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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.

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am I going to get screwed????

  • i.mann
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11 Oct 07 #4630 by i.mann
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I am getting divorced, I petitioned my wife after years of unreasonable behaviour. She refused to respond so the baliff was called. To delay the divorce she then cross petitioned saying I snored and once called her a rude name.
We have one adopted child of 10 who lives with her in a five bedroom house with a pool and jacuzzi. I calculated her costs and paid per month leaving some for myself as I needed to purchase a new home. My solicitor and I agreed on an amount. She demanded more and more money, a new car etc. I could not comply, she said in her petition she wanted to be kept in the manner to which she had become accustomed.
She then called the csa, they calculated an amount which was less than she was getting but was still enough to live on. She went beserk as it meant her payments would be delayed as it took time to sort out. I always intended to top the amount up but as she would only shout and demand on the phone I could not tell her. She ran up bills and had them sent to me. She insisted I was hiding money but I am not, I made a financial disclosure but she would not and would not have the house valued. She does not work but has savings. she changed the house locks and took the gate bleeper off me and said the house was now nothing to do with me even though I still pay the mortgage.
she said she would take me to court for ancillery relief. We now are going before a judge and spending a day in court going over my financial assets, I have nothing to hide. She is demanding about two thirds of my salary, I could not possibly live on what would be left. Do I have to maintain her in that oversized house? There are only two of them and they have six bedrooms, I will have an apartment.
She is planning on representing herself and claiming her costs. It has already cost me £5000 because she will not move on. Can anyone comment? Have you had similar experiences.

  • LittleMrMike
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11 Oct 07 #4635 by LittleMrMike
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Oh dear. First of all you will have probably have to pay 15% of your net salary for your child. This is statutory and the Court has no jurisdiction in the matter. Go to the CSA website where you will find a calculator from which you should be able to work it out fairly accurately.

As regards the house - well, the Court's first consideration is the welfare of the child. This is a statutory requirement and the Courts have to comply with it. So the child needs a secure home. In practice that means that whoever is looking after the child ( the parent with care or PWC ) will normally get the right to live there while the child is still dependent, after which the house is sold and the proceeds divided ( this is known in the trade as a Mesher order, after the case where this form of order was first used ). However, in your case the house seems sufficiently large for it to be practical for the house to be sold, and for the sale to yield sufficient to buy your x2b a suitable house for your wife and child, and leave something over for you. But I do not know anything about it, so I can't judge.

I do not think your wife will do any better than a Mesher order, I feel pretty certain about that. What you need to bear in mind is that a Court has to consider your need for accommodation too. You must always be allowed enough to cover your housing costs.

Then we have the issue of maintenance. You sound like a high earner, if you can afford a house like that. Your wife is not correct in seeking to maintain herself in the style to which she has become accustomed. Except for the super rich, divorce inevitably involves a reduction in lifestyle. The reduction should be evenly shared between the parties.

I suspect your wife will get something in spousal maintenance, but not as much as two thirds ! Like all of us, she has to keep her ' needs ' within the limits of the resources available to both parties.

You say you are going before a judge, probably for a First Appointment. The judge will review the information (s)he has, and will probably give directions, which will include an independent valuation of the marital home. If that happens, your wife cannot refuse.

Can your wife work ? The Courts might not expect her to work if you have a child of primary school age, but after that, part time work might be a possibility,

Your wife's claims seem to me well over the top, but she will probably get something out of this ; but without knowing much more, sir, I wouldn't like to hazard a guess at what that might be.

  • JLGsDad
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12 Oct 07 #4665 by JLGsDad
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Your wife is being a bully - don't believe what she says. Just keep calm and ignore the nasty behaviour

The advice I have seen many times is that judges don't like to award more than 33% of net earnings as CM + SM.

The norm now is that each pays their own costs except in exceptional circumstances (eg. fail to turn up in court).

You've moved out, so you've lost most of your bargaining power. So be prepared for a long haul.

