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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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Inequity in Consent Order

  • turtleshead
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20 Jul 12 #344427 by turtleshead
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Hi, Long story short....married in 1986 and separated in 2004 after 19 years!! No kids, only FMH, car, dog & money. It was an amicable separation and subsequent divorce with a mutually agreed split of assets. House got sold and all cash split 50/50,but there was the issue with a gratuity payment I was receiving upon leaving Army (£52k) in 2004. Ex wife was also in the Army, but left before doing her time so got a preserved gratuity to be claimed by her in 2026 (estimated at £11k so I get a notional £5.5k). I agreed to half of my gratuity on premise she gives up half of hers in 2026 (daft I know!), anyway we also had 2 endowments due to mature in 2012/13. (£35k & £15k respectively). She wanted to cash them in, but I said it would be a financial loss so agreed to keep paying them for next 7 years. A Consent Order was agreed that she would get half of the maturity value or a capped amount of £20k. Everything has gone along ok with her remaining amicable throughout, until last week!!! The first letter re maturity of the older policy arrived....I duly contacted her to set up meeting to sign forms. On dragging out divorce paperwork and calculating the how the monies should be split, I discovered that she had actually received £20.5k more than me in the original split and realised over a £84k v my £63k. With the current endowment values and the arrangement in the consent order she would get £103k v my £86k in total from our ‘uncomplicated’ settlement, a somewhat inequitable split that I had not noticed or had pointed out to.
I thought it reasonable to discuss this with her and point out the oversight. I also suggested that keeping in contact with her for the next 14 years to get what would probably be no more than £6k was a bit daft. It was at this point I proposed that the terms were flawed and weighted strongly in her favour. She then boldly pointed out that she knew about this but had let me hang myself!!! Despite this the conversation was jovial and she agreed to a compromise, which was accepting £10k to redress the balance a little and accepting a proposal from me to rescind my claim on her gratuity. In total this brought the split to a more palatable £99k v £96k in her favour. An hour after getting home the fun started and she did a complete u turn, stating she wants the full £20k and I should wait until 2026 for any of her money as if she were to die I would get nothing and she would prof if I die…..I was gutted.

I would say at this point I was unrepresented in the divorce and agreed to the Consent Order as there was no angst to sort out. We also went before the district judge who never noticed (or queried me) on what is now a very obvious imbalance and the fact that 7 years payments post divorce, really should have not been a consideration in the split. Hindsight is wonderful, but I have since remarried and for 4 of past 7 years the endowment payments have come from our joint account…which clearly my new wife is somewhat peeved as she has contributed to the outlay!!

Apologies for the long diatribe, but is there anything here that I can challenge via the courts as I feel let down, or am I a sad case of never trust the ex and why did you not study harder at maths in school???? :S

  • jonathancj
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20 Jul 12 #344443 by jonathancj
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If there''s a Consent Order, I''m afraid this horse has well and truly bolted. It''s just too late to change things.

  • turtleshead
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21 Jul 12 #344461 by turtleshead
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Kinda thought so....seeing as I cannot tackle the Consent Order itself, would I be in breach if I chose to pay her in monthly installments? this is relevant to me in that I have to wait 14 years to receive anything from her and would inextricably have to maintain some idea of her whereabouts to recover that money. By paying money through a regular transfer could I not argue I am protecting my interests in that future asset?

The exact wording of the Consent Order is this "Upon maturity of the Endowment policies held in the joint names of the parties with xxx and xxx. The maturity proceeds will be divided equally between the parties unless the total sum shall exceed £40k, in which case the Petitioner shall receive a single payment of £20k only, the respondent to receive the remainder" Does the wording single payment prevent this as a course?

The one thing she has stipulated is she wants the money now, but I am hoping on this point at least I am right..."Upon maturity of the Endowment policies" this recognises clearly there is 2 in effect and that I can wait until the second one matures to ensure that the £40k threshold is surpassed so I don''t over pay her again!!

Also in relation to the original overpayment of £20.5k she has rec''d? Based on her very recent disclosure that she knew I had overpaid her by that amount and the fact that I was in ignorance to it ....what mileage would I have in making a claim for this money from her. If I were an employer overpaying salary they would notify the employee of the debt and seek to recover it or it would be retaining a wrongful credit?

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