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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.

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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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Avoiding spousal maintenance

  • Anon32
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08 Aug 12 #348241 by Anon32
Topic started by Anon32
Hi,

I''m hoping somebody can help. My partner has a Decree Nisi with his ex. His ex is the Petitioner and is now avoiding applying for the Absolute as she wants spousal maintenance. Can he still apply for the absolute in 3 months time or can she have the nisi cancelled?

Also, in terms of spousal maintenance. She has not worked for the duration of the marriage (11 years) and they have 2 children.

We have 1 child and live in a smaller house. We both work in order to maintain her lifestyle and our child has to go to nursery as a result. Both of her kids are at school, she doesn''t work, is subscribed to private health clubs ( we use municipal facilities, as we can''t afford 2 private memberships) and wants more money. Morally this is unjust, but legally what can we do about it?

They have been separated for 4 years.

Any advice or guidance much appreciated.

  • NoWhereToTurnl
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08 Aug 12 #348288 by NoWhereToTurnl
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Hi,

As the Petitioner, your partners stbx can delay the Absolute until financial matters have either been agreed between them or a court order is sealed. Many solicitors will advise this.

With out information of their respective financials it is impossible to say what the outcome could involve.

This must be very difficult for you but his first family''s needs will take precedent when it comes to needs. As unfair as it appears, try not to become emotionally involved in their divorce, your partner will benefit from you staying objective and your support.

Best wishes,
NWTT

  • WYSPECIAL
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08 Aug 12 #348308 by WYSPECIAL
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Has she had SM during the past 4 years? she can want what she likes but it doesn''t mean she will get it

  • Anon32
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08 Aug 12 #348310 by Anon32
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She''s had extremely generous monthly payments (not under the title of spousal maintenance), but they''re no longer sustainable. Once he mentioned reducing her payments, she has instigated legal action. He had still proposed to pay more than the CSA recommends, but she doesn''t want to work, so is trying to get him to fully fund her lifestyle.

  • loveourmum
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09 Aug 12 #348327 by loveourmum
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Sorry I can''t help you legally but morally if she is fit and healthy given the amount of time she has at a health club then she can go out and work.

Both you and your partner are entitled to a lifestyle with your family, without the added burden of a "meal-ticket!"

By all means pay for the children as one would do but the ex-wife! Enough is enough.

Fight your corner!

  • LittleMrMike
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09 Aug 12 #348344 by LittleMrMike
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Oh dear, a depressingly familiar ring about this one !
If she has made an application for spousal maintenance in the Petition or subsequently during the course of divorce proceedings, then the claim can still be dealt with after the Decree Absolute. As nowheretoturn has told you, there are circumstances where there are good reasons why she might want to delay applying for the Absolute, but on the face of what you tell me ( which I know is limited ) there is no obvious reason why she might want to delay it, except possibly if pensions are an issue. In any event it doesn''t prevent your partner applying for the Absolute when he is in a position to do it.
However, from your partner''s point of view, the fact that he has a new partner, and would, I imagine, want to marry you after the divorce becomes final, will have some effect on the issue of maintenance, and would have an effect if he merely cohabits. Your own income and assets cannot be attacked directly by the first wife, but the fact that there are two incomes coming into your household can, and probably will, impact on his needs and therefore on the level of spousal maintenance he has to pay.
As to the child, well, this is a controversial issue and there is at least a school of thought which says that there is, or should be, some life after divorce, and a man should not be so financially hamstrung by a maintenance order that he has to forego altogether the delights of a new partner and parenthood.
Having said that, I have to tell you that we have seen cases on wiki where judges have taken a very hard line on this kind of issue. One poster was told by a judge, you can have as many children as you **** well like, but you still have to pay the maintenance.
Believe me, anon, the scenario you are presenting is very common, in other words, the new partner having, as the song says, to work and slave from dawn to tea, so that the ex can sit on her **** doing nothing all day and collect her monthly maintenance cheque. I have to say that - on the basis of some cases we get here - there is a high risk that a judge would not be very sympathetic.
LMM

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09 Aug 12 #348399 by aboy
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I''m in no position to advise here but just a thought. When my ex made a Petition for divorce I immediately reacted with a petition of my own on my solicitors advice. This I believe is a cross pettiton - the reason being that when it comes to the decree Absolute I was then not waiting around for her to do it and this would not interfere with financial proceedings. (my ex only married for money!)

So that''s exactly what happened. I wanted my decree absolute but she tried to block it or refused as there was an Ancillary Relief trial still months away. This would enable the marriage to be longer and pension sharing and other matters would be affected. So the matter went immediately in front of the judge in a hearing. The judge remarked that my decree absolute could not be stopped. She was ordered to pay costs - had I not made that petition too then I could have been in that same position !

The outcome was that the very short marraige resulted in no pension sharing order for her. Beware !

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