You could give 15% for CM now, and pay mortgage as contribution to SM. But get sol's advice.

The main advice I can give you is to go to a solicitor in a specialist practice - you clearly have the money to do so, and do it now. I found my half hour with a specialist sol so good that I'd gladly have paid double for it.

  • i.mann
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16 Oct 07 #4754 by i.mann
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Thanks for your very expert sounding advice. I was giving my wife £1400 to live on and paying the mortage but she was not happy and applied to the csa so they are involved. They calculated £746 per month and later took the mortgage into account so reduced it to £680 to be decucted from my wages at her request. Although I topped this up and continued to pay the mortgage, this is what caused her to apply for ancillary relif and interim support. She has ticked all the boxes saying she wants everything, the house, assest division, my pension, sm etc. She dinied that she got the csa involved as they did not give her what she wanted, now she wont discuss it (I have it in black and white that the application was made by her)
She can work and put that in her petition for divorce when she cross petitioned. She is a qualified primary school teacher, she said in her petition that I used to belittle her and say she couldn't work. That was not the case as she lost most of her jobs through aggressive behaviour and has not worked for over 3 years. She also called me obese in her petition which is far from true and said I would crush her and cause her to have to seek medical advise. She also said I once I called her a rude name.
I don't want to be unfair or leave her destitute, I just want her to leave me alone, I do have a solicitor, all her messing around is costing both of us money. She is crazy enough to take it to court, she said she wants to have her say. This would end up costing a lot of money.
Access to my child is being restricted to driving him around to activities since she found that the csa reduces the money for overnight stays. She denies me access to his passport so I cannot take him on holiday.
Any comments welcome. Thanks

  • soulmanuk
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16 Oct 07 #4760 by soulmanuk
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my wife and 2 kids left me 12 months ago, she hasn't paid a penny towards the debts, only £28 a week csa. she is living with her new partner debt free and has only the utilities bills to pay. she is working full time and wants me to pay her maintenance or give her half the house. i work part time and cant afford to live anywhere else. she doesn't want to see the kids and the kids don't want to she her. she said i belittled her and we lived separate lives. i used to look after the kids and do the house work as well as working full time. she had all the freedom she wanted, all the clothes she wanted, i cant get legal aid although my solicitor said i should have done, i am appealing but it takes time, i cross petitioned the divorce for un reasonable behaviour. i was being made redundant so she would have to cut back on her life style so she found somebody who who keep her used to the life style she liked. i am constantly over drawn and my life style has been greatly reduced. i believe that all her stalling tactics are just to bully me to giving her what she wants, unfortunately i have nothing left to give. my 50% will be about £5000 how can that get me a home for me and the kids is that all we are worth after 20 years of marriage. YOU THINK YOU ARE BEING SCREWED. she knows i cant afford a solicitor so she wont go to hers to get what she thinks she is entitled to. she has told the mortgage company to re posses the house and said she is happy to get whatever they can. NOW I AM BEING SCREWED!!!!!!!!

  • LittleMrMike
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16 Oct 07 #4762 by LittleMrMike
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Hi i.mann.

Just wanted to say, if it will re-assure you a bit, that
ticking all the boxes is pretty standard behaviour for wives. The reason is that, if you don't claim it in the course of the divorce proceedings, it may be too late to claim it later, especially if the petitioner intends to re-marry.

Claiming it is one thing, but whether the claim will succeed is a different matter entirely.

Mike 100468

  • i.mann
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16 Oct 07 #4768 by i.mann
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To soulmanuk,
The good news for you is that she is living with a new partner, I wish mine would shack up with someone, unlucky for me she is so scary and crazy no one will go near her. Also the fact that she is working full time is good for you because she is the main earner. They won't give her sm if you have no where to stay and she earns more. Are the kids with you? If they are you won't have to pay child maintenance, in fact she could end up paying you and the roof over your head will be the priority. Get what advice you can from the internet it is quite invaluable, play it right and you could screw her.

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