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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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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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Settlement Question

  • rdcox
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21 Feb 08 #14646 by rdcox
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Hi,

I am about to go into a FDR with my ex2b, wondering what the likely outcome would be.

I'm 38, she's 37. We have 2 daughters of 9 and 6 with joint custody though I am the primary PWC, she has them less than 100 days per year. We were married for 7 years.

Main asset is a house and after sale etc we will be left with around £320k equity, hopefully to be sold very soon. We both have a pension of roughly equal amounts.

We both have credit card debts of around £15k each, largely through legal fees and extra living costs. I also have a £25k loan, £15k of which was to consolidate a joint debt.

I work full time, earn £48k per year. She was self-employed, contracting earning around £100k per year. I think she had hoarded away some 40-50k prior to our separation but appears to have run this down to nothing over the past few months, including 2.5k per month in rent to her new partner!

We have school fees, roughly around £920 per month to cover.

Ex has been living 120 miles away with new partner and I think is now working for him or through his company. She now claims she is not working due to not being able to manage with the divorce etc going on. She is also now claiming that she isn't living with him and is homeless which I think is complete rubbish - this wasn't an issue until cohabitation came up in the first divorce hearing and she was using the new partner situation in our child custody fight. She is also now refusing to work at all to avoid having to pay child maintenance and is pleading poverty. She even tried to move back into the family home a week ago after 8 months away!

She is insisting on a 50/50 split which I don't think is appropriate as I have to provide a new house for the children - I have found one at the £265k mark.

I've put forward a couple of settlement offers, both of which were refused, one being a 70/30 split after the joint debt was resolved and to also include upfront payment of the remainder of the school fees (approx 37k).

Does anybody have any idea what the likely outcome of the FDR/FH will be based upon this evidence - is 70% a likely possibility bearing in mind this will still require me to have a mortgage of around £140k.

Also will any aspect of child maintenance be covered as the CSA have been next to useless as she claims she isn't working.

Cheers
Richard

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21 Feb 08 #14656 by dukey
Reply from dukey
Hi
Ive read it twice and its quite complex for a start i would put your details in the wiki calculator to give you an idea you can play with the numbers based on x earning £0 as claims and £50,000 or whatever you think she is earning.
Its a moral obligation for parents to provide for there children, if she is homeless and no job how will she gain custody?
were do the girls stay for overnight visits (100 days) if homeless?
Just out of interest what was her most recent bank statment for the form E? if she is working she must by getting payed some how or do you think the new partner is keeping it for her.
lastly were does her mail get sent?
Try the calculator for a start
dukey

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22 Feb 08 #14695 by rdcox
Reply from rdcox
Hi,

I've tried the wiki calculator and it seems to come out between 60-70% depending upon her "income".

Unfortunately she doesn't seem to have any morals regarding their care and what they want - her take of it is "they are my children and I can do what I want with them". Unfortunately for her it wasn't a view shared by CAFCASS and the family court!

The children had been staying with her at the house she was/is living in with her new partner most weekends, however the last time they spent the night at her mothers while she went elsewhere and this weekend she has booked them into a hotel with her. The children are both very upset with having to see her this weekend, my eldest in particular gets very stressed out. This whole cohabitation thing only became an issue after the first divorce hearing when she realised it could impact upon her settlement as her needs would obviously be less.

Her recent bank statements basically show she has maxed out her credit card and emptied her bank account - however there are no transactions for basic things like food, petrol, Xmas etc which is a little confusing, I'm actually wondering if she has a new bank account set up on the side. Her mail still gets sent to the new partners house.

She is incredibly devious, malicious and spiteful particularly when it comes to money and I can see this continuing to be a long, painful and costly process. The stupid thing is that I'm not actually looking to take her to the cleaners as such - all I want is to be able to adequately provide for our children and be able to afford somewhere relatively decent to live in. The house I'm intending to purchase is very much at the bottom end of the market in our area (we are dropping from our current house worth around £750k to one of £265k!)

Cheers
Richard

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22 Feb 08 #14698 by dukey
Reply from dukey
Hi richard i hope the wiki calculator helped it gives a good idea of the fdr outcome the family court will consider what your girls want and where they feel at home, your wifes situation is quite unstable at the moment.
uk banks dont allow two current accounts for one person and if at a later date you can prove she has lied on form E the provisions of the fdr can be overturned and new arrangments made, something to consider.
claiming to be homeless without income and in debt wont help her custody claim not so much shooting yourself in the foot more like blowing your leg off.
you have a strong claim keep your daughters needs at the top of your list and you wont go far wrong, all the best
dukey :)

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22 Feb 08 #14700 by BDO
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Hi, I do not have much to add except if going forward into an FDR, try suggesting to your ex's solictors or the Court, that your ex produces a copy of a credit reference check, which would show her accounts, credit cards, etc. This would support her form E. It does not prevent anyone having cash stored away but if she does possess other 'hidden' accounts, these will show up here. 'Equifax' currently have a 30-day free trial, so anyone can obtain such a check for free, including your ex. (I have done one for myself to show a Court my openness) If there is a refusal to produce such a check document, the Court should be asking why? You could also do similar to demonstrate full and open compliance, and it is not unreasonable for your ex to do the same.

www.equifax.co.uk/currentoffer/index.html

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22 Feb 08 #14702 by rdcox
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Thanks for the info. One other thing is that she is refusing to provide her business banking statements which leads me to smell a rat. She has provided her company tax return which doesn't really show much. I'll definitely take a look at that credit rating site though , thanks for that.

With her personal money I have a feeling that this ridiculous 2.5k per month rent was just a way to move money into her partners account for safe keeping - she was previously renting a house for under £900 per month then moved into this new place with him and gave up work!

Cheers
Richard

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22 Feb 08 #14704 by BDO
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The plot thickens. Assuming she was paying 2.5k per month in legitimate rent, she should be able to show appropriate rent receipts to a bona fide landlord. These transactions should then match to her bank records. If such funds were being paid in to a partners bank account, then obviously the accounts would not match up with those of a landlord. Can the landlord (if there is one) corroborate those rental amounts. Check the property (if you know it) with a local property agent to obtain the likely rental value, or enquire if you were to own such a property how much could you obtain on the rental market, etc. Again, if she has nothing to hide then all these requests are reasonable.

You said she was self-employed, so I assume that is the business you refer to and the documents she refuses to produce. If self-employed I do not see how she will not eventually be required to produce these to a Court as they are material to support her case (and yours). On what basis is her refusal. She will need to justify such to a Court.

Cheers. BDO

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