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What could I reasonable expect if court decides.

  • runningscared
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12 Sep 12 #355492 by runningscared
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I have been married for 26 years. My husband is 78, I am 14 years younger. I am seriouisly disabled and unwell, my husband is fit and well.

My husband left the marital home last year after being served with a non mol order which he violated, putting me in hospital with serious injuries. He then voluntarily moved out prior to being served with an occupation order.

I am happy to sell the home which will result in £120,000 equity. My husband has not contributed to the mortgage or bills for a year prior to leaving and not since. He is comfortably and suitably housed in a two double bedroom, two bathroom flat in an area suitable to his needs - bus stop outside - he doesn''t drive, two supermarkets within 5 min walk etc. He gets full housing and council tax benefit.

He has an income of £200 per month more than I do, £20,000 or more in savings. I have no savings and I have to pay the mortgage of £200 per month as he won''t contribute although his solictor has told him he should. I have more outgoings than he does - I have to pay for care needs, special disposable items and equipment not supplied by nhs etc.

As previously mentioned I am happy to sell the house as I would be better housed in a bungalow although my current home is adapted downstairs for my needs with wheelchair access, downstairs shower/toilet and bedroom.

He has been asked to go to mediation to try and sort out the finances but has refused. I am willing to do this rather than go to court as we are both on legal aid and I don''t feel it fair to use such resources when we could at least try and sort it out ourselves. He wants to do it through solicitors but the solictor does not get enough legal aid to deal with back and to letters. He is and always has been a difficult and unreasonable person and likes nothing more than getting someone firing bullets just for the power it gives him.

The first exchange of letters has been that he doesn''t see why he should disclose his income (i have disclosed mine) I am assuming he is hiding more savings. He has brought up the fact that he took me on a luxury holiday 26 years ago - so you can see where this would go through solicitors.

I have said that as he won''t go through mediation then I would rather just go to court and be done with it no matter what the judge decides I will have to accept as I am too unwell to continue with the stress. I am about to undergo heart op in a few weeks.

Bearing in mind that I and my solicitor feel that he is suitable housed and given his age of 78 it would be more reasonable for the bulk of the equity to be awarded to me so that I can buy a bungalow. I would like a 70/30 split in my favour as this would give me £80,000 or so which would be enough for a small bungalow suitable for my needs with a small mortgage of £20/30 thousand that I could manage on an interest only basis. I realise that this would only give him £36,000 but I would not ask for any of his savings and he also owes me £4000 or so for unpaid bills essential maintenance on the property.

He has no real need of the money and no one that he could leave it to. He has enough income for a comfortable lifestyle given his age.

Question: Am I being reasonable or unreasonable and how would the court view this or would it be just a 50/50 split which would not leave me with enough capital to purchase a suitable property. Would the court be likely to award a 50/50 split or could it in fact go in his favour, I really don''t know.

Thanks if anyone has any thoughts on this or can advise:silly:

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13 Sep 12 #355597 by LittleMrMike
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Runningscared, there is one thing from your posts that hits me between the eyeballs - you say he had £20,000 savings and he is on legal aid and is receiving housing / council tax benefit.

If he has savings like that he would not be entitled to legal aid, nor to housing or council tax benefit.

Are you sure ?

LMM

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13 Sep 12 #355705 by runningscared
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Little MrMike, yes I am sure. I have proof of his savings as he left without all his paperwork so he definitely still had them earler this year. I have told my solicitor but it is up to him to declare to all that should know. If my solicitorr wants to reveal this to his, I am happy for her to do it. I think that this is one of the reasons that he does not want to do a voluntary disclosure. His solicitor maintains that the only asset that he has is in the property. Obviously, I will reveal what I know if he does voluntary disclose or he is order to and he does not declare it.


It may be that he is on Pension Credit Guarantee and that he is an a 5 year assessment period so any money accrude during this time does not have to be reported to DWP. I think for housing benefit it may be different but I am not sure.

