My husband and I have split up after 12 years of marriage. We have young children who live with me in the FMH. As yet, I have not filed for divorce, but we have amicably sorted out our finances between us. I am to stay in the FMH, taking over the mortgage, my husband will take some of the equity in the house to put down as a deposit on a new home. We have agreed maintenance payments and access for my husband to see the children. My question is can we get all this agreed legally before I file for divorce, or do we need to wait until after the divorce until we can have a "Clean Break" financially? I haven't seen a solicitor yet as I only work part-time and am worried about the cost.
There is a fairly defined order in which things should be done - see the Step By Step Divorce guide on this site.
1) You start with the legal process for Dissolving the Marriage
- You need to first 'Petition for Divorce'
- He 'acknowledges the petition'
- You then apply to the court for a Decree Nisi.
- You get a Decree Nisi
2) Then you switch to the financial side
- You apply to the court for Ancillary Relief
- As you both agree you then just get your agreement formalised (written up by a sol) as a 'Consent Order'
- u sign the order and court approves it
Dolphin, I am in a simlar boat - trying to negotiate the finances then go to petition. I am in the position as I have the choice of jurisdiction for divorce as we are living abroad. So I am offering to be reasonable because one jurisdiction is UK and the other is kinder to me but will be more pricey and time consuming as we will need translators etc....
My question, if you don't mind me asking, was what agreement did you come to re spouse maintenance. I appreciate you may not wish to divulge on this site but pl PM me if you wish. As a % of net income for example?
I am so glad to hear that this can be done amicably. Well done but once again, I will appreciate if you do not wish to divulge.
I suggest you go to mediation to ensure you have both thought of everything. It is non confrontational and as part of the service they draw up your agreement in a form to put to a solicitor. The point of this is that you then get it in a good format AGREED by the both of you before seeing a solicitor who may tell you or your STBX that you are selling yourself short and why not screw the other half?
Your answer should be to thank them for their advice and tell them that the other party has agreed and that you each want to get on with life and not pay needless legal fees. This then begs the question why have separate solicitors? Frankly, I can't see the point in such a case. You wouldn't have to be represented in court, just both turn up and say, "We have agreed this" and the judge should endorse it and away you go ..... free!
Braveheart, we agreed maintenance at £500 per month (as we have 3 children). This works out as a percentage of his net salary to be around 28%. I am happy with this amount as I work part-time and am bringing in an income too. Although my husband's behaviour has caused the breakdown of our marriage, I realise that he needs to rebuild his life too and that means he needs to have enough money to do that. Slightly easier for me as I will stay in the FMH. My husband is also very lucky as I am not out to fleece him, simply to move on and hopefully have a happy life. We also need to stay on good terms as my youngest child is only 6 which means we will still have contact for at least 10 years!
I hope everything works out well for you. Good Luck!
Many thanks to everyone for their advice. The divorce/financial process is a lot clearer now. I am so glad I found this site, it is good to be able to communicate with people going through the same upheaval.