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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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SM would ex pay less now he co-habits

  • hawaythelads
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22 Sep 12 #357292 by hawaythelads
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Please Fiona no more I''m getting the sweats here.
I reckon in South East London I''ll be paying the ex harridan child maintenance until my two are about 30 at this rate.
Shissen as I had to point out in our last spat over extra money "for the kids" I''m living on the breadline while her and Bazza live in the free house I gave em.
Obviously have an evening job as food and wine critics.There out 7 nights a week !
and have more holidays than Judith Chalmers ;)

2 weeks later after her pleading poverty they bought a house in France :blink:
Even worse this week I had to give my 12 year old daughter a tenner to buy a pencil case some felt tips pencil sharpener etc because she''d been pulled at school for not having any of it.
UNFECKINGBELIEVABLE!!! Look I just made up a new word I''m like Mary Poppins :blink:

That''s not a dig at Chocholic just to show the other side of the coin.
I personally think Choco you should go for it.You''ve got nothing to lose.
There is a big disparity in income.I still think that you should ask him first if he is prepared to contribute towards the cost of the young adults living at home.I mean that''s common courtesy you must get the refusal prior to trying to starting variance proceedings in court.He might surprise you and say yes.If it''s a No or a list of profanities followed by OFF then you start the court application in my opinion.
I personally feel that the co habiting with the other woman while you have no right in law to know anything about her income once a judge knows that he''s probably going to think two income household no kids against disabled ex wife on benefits 4 adolescents I reckon you might get a sympathetic ruling.
The judge might think no they are legally adults.
You simply don''t know that''s why you have to roll the dice.
All the best
HRH xx

  • Fiona
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22 Sep 12 #357299 by Fiona
Reply from Fiona
I don''t think either of you need to worry, Haway or Somuch. It''s important to remember every case is different and SM or CM for over 18s are both unlikely to be paid if the spouse/parent can''t afford the contributions. Maintenance is paid according to the needs of the spouse or child and the ability of the other spouse/parent to pay. Usually any SM or nominal SM is time limited.

The obligations and responsibilities for dependent over 18s are only one factor to be considered along with the other s25 MCA 1973 factors when considering SM. If the main reason for applying for maintenance is to maintain children then over 18s applying in their own right would be more appropriate.

  • somuch2know2
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24 Sep 12 #357559 by somuch2know2
Reply from somuch2know2
Please dont think I am having a go. I am reading this thread with a personal interest (i.e can my ex come back for more on the basis that I now cohabitate)?

The negative point were just those around clarity of the situation and what Choco might be asked by the other side.

From experience there is no point just focussing on the good in these instances- far better to know every angle that may come.

  • maggie
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24 Sep 12 #357570 by maggie
Reply from maggie
There are no rules : the Law Commission consultation paper looking at "needs" in spousal maintenance found:
"Uncertainty within the current law
3.36 As we noted above, there is real uncertainty about the level of support payable and the duration for which support is to be given, whether in the form of ongoing periodical payments or in the form of a capitalised sum. The result of that
uncertainty is that the level of liability to provide support is related – in an
uncertain way – to the marital standard of living. As to duration, where a
capitalised sum is awarded it is either calculated on a Duxbury basis so as to last
a lifetime, or there is a discount on an uncertain basis; where there are periodical payments they are often made on a joint lives basis, with the onus on the payer to apply later for variation.
3.37 There may also be uncertainty arising from the fact that judicial discretion is
exercised inconsistently across the country. Practitioners have told us that there are some marked differences in the exercise of court discretion between various geographical regions. 57% of solicitors who responded to the relevant question in the Resolution survey agreed that they had issued proceedings in a certain court centre or area of the country because they believed the result would be more favourable for their client than issuing elsewhere."

In your case by issuing a nominal order the judge even put the onus on you to apply to vary /capitalise maintenance - I think you have to do that.

  • saabgirl
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24 Sep 12 #357611 by saabgirl
Reply from saabgirl

I thought I would post about my husbands successful variation of his Consent Order and Spousal Maintanence for his ex.

Brief summary of case;
Married 18 years,with two sons 11 and 14 at time Ex asked him to leave in April 2005.
His Ex started divorce proceedings after 2 years separation in April 2007(just as we got together). Divorce completed in December 2009 with Absolute.

