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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.

What steps can we take to reach a fair agreement?

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.


Do you need help sorting out a fair financial settlement?

Our consultant service offers expert advice and support to help you reach agreement on a fair financial settlement quickly, and for less than a quarter of the cost of using a traditional high street solicitor.


help!! FDR approaching

  • rockchick
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24 Apr 12 #326181 by rockchick
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Hi, need help my fdr is fast approaching in may ex husband has not cooperated all the way through this divorce, he offered settlement in December but barrister bluntly refused, the house is currently on market at £695,000 and overs offer we have a £410,000 mortgage £80,000 endowments but pensions are all sorted because they went through an actuary good news there. I haven''t worked through the marriage 23 years have 3 children 17,13 and 6 we need to start again but thankfully we all have each other ex husband is very money orientated works in London banking earning £67K after taxes from my reckoning there is not enough money in the pot to fund 2 houses which he expects surely priority is for 3 children and myself and of course he can obtain another mortgage on his capacity where as i do not have working capacity so am hoping for mortgage free house, he muttered something last night that if i do not accept open offer to avoid fdr he said that nobody can force him to do something he doesn''t approve of, surely that''s why myself and my 3 kids have come this far to get a fair settlement but worryingly he said if hes not happy then he would appeal and also he has mounted £80,000 debts on credits cards for divorce and now saying he wouldn''t be able to get a mortgage!!! but surely this is not my problem!! please if anyone could help i am truly grateful as am very worried now if i get to fdr hes not happy where does that leave me oh by the way my solicitor proposes to have settlement of £300k for the house and moving costs and ex receives endowments to put deposit on further house, please please help xx had a financial hearing in december nothing got resolves so presume may hearing is final x

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24 Apr 12 #326225 by hadenoughnow
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he said that nobody can force him to do something he doesn''t approve of,


Erm .. yes they can!

If you cannot reach agreement at FDR ... then at Final Hearing a judge will decide and make a court order. If he does not comply with the Court Order then ultimately he could end up in prison. If you have only had one hearing so far, that would have been First Appointment so this should be FDR but you do need to check.

FDR is all about negotiating and receiving guidance from a judge about what may be fair. You should really only agree on the day if you are ABSOLUTELY sure ... you can always go away and think about any offer and what the judge has said he/she would order at Final Hearing. You can and should keep negotiating right up to FH.

In Financial settlement proceedings, each party pays their own costs.

You are right that the needs of the parent with care and children are usually top of the list - although ideally you should each have a home for the children to stay in. If that can easily be achieved from the pot then a judge will probably order that - and the simpler the split, the better for them. If necessary you may need to trade off some or all of the pension share in order to have more of the cash assets now (you can sell up and downsize to provide a pension fund in future).

You are clearly going to be looking at a reduced property and probably lifestyle .. but also will not have the burden of the massive mortgage so your disposable income may not be too badly affected.

AS far as housing goes, you would need to show a range of suitable properties to meet your NEEDS (not wants) .. which would seem to be for a 3-4 be property depending on gender of children. You would need to be sure that you can afford to run any property as well. His need would be the same ... so he can have the children to stay during contact.

If you do not work, what is your income? A judge would expect you to do all you can to maximise your income but with a six year old you would not be expected to work full time for now. You could though work 16 hours a week and get tax credits. Is there any training you could do to put yourself in a better position work wise? You need to bear in mind that although you will receive child maintenance (25% of net income less overnights with him so ? 1000 a month?), this will diminish as the children grow up and move on.

This may well be a case where you would need some sort of global maintenance combining child maintenance and spousal maintenance. It would probably reduce say when the eldest is through uni and continue to reduce as the other two grow up. This would be written into the order. However given that you have been disadvantaged in the workplace, you may well end up with a joint lives order so even when the children are no longer eligible for CM, you will still get some support.

Of course if you do retrain and find a well paid job, he can apply to vary ... and SM would end if you remarry.

I know each case is different ... but in mine (also 3 children) I had 80% of the cash assets (I kept house equity - he got endowment policy) and he got 80% of the pension assets.

