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Mediation (not much) Success
#1
Hey Guys,

Got a bit of a situation resulting from mediation that I would appreciate some help with.

Background;
Co-own family home, can’t afford to buy her out
With 50/50 equity split I can afford to buy my own property
She works 16 hours a week, I work full time
Son in school, Daughter starts in September (currently in nursery 3 days a week)
I am currently living at home but sleeping on the sofa-bed (she cheated and decided upon separation)

Until last Monday we were working towards putting the house on the market in January. We had a mediation session and all of that was thrown out the window. According to the mediator, if we sold the house she would be left with a significant chunk of money, but no ability to buy her own property so would have to rent. Due to having money in the bank, she would not be entitled to housing benefit. Apparently this situation would likely not be agreed upon by the courts.

I am not willing to let her keep the house until the kids are 16 as this would mean I have no equity or investment chance for 12+ years, by which time house prices will have risen and the amount I could borrow will have been reduced by my age.

This seems to leave us with a few options, all of which gall me and make me feel like I’m being done over.

  1. We sell the house but the equity split is enormously skewed in her favour to enable us both to try and buy properties (which would still be difficult due to the value of property where we live)
  2. She stays in the house until both kids are at school, then finds a job with more hours and increases her borrowing capacity. This means I have to spend a year renting = ~£16k money down the drain
  3. I try to alter my work hours so I can spend more time on childcare, freeing her up to increase her work hours.
Can anyone explain what would be acceptable to the courts or what I can do to even things up a bit?

In the mean time we kind of agreed upon me looking for somewhere to rent in the New Year where the kids can stay with me. I’m not sure about this, but presume it would have to be me as she’s working part-time so would be less able to rent, plus she would be looking after the kids more due to nursery and school pickups, etc.

I feel like mediation is not providing me with any kind of legal support, no-one "in my corner” as it were, and our relationship at the moment is not at all amicable. I had an initial meeting with a solicitor several months ago before we decided upon mediation. Now I’m wondering whether to scrap mediation and go through a solicitor, or ask to convert mediation into a collaborative process (mediation with solicitors). Obviously either of these involve larger sums of money.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I don’t really want to go and pay out for a solicitor to find myself in the same situation with even less money.

Thanks!  Sad
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#2
(12-10-2017, 05:09 PM)jedinightnight Wrote: Hey Guys,

Got a bit of a situation resulting from mediation that I would appreciate some help with.

Background;
Co-own family home, can’t afford to buy her out
With 50/50 equity split I can afford to buy my own property
She works 16 hours a week, I work full time
Son in school, Daughter starts in September (currently in nursery 3 days a week)
I am currently living at home but sleeping on the sofa-bed (she cheated and decided upon separation)

Until last Monday we were working towards putting the house on the market in January. We had a mediation session and all of that was thrown out the window. According to the mediator, if we sold the house she would be left with a significant chunk of money, but no ability to buy her own property so would have to rent. Due to having money in the bank, she would not be entitled to housing benefit. Apparently this situation would likely not be agreed upon by the courts.

I am not willing to let her keep the house until the kids are 16 as this would mean I have no equity or investment chance for 12+ years, by which time house prices will have risen and the amount I could borrow will have been reduced by my age.

This seems to leave us with a few options, all of which gall me and make me feel like I’m being done over.

  1. We sell the house but the equity split is enormously skewed in her favour to enable us both to try and buy properties (which would still be difficult due to the value of property where we live)
  2. She stays in the house until both kids are at school, then finds a job with more hours and increases her borrowing capacity. This means I have to spend a year renting = ~£16k money down the drain
  3. I try to alter my work hours so I can spend more time on childcare, freeing her up to increase her work hours.
Can anyone explain what would be acceptable to the courts or what I can do to even things up a bit?

In the mean time we kind of agreed upon me looking for somewhere to rent in the New Year where the kids can stay with me. I’m not sure about this, but presume it would have to be me as she’s working part-time so would be less able to rent, plus she would be looking after the kids more due to nursery and school pickups, etc.

I feel like mediation is not providing me with any kind of legal support, no-one "in my corner” as it were, and our relationship at the moment is not at all amicable. I had an initial meeting with a solicitor several months ago before we decided upon mediation. Now I’m wondering whether to scrap mediation and go through a solicitor, or ask to convert mediation into a collaborative process (mediation with solicitors). Obviously either of these involve larger sums of money.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I don’t really want to go and pay out for a solicitor to find myself in the same situation with even less money.

Thanks!  Sad

My ex cheated on me and now wants everything because she does not want to be financially insecure.

I cannot tell you what would acceptable to courts, for that you'll need some good legal advice.  Assuming you go for 50/50 shared care arrangement, and you both are unable to purchase a new place, selling and renting is a viable option.  If having a portion of equity in the house allows you to take out another mortgage but not the other party then settlement will be skewed in her favour.

I can however say that option 3 is what I'd take.  To me, this is more desirable now as a dad who then wants maximum residence/contact with children in future.

If you've a larger pension (which I'd guess that you do by working full time), then that will also be taken into account. Have you completed your financial disclosures?

Given that she is working part time, has she asked for spousal maintenance?

Have you discussed "clean-break" in mediation?

BTW, have you filed a divorce petition?
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#3
Thanks Baffled, even skewing the equity heavily (12/88) currently leaves us both unable to purchase a suitable property. So the way I see it is that I buy a property and she rents, but apparently "that's not fair". }Undecided

She has not yet asked for spousal maintenance, and we have not really discussed a "clean-break". As far as I know a clean break would be where she gets more equity and no spousal maintenance?

Re the divorce petition; I have the papers and we have agreed to share the cost and that I will petition her on grounds of adultery, but I've not yet completed them.
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#4
She will be entitled to tax credits - which some lenders take into account.

Petitioning on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour is probably easier than adultery.

The other key thing is to stay in the house as if you leave (voluntarily or otherwise), she will never leave and you will probably end up paying bills for two places.
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#5
(12-11-2017, 09:55 AM)jedinightnight Wrote: Thanks Baffled, even skewing the equity heavily (12/88) currently leaves us both unable to purchase a suitable property. So the way I see it is that I buy a property and she rents, but apparently "that's not fair".  }Undecided

She has not yet asked for spousal maintenance, and we have not really discussed a "clean-break". As far as I know a clean break would be where she gets more equity and no spousal maintenance?

Re the divorce petition; I have the papers and we have agreed to share the cost and that I will petition her on grounds of adultery, but I've not yet completed them.

"Clean Break" means that you settle everything upfront and there will be no future financial commitments if your circumstances change.  This also means no spousal maintenance.
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#6
Spousal maintenance, what a joke! Why should he have to give her a penny when she's the one who had the affair.

You wouldn't reward your dog for pissing on the living room carpet.
I know it's up for me. If you steal my sunshine.  Cool
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#7
If it's any consolation, you're not the only that's had a crappy time at mediation.

My ex doesn't work, and my Mediator told me that she already had a full time job looking after the kids. These are the kids who are all in full-time education!

I felt totally ganged-up on. It was the most demoralising experience.
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