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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.


Do you need help sorting out a fair financial settlement?

Our consultant service offers expert advice and support to help you reach agreement on a fair financial settlement quickly, and for less than a quarter of the cost of using a traditional high street solicitor.


I think this could get dragged out!

  • divigirl
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01 Aug 12 #346769 by divigirl
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Hi everyone...

Decree Nisi done and dusted. Now at financial stage.

I am main carer of 6 year old child. Married for 6 yrs, lived together for 3 before that. (separated for over 1 yr now)

When the marriage broke down stbx would not moved out while we sorted out the divorce. Therefore FMH was sold, proceeds were split 50/50 and topped up with mortgages. (in both names) to purchase two smaller properties. One for me and daughter to live in, one for him.

He currently pays the mortgage on this property.(mortgage for both properties is less than FMH). He does not pay child maintenance, he says paying mortgage is in leui of child maintenance at the moment. He pays for my HP car monthly (I need it for 40 mile school run each day) as after 6 months I could no longer make the payments. The choice was for him to pay it or for me to hand the car back.

When we split I had no income, I''m trying to build up a small business but it is only part time work at the moment. Financial advisor has said I *might* be able to obtain a 50k mortgage as the property has a fair percentage of equity but the mortgage on this property is 80K (my mum lent me 25K to put onto house - property is worth 170K).

We are trying to reach a settlement. stbx will not agree to a fairer split in my favour so I am able to take on this mortgage myself and be completely separate from him. The only thing he has offered is to take on a small loan to pay my car off so I have that for myself and to keep his name on the mortgage so if I haven''t managed to release him by the time daughter is 18, the house then has to be sold. We are not amicable at all and I just want to be free of him, especially financially!! I despise the thought of still being tied to him via the house financially. I want to move on! His mortgage is only 60K, ''mine'' is 80K.

I am not laying claim to spousal maintenance, his pensions etc.

I receive about 650 a month (inc tax credits), he earns about 2k+. (and is self employed so we know what that means!) Is this fair? I am on legal aid and solicitor is not very forthcoming with any ideas at all! Just asks me what I want to do - no advice! Please help!

He laughed at me when I said if we can''t agree then we will have to go to court and he just laughed at me. I''m scared!

  • sexysadie
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01 Aug 12 #346775 by sexysadie
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Let him laugh. You probably will have to go to court and he won''t find that funny at all.

Your solicitor is probably waiting to see whether you can sort things out amicably. However, if your husband thinks that he can get away with just giving you half the value of the house and no pension share or spouse maintenance he can think again. He might not earn enough for spouse maintenance but you should be able to get either a higher percentage of the property split, or a pension share, or both. Talk to your solicitor about going for this and see what he or she says.

Best wishes,
Sadie

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01 Aug 12 #346776 by divigirl
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Thank you Sadie... I don''t know why I let him affect me to be honest but its very hard when all I''m trying to do is be self sufficient financially. He thinks I''ve had more than enough already! *sigh*

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02 Aug 12 #346866 by cookie2
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Hum, this is the problem with selling the house and splitting the equity before a Consent Order is drawn up. You gave him 50% of the money. Now you will find that very hard to undo or to get any of it back. After all, your housing needs are met, his housing needs are met, what possible justification could you make to get a lump sum from him? If you had got it all sorted before selling then you would have had a much better chance of getting more than 50%. But, I guess there''s no point crying over split milk.

So what to do now? He says the mortgage payments is in lieu of child support, is this true? Is the amount the same, or is he paying less or more than the CSA amount?

His pension, how much is this worth? Could you ask for more equity in lieu of a pension share? How much is your car loan that he is offering to pay off?

He was quite foolish to agree to a joint mortgage on your new property, and will probably have to stay on it until you can release him. No doubt there will be a "best endeavours" clause in there. If he does end up giving you a lump sum then you could use this to reduce your mortgage, and get it put into your sole name.

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02 Aug 12 #346919 by divigirl
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Thanks cookie. Yes my housing needs are met but only because he is paying the mortgage at the moment, and he doesnt intend to continue to pay it. It was either a case of paying the mortgage or paying child maintenance as far as he is concerned. He has chosen to pay the mortgage (320 a month) for now, until a settlement is reached... then he planned to pay £350 a month child maintenance and for me to take on the mortgage. But I can''t take on the mortgage fully myself on such a low income.... The solicitor said the same thing, he''s managed to tie things up nicely before we split, obviously got advice.

I don''t want the clause in there that keeps him on the mortgage because I dont want to have anymore to do with him other than a quick changover on access days. He''s a horrid man who is the bane of my life and I just want rid! He lives just around the corner also which is awful.

Would an alternative be for us to sell the houses and just walk away with the money so I can start again elsewhere?

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02 Aug 12 #346925 by cookie2
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divigirl wrote:

I don''t want the clause in there that keeps him on the mortgage

There would not be any such clause. There would be a clause that says you would use your best endeavours to remove him. But as you say you are not currently in a situation where you can take on a sole mortgage. So how do you propose to get him off? Most mortgage companies will lend you 3.5x your salary, so to get a sole mortgage you would either need to increase your earnings or decrease the mortgage amount. If you can''t do either of those then it''s just tough luck, he will have to stay on it.

Would an alternative be for us to sell the houses and just walk away with the money so I can start again elsewhere?

Yes that would be possible, but only if your husband agreed. If he says no then it''s pretty unlikely he could be forced to sell his house. And lets face it, why would he say yes? He presumably is quite happy with the status quo.

If you want to sell yours and get a cheaper one that you can afford a sole mortgage on, then you can go right ahead and do that. But I would get the Consent Order sorted first.

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02 Aug 12 #346929 by divigirl
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The only suggestion was for him to pay a lump sum off the mortgage so I could then take it on myself...(leading to a fairer 65/35ish split but as you say, if its gone down the 50/50 split so far.. not likely to happen. We''ve already had the best endeavours letter.. but why would I want to keep him on a mortgage knowing the house will have to be sold in 12 years time. If the split will not be any further in my favour, might as well sell this house and get out of dodge because the only reason we''re here is for his convenient benefit!

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