At the end of October, after an FDR, my wife and I agreed a deal which was broadly 50/50 However, we did not have the pension report and so I went ahead on the basis that I would keep the majority of my pensions from which I could draw down the 25% tax free lump sum whereas my wife took the family company leaving me unemployed with no salary and not much prospect of work (I'm 56).
However, when the pension report came through it recommended that my wife got 60% and that skewed the whole deal her way. My solicitor told me to take the deal which I did for the sake of getting on with my life. However, the deal also relied upon us selling the family home so I can access to cash and now that is an impossibility due to the governments rulings ve y recently because of Covid-19.
I then find out that my wife has paid herself £100,000 since the deal was struck. 95% of it in dividends but she prey to the court case ganged up on me with the accountant (she ad 60% of the company) and refused to award a dividend on the basis the company couldn't sustain it. This was a dividend based on calendar F2018 so she had all the numbers. So straight after the deal was done she took a different view and snatched the money. She paid herself £30,000 this week alone and £10,000 last week whereas I am left high and ry looking at £20-£300 a week from Universal Benefits. My question is: is there any way I can go back to the Judge (who has not yet sealed the order) and ask him to look again at the deal in the light of our completely differing prospects. I've got two kids, 19 and 17 and they very definitetly can see a different in the standard of living I have from my wife why they live with. Thank for any help and advice. This divorce has been going on 3 years.
A Consent Order needs your agreement. You can withdraw consent if it has not been sealed. Even if you signed a Heads of Agreement, AFAIK you can still withdraw if there was material non disclosure or a fundamental change in circumstances. It would then be up to you to renegotiate (possibly at a second fdr) or ask the court to decide on a fair settlement at final hearing based on updated disclosure. You should contact the court in writing ASAP and take legal advice on the way ahead.
Bear in mind that these are unprecedented circumstances so it may be a while before you can get sensible guidance as business, property and pension valuations will be all over the place as will incomes.
Thank you so much for your help. I have already decided to write to the judge. However, I do not have any money to pay for another FDR let alone a final hearing. Is there any mechanism whereby I can ask the judge to re-evaluate the situation and amend the current court order (it is still not yet sealed) based on the facts as they were at October with an abbreviated financial disclosure up to now in chambers by himself taking into considerations all of the effects of coronavirus which my wife and I could provide by written submission? Thank you again.
I wrote to the judge on 1 April (I am now LIP) And on the 2 April my solicitor sent me the the sealed conset order and pension sharing order. IT WAS DATED 5 MARCH but this was the first I'd seen of it. So my letter to the judge was weeks after the fact I'd written asking to review the conset order before it was sealed.I have emailed my solicitors to ask when they received the sealed order but they are not responding. My instinct is that I now need to write another shorter letter to the Judge informing them of this. I have already written to the court asking them to postpone the issue of the Decree Absolute until this matter is concluded. Does anyone have any helpful comments/suggestions? Thansks