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Just had my FDA, need advice
#1
Hello all,

Just had my FDA, which was relatively unremarkable, except for the deals the opposing solicitor (i'm self representing so far) offered me. 

So, the situation:

Separated in August last year after marriage of fourteen years. Had a mortgage since Oct 2000 (in both names since day one) which has about £37k left on it outstanding. House is worth around £240k, so equity of about £200k.

I've a salary of £65k, my ex has no real skills, is working part time 7.5 hours/week on pretty much minimum wage. She had a few jobs during our marriage, but always found them too hard after a while and gave them up.

The opposing solicitor seems confident that the best way forward is for the matrimonial home to be sold, with my ex getting all the proceeds after paying off the mortgage, so a little over £200k. This would then be a "clean break" situation (except for child maintenance).

I really dont see this as equality.. I find it very frustrating that I can work long hours, have worked hard to pay for that house, when my ex has spent a lot of the last fourteen years going for coffee with her friends, for her to walk away with the proceeds.

I'm now going to get legal advice, I'll have to (ex has run up bills of over £6k already.. ugh..), but any and all advice from here is much welcomed!

Thanks

cw74
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#2
(07-13-2017, 10:15 AM)cw74 Wrote: Hello all,

Just had my FDA, which was relatively unremarkable, except for the deals the opposing solicitor (i'm self representing so far) offered me. 

So, the situation:

Separated in August last year after marriage of fourteen years. Had a mortgage since Oct 2000 (in both names since day one) which has about £37k left on it outstanding. House is worth around £240k, so equity of about £200k.

I've a salary of £65k, my ex has no real skills, is working part time 7.5 hours/week on pretty much minimum wage. She had a few jobs during our marriage, but always found them too hard after a while and gave them up.

The opposing solicitor seems confident that the best way forward is for the matrimonial home to be sold, with my ex getting all the proceeds after paying off the mortgage, so a little over £200k. This would then be a "clean break" situation (except for child maintenance).

I really dont see this as equality.. I find it very frustrating that I can work long hours, have worked hard to pay for that house, when my ex has spent a lot of the last fourteen years going for coffee with her friends, for her to walk away with the proceeds.

I'm now going to get legal advice, I'll have to (ex has run up bills of over £6k already.. ugh..), but any and all advice from here is much welcomed!

Thanks

cw74

Her Solicitor is trying to get the best deal for their client.

The fact is that you are due over 50%, due to the last years payments. I do not know if you had a 20 or 25 year Mortgage, but you have paid more or less 4 or 5% of it yourself, with "Family Money" paying the rest.

Therefore, she is only due 48% of the profit.

The angle she is coming from is called "Spouce Maintance".  She needs to show that she was disadvantaged in the relatinship, where decisions about her work was affected by the needs of the Family.

The Court would have to look at what her position was at the start of the relatinship, and how much it was affected due to it. Then if the "Finding" was she was disadvantaged they would at your ability to help her out. However, these days its not ongoing Orders, its how long the Judge decides it would take her to get to where she would of been with her job in terms of income, if she had not been disadvantaged.

It would not be normal, for any award she gets to be worth your half of the house.

Any more she got from this would also affect her Benefits, as only Child Support and Child Benefit do not count for them. Its a Pound for Pound reduction if she has Spounce Maintance Income.

Having over £6000 in the bank disallows most benefits, and reduces some.

http://www.entitledto.co.uk will set out what she would have coming in. If she started to work over 16 hours as a single person, she would get Working Tax Credit, of about £70 per week the first year based on her current working hours.  If on Natiional min wage, it would still remain at £50 per week from the 2nd year of a claim.

Therefore, when working out getting her income from work back on track, this also needs to be taken into account.

I do not know how many children are invoved in the case, but on 65k with 1 child, with normal contact of Friday till Sunday every 2 weeks, and 4-half school holidays, you would have to pay £117 per week, about £500 per month in Child Support, what would not count towards her benefits.

Therefore it also brings into question if affordablity would allow her claim or not also. Just because you might not be able to fund any claim now, does not in law give her the right to take your half of the house profit.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#3
Just to add to Marks post. From what you say, your ex was not career minded when you met and married and did not give up a lucrative career to be a homemaker and mother. I personally think her solicitor is being over optimistic and/or is trying it on.
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#4
Thanks guys, much appreciated. It was a 24 year mortgage, and just the 1 child (age 10) so your figures will be spot on Mark. I get her every other weekend, plus one overnight in those two weeks, plus five weeks holiday, paying £496 child maintenance.

