Hi everyone. I am new here but my head feels like it is about to explode. So, hope this all makes sense. I would really appreciate your thoughts and possible advice.
I was with my husband for about 15 years, and was married for 9 years before I left him. Prior to that we lived together. I was a student when we met, while he was dicorced with his own house. Eventually, we got married,the house stayed in his name and we agreed a financial situation where he paid for the mortgage and bills, while I paid for groceries, housekeeping, food etc.We both had fulltime jobs and enjoyed a really good lifestyle. I committed myself to the marriage and my home but it wasnt to be.
The relationship fell apart and I left him to go into rented property (not cheap where I live) I have just filed for divorce ( 2 year separation) and am now trying to sort out a financial settlement. During this separation,however, I built up some debts as I couldn't make ends meet. My husband doesn't feel I am entitled to a 50/50 split as he says that it was his house when I met him and not mine. He is offering a very low settlement figure . My solicitor says I should fight for what I am entitled to.
I don't want to take everything he has; I just want a chance to have a home of my own and to move on. There are no children involved and I am younger than him. I am not even bothered about his pension; it is far better than mine but would be happy to offset that for a fair settlement.
I don't want solicitors costs to spiral out of control and am worried that they will do so if we end up going to court. I am filling in form E and the whole process seems really scary.
Does anyone have any advice? Just finding this all so hard.
9 Years of marraige with no children where he can show he paid the mortgage with no contribution from you, would probably not entitle you to a lot. Try mediation to agree a settlement and avoid solicitors as they will eat up any settlement you get.
Ancillary relief after divorce is a complicated subject and there are a number of factors a Court needs to consider.
One of these, which you have no mentioned, is incomes. You don't say how much each of you earns, and if you have consulted a solicitor, I assume (s)he will have advised you whether you might have any claim to maintenance for yourself. This could come into play if there was a significant disparity in your incomes ( as a rule of thumb, if his income is more than twice yours ).
Pensions is another difficult area and I don't claim to understand them, but certainly there is the possibility of a claim if his pension is much higher than yours, but you imply that you might be willing to trade that off for a better share in the house. That is indeed what many women in fact do, trading off long term security against their immediate need for housing.
As to the home - well, the fact that the property is in his name doesn't matter all that much in itself. The longer a marriage lasts, the greater will be the presumption of an equal split. I myself would guess that your share would be between 40 and 50% on the basis of the facts you have given me. I assume your solicitor must have given you his/her ideas, and it would be interesting to see how our ideas compare. But he or she has more facts than I do !
You are quite right, madam, to be thinking about the question of costs. You need to balance what you might achieve against the costs of achieving it. It is perfectly proper, and sensible too, I would say, for you to ask your solicitor how much this might cost you to go to a full hearing. It looks to me as though your husband is offering you a low figure in the hope you will settle rather than fight. If he realises that you aren't buying it, then it is possible he might come up with a better offer ; and maybe your solicitor is telling you the same, perhaps in another way. From what you tell me, I think you are some way apart, but the gap may narrow.
I suspect this is enough to start with and no doubt other posters will add their tuppence ha'penny worth, but the law at the moment is rather uncertain and difficult to predict even for professionals. If the Court of Appeal are saying this then what chance have we ordinary mortals got ?
Over time I was made to feel that I never contributed anything and that my contributions were not as important as his. He has sent me several aggressive emails telling me that I only deserve about 5% of the assets. Could he get his solicitor to argue this in court? We were in different circumstances when we met; I never had a chance to own my own property as I invested my life in him. Thought it was forever. Now, I find that I have no secure home and debts. It just feels so awful.
It's worrying me that he'll find out I have debts that have built up since I left.Though we earn similar wages, he has no idea about my renting costs and that I have had to move several times as renting is plagued with problems. His mortgage repayment is low but when I asked him to consider remortgaging the house, he reacted badly.
I am considering mediation (Thanks dun for your comment) but again, the costs are a concern, especially if he still won't conceed that I need a fairer outcome from this mess.