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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.


Court date, nightmare divorce

  • Buncey
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27 Apr 20 #512233 by Buncey
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Hi All, been a while. An update on my situation and some advice required, if you please

Had an FDA which was an expensive day that was for little return! Got court order which said that we'd get pensions valued, my paintball business and a CGT valuation (we have two properties - the marital home where she lives with the children and a property she purchased before she met me, but WE remortgaged it in order to purchase family home. She rents out this property and has attempted to ringfence it from me). STBX and I will have to stump up c£5,000 each for the 3 valuations. My solicitor has been useless and their inaction has made me in breach of the court order (which my stbx's solicitors are loving) and they've failed to pass on key information to me. I've decided to ditch them and self represent. STBX has said to me, directly, if I would consider settling out of court. Court was my last resort as she was playing silly buggers. Happy to do it out of court, but can we "cancel" the court order i.e. not get pensions, business, GCT etc valued? I will not "go for" her pension, if she doesn't go for my business.

Ex has a final salary pension which could be quite valuable to me for offsetting purposes, but the valuation will cost c£3000. Also, ex has breast cancer (had a successful mastectomy last month and waiting to see if further treatment is required). Initially she agreed to a longevity assessment which I only discovered after ditching my solicitors (this is one key bit of info that they did not pass on to me at the time they received it!). Because of the extra cost of the longevity assessment and increase in fees from the actuaries because I am self representing, stbx is now saying she doesn't want this assessment. Question; if we did follow the court order and got everything valued, is there any value in my insisting on a longevity assessment?

I know some people settle out of court and this seems to be her intention and her solicitor has written to me with a timetable of events (which seems reasonable). One of the items on the timetable is making without prejudice offers by 22 July [FDR is 5 Aug]. Question; She has made me a derisory offer which involves the sale of the family home and her moving into the BTL property BUT taking the money raised from the remortgage of the BTL and used as a deposit on the family home, back from the proceeds of the sale of the family home. Joint assets (properties) are worth c£1.5m and with her offer, I'd walk away with c£200k and she gets a £680k property with a very small mortgage!! I have a counter offer which I believe is fair and doesn't involve the costs of valuations, my business or touching each others' pensions, her not touching my business. I can post details if helpful/anyone is interested/I'm allowed to]. If I make this offer and she accepts, can we skip the court process and use the court date on 5th Aug to get the judge to sign the Consent Order.

Having seen the barrister do not very much in the FDA, i'm fairly confident of self representing, especially as the next court is an FDR, but any tips greatly appreciated.

Thanks

  • Trebor1234
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27 Apr 20 #512235 by Trebor1234
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my heart goes out to you. i'm at the end of three years of this
. private message me and ill send you my number i can help

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27 Apr 20 #512237 by Buncey
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Hi Trebor1234, thanks for your response. I might be being thick, but I can't see how I message you privately! Are you able to message me?

To add to my last post. I am 44 and my wife is 50 - this may be relevant when dealing with pensions (his is final salary, mine is defined benefits)

Thanks

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29 Apr 20 #512248 by Buncey
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HI all, appreciate we're all busy, but is anyone able to advise. As expected, now that I'm self-repping, my STBX's solicitor is pressuring me!!

Thanks,

  • hadenoughnow
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03 May 20 #512282 by hadenoughnow
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The first consideration of any settlement will be what your respective needs are and how they can be met from the available pot/incomes.

There are a couple of key questions that are important and do not seem to have been answered.

Her income: Does the figure given include the rental income? This is important because if the rental property is to be used to live in the rental income will cease.

The cost of an alternative 3 bed property in the area. This is important because this represents what you each need to meet housing requirements.

There will be a difference in the 'true' valuation of the pensions because they are different types. An actuary would be able to provide calculations on equalisation of incomes on retirement. This could factor in pension accrued both before and during the relationship.

The business valuation is important - but tbh right now the value, if any, is only going to be the hard assets and any cash in the bank.

House values are also going to be impacted by Covid 19 but nobody can say for sure what that impact will be. A lot will depend on how jobs and incomes the equirare affected and for how long.

It sounds like the pre owned rental property has been treated as a joint asset during the marriage. Did ahe own it outright before you met?

What is the outstanding mortgage? Is she in a position to take it on in her sole name as a residential mortgage? If you have to remain on the mortgage, that would inhibit your ability to get another one. Is the property itself in joint names??

If the most cost effective way to house her for now is to make her mortgage free, you could explore a charge on the property to be paid at a point in the future when the children are independent.

Ordinarily your previous income would be considered a fair guide to future income expectations. Again, who knows??

What guidance did your solicitor give?

Hadenoughnow

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02 Jul 20 #513126 by Buncey
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Hi, my solicitor didn't give me any advice, didn't communicate with me or the other side and caused me to breach the court order. I am currently a LiP and have received the business valuation (which my ex is contesting as it favours me with a lower valuation), but I've just received the pension expert report and it is 50+ pages of figures that go way over my head. I loathed to re-engage my former solicitor, but with an FDR on 5th Aug I need advice and representation!!

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02 Jul 20 #513127 by hadenoughnow
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Speak to the helpline to find out about support to prepare for FDR.

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