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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.


Do you need help sorting out a fair financial settlement?

Our consultant service offers expert advice and support to help you reach agreement on a fair financial settlement quickly, and for less than a quarter of the cost of using a traditional high street solicitor.


Financial Settlement

  • 1tilly
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20 Mar 12 #319148 by 1tilly
Topic started by 1tilly
I have been separated for almost 6 years and have been trying to agree a financial settlement for almost as long. I initially employed a solicitor who sent a form E to my former husband, he refused to complete it. My ex husband then drew up a financial agreement putting in place a number of terms and conditions. For 4 years we carried out this agreement, in which my husband agreed a Clean Break settlement giving me the house but no spousal maintenance.
We have four children who live with me and I returned to work after our separation. I had previously taken a career break from my career in finance and did not return following the birth of our fourth child.
My husband has a good career and in addition runs his own small business. I have a term time only job working 30 hours a week that enables me to look after the children during the holidays.
Last year I tried to finalise our divorce and asked to put the financial agreement before the court, we have had a Decree Nisi since 2007.
My husband has refused to do this, employed a solicitor and we have gone back to the start of the process. We are currently trying mediation.
My husband bought another house when we left us in 2006.
He is adamant that I have no claim on his house or business and that as I have demonstrated that I can live without spousal maintenance that he has no need to pay it. He wants 50% of the house. Can anyone offer me any advice? I just want to finalise a settlement and get divorced.

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20 Mar 12 #319194 by Fiona
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IT''s difficult to comment not knowing the specific details. Where did the money originate from to buy the other property?

There is no law in England & Wales that matrimonial assets are split 50:50, or at least it is an over simplification of the law. The needs of the parties is usually an important factor and if you are housing children and earn less your need may will be greater than his justifying a larger share of assets in your favour.

The value of any assets held in joint or sole names forms the matrimonial "pot." Sometimes before sharing non matrimonial assets can be identified and taken out of the pot eg assets that originated not from the marriage but by the efforts of one party alone during separation. Other factors include respective incomes, ages, duration of the relationship (marriage+co-habitation before, the ages of the children and the average number of nights per week they spend with each parent.

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20 Mar 12 #319206 by 1tilly
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Thanks for your reply. The second property was bought with a very large mortgage. there is significant equity in the MH and he has a large income so he was able to borrow based on this. I gave him money towards the deposit but he disputes this, saying he actually spent the money on clearing his credit cards.

My eldest child no longer stays with her father at all but the other three spent two nights every other weekend. We had been together for 19 years and married for 13.

I am concerned that he is ''disappearing'' large sums of money into his business as a directors loan, removing them from the personal assets on his form E. He has also registered a brand new car, home office, pc etc as fixed assets belonging to his business and refuses to provide evidence of how he paid for them. He is adamant the business is making a loss, although he tells me he runs it to avoid corporation tax. I feel that there is something dishonest but not illegal happening that paints his finances in a distorted way.

I wonder whether I should give up on mediation and proceed to Court. Any progress we appear to make in mediation he is subsequently disputing afterwards and it is just dragging on with no agreement in sight. He is only keen on agreeing his share of the equity in the MH but I have been advised that everything we have collectively forms the pot. He does not accept this, says the second house is his, in his sole name and that he runs the business using money remaining after having paid child maintenance and that I am not entitled to anything else. I have asked to reinstate the spousal maintenance but he won''t. Any advice?

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20 Mar 12 #319243 by dukey
Reply from dukey
Most would agree mediation without honesty and a willingness to settle is often a waste of time.

Trying for SM after being apart for six years will be very hard as your ex says.

All assets are marital until you are divorced and have a Consent Order, his new home could only be ring fenced if it was in no way purchased using marital assets. Check out Rossi v Rossi.

How old are you both

How old are the kids

Where do the kids live, how many nights a week with the NRP

Any pensions

What do you both earn

What debt did you have when you separated and who laid it off, is there paper proof of this

How is the family''s health

Do either of you live with new partners

That''ll do for now me thinks

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20 Mar 12 #319259 by 1tilly
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I only gave up the spousal maintenance as it was one of the conditions that he wrote in to the financial agreement and I was happy with the Clean Break settlement we had agreed. Once he reneged on the agreement i asked him to reinstate it but he won''t. I have paid the mtge and endowments with no contribution from him for more than 5 years.

We are 40/45

Children are 15,13,10, 8

All children live with me, youngest 3 stay 2 nights every other w/end,with him, eldest doesn''t go at all.

Everyone is healthy

Pensions he has final sal, - his worth £ ( valuation 9 months old): mine £

I earn £1 he earns £ from employment , no idea of business income
He had credit debt I knew nothing about, I have seen no statements but he says debt was . I gave him money I had inherited towards deposit on his house but he says he had to use this to repay the debt. Again I have seen no evidence.

we both have new partners but don''t live with them and have no plans to do so for the foreseeable future.

I have just looked at Rossi v Rossi but think that as his mtge was agreed based on the equity in our MH then it could be argued that he was only able to acquire another house because of the matrimonial assets we jointly own?

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21 Mar 12 #319280 by dukey
Reply from dukey
I take it you are still married? no one has filed a divorce application with court?.

This agreement he drew up was it just him or perhaps a Separation Agreement written by a solicitor.

What is clear is that he earns way more than you and you have the kids basically all the time, he also has a quite valuable pension.

You have read Rossi so you know his house forms part of the marital assets.

This maybe one that can only be resolved by court.

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21 Mar 12 #319346 by 1tilly
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I have been trying to divorce him since 2006 and have had a Decree Nisi since 2007. My solicitor wanted XH to complete form E but my husband refused and drew up an agreement, in which i agreed to give up spousal maintance in order to have the house as full and final settlement. This has been in place since 2007 but it never went to Court, so is apparently not legally binding. Before it was due to be submitted to Court my XH was applying for a new mtge deal and asked me to delay, with a court order for maintenance he said he wouldn''t get the deal he wanted. After that point he then reneged on the agreement. Said I had shown I had no need for SM, I was managing to pay the mtge and the bills and that instead of giving me house as Clean Break, as agreed, he now wanted 50% of equity and I had to buy him out. I can''t get a mtge I don''t earn enough. He already has a house, so I don''t hink a Court would make me sell. I realise I have been very naive but was trying to co-operate.

Had to give up on my solicitor because it was costing me a lot and I was getting nowhere. Everyone says stay out of court because it will cost a fortune but I hope it will bring a definite end to things. However having read some of these threads it seem that might not be true.

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