A well respected, award winning social enterprise
Volunteer run - Government and charity funded
We help 50,000 people a year through divorce

01202 805020

Lines open: Monday to Friday 9am-5pm
Call for FREE expert advice & service info


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.


Settlement Agreement to as part of a Consent Order

  • Trebor1234
  • Trebor1234's Avatar Posted by
  • Senior Member
  • Senior Member
More
05 Apr 20 #512037 by Trebor1234
Topic started by Trebor1234
A family court judge is forcing me out of our family company so I lose all of my income. which my wife will now take. The Consent Order says I have to sign a Settlement Agreement but the one my wife has sent me is more like a Compromise Agreement - a gagging order to stop me taking out a law suit against her for unfair dissmisal, or whatever case I can put together.
They're offering me £30,000 to sign. This doesn't seem right as my remuneratin from the company is approx. £10,000 salary and £70,000 dividends. Can I refuse to sign it and ask them to considerably increase their offer?
Or does a family court Judge's order supersede Employment Laws? I'm having to give up my directorship, employment, remuneration for the "incentive" of them writing off my £30,000 directors loan. But I'm losing all my income, not just for now, but forever.
I think I should receive around x 2 my remueration worked out a below - I'd appreciate your views. Thank you.

1.Can a Family Law judge remove me from my company and in doing so prevent me from bringing a claim under employment law for unfair dismissal?
2. If they can then presumably I still have recourse to employment law?
3. If so then requires a compromise agreement doesn't it?
5. If so, then it should represent my loss of income and benefits shouldn't it?
6. But it should also ahve a lump sum to incentivse not to bring a legal case against her under employment law and Company law?
7. And if so then what would a likely figure be?
8. Consistent with above I have worked out what a settlement could be based on my average remuneration over three years. That is (assuming a multiple of x2):

= [2 x salary @£9,900/yr]
+ [ 2 x dividend @ approx. £70,000/year]
+ [value of my shares @ £9,600]
+ [ 2 x years - 8 weeks - holiday pay in lieu @ £200/week
+ [ 2 x the cost of my annual private healthcare £3,500/year]
+ the lump sum incentive to stop me prosecuting her @ £??? (can you guide me towards the right kind of number)
- [£30,000 directors loan]

Equals approximately £150,000 plus the lump sum.

Many thanks

  • hadenoughnow
  • hadenoughnow's Avatar
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
More
07 Apr 20 #512055 by hadenoughnow
Reply from hadenoughnow
What is your status in the company? Are you a director as well as an employee?

There are two issues. The company as an asset with a value that is part of the marital pot.

The company as an employer providing an income.

You say this is a Consent Order. If it is a consent order you must have agreed to it. Is it an agreement or is it an order imposed by the court?

You must have received/retained other assets in return for your share of the company? Presumably the impact of loss of income was also factored in?

As far as the employee side of things goes, any settlement would be based on your PAYE salary. Dividends would not be included.

Employment law would apply. It sounds like what you have been presented with is a standard compromise agreement. £30,000 is 3x annual salary. You could hold out for more. I am not sure an employment tribunal would be able to award more; you need to take advice from an employment lawyer.

Hadenoughnow

  • Trebor1234
  • Trebor1234's Avatar Posted by
  • Senior Member
  • Senior Member
More
08 Apr 20 #512063 by Trebor1234
Reply from Trebor1234
I was a director as well as an employee. I entered into the agreement in October AHEAD of a pension report. My pensions are subsantial circa £1.4m and my wifes £150k. I was advised to go ahead with the agreement and that pension sharing report would be factored in by the judge and I would be left with well over 50% and so that would pull the deal back to 50/50 overall. But the pension report was briefed on the basis of equality and so came back with what it would take for us both to have a 50% share. It was implemented as is (even though it was flawed and based on wrong assumptions but I had no money to challenge it) and so the skew in her favour remained. It remains an agreement as signed on 19 February but coronavirus fundamentally changed the
outcome for me. WE cannot sell the family home, a part of the Consent Order, and so I ahave no money. Nowhere in the consent order does it provide for me for lack of enring from losing my employment or remuneration and the settlement agreement appears to offers £30,000 only for me to sign my rights away. MY remueration was £80,000

