So this is the scenario. You sit in a courtroom (the Repondent (Me), the Petitioner (her) and each one's solicitor and a judge. Everyone knows (except the judge) the in's and out's of the case..especially the two of you getting divorced..but at the second hearing it's still up to the solicitors to do the talking on your behalf..so this is the point all the money you've paid comes to fruition (or not). The piles of paperwork..the details of the case.. the solicitors advice about 'what you should be entitled to' come to pretty much naught when it's all about the opinion of one other human being..the judge. So my solicitor gave the talk.. about my age.. the dependants I have (or had) and what I can afford...thyen my stbx's guy did the same... but of course there is only a limited pot (as we knew from the off)..so it comes out at a compromise which in an ideal world the two people divorcing should have worked out between themselves. Except that one or both of you couldn't face the truth or allow for common sense to prevail. My stbx had previously ranted at me in emails etc about how I had wasted so much time 'dragging my feet' so it was with interest I noted her solicitor saying that I had a 'needs' case when my youngest was at home..(she always discounted my kids as a factor) So it took me 18 months and 11K to get to the admission I had a lot to care about and for.... My solicitor asked for a perxcenatge..(a bit high even in my opinion..I guess he's used to bargaining...) and the final split was 61.5 to me and 28.5 to her.. so I WIN (lol).... Actually.. that split doesn't give me quite what I wanted in terms of equity but its better than the 50/50 she wanted. i sat in the meeting room (you have an hour pre and 30 minutes post court to strike a bargain) and told my brief I wanted it over today.. to walk out of here knowing a result..almost so sick of it I would have taken a tighter cut...I'm not much at negotiation...I feel sorry for everyone... So in the end I could have taken it to a third hearing when I could have actually spoken in court and not remained frustrated and mute... You sit there and your solicitor does the talking.. so bloody frustrating. Now.. its not over yet. We both have to agree a sale of the house. She will want to sell at a below price offer wher as I can't take any loss..so I can go back and ask her for more precentage points in order to agree a sale.. It lingers on.. I'm looking for a new house.. keeping the present one in good order and neat.. she just waits for the offers...but still has to pay 50% of the mortgage... Swings and roundabouts!!! I'll need to move into a smaller place and hope I can keep maintenance for my youngest daughter on a voluntary basis... the court seemed to discount all this and as my soklictor said (to the court) because I'm a man with the kids I'm perceived differently and if the genders were reversed I would have walked away with much more....It is what it is.. Hope this helps the next one['s in line?!!
Very interesting to read your account, as I am heading rapidly towards the same experience.
Unfortunately I am in the opposite position in that my stbx wife has the almost-grown-up children and the property and I have moved out into rented to escape her abuse. She now claims she is too ill to work so I expect a huge claim on joint assets from her.
Amanda, I guess I was bemused and confused by much of the process. The whole legal juggernaut... At the end of the day a relative stranger (your solicitor) tries to pursuade a complete stranger (the judge) of how needy you are..how much you should be entitled to. The other side argues their case and it comes out at the end... I didn't think the outcome was in my hands...but then again I didn't know what to expct having never been here before...
Not sure that helps..