Interesting play by her lawyer really, it was very much a "this is going to happen anyway, may as well save time" approach. I made a counter offer that I would pay the remaining mortgage payments, and my ex could stay in the house until the 18th/19th birthday of my daughter, at which point it would be sold and I'd recoup my mortgage payments since the date of separation before splitting the rest of the profits 50/50. She said in 30 years of being a lawyer she'd never heard of this.. Seems to me a good solution though, I'm providing housing for my ex/daughter.

Notably the lawyer made great mention about her offer being "without prejudice", not sure if this is significant.

One other side question, not sure if its worth mentioning - when we had to file the questionnaire and form g etc recently my ex's lawyer missed the deadline (by six days I think) to file in court. Is it worth bringing that up at all in court? Amazed how much my ex has paid for these lawyers so far, and they appear to be late (they've misled me a few times by email about things happening too), and documents are riddled with spelling mistakes..
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#5
'without prejudice' means that the correspondence and the offers contained in it cannot be used in court.

Interesting that the lawyer has never heard of this sort of arrangement, it has been used for many years and still continues to be used in some cases. I think she is bluffing - and is doing so because you don't have a lawyer backing you up. One word of caution. Don't be too sure that you will be able to recover all of the mortgage payments (capital and interest) when you come to sell the property. Get a reputable lawyer (and get and check references from their previous clients) and make sure that any agreement cannot be challenged but is able to be amended (by agreement) if circumstances change, including a provision to sell the property if you need to and a provision if she remarries or co-habits.

In regards to late filing. You won't need to bring this up, the court will already know that its been filed late.
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#6
I've had a written settlement offer through, which I think is ridiculous but I'd be interested to know any thoughts. I've just copied the actual terms here..

--
1. The property is transferred to our client free of any further interest by yourself.
2. Our client would use her best endeavours to obtain your release from your mortgage covenants.
3. Additionally our client would retain the contents of the home.
4. You would each retain your own assets and liabilities without claim from the other including you retaining your pension.
5. You would agree to a child maintenance order in the sum of £500 per month to continue until such time as {child} reaches the age of 18 years or ceases full time education whichever is the later.
6. The settlement would be on a clean break basis which means that all your respective financial claims would be dismissed including future inheritance claims.
7. You would each pay your own costs.

We would refer you to the House of Lords case of White v White which established that the breadwinner is to be considered the same as the homemaker in these situations.
--

So, to break it down - they are asking for my ~52% share of the house in exchange for maybe getting off the mortgage. Also paying £500/month until the end of full time education (which I presume means after university), and ignoring any future inheritance claims (there is one outstanding one, which tbh I wasn't really interested in anyway but having it specifically noted seems indicative of something).

Also, this White v White mention - can anyone advise on this?

Thanks

cw74
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#7
It's a case in regard to distribution of assets. Does your ex work? You really do need to get yourself a lawyer!
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#8
(08-04-2017, 08:05 AM)Nickyd Wrote: It's a case in regard to distribution of assets. Does your ex work?  You really do need to get yourself a lawyer!

Just the 7.5 hours/week, although there's little reason why that's not more. This seems like a simple no to me...
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#9
The reason I asked is how on earth will she get a mortgage and or remove you from the existing one if her earnings are low? I still believe that her lawyer is trying it on because you're not represented. Reject the offer.
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#10
I've had similar and been shafted..

as above but the judge awarded in her favour and gave her the house and contents and even my shares but left my pension alone..my ex is also unable to get a mortgage so im stuck on it and I cant get property either..all im left with if massive debts
what was mentioned by her solicitor at the time was a mesher order. Maybe throw that in the mix. She stays in the house etc and you split it when you kids 18 as you have requested

also be wary of the contents issue as mine to that meant all of my personal possessions including my passed away parents stuff and also my school stuff!!..ive tried to get this back but the police wont touch it as its a civil action, the ex is just taking my stuff to the local tip out of spite and there's f'all I can do about it

ps mine is a lazy sod and only does the minimum required to get full benefits and gets spousal as I used to pay her gym membership and car insurance!!

the law is a farce
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