In the end the marital assets were divided thus;
Ex got;
FMH worth £240,000 (£90,000 interest only mortgage).

SM and CM of £11,000 per annum with annual RPI variation.
To be reduced to £8,000 when there youngest son finished full time education (which he did in June 2011 at Age 19).To be payable until her re-marraige or death or further order.

My husband got;
To keep his flat with £15,000 equity and his boat worth £10,000.

There was no order for pension sharing.

In July 2011 we discovered that she had started co-habitating with her partner of 5 years.( we had been keeping an eye on the local rental agencies and knew his address)He had stayed several nights a week over the last 3/4 years, but still had his own place.

We took advice from Mills & Reeve in Cambridge who had been recommended as the best provinicial firm of solicitors outside of London by an eminent Divorce QC,(My daughter is freind with his sons and we had cheekily asked him for advice, which he gratiously gave)He said the sum of the SM did not justify using a London firm.

The advice we recevied was to wait until the co-habitation had been established for 6 months and then write to the Ex and ask for a reduction. In the end my husband waited unitl April 2012 to write. Our solicitor expected her to ignor the 1st and 2nd letter and eventually reply to a 3rd, but that she would deny it.

His Ex replied in about two weeks admitting the co-habitation from September 2011 and that her partner contributed to the household, but that she had lost her tax credits and child benefit because both there sons were now adults(22 and 19) and therefore needed some SM.

She suggested reducing the maintenance of £8,000 to £4,000 per annum. Mills & Reeve said to ''grab the offer and run'', we were all very suprised that she admitted the co-habitation and financial support and did not want to fight it through court. She did not want to pay any costs so my husband agreed to pay for 2 hours of her solicitors time, but the whole process of drafting the new Consent Order and submitted it to court was controlled by Mills & Reeve, rather than allowing her solicitors to be in control( funnily enough they used up all of the two hours that my husband agreed to pay for?!).

The application to vary the Consent Order was sent with form D11, with both there incomes listed, on 5th September and approved by the Judge on 12th. Much less time than we had thought it would take. We were unsure if the Judge would want further information as there is a big discrepancy in my husbands and his Ex''s income. That is why she had received SM in the first place.

Anyway, SM can be successful varied downwards, but it is obviously much easier if the Ex agrees and in this case she did not want to incur more legal costs, which I think is what made her agree more easily (She had already spent over £15,000 on the original divorce because she used a Barrister, my husband spent about £6,500)

We were most suprised becuase my husband does not have any contact with his Ex, apart from her telling him to vary the maintenace, and he does not discuss the divorce with his sons, and she was very aggressive in her tactics during the divorce. My husband was forced into court by his ex and she never negotiated or gave details of what sort of settlement she wanted. As a result at the Financial Hearing (2nd hearing) he was backed into a corner and had to agree to the Consent Order with about an hour to assess the whole situation, otherwise it would have gone to a Final(third)hearing and incurred even more costs, probably without a better settlement.

If anyone would like more information just let me know and take heart all those (mostly men) who pay SM, there is hope, it can be varied.

If your going through it now, dont let the system wear you down.

Good Luck


PS. I have been re-married for 3 years next week, out of the frying pan and into the fire come to mind, but I do try to travel hopefully!So far, so ggod!?

  • somuch2know2
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24 Sep 12 #357616 by somuch2know2
Reply from somuch2know2
Im just wondering if you can still apply for a variation downwards if cohabitation isnt in the consent?

  • saabgirl
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24 Sep 12 #357643 by saabgirl
Reply from saabgirl
My husbands Consent Order did not mention co-habitation, only ''re-marraige, death or further order'', but this does not exclude co-habitation and I think it is still generally considered a significant enough factor to justify a variation.

This would be more significant for the person paying maintenace if the receiver co-habited,than if the person paying SM (usually the man) co-habited.

My husbands Ex has never sought to vary the maintenance upward apart from the annual RPI increase mentioned in the original order, even though we co-habited for 3 years before we re-married (and before his divorce was final and the Consent Order agreed) and we both work, so our combined income would be greater and our outgoings reduced. My husband also rented out his flat, thus giving him extra income.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you want any further information.

Best wishes


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