My Situation: started co-habiting Nov 1995, 1 kidette born Feb 99, married Nov 2001, separated Aug 2002. From 2002 to 2005 co-existed in civil way near each other both looking after kidette.
I started getting into debt since I left the house in Aug 2002 excacerbated by the fact that I started own business which went belly up (blow no1). X2b moved to the States in Oct 2005 (earning about £60k) and because my daughter took that really badly, I decided to work part time (blow no2). I also moved back into marital home and took in 2 sets of lodgers to help pay bills etc. However the company I worked for closed down and I didn't get redundancy because my contract had lapsed (blow no 3). I got a much lower paid part time job as a Secretary (18k fte/year) in May 2006. House was put up for sale and last lodger left July 2007. I found it difficult to cope over the last two years and now find myself in debt to the tune of about 25k - 2/3 of which is arrears on the mortgage (mortgage is £1.3k/month). I also have recently had a CCJ against me for unpaid tax dating back to the failed business years. He has contributed child maintenance all along except for one month when he was really angry with me.
The house was in both our names and it is being sold for 245k (owe about 160k on it) so the only pot we have is remainder of this i.e. 85k and our pensions (his worth quite alot about 20k, mine not worth much).
He is now coming back to the Uk in Nov 2007 with girlfriend and, by then, 3 month old baby to the UK - no job and no house. He is "tired and is looking for an ethical job" so is expecting to earn between 20 and 40k.
Since Sept 07, I have been promoted and am now on 24.5k working full time (half at home, half at office). Have good prospects at work (boss rates me highly anyway) and parents have offered to pay off half my debts.
I have never asked for or received spousal maintenance but have been advised to not go for a Clean Break. I have a history of depression (started in 1985) and was diagnosed with mild BPD in 2001 but have been stable for the last 5 years.
He is the petitioner in the divorce and is applying for everything on the Form A bar interim payments. He says he will give me all proceeds of the house if I give him a Clean Break, if I don't, he wants 50:50 split of all assets.
I want all proceeds of the house but am not fussed about his pensions but I don't want to give him a Clean Break just in case I do have a mental health relapse (don't want one and am not expecting one) or if kidette needs major tlc.
Can't afford a solicitor.
What do you think?
What do you think a court would think?
Has anyone submitted a Form G to force the First Appointment (15 Jan) to be treated as the Final Resolution?
Is it usual for petitioner to claim periodical payments against the respondent if the respondent has the child? (Thanks Mike for your comments on this in other post - wondered if any one else had a view).
Am wondering whether he will claim that I am guilty of gross financial misconduct.
However, in my experience, the Courts don't take too much notice when legal terms are brandished around, (like my x2b is commiting Pergury, by lying to the courts, he is blackmailing me also, doesn't seem to be of concern), the Courts are really only interested in making the Bottom line desicion of splitting assets.
If it's not there when it comes to-the-table, your ex can't claim it. With your history, showing how you'd tried to build up a business, accomodated lodgers etc; to make ends meet. This portrayal of the last few years, looks a genuine picture of hardship setting in, after the collapse of your marriage, and the failure of your businesses.
In my first divorce, my ex regularly withdrew sums of £999 from an account. It took 18 months for our Financial Hearing to reach court. We were asked for back-dated Bank statements. We'd agreed to account for all items and withdrawals over £1000 (hence by withdrawing £999 he wouldn't have to explain his mysterious withdrawls). He'd got involved with an American girl and was regularly taking $$$$ cash to the States.
In Court the judge asked, and he just said he had a 'bad gambling habit' (visitng Casinos frequently) All Lies! But the judge overlooked this.
In mediation, we're asked to not be seen to disposing of marital assets. Your actions look to be fairly normal in the circumstances.
If your ex has moved on, then his housing needs are already met, and he has the support of a new partner.
If you post up some figures of where your finances stand now, you'll get someone with brains to do the sums!
If the divorce goes to court or ancillary relief proceedings start, then the judges decision and both your solicitors negotiations are based on the facts as they are now.
For you, you have a child to provide for, a home you cannot afford to stay in, debts you have accrued since separation, and a decent salary now.
For him, he also has a child to provide for (plus his child with you) no home, no job, no mention of any debts for him?
I think the priority is for the children to have a home provided. You dont state where you lived prior to returning to the FMH? Is this the reason debts have escalated as you could not afford to maintain living there?
It seems that there should have been a request for interim spousal maintenance from the minute he left, but as you say you have managed to get by on your own financially, although leaving you with crippling debts and I think you should be raising that as a contributory factor.
I dont know how the courts would view your need being greater than his need as children are involved for both of you. (It boils down to "needs" when there isnt an abundance of money to be split)
If you were to receive the entire equity and a Clean Break, could you purchase a new home for you and your child (with a mortgage)?
You dont state his position in regard to this? If he has a new baby and an american g/f I asume she is also not working? Would they be able to afford to provide a home for a child without any equity from the FMH.
From others experience, a Clean Break could be awarded if you gained all the equity from the house and are earning a decent wage along with benefits to support you and your child. If your parents pay towards your debts then thats an added bonus for you on the road to recovery.
Good luck, maybe someone else can post more difinitive answers.
(LIP = Litigant in Person). Meaning you, representing yourself.
In some experience, people have said the courts frown at this, but in my experience, if you present your facts clearly, and provide as much information as possible, you will be heard. It's British justice! A bit 'Dickensian', (or is that Draconian?) There is lots of help and support here, and some wonderful users (including our 'Robin Hood' solicitors, who post their advice, with more knowledge than most of us)..
You can ask your local family court what actions you need, and ask for their 'Direction' of what you need to do. Some Courts give free sessions for advice. Just follow on and ask if you're unsure. I'm self-repping, but currently trying to sort finances through mediation. (That should be your first route).
You can also go to most solicitors for a free consultation, (although they don't usually give advise in these sessions) You can pay them for the bits you don't understand. I needed help with matrimonial home Rights. But still self-repping.