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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.


Debt repayment to spouse

  • MrsKeyboard
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06 Jun 12 #335320 by MrsKeyboard
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I''m currently helping my father-in-law through a messy divorce. He (as the respondant) agreed to all the terms of the divorce as his wife said she wanted a Clean Break divorce. She is now trying to get him to pay all the debts that she incurred during their marriage (over half he was not even aware of and they are all in her name)
She is also requesting maintenance despite having no dependants and cohabiting with another man.
My father in-law requested staements of all the debts incurred before he would discuss any repayment. However, in response to this the solicitor is now asking for a further £300pcm on top of what she originally asked for to cover the debts. She has also stated that if he does not agree to pay this new sum that she will carry out a pension sharing order too.
This seems very much like extortion to me. He has tried to speak to his ex, who claims this is all the solicitors work and that if he agrees she will cancel the standing orders made.
Where should he go from here?

  • hadenoughnow
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06 Jun 12 #335374 by hadenoughnow
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It sounds like he needs to know more about her financial position before agreeing to anything.

If she will not provide details voluntarily then he may need to apply to the courts for financial settlement. They will both have to fill in a form to provide full financial disclosure.

The debts may or may not be classed as matrimonial. It all depends how they were built up and whether what the money was spent on was for her sole benefit.

As far as pension sharing goes, whether or not this is an option depends on circumstances including length of marriage, ages etc ... and how much of the other marital assets she gets. Pensions can be offset against assets such as house equity.

Maintenance depends on her needs and his ability to pay.Cohabitation would reduce her needs as she is sharing living costs.

How long is the marriage?

Hadenoughnow

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08 Jun 12 #335710 by MrsKeyboard
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They have been married for 27 years. They own no property, have no savings or assets. She has a private pension but he only has his state pension (which he made no additional payments to, including serps until the recent legislation came into place.)
The solicitor is trying to push that he benefitted from what the debt wasspent on, but there is evidence to suggest otherwise. One debt is a Burtons store card, she has plenty of clothes form it''s associated companies (where the card is valid) but he does not. There is also evidence on the computer history to suggest that she had spent money on gifts for her current partner whilst still in a relationship with her husband.
My father in law does not object to covering debt payments that he genuinely was a part of incurring. But he can''t confirm what he is and isn''t responsible for without statements.
He also can''t afford the monthly amount that the solicitor is now requesting. Surely a fniancial order or court hearing would take this into consideration?

  • hadenoughnow
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08 Jun 12 #335716 by hadenoughnow
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He cannot be expected to pay SM that is outside his means but without knowing more about the financial position - ie ages, incomes, outgoings etc then it is hard to advise. Do they both work? Did she work during the marriage?

Is it reasonable that he should share the cost involved in buying her clothes?? They would seem to be a normal marital expense.

Do you know how much is in her private pension pot? That is part of the marital assets pot and could be shared between them.

What is the scale of the debts here?

It sounds like her solicitor is trying it on.

Has there been any financial disclosure yet ... have they been asked to fill in a form E on a voluntary basis?

Hadenoughnow

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25 Jun 12 #339053 by MrsKeyboard
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I''m afraid I don''t know the value of her pension. I''ve read that she can only access his additional state pension and not his basic. He opted out of SERPS and did not make any payments into another pension.

He again requested statments of the debts and received a letter asking for an upfront amount of £2500 and half his pension. Everytime he does not whole heartedly agree with the solicitors requests he is greeted with demands for more money/assets. The values of these are all irrelevant to anything that is owing. She really is trying it on.
His wife worked the majority of their relationship, is working now and cohabiting with her new partner. He had agreed to help with the debts (not on paper) out of courtesy to his wife.
It''s just becoming increasingly difficult as his wife is stringing him along, telling him that she doesn''t want anything, then a few days later he''ll get a letter asking for something else.
I''m sorry to rant but it''s getting so frustrating as I wrote up documents for signing to avoid all of this and despite everything my father in law put his trust in his wife and she is trying to drain him dry:angry:

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