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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.

What happens to my son if I die?

  • BabyStepsOnwards
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18 Jun 21 #517022 by BabyStepsOnwards
Topic started by BabyStepsOnwards
I know this is v.morbid, however, I am 7 yrs post-divorce, and I am trying to arrange my will.

I am now in a serious relationship (6+ yrs) and my partner is like my son's stepdad. In the event of my death, he would v.much like to continue being "stepdad" to my son. (We are not married). I own my house outright, have no debts, and would like to ensure that my home will always be there to house both of them.

- My ex-husband remarried, however is in the process of divorcing this person.
- Has 2 further children that he is estranged from
- Past our relationship, because addicted to cocaine & valium, and is now 2 years in recovery however is still prescribed valium to be weaned off, and I and aware of 4/5 lapses.
- He lives 2 hours away from me & my son. So has contact randomly, in 2021 (this so far has been on 2 occasions in person). I have only allowed this to be at his mother's house, as my ex will not provide me with any information relating to his recovery.
- My son speaks to him on the phone 1/2 times per week.
- All contact is on a verbal agreement, with no court order in place.
- My ex works FT, however as a freelancer, refuses to provide earnings for fair CM, he pays £200pm however this is often missed or late. I am very aware that he earns much more than me.
- After his rehab c.2 years ago, he also declared himself bankrupt, so all earning are diverted to him via his family.
- We had an acrimonious divorce therefore only communicate for our son's benefit, I am very accommodating. For instance, I have allowed him to attend his bday parties, update him with details like who his friends are, fav toys etc.
- My son is not aware of any of the issues relating to his addiction etc. or his poor treatment towards me (I have come v.close to getting a restraining order in the past)
- He does not have any involvement with my son's day-to-day care, for instance, he wouldn't know the name of my son's teacher or what class he is in.
- He is a very poor communicator with me.


I have this week opened the question with my ex regarding my will. and ask what he would want for our son in the event of my death.

His immediate reaction was to say he would move our son to live with him, no regard for his school, friends, my family here. He also made it very clear that he would stop contact with my current partner which to me is horrendous. The most this man has had my son for is 3 days since my son was born, he honestly has no idea how involved it is to raise a child.

I know this is a long post, however, I am just trying to understand my rights in giving my PR to my partner if I died, and how to protect my little bubble if I was no longer here. (BTW.. I am fit and healthy, I am just trying to shore up my finances, assets, and savings to ensure my son is always taken care of). I cannot believe that after 5 yrs of day-to-day contact with my son, my partner wouldn't be able to see him if I died. If it was left to my exes decision, out of spite, he would turn his back on my partner and family and try to erase everything about me).

I know this is a long post... however I would appreciate any advice! Thank you xxx

  • WYSPECIAL's Avatar
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20 Jun 21 #517024 by WYSPECIAL
Reply from WYSPECIAL
How old is your son?

If the worst were to happen the courts and social services would take into account his wishes when looking at possibilities.

You can appoint trustees in your Will to look after his financial affairs.

  • BabyStepsOnwards
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20 Jun 21 #517027 by BabyStepsOnwards
Reply from BabyStepsOnwards
Thank you for responding to me.

My son is currently under age 10, so very small.

Is there any way I can hand my 50% parental responsibility to my long-term partner?

I have set up a mediation appointment to talk/agree things through and my ex-hub has refused this.

I guess I just hope to live a long life. I just can't believe that my son has grown up with my current partner, but if I died, he would have no claims to my son. And residency will automatically be given to his father that sees him once/twice a year and lives hours away!? It would be so upsetting for my child.

  • rubytuesday
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21 Jun 21 - 21 Jun 21 #517030 by rubytuesday
Reply from rubytuesday
There is another option.....

If you and your partner were to marry, you could apply for a Step-Parent PR Order for him (or a Step-parent PR agreement if your ex consents). Then, in your will, you could state that you wish for your son to continue living with his step-father. Of course, his father may object and seek a remedy through court, but at least then your son's wishes and feelings, and the best outcome for him would be taken into account.

You could also look at Guardianship Orders, so that your partner can be named as your sons's legal guardian in the event of your death.
Last edit: 21 Jun 21 by rubytuesday.

  • BabyStepsOnwards
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21 Jun 21 #517033 by BabyStepsOnwards
Reply from BabyStepsOnwards
Thank you so so much, I had no idea that either of these things existed. I will look into these.

Thank you for your advice, it means a lot.


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