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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

  • somuch2know2
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21 Sep 12 #357078 by somuch2know2
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He agreed to the nominal SM, as he probably would have been advised that getting out of it would have been impossible.

It sounds like you went to Final Hearing in which case they most certainly would have taken into consideration the ages of your children and any illnesses.

How long have you been divorced for? and why were you forced to quit? These will all be asked if you go back to court.

You no longer have 2 children living with you, you have 2 adults who can be contributing to the household bills. To counter your argument, your ex has just one person living with him, while you have 2 able bodies.

  • Gillian48
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21 Sep 12 #357104 by Gillian48
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Yes it did go a final hearing but didn''t go in my favour, I was forced to quit work as the length of time I was off work due to illness - they''re offered to retire me on I''ll health hence the small monthly pension. As you say I''m aware of 2 adults who could contribute to household bills but as I stated before one is leaving school soon and if they were lucky to get a job they certainly wouldn''t earn enough to be self sufficient or to be able to contribute much towards the household bills. Certainly not to the extent of the money in csa , tax credits etc.. I would lose. I understood they looked at the 2 incomes the 2 expenses and then decided on the difference what payment would be made. Obviously not then? Un-like others I am not and never have spent money unnecessarily -everything I get goes on my kids. I was told we should live similar lifestyles as when we were married now divorced - well that was a load of old tosh. I can''t even afford to put my heating on whereas the ex flies all over the world on exoctic holiday to keep warm! I just want whats fair and reasonable. Obviously I have been given the wrong advice?

  • Fiona
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21 Sep 12 #357109 by Fiona
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Care needs to be taken not to confuse spouse maintenance with child maintenance. Dependent children under 18 are the priority and generally over 18''s are considered independent. However, under Schedule 1, Children act 1989 over 18s in education studying for a first degree can apply for maintenance from separated parents in their own right and at the moment they would qualify for legal aid.

A nominal amount of spouse maintenance an be awarded so that if circumstances change an application can be made to vary it. Often the intention of a nominal order is to provide insurance so that if the parent with the majority of care is made redundant or loses their job children don''t suffer undue hardship.

If an order isn''t time limited it''s more likely that the courts recognised that the recipient is unlikely to be able to become self sufficient and the order might need to be changed at some point if the circumstances change so they don''t suffer undue hardship. In this case children leaving home and the ending of CB, CM and tax credits along with the payer''s salary increases and having a new partner to share living expenses are changes in circumstances that can justify varying an order upwards.

My suggestion would be to consult a solicitor with knowledge of the law and day-today experience of working with the courts to find out where you stand and what options there are. There are differences in the practices in courts and a local solicitor is in the best position to advise initially even if you then decide to negotiate or apply to court yourself.

  • Gillian48
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21 Sep 12 #357131 by Gillian48
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Thank you Fiona - I appreciate your more positive response the others seem to think I''m just after money to fritter away and live a lavish lifestyle. I understand the difference between cm and sm - its sm which I want increasing. It''s currently nominal and I am struggling to cope hence wanting an increase my circumstances have changed drastically as have my ex''s he''s got less outgoings with a huge salary increase. I have seen a solicitor who has explained we need to fill in the form E''s and go through e court process as before with the divorce. Once these forms are filled in the true picture will be shown and maybe the court will come to a correct decision.
Thank you for your help and advice. Hopefully justice will prevail after all.

  • somuch2know2
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21 Sep 12 #357144 by somuch2know2
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Sorry if I sound negative, but I keep thinking if I were your husband and my ex came back after several years on the basis that I had a new partner and more money I would be furious.

Your children may have finished school ending CM etc but they are still living at home. I dont understand why you expect your ex to contribut and not your adult children? If they were not living at home they would have to pay rent, bills and pay for food.

What were the terms of your retirement? Does it actually say you were retired due to illness? Or does it simply say ''retired''? As some may argue that if it didnt say that, that you chose to retire early and therefor not getting the maximum from your pension.

If your illness prohibits any form of work do you qualify for benefits?

Did your illness get worse?

How long ago was the original consent signed?

Im just trying to understand what grounds are ''exceptional'' as from what was read no facts are new from thos that were originally risen for the first Consent Order other than the ex increasing his income and having a partner?

  • julie321
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21 Sep 12 #357149 by julie321
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I am totally confused with this post.
As I see it Chocholic isw loosing child benefit and tax credits due to her children becoming young adults and leaving school. She is going to be a lot worse off therefore if she has the chance to increase sm because of need why shouldn''t she.

I myself am in the same situation regarding benefits as my daughter leaves for uni next month. I have 608 pound per month coming in and have lost 300 in credits, on top of which my stbx is now saying he is going to stop all maintenance of 600 pound, so I have lost 900 all together.

I wish chocoholic all the best as she is only trying to keep a roof over her families head, something I think her ex should help with.

  • soulruler
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21 Sep 12 #357150 by soulruler
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Well, I do remember a discussion which Fiona got involved with regarding a Consent Order that maintenence ended at a specific date and Fionas response was that you could always apply for a variation in maintenence but had to prove why it was viable (or words to that effect).

I think bearing in mind the original posters circumstance and a possibly not well thought out original maintenence order that she may well have grounds for an application for variation, or that her children have grounds to apply themselves.

It is all very well for a departing spouse to rely on the state (by way of WTC and Child Benefit) to support their children and subsidize their ex spouse but in practical terms these days with children reaching maturity not able to personally rehouse or going on to further education and still having many costs as well as needing a place to live in the holidays I think it necessary for an absent parent to properly consider their personal costs, their need for food and their need for accommodation whether that be in one place or two.

I know from my own daughters perspective (she chose to leave school at 16 and not go into further education or into A levels) that it has been extremely hard for her to find a job, most jobs these days for school leavers seem to be in service work such as shops and bars, in care for the elderly (not sure that the average youngster should be forced into that sort of caring role).

Fortunately for my daughter after many attempts she now works for an estate agency but her salary is basic and she has to have her own car (which I insure) and it doesn''t actually leave her with much to pay me (well she pays me nothing at present as she is paying for her car) in the way of board and lodging.

It is very hard for youngsters these days as it is hard for the parents who are concerned with their outlook and their financial future in life.

Just because a father might be furious it is not in my view a reason why a mother should not consider some sort of maintenence review if she believes that he can afford it - children are for life they are not dogs that die at 18.

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