s needs are not met and this will be the reason she is asking for spousal maintenance. If awarded the amount will be set by the court, and could have no fixed end date. By that I mean it could be awarded for X years to give your wife time to retrain or obtain employment, in some more severe cases it has been awarded for life! (u still upright???):unsure:

Is she receiving legal aid, not sure of the rules if she is not working? Although legal aid is not free, the simple fact that you don’t see any money disappearing each month to pay for it in the same way as you do for private can lead to the legal aid funded party being able to exert more pressure on the divorce proceedings.

They say we are a new credit generation of buy it now pay later, and this is no different when it comes to legal aid. Legal aid funded parties tend to not worry as much about spiralling legal costs as these seem “invisible” until the actual financial settlement.

As for what you can reasonably expect from a final hearing is anyone’s guess. The only thing is, I think that at the final hearing the judge will not have seen any of the offers previously made by either party? and he will make the decision on what is before him on the day, when he rules the split.

Top and bottom of it is, you could still have to pay the bills, she could still stay in the FMH, she could never get a job, its impossible to predict.


;)


Oh and PS, well done for wanting the best for your girls and also for proceeding with contact order to see them.

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19 Jul 07 #1465 by robdf2
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Thanks for the reply , yes i was a bit worried that no one had answered so thanks for doing so.

At the moment my wage comes in and is used to pay for the FMH and my debt and thats it , im living off my credit card.

My wife recieves £463 per month with child benefit and family tax credits plus she also has a reduction on her council tax.

So if i had agreed to her offer in court this is what mine and her monthly incomes would look like.

Hers first.
£463 from credits and benefits , £350 child maintanence from me and also £400 spousal maintanence totaling £1213.
Then from that pay her bills.


From my wage income of £1800 a month , i would be paying out £750 a month in maintanence , my rent on top of that at £400 per month and i would still have half of my debt which would cost roughly £500 a month , so before i even start looking at food , petrol , insurance ect im left with £150 for the month.

Thats the problem and frustration i have , my wife could have easliy started to pay her own way but she doesnt want to and tbh why should she there is no incentive for her to do so.
if i was incapacitated and could not work due to an ilness or injury what would happen then?
i suppose everything will be paid for in benefits.
i dont go to work because i love doing it i go to work because i have to , i would gladly share the responsibility of my children 50 / 50 but my wife doesnt want that becasue she wont get as much money bottom line.
There are lots of discussions what is best for the children and surley if both parents are able to have accomadation which is safe and they can spend 50 % with each parent a week then thats got to be better than 4 days a month with their dad.
Sorry to rant but its how i feel.

  • Dockley
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19 Jul 07 #1467 by Dockley
Reply from Dockley
Hi again

Totally agree with you, I am in a very similar situation myself.

Unfortunatley this is how it is now. When my mum divorced in 1989 she came away with £3000 out of a pot of £17,000. She did not work and raised us kids. If she were to be divorcing now the split would probably be the other way round, thats how much divorce has changed and lets not forget there was no tax credit and income boosting benefits back then. My mum would've jumped at an offer of 50% I bet.


Your only hope is that at the FH you present the facts to the judge the way you have presented them today. The fact that on paper you have an income of £1800 per month does not mean that you should have to support two homes/lives and end up riddled with debts forever and a day by doing so. And hopefully the judge will rule an outcome that is more acceptable to you than your wife's offer.

Although there is a post on here confirming that long term you will recover and do better, so dont get out the razor blades just yet, there is hope :silly:

I think your last quote is somewhat idealistic and not realistic, although at least you are willing to try, so I hope your wife see's sense and allows contact to resume regularly again, for your girls sake if not yours.

;)

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19 Jul 07 #1468 by robdf2
Reply from robdf2
Thanks again for your reply.

The problem i have is my company is due to relocate in 12 months time amd i will be redundant , worked there 20 years so want to stay to the end for redundancy even though it wont be more than about 15 k , but better than jumping ship and ending up with nothing.

But there is no guarnatee that i will be able to get a similary paid job in fact might have to change career all together , thats just another factor in this whole saga to take into consideration.

I also read somewhere on here that as a GUIDE FIGURE the total of child maintanence and spousal maintanenece is not to be more than 1/3 rd of the actual income.

How true is this?