Hadenoughnow

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24 Apr 12 #326256 by rockchick
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thanks for reply your case does seems similar i have medical condition also so unlikely to be working full time for the future, please could you advise on exs debts that has been incurred through divorce £80,000 he is now saying he wouldn''t be able to get a mortgage and how would the judge probably respond to this, my view is not my problem hes incurred debts but has mortgage capacity and has worked high paid job for 25 years or more i have been at home with children for last 18 years.also he is saying once fh is done he would appeal if not happy with result !!!! please could you advise, many thanks xx

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24 Apr 12 #326262 by hadenoughnow
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If you have a medical condition that prevents you from working full time then you will need to provide evidence of this at the hearing. It will strengthen your case for SM.

Is he currently paying CM and any SM? HOw is your income made up?
Do the children have contact with him?
Also are either of you cohabiting? This can make a difference.

How are you funding your legal costs? Are your bills anything like his? If he has chosen to spend 80k on lawyers - and has not negotiated - then I would expect a judge to take a pretty dim view.

He cannot appeal just because he does not like what the judge orders. Few people do like the order at FH - and especially not those who have been unreasonable all the way through the process! That is why it is much better (and cheaper) to reach a properly negotiated settlement based on needs and available finances. The judge has a very wide spectrum of fairness within which to pitch the settlement.

If he did appeal, it would have to be based on an error in law or similar. I am afraid it sound (like my ex) he is determined to rack up costs when the money would be better spent on the children :(.

You may want to suggest you have a conference with your barrister pre FDR to sort out your case, work out what you will and will not accept etc ..


Hadenoughnow

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24 Apr 12 #326282 by rockchick
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Hi thanks again for reply i recieve £1600 from him stating its maintenance my fees have been racked up because he is uncooperative mine are £20,000 thats enough just found out today out of the ex business company which i am no longer a partner there was £41,000 half of which was mine he has apparently borrowed £36,000 to pay off credit cards !!!! to presumably clear him of debt ready for FH , i have 3 children 2 older children 17,13 dont want much to do with him 6 year old is ok with him not wise to his strange ways yet all children are living with me but he is also living here he decided to be stubborn and awkward and will not move until house is sold!! just to make our lives more difficult seems to thrive on being awkward power and very controlling please help x

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24 Apr 12 #326293 by hadenoughnow
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Have just checked back over your previous posts - you said you had a Directions hearing 4 months ago ... we do need to be clear about which hearing is coming up.

You also mentioned he was self employed - or perhaps employed through his own limited company. This can make the finances pretty tricky. Have you and your legal team had sight of his business as well as his personal accounts and credit card bills?

There should be updated disclosure which would show all earnings, borrowings and holdings. If it is a limited company there should also be company accounts. If it is, is he the only shareholder?

How did you come to no longer be a partner in the business? Was this something that happened with your full agreement?

You said a medical report had suggested you could do light work .. have you got a job at present?

It sounds from what you are saying that the marital pot is some 400k (if you factor in the 41k in the business) but so far a quarter of that amount (80 + 20) has been spent on legal fees. I would expect the judge will have something to say about that.

I assume your legal team has made offers based on what the judge said 4 months ago?
How far apart financially would you say you are in terms of offers?

What does he say he wants ... and how does he propose you and the children should be housed?

Hadenoughnow

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24 Apr 12 #326320 by rockchick
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Hi, yes getting disclosure of accounts now, i did not know of him closing the company until a cheque book landed on my doorstep by mistake addressed to him director of different company he had shut down the company without my knowledge at all and i received my p45 a month later yes it was all done very secretly. i do not work at the moment, no open offers have been made as of yet my offer is ready to go to other side as soon as we receive his offer,last year he drew £58,000 out of company joint account without my knowledge he stated it was to stop me spending the money!!! but now he has spent it on discharging credit cards the very day he received a letter not to use the money and there would be an undertaking if he did, but its too late hes already done it.please help whats your advise. xx

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