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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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Ex wants to stop paying

  • rugby333
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02 May 12 #327945 by rugby333
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The court will determine to what extent his lifestyle is or is not relevant to his payments. If you are reasonable (in the courts eyes) and he is not (in the courts eyes), then, given the latitude of the court, this is significant to the outcome.

Sending an email telling him what applications he has to make is an eminently reasonable starting point. Particularly so if you are contemplating seeking costs. If you get a costs award against him, it will be an uphill struggle for him from then on.

If he asked for advice, I would tell him to fill in the forms and to stop messing about.

  • maggie
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02 May 12 #327968 by maggie
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That sounds more like it - if he stops paying maintenance and instead of applying to enforce payment I encourage him to apply to the court to vary and I have emails to show I was helpful and co-operative and advised him to apply to vary maintenance which he then did - he would have to pay all costs of the action and my legal fees even if he wins and I lose my maintenance and all the arrears?
Why would the court expect him to pay all costs - mine and his - and would they tell me in advance so I could hire an expensive brief?

  • Bunty5
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02 May 12 #327973 by Bunty5
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think the point i am trying to make/find out about is - clearly there is a format for him to reduce/vary maintenance by applying to the court - he would rather not take this route as he knows i will fight it and we will have to have full disclosure again - herein lies the problem... he is not a reasonable man, he lied in court and on his form E during our divorce but was clever and covered his tracks, he is still angry that he has had to share the marital pot even though it was he who had an affair... he says he has little but i know this is not the case - proving my point is more difficult hence the importance of lifestyle. I see no advantage in encouraging him to take the court route to vary maintenance and think perhaps this would be seen as my acceptance of his story that he is now poor... i should reiterate, his lifestyle has not changed since our divorce, i do not have a problem with how he lives except when he tries to shortchange the girls and me whilst making no adjustments himself

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02 May 12 #327981 by maggie
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Sorry B - rugby''s posts brought out all my cynicism about going back to court to "discuss" whether my ex can afford to pay maintenance.I''m not sure if rugby333 has successfully fended off a downward variation though.
I''d do everything possible to show him it''s all counterproductive - starting with enforcement asap but others may advise differently.
I would even go to mediation for the variation if it meant I could see his form E.

  • LittleMrMike
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02 May 12 #327983 by LittleMrMike
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Speaking as one who paid maintenance for a very long time and doesn''t have to pay any more ( albeit for the wrong reasons ) I find the subject of variations frustrating.
In one sense, though, I was fortunate. When I retired then my ex''s receiver accepted that the payments had to be re-negotiated down. We negotiated, she through a solicitor and me on my own account, and arrived at a figure, varied the order, each paid our own costs, no hassle.
Similarly, with index linking. We almost always sorted it out by two E mails, job done, no problems.
It is almost inevitable that, with a maintenance order of long standing, the circumstances of both parties are going to change. But there is hardly ever any provision in the order itself for a review.
Well, you might say, the general law itself makes provision for that. This, of course, is true. But both parties have a difficulty. Each of the former spouses is well aware of his/her financial position, but not necessarily that of the other. For example, if the supported spouse decided her ex should pay some more, and wades in with an application to vary upwards, it may be found that the payer''s circumstances have worsened but he has been manfully striving to keep up the maintenance and is suffering real hardship. The result may be that the Court actually reduces the order.
So in such circumstances, does either party have the right to ask the other to supply, if not a form E, then at least what you might call an executive summary of that party''s financial situation ?
Well, yes, of course, it is not illegal to ask, but what if the other party tells the enquirer to ***** off ?
If anyone had asked me to supply a financial summary, I would say said, OK, I''ll do it, but so must you, and the exchange of information must be contemporaneous.
But as regards costs. They are in the discretion of the Court. If it is clear that a variation ( either way ) is appropriate, and the other party, for whatever reason, simply will not acknowledge what would be obvious to anyone else, then in effect the other party has had to incur quite considerable costs unnecessarily. I do occasionally come across maintenance payers who lose their jobs and their ex''s still insist on full payment. It is not unreasonable that the awkward spouse should have to pay the costs, give that the payer has no choice but to apply to the Court.
But where the arguments are finely balanced - the sort of case where a different judge might produce a different outcome - then the argument for an award of costs is much less obvious.
I have probably said enough.

  • rugby333
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02 May 12 #328001 by rugby333
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Maggie & Bunty,

I have obviously not made it clear, however LittleMrMike is making roughly the same point:

If you ro your ex husband behave unreasonably then the other party will incur costs uneceassarily.

The only way for your ex husband to behave reasonably is to apply to vary downwards and to simultaneously apply for a remission of arrears.

If he does not make these applications and you behave reasonably by telling him you will seek enforcement unless he makes these applications, then he risks costs and the court will have little choice but to uphold his payments to you - the court has not been asked by him to do otherwise.

If however he makes the correct application, then the court will make you both fill out a form E again and exchange it contemporaneously. If his claims are valid then sm and cm will be reduced and he will not have to pay costs. If his claims are invalid then he may well have to pay your costs.

Is this combined with LittleMrMike''s explanation clear?

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