  • Trebor1234
  • Trebor1234's Avatar Posted by
  • Senior Member
  • Senior Member
More
12 Apr 20 #512085 by Trebor1234
Reply from Trebor1234
I was a director as well as an employee. I entered into the agreement in October AHEAD of a pension report. My pensions are subsantial circa £1.4m and my wifes £150k. I was advised to go ahead with the agreement and that pension sharing report would be factored in by the judge and I would be left with well over 50% and so that would pull the deal back to 50/50 overall. But the pension report was briefed on the basis of equality and so came back with what it would take for us both to have a 50% share. It was implemented as is (even though it was flawed and based on wrong assumptions but I had no money to challenge it) and so the skew in her favour remained. It remains an agreement as signed on 19 February but coronavirus fundamentally changed the
outcome for me. WE cannot sell the family home, a part of the Consent Order, and so I ahave no money. Nowhere in the consent order does it provide for me for lack of enring from losing my employment or remuneration and the settlement agreement appears to offers £30,000 only for me to sign my rights away. MY remueration was £80,000

  • hadenoughnow
  • hadenoughnow's Avatar
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
More
12 Apr 20 #512088 by hadenoughnow
Reply from hadenoughnow
The pension report will look at equality of incomes on retirement but that doesn't mean there cannot be other ways of dealing with it, especially if there is inequality in the division of other assets.

Your capital interest in the company has presumably been considered as part of the settlement. I think the question of compensation for loss of remuneration is something you would need specialist advice on. It isn't a family law question.

You say you were advised - by who? Were you represented?? Was this at FDR or fInal Hearing? What do they say about the situation??

If the agreement was made without some key information that would have made a material difference, there may be scope for an appeal out of time. It is hard to appeal something you have agreed to though. You would need the court's permission to do this. You really should get a legal opinion on this.

Hadenoughnow

  • Trebor1234
  • Trebor1234's Avatar Posted by
  • Senior Member
  • Senior Member
More
19 Apr 20 #512174 by Trebor1234
Reply from Trebor1234
It was originally an FH but my wife’s barrister was criticised for not preparing her case well enough. So, the Judge refused to let the FH go ahead. He offered an FDR as counsel were all there. We took it.

Towards the end my Barrister told me to take the deal but did say it was ahead of the pension report and I should be aware of that. I went ahead. But later I read my Barrister’s book and it says this, “In most cases where the pensions are substantial and important to the resolution of the case the instruction of a single joint expert will be both appropriate and proportionate. The actuarial evidence should be available by the time of the FDR”

THe reasons I am going to submit on my D11 to set the Consent Order aside are these:


Recent events convince the Applicant that the Consent Order, dated 5/3/20, be set aside, because:

1. Non-disclosure of material information by the Respondent means she has not given full and frank disclosure.

2. The Respondent has misrepresented important facts in her submissions to the court.
In addition:
3. The Applicant attended court 23-25/10/19 and signed a Heads of Agreement under duress. He was not in a fit state of mind to prepare for and attend court for the Pre-Trial Hearing or the Final Hearing (which was turned into a Financial Dispute Resolution). His Dyslexia, which is classed as a disability, and Hypopnea made comprehension of the detailed facts, and ability to follow an argument, difficult. 3 weeks before the FH/FDR and 3 days before the PTR, his mother who he had been caring for whilst she was very sick, died. She committed suicide. This was 3 days after the Applicant was diagnosed with cancer. He applied to postpone the PTH and FH but was refused. The court transcript from 24/10/19 shows he was unable to give instructions to counsel. He signed the Heads Of Agreement under duress, in a considerable state of emotional distress.
4. The Coronavirus is exceptional in our lifetime and led to fundamental change in the conditions now to those when the Heads of Agreement was signed and very essence upon which the Consent Order was based

Moderators: wikivorce teamrubytuesdaydukeyhadenoughnowTetsSheziLinda SheridanForsetiMitchumWhiteRoseLostboy67WYSPECIALBubblegum11