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dividing assets and also i have a mental illness

  • LittleMrMike
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03 Sep 12 #353524 by LittleMrMike
Reply from LittleMrMike
I see you are waiting to hear from me.
Anyone who suffers from mental illness deserves our sympathy and understanding.
I have been thinking about what I might say to you, because I am conscious that I am not an expert in mental health, nor do I pretend to be.
I do not wish to recount to you the history of my first star-crossed marriage, save only to say that I never blamed my ex and even after divorce I kept in touch, sent her presents on her birthday and for Christmas, and time is a great healer.
For most of the time afterwards my ex was in a care home, as you are.
My general understanding was that a patient is allowed to keep capital up to a certain figure ( it''s about £15,000, but I''m not sure and it varies each year anyway ) and if the patient has capital in excess of a certain figure ( I think it''s about £22,000 ) then (s)he will have to bear the full costs of the care home until the capital is reduced to below the £22K.
Now if we look at this from the point of view of the situation you are in, the fact that you suffer from mental illness is not a reason for depriving you of your entitlement to share in the fruits of a failed marriage.
In my case the marital home was sold and she got 2/3 of it, a settlement which I regarded as fair ( and still do ) but I suspect her circumstances and yours would be different.
But what a Court has to do is to try and divide the assets fairly between the former spouses. The most basic need both of you have is somewhere to live. In your case you have, as I understand, children. I didn''t, and it would have made a difference to the settlement if I had done.
As I said, the Courts are directed by statute to give priority to the needs of any dependent children of the marriage. In most cases this means that the needs of the parent with care ( PWC ) will take priority. This can mean that the PWC may have the right to remain in the former marital home until the children are no longer dependent. If the marital home is sold, she ( without wishing to be sexist, it usually is the mother ) may have a larger share of the equity.
But this does not mean your own needs are unimportant. You have to have somewhere to live too. What you are being offered is, on the face it, a disproportionately low share of the proceeds. But if there are other assets - not just the marital home - then they have to be considered too and in principle you would be entitled to a share in those assets.
Given the nature of your illness, your housing needs require careful consideration, probably by professionals. But if you can come away with enough to buy yourself accommodation outright, then this may be the solution you should be aiming at.
I say this because £40-50 K in the bank will immediately disqualify you from all means tested benefits, but capital which is used to buy accommodation for your own use is not counted against you.
I have to stress that I can only talk generally here. It seems to me that your future housing needs must be assessed as a first step.
Good luck

  • soulruler
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03 Sep 12 #353545 by soulruler
Reply from soulruler
LLM I agree with your sentiments that professional health team is the best place to start.

Actually it was I think a year or so back in my proceedings (which have left me in fear at various times of going insane and my mind just snapping) anyway, I was speaking to one of my ex family lawyers about the effects the proceedings were having on my mental health (various phscyiatrists reports, endless trips to the doctors for medication, over use and dependence on alcohol - continually increasing levels of fear and terror not least because I had been threatened with a knife but also my ex had tried to have me sectioned under the mental health act when he knew as did "she" that they had gone out for months to deliberately drive me insane) - the result of the conversation with him was that if I was unfit in state of mind to represent myself in court that I could be represented by the official solicitor.

The official solicitor is a court appointed solicitor who has expertise in mental health problems as well as expertise in the law.

I think that the best way forward would be for Kool to discuss this with his mental health team in the first instance in order that he can get the expert advise and support that he needs and also so that his wife and child can equally be protected and maybe in the longer term the UK Tax payer.

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