After 10 years of being together 9 of which being married I decided to commence divorce proceedings against my husband on the grounds of his meanness towards me. As far as I am aware (my husband has always been very secretive about finances) we have joint assets of around 850k. He is receiving a very healthy pension of 26k+ pa, I have only my state pension which I will be eligible for in 2 years time.
I must add here that when I met my husband I had my own house, car, job etc. and did not need a 'mealticket'. I sold my house and gave him all the proceeds to pay the loan he had taken out to pay the settlement to his x wife.
I have put forward a very reasonable proposal to him which amounts to 280k with the guarantee that I wouldn’t stake a claim on his pension. I was advised by my solicitor that I would be eligible to claim 1/6 of this pension should I wish to pursue it. However, I would rather have a ‘Clean Break’ settlement but he, and his solicitor scoffed at my proposal, and sent a much reduced offer which I have refused.
At the time where these proposals were tooing and froing, I was living in the marital home/business (it is also a guest house), living together became intolerable and I was very close to a nervous breakdown. Then a letter came from his solicitor which said that my husband would be applying to have me ‘removed’ from the business premises because of the atmosphere affecting the smooth running of the business. This tipped me over the edge! I am now sleeping on a couch at my sisters house and having to apply for benefits as I have no money of my own and my husband has stopped my only access to cash, the credit card.
He is not only earning £1000 to £1500 per month out of the business that I set up and jointly own, but is drawing £2000+ per month pension………….is this right?
We are very sorry that you have had such a torrid time.
We hope that you will feel better when you read the following.
England and Wales divorce law is perhaps the most generous in the world to the weaker party (financially) upon separation.
10 years is a pretty long marriage and your contributions during the marriage to the home and the business will in all likelihood be recognised as equal to his.
You can therefore expect a fair settlement, that is a fair share of the assets and of the ongoing income stream.
I think that given the assets of 850K and the income of 3 to 3.5k per month there is no problem in dividing this up in a way that both your needs are met.
I would be suprised if you ended up with less than the 280k, and perhaps a fair bit more.
As there is a lot at stake you should consult a solicitor.
Given your current circumstances you may qualify for legal aid - see the link to the legal aid website on our Top Divorce Sites page.
Also you should not delay in applying from Maintenance Pending Suit - this is an application to the court to order your husband to pay you a monthly payment to enable you to get by while the divorce finances are being settled. The sooner you do this the better as the court can backdate these payments to the date that you applied to the court for Maintenance Pending Suit.
A solicitor should be able to:
- give you a free 1/2 hour consultation
- for an agreed fixed fee (possibly a couple of hundred pounds), submit your applications for legal aid and
for maintenance pending suit.
(check first that the solicitor you call is willing to do the first 1/2 hour free and that the do work on legal aid [not all solicitors do])
Yes. Your advice certainly made me feel better, only taking advice from one solicitor is sometimes not enough and you need the reassurance of others who know what they are talking about so thank you very much.
I will be seeing my solicitor this week and I will ask him to seek legal aid on my behalf. I have been advised that the reason he is being so unreasonable with his offers is because of the fact that he has ample funds for solicitors fees, and I don't, so legal aid could change all that.
I have also been advised that if it goes to court and it is judged that the costs have been pushed up because of his unreasonableness by turning down fair proposals put forward by my solicitor, that the costs would be his, not mine. Is this true?
As for maintenance pending suit, my solicitor wrote to his three weeks ago now and there was an offer made of £75pw made through his solicitor but this had some silly conditions attached to them which, because of my desperation for some money, I adhered to. He still did not give me any money. Does he still owe me maintenance from the date of my solicitors letter asking for it? How does this affect the 'Jobseekers Allowance' that I have applied for?
If his income is as you say around 3 to 3.5k per month then i would expect you to be awarded MPS of something like 1/3 of this or 1000 per month - perhaps more.
The MPS can be dealt with quickly by the courts - within a month or two (the whole case may take much longer). It will only be backdated to the date you applied to court for MPS - so don't delay.
These days it tends to be that each side pay their own costs - so if he hires teams of super star solicitors - he will have t foot the bill.
You do not need Rumpole on your team - just a competent solicitor will do - the judge will ensure fairness and he may have a slight edge with his expensive barristers but no matter how much money he throws at fighting his case he cannot change the fact that the law is on your side and you will get a fair deal.
Where is he and his rotten solicitor getting off on offering you £75 per week???
Didnt you have a joint bank account?
I think you can apply to the courts to stop him from disposing of any asset or monies.
HE must be sitting having a right laugh with his scummy solicitor!
DONT BE BULLIED BY THEM!!!
There should be a law against unethical solicitors and if i have read it right there are quite a few who get struck off every week for their behaviour.
I beleive every solicitor should be accountable for thier actions and if they know that what they are doing (on behalf of thier client) is wrong, (i.e causing hardship for the opposing side) then they should be held responsible.
I wish you all the luck in the world dont give up and dont ever let them bully you.
YOU go for it girl! ( sleeping on your sisters sofa????? Book into your bed and breakfast and make hime wait on you!!!! Send him the bill!!! As far as i can make out any debts incurred whilst still married belong to you both!!!!
Yes, I suppose at the end of the day I will get justice and he will have to give me a fair amount from maintenance. I think that he is banking on my getting a job before that happens so that he doesn't have to give me very much, if anything.
Problem is, at my age (pensioner in 2 years), jobs are not so easy to get. I have applied for 4 jobs to date, had an interview for one, and not one job offer! So you will understand why the £75 offer was better than nothing!!
No, I have never held a joint bank account with my husband, he always thought that a credit card was enough for me, even though I was very disgruntled about it. After all, I was a full partner in the business and put more than my fair share of hours into it!
It didn't occur to me to book into a B&B, I was too upset at the time of practically being forced out of my own home, however, I will look into that one today as I am getting tired of sleeping on the couch. My sister has two adult sons living with her so her 3 bedroom house is full.
Thanks again, you have no idea how helpful all this FREE advice is! Thank you all!