Any thoughts or advice on my question?
best thanks

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13 Sep 12 #355707 by runningscared
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Little MrMike, yes I am sure. I have proof of his savings as he left without all his paperwork so he definitely still had them earler this year. I have told my solicitor but it is up to him to declare to all that should know. If my solicitorr wants to reveal this to his, I am happy for her to do it. I think that this is one of the reasons that he does not want to do a voluntary disclosure. His solicitor maintains that the only asset that he has is in the property. Obviously, I will reveal what I know if he does voluntary disclose or he is order to and he does not declare it.


It may be that he is on Pension Credit Guarantee and that he is an a 5 year assessment period so any money accrude during this time does not have to be reported to DWP. I think for housing benefit it may be different but I am not sure.

Any thoughts or advice on my question?
best thanks

  • soulruler
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13 Sep 12 #355711 by soulruler
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Well I don''t know what others think about this but there was a recent judgement in family imerman v Tchenquiz and it was about disclosure or non disclosure from departing spouses.

I think actually it in a way has shied people off disclosing what is known to both spouses during a divorce.

The situation with that particular couple was that both families were multi millionaire business people and that Imerman (the wifes) brother worked together with Tchenquiz (the husband) in business together.

Imerman applied for an anton pillars for Tchenquiz to disclose his business affairs (and they were very complex as Tchenquiz worked with his brother - Robert and Rupert) in many international deals including having shares in the bank of Iceland and then selling them all off which lead to the collapse of the Icelandic national bank.

I think there is a world of difference between normally divorcing spouses and couples having access to real paperwork and multi million pound business people trying to get anton pillars to disclose complex business affairs.

If your husband is being evasive or even failing to disclose the truth about his finances and you have details of those finances then if he is not straight forward enough to disclose those then I do not personally see why you should be prejudiced in disclosing paperwork he left with you as proof of less than honest disclosure.

Honesty works both ways and if he isn''t being straighforward and honest then he is abusing process and abusing family court proceedure. It does state on the Financial E that you need to be honest and that if you do not disclose matters then you can be held in contempt of court. Perjury (which in this case could amount to consealment) is just as relevent in family proceedings as it is in any court.

Marriage is, after all, a contact of trust and a most intimate affair.

Accepting that you cannot force a person to stay married to you does not mean that you have to stay silent about financial misconduct during divorce and financial remedy.

I am going to put my helmet on now as I expect I might be found wrong here.

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13 Sep 12 #355760 by runningscared
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As no one has been able to come up with any thoughts on what would be a reasonable split, I have tried the Divorce Calculator and for ease of use I have put in the same income and outgoings for both myself and my husband.

The calculator, other than length of marriage, does not ask the age of the parties nor if any disabilities are involved and yet based on both of us have the same income and outgoings the calculator has give a 60/40 split of the marital home in my favour:blink: What would be the reasoning behind this?

  • anna200
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14 Sep 12 #355773 by anna200
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sorry i don''t have the answer but can''t help wonder what exactly your solicitor is doing ...she will not be able to give you a definitive answer but with her expert knowledge of the matrimonial act which any judgement would be based and on and precedent she could give you a best guess at whether or not your proposal is reasonable. this should form the basis of your negotiations outside of court with both experts taking a view on what is reasonable and advising you accordingly, ultimately they are acting for you but would not make a case to
court if it clearly has no chance of succeeding . you are not asking for a 70/30 split when the savings are added in . also i cannot understand why other side are writing to you stating he does not see why he should make a financial disclosure? .... it sounds like your ex does not like being told what to do but if he is obstructive and it goes to court he could be ordered to pay costs.
I hope you receive some input from legal experts on this forum....the fact that you are 64 , in a wheelchair ,adapted house, unwell with special needs surely must have some bearing on your housing needs?? (have you an interest only mortgage agreed in principal? if not you should check this would be available before you make any proposal depending on you getting a mortgage ) .
anyhow legal aid or not your solicitor should be able to address your concerns. Good luck with the op and i hope you can put all this on a back burner while you recover.

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