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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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Can anyone help with a clean break?

  • the right one
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  • New Member
26 Apr 12 #326633 by the right one
Topic started by the right one
My now husband has been divorced for over 2 years now, however his ex wife would not sign a Clean Break no matter how hard we tried. There was no martial home, no savings just debts which my husband and I are now paying off. We got married in 2011 thinking that when we had the money we could go to court for the clean break. Am I reading other posts right that we can now not go to court to force her to sign the clean break? There is no money due to her except maybe a small amount of pension which she can have. Is there anything we can do to obtain this clean break? I am fearful of getting a joint mortgage or bank account incase his ex takes us to court for money. What can we do? I am willing to do anything. His ex has told me she will never sign a clean break. She wont remarry.

  • TBagpuss
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26 Apr 12 #326636 by TBagpuss
Reply from TBagpuss
Your husband cannot make the application to court because he has remarried.

hoever, if his ex ewife were to make an application at some time in the future, she would have tosatisfy a court that it was fair, in the circumstnaces, for her to make a claim. Generally speaking, the longer she leaves it, the harder it would be for her to convince a court that it was fair for her to make a claim.

What your husband can do to help protect himself is to ensure that he has, and keeps, good finacial records so that in the event that she were to make a claim, he is able to provide evidence to show what the financial position was at the time of the divorce / separation.
if he is able to show proof that at the time of the separation, he and his ex did not have any assets, and that there were joint debts which he has paid, it will be very difficult for her to argue that she should be entitled to claim against any assets which he has subsequently built up (either alone or with you) as he will have evidnce that these were not matrimonial assets.

So far as the pension is concerend, if it is practical to do so, it may be sensible for your husband to leave that pension and to set up a new pension fund into which he makes contributions. That way, if she were to make a claim, he can clearly identify the old pension as a matrimonial asset and the new one as non-matrimonial.

It might also be sensible for him to send his ex a letter (sending it recorded, and keeping a copy together with a copy of any response) in wich he sets out the finacial postion when they split, the current situation (i.e. that there are no joint assets and he is paying the debts) and says something to the effect that he believes that neither ofthem has any claims agaisnt the other, that he is willing to leave matters on the basis that he will continue to take responsibilty for the debts until they are cleared on the basis that he will retain his pension and neither will have any further claims of any kind against the other. he can also say that if she does not agree, can she let him have any proposals within 28 days.
he can say that if he does not hear from ehr he will assume that she remains happy with this outcome, and if she is not, canshe let him have proposals both for any settlement, and for her proposals to contribute to the debts.

This doesn''t stop her making claims in the future but it would allow him to show that he had tried to erach an agreement, that he had made it clear that he considered that matters were final and that he has paid the debts on the basis of that understanding, all of which would be relevant to the issue of fairness if/when she dod go to court.

As between you and your husband, if you do buy a property together you could chose to own this as tenants in common (based on your contributions or agreed share) and to have a declaration of trust clearly defining what share of the property you each own. This would make it harder for her to claim any of your share, but of course it does also have an impact on what you and your husband are each entitled to, which would be relevant in the event you were to separate, or if one of your were to die or to be made bankrupt, so you would need to take some advice and consider the consequences before going ahead.

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