I had my final hearing 5 days ago. We were only married 14 months, but the financial settlement took 3 years to finalise. We’re both in our 60s, both housed and both with sufficient income. It was agreed early on it wasn’t a maintenance or pension sharing case. My ex was seeking ‘compensation’ for the failure of the marriage and sought reimbursement of some joint expenditure incurred during the marriage (£12k) , a contribution to the cost of furnishing his new property (£13K), the cost of selling his former home, (£4K) to move in with me, and half the increase in equity of the matrimonial home, over the 14 month marriage. The matrimonial home was mine for 14 years before the marriage. He also demanded the return of my engagement ring. At the outset I offered him half the increase in equity of my home over the period of the marriage, but he wanted more, £40K in total. At FDR the judge directed that I give him half the increase in equity, but due to COVID we didn’t have an agreed valuation. Once the agreed valuation was obtained I made an open offer to give him half the increase in equity, he didn’t accept this and continued to pursue his claim for £40K to reflect his claim for ‘compensation’.
At the FH the judge made it quite clear that S25 criteria did not include ‘compensation’, he refused all my ex’s claims and directed I give him half the increase in equity, plus ordered my engagement ring to be returned to me. My counsel said I no longer wanted the ring so the judge ordered the value of the ring to be deducted from the settlement I was to pay to my ex. The agreed settlement was £20k, £2k more than my open offer, as the judge took a broad approach to the calculation of the mortgage balance outstanding. I was happy with the outcome, relieved it was finally over and I could get on with enjoying a quiet family Christmas.
My ex’s legal fees were £23k, £2k more than his settlement, but my own legal fees were £14K, and I did a lot of the work myself. I had no choice but to defend his ridiculous claims. I had hoped for a contribution towards my costs but as the settlement was £2k more than my open offer the judge declined to make an award.
The whole process was exhausting, stressful and expensive, but at least I’m now free of my ex and able to get on with my life.
I found this website invaluable and I wish all of you in this process a satisfactory outcome.