  • Louise11
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19 Jul 07 #1469 by Louise11
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Hi

Hang on! Hang on! Hang on! ;)

Some of your post i dont understand? Can you clarify for me?

1) Who is going to put a charge on your property and why?
(your wife cant stop it, by the way)
2) Have you had a FDR yet? ( are you going straight from a
first appointment to a FH?)
3) Why are you nearly 30k in debt now? (the reason i ask this
is because if its down to paying off marital debts and
maintaining your house that you no longer live in,
allowances should be made for this)
4) How much have you legal bills been?
5) Have you exchanged form Es?
6) If so, have you asked questions such as " how come you can
get a mortgage of some 30k without a job? (mind you you
get a mortgage based on SM and benefits if they are
guaranteed)

Also she stands to get a large inheritance when her father passes away, this cannot be taken into account until it actaully happens, so even if you were ordered to pay whatever you can go back to court if circumstances change enough to warrant a change in payments ect.
I need to know where you are upto in the proceedings to be of any real help to you.
Seemss to me you are a reasonable guy and i cant understand for the life of me why your wife is so bitter, she will only hurt herself in the long run, because i beleive she will get no where near what shes asking for, if a Judge has to decide then its like playing poker. You present your facts and figures to the Judge the way you have here and it could look like shes being totally unreasonable and may just end up paying your costs if its to go to a final hearing!
BTW if her rich mum is helping her pay costs then she has another person helping her out and that needs to go on form E too! Its funny when they make out they have nothing, and they are getting help from another source, when they realise the Judge takes it into account suddenly their stories change!
In our case my NPs ex said on her form E that her mum was paying her council tax for her,(this was said so it looks like shes so hard up even her mum is helping her out) when this was pointed out in court that she is receiving help from elsewhere, she suddenly realised where it was going and changed her story to Oh sorry that was a mistake my mum first helped me out two years ago, she doesnt any longer! LOL who looked like a little fibber in court? Once a lie is shown then everything else that person says goes right out the window!
Anyway think i've said enough for you to get your head round, look forward to hearing from you again.
Kind regards
Louise

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19 Jul 07 #1475 by robdf2
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Hi Louise thanks for the reply

We have had a first hearing and that was when we had a 2 hour so called negociating process.

When we got to see the judge he recommended that we go straight to a last hearing because of the costs already involved and the pot of equity dissapearing.

I had a debt of 8k from when i seperated from my wife , from that time i have tried to support 2 households with my MH obviously coming first but got to the point of being £1900 overdrawn at the bank , So i had no option but to stop paying the bills to take pressure off my account.

Since then my legal fees have been around 11k and the balance of my debt has been from pressure running 2 houselholds and doing days out and clothing my girls at the weekends and holidays its amazing how quickly it all adds up.

We have had form E exchanged and we have been in the process of asking questions about each other , i have fully complied with everything i have been asked for but my wife's side are being very slow in suplying the information i need.

1 major point i am still waiting on is the fact that she wants to buy a part ownership property which she found one and told me how much it cost and just expected me to give her what she wanted.
since i have asked questions about how much are the mortgage repayments ? , who is the guarntor of the mortgage? what income is it based on and how much is the rent on the remaining percentage?

to this date i still have no answers and with my final hearing date in september time is running out , my money already has.
I can just see their faces when they recieve the notice that i will be acting for myself , i will probably be pressured and try to be threatened and bullied with loads of legal jargon.

for a settlement from her i was after 20% of our total equity (34k , by the way of 20k cash from the sale of the house and 14k endowment) i didnt want a lot and that would clear my debt.

my wife is bitter because she was a jealous and controlling person and because a year after our split i found a new wonderful partner the bitterness got worse and so did the agression , but im not going to go into that here.

Last year when my debt was more managable i told my wife for a settlement i would accept the endowment policy and a charge or messher order on the property , this is what she is totaly against , she says that i would still be in control of her life and that the house she buys is for the girls and not for me.
She has been told by the judge that is the most likley outcome but she is adamant that it wont happen.

to me it was the simplest answer so that we could both move on , my only worry is now my debt has grown it would not be the best option for me.

She has even tried to sell the house , she told the estate agent that she was the sole owner , its only because my sisiter saw it for sale in the paper that we knew , by the time i found out there had been 40 plus viewings and 2 offers which she turned down , but thats for another time.

I do appreciate all of your comments.


Rob.

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