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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.


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re-marriage trap & financial settlement

  • zataak
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23 Jul 22 #519648 by zataak
Topic started by zataak
Hello everyone,

I am 39 years old, my ex-wife is 36 years old

We got married back in 2013, We have a 8 years old son together who is living with my ex-wife at the moment. Several domestic violence incidents, we got separated in January 2018 and divorced was finalised in September 2020. So foolish of me that I fell into a re-marriage trap and got remarried in November 2020 without sorting a financial agreement with my ex-wife.

As per my understanding, since I am remarried I cannot make any financial claims towards my ex-wife but my ex-wife can still make financial claims as long as she is not married too (which I am not aware of)

My ex-wife is a doctor and earns up to 5k in NET a month. She got a house mortgage in December 2021 and I pay monthly child maintenance for my son. On the other hand, I live in a rented 2 bed rooms flat with my wife and 6 months old daughter both financially depend upon me. If I compare my earnings, savings, pensions with my ex-wife then we go head to head equally. I proposed to my ex-wife for a Clean Break through a Consent Order but my ex-wife won't agree to a clean break and asking me to disclose my financial situation i.e. earning, savings, land I purchased abroad.

I would like to understand, if this matters go into court, how courts usually deal with such situations. Where my ex-wife earns well, our son lives with her, I pay monthly maintenance, she has a mortgage, and I rent a place, I have a family to feed, I don't have much savings in the UK but have some lands purchased abroad (with my savings). My ex-wife didn't pay anything towards the purchase of these lands and lands were bought after our separation but before the final divorce but she is aware that I have the lands.

Ex-wife is showing no interest in resolving this issue so I am afraid I might have to go to the court. All I have is my lands that I bought abroad and I am scared that court will ask me to give 50% of it to my ex-wife. On the other hand I want to settle this matter asap so that I can get a mortgage for my family. The house prices are going so up and It shall be foolish to get a mostgage before settling my finances with ex.

I would like to know what I should expect from court and what should be my next step.

Thanks in advance.
--
zataak

  • hadenoughnow
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23 Jul 22 #519649 by hadenoughnow
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The effect of the remarriage trap is to prevent you making an application for financial remedy where capital is concerned.
If your ex has applied to court then any settlement would take into account all of your circumstances including needs. A priority is going to be ensuring the child of the marriage is properly housed.
If you have both purchased property one question would doubtless be whether any matrimonial funds (accrued during the marriage) were used for the purchases).

You will each need to make full and frank financial disclosure, provide evidence of mortgage capacity and property suitable for yourself and the other party. You can raise questions about each other's form E disclosure which the judge will formally order you to answer in a set timeframe. There may be a need for expert reports and valuations which again may be ordered.
Once you have satisfactory disclosure, the process of settlement starts in earnest. You can settle at any time up to the end of a Final Hearing and get a consent order. If you cannot agree even with the help of the judge at FDR, eventually a judge will make the decision for you at the end of the Final Hearing.
mediation must be offered and ideally tried before an application is made. If there is a history of domestic abuse in the marriage, exemption frpm mediation may apply.

Hadenoughnow

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31 Jul 22 #519721 by zataak
Reply from zataak
Thank you for your response Hadenoughnow.

You mentioned remarriage-trap is to prevent me from making a financial application, I understood. But on the other hand my ex-wife hasn't applied to court for the settlement yet probably because she thinks it doesn't worth much to make an application now but perhaps in future when I have more savings and property then it would make more sense to make a claim to get a bigger settlement money.

Q1 - Regarding child, I have a son with my ex-wife who lives with her fultime but now I have a wife and a daughter who is fully dependant on me. Would the court still only consider the need of my son with my ex or will also consider the two dependants living with me before making any decision?

Q2 - With my ex-wife, we have always lived in a rented property. When we were still together, I purchased a land in my home country using my savings and no contributions were made by my ex-wife. An year ago, after our divorce, my ex-wife bought a house on mortage where she is curretly living with our son but I am still living in a rented house with my family. Which means our son is properly housed with my ex-wife in her house. My question is If I get a house on mortage now, how it can affect the settlement? Would it make any difference if I am paying in rent or paying in mortgage? Can my ex-wife make a claim against the house I get on mortage even though it is bought after divorce and now she has a house herslef? Please this is the most important question I would like to understand, as I would like to get a house on mortgage ASAP but only if it is safe from settlement point of you.

Q3- Also, the land that I purchased before and after the divorce was solely using my own saving can she make a clain on it and can the court ask me to sell my land and share money with my ex-wife? Note my ex-wife is a doctor and earning £5000+ in NET and I also pay around £600 in child maintainence every month. So I believe at this stage she is quite self-sufficient to live a good life on her own.

I shall really appreciate if anyone can answer my above stated 3 questions.

Zataak

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03 Aug 22 #519748 by hadenoughnow
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You need to disclose your financial position fully.

It may be that she is simply making sure that every step is followed so a consent order can be obtained.

If you don't exchange disclosure, she may have to apply to the court to force you to provide the information. You can still settle at any time.

It is possible that assets acquired during the marriage or using funds built up during it could be in the pot for division. Needs are an important consideration though and your housing position will be relevant.

If you buy a property with non matrimonial funds it is not part of the pot but would mean housing needs are met.

The needs of your new family will be considered as an obligation that you have to meet.

Hadenoughnow

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09 Aug 22 #519782 by zataak
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Thank you for your message Hadenoughnow.

Q1- I believe my ex-wife is not in a relationship or has married yet but I have remarried hence got myself in a remarriage trap. Does it mean I cannot initiate court application for financial settlement and have to wait for my wife to initiate it uless we obtain a consent order?

Q2- Can you help me understand if I have purchased a land using my saving after the separation but before the divorce would that make part of matrimonial fund or non-matrimonial fund. Note we separated in January 2018 and divorced in Sept 2020 and I bought the land between these days. When we were separated we were living in different cities.

I shall be grateful if you can answer above questions for my understanding.

Many Thanks.

Zataak

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09 Aug 22 #519785 by hadenoughnow
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Which of you was the Petitioner? If it was you and you ticked the relevant boxes on the petition you have technically started the financial process so could apply.

The answer to the second question depends very much on you being able to show that the land was bought with funds built up post separation. Even if it was, it would still be seen as an asset that could be used to meet your respective needs.

If you are both housed adequately (or can be) your housing needs are met.

Hadenoughnow

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09 Aug 22 #519787 by zataak
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At the time of separation in January 2018 I had £20K in my bank. The land was purchased in March 2018 on monthly installments. Hence from March 2018 till Sept 2020 I paid £6000 every 3 months and the total cost of the land summed up to £50K. The land was alloted to me in mid 2021 and I was divorced in Sept 2020. So I guess it can be considered as that I have used 20K from matrimonial fund to make payments to this land :(As my ex-wife got her own house on mortgage so her housing needs are already met from some time but I am scared she may still demand half of my land just because my son lives with her.

I was the Petitioner but I was naive and didn't ticked the relevant box thinking I should get divorce ASAP and settlement can be dealth with separately as a new application. So no settlement is started in this case.

Q1- My question one remain same. I've remarried and didn't ticked the box. Now can I initiate a financial settlement application or only my ex-wife can?

Q2- My 2nd question is, if now I get my own house on mortgage with my saving of £30K as deposit, and my ex-wife housing needs are met, can court still ask me to give a porting of this house to my ex-wife? Clearly the deposit money is not the matrimonial fun we had post separation?

Kind Regards,
Zataak

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