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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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Geriatric separation

  • hadenoughnow
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07 Apr 19 #507077 by hadenoughnow
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There must be some sort of legal separation process going on if you are going through the financial settlement process in the courts.

If the care home fees are being paid then I cannot see the merit in lump sum payments etc. It is sensible to put something in place to protect payments if your father predeceased your mother.

My concern here is that your mother is being "assisted" in this...

How big is the former matrimonial home? If it is very much larger than he needs, the court may force a sale.

I think your father needs to show how your mother's needs are met and how her interests will be protected in the event that he predeceased her.

  • FatherForever
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07 Apr 19 #507078 by FatherForever
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Hi, Thank you for your reply. That is helpful advice.
To clarify, the only document my mother has thus far lodged at Court is “Notice of [intention to proceed with] a financial application to which the standard procedure applies” (on Form A).
My mother’s accompanying statement explicitly says that she does not wish to divorce. There has been so mention of a legal separation
I expect we may well see something different when the documents required by the judge prior to the first appointment are exchanged this week.
Sadly I think you are right about the assistance my mum is receiving. The person behind this and my dad have a very acrimonious relationship.

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08 Apr 19 #507091 by hadenoughnow
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Hmm. A legally binding financial settlement can only be finalised after Decree Nisi or formal legal separation.

Any orders made before that can only be interim orders for things like maintenance pending suit.

Has your mother taken legal advice?? Is she fully capable of making her own decisions?

I am worried this is being used as a way to secure financial advantage either now or through a will. If there are doubts about your mother's decision making capacity, these should be raised.

I am also concerned that there is a potential abuse of the power of attorney here. I would raise these concerns in the position statement. Your dad needs to make it clear that a: no divorce or separation proceedings are under way.

b. There is no intention by either party to start proceedings.

c. He has offered to cover the costs of the nursing home and these payments would continue if he predeceased her as she would inherit assets. NB He may need a plan to bridge any gap.

d. Direct lump sum payments are not needed or justified. He is concerned that any lump sums paid to her bank account would be under the control of a third party who has power of attorney.

He should also set out his needs.

Please do think about getting advice. Give the helpline a call.

Hadenoughnow

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08 Apr 19 #507102 by FatherForever
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Thank you for your reply and help.

I share your concerns - so does my Dad. Personal emails from the PA to Dad have been nasty, even threatening in tone. And signed as coming from the PA. Not mum.
a. there are not
b. not yet, at least
c. yes that is correct. Dad would need to look into the bridge
d. yes, indeed!

We will get Mum's statement of issues later this week. Things will be clearer then and we will know what to ask if we call the helpine.
Again, very many thanks

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09 Apr 19 #507105 by WYSPECIAL
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Are your parents wealthy? Are the sorts of figures you are talking about likely to have an impact upon your Dads lifestyle if they were paid?

Is your sister the person with POA? Seems this may be some sort of long term family dispute?

Does your Mother have mental capacity?

On what grounds does your Mum need lump sum payments? Whilst it is understandable that the care home fees need to be paid and there may need to be a plan in place to ensure they could be paid if circumstances changed it seems unusual that a 91 year old who is resident in a care home could put forward an argument that they need ongoing lump sum payments.

  • rubytuesday
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09 Apr 19 #507108 by rubytuesday
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I've been reading this thread over the past couple of days, and really feel for your Dad and you - what an incredibly awful situation for everyone to be in.

I share Hadenoughnow's concerns about possible abuse of Power of Attorney. You can discuss your concerns with the Office of the Public Guardian - www.gov.uk/report-concern-about-attorney-deputy

If there is any court action, and your mother lacks the mental capacity to instruct a solicitor, or represent herself, then she would be represented by the Official Solicitor - her PoA can't instruct a solicitor on her behalf, or conduct litigation on her behalf.

Do you know if your Mum has since made a new Will since moving away from your Dad?

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09 Apr 19 #507119 by FatherForever
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My parents are pretty well off, yes but the impact of paying over £1200 per week is considerable. Pensions will have to be supplemented with money drawn from savings and investments.

I believe my mother would pass the test for mental capacity. But she is being advised by her POA and does not have the knowledge to challenge or understand the quality of that advice.

The demand for lump sums has been made by the POA after the solicitor wrote to my father saying "after 50 years of marriage everything would be divided 50/50". POA has seized on this and translated it as an entitlement.

It has become a very bitter family dispute and split the children.

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