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Critique my divorce so far...
#11
I maybe wrong and someone will be along to correct me if I am. My take on spousal maintenance would be to question the fact why she has not worked for 17 years, this looks like her own decision not to as nothing was preventing her from working.

I can understand a mum staying at home when the kids are young but your son started full time education 10 years ago so I don't personally see how she can start staking a claim for spousal maintenance. The fact that she is getting £140k+ is sufficient money for her to start again essentially after separation.

Also, as mentioned by previous posters, under no circumstances leave the house until everything is finalised.
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#12
Lincoln - There is a chance the courts might (it depends who reviews the consent order) look at spousal maintenance, but on the basis the consent order is usually a formality and frankly they are not going to trying to second guess her approach or outlook, as far as they know or are concerned she is ready and willing to get back into work, she could be about to start a £50k a year job as far as they know, or care.

You've offered and suggested she get legal representation and she has declined...

My current girlfriend refused to even take child maintenance for the kids from her husband who had a great job, literally she could have been £500k better off but she didn't want the 'charity' and was determined to make it on her own, nobody from the courts came chasing after her. On that basis and she is about to sign it off you've done very well, naturally you've been more than fair with the division of assets too...
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#13
It sounds like you need to try and get her to agree to financials - via mediation. If you put it to her, that you can buy her out of the house and she'll have £140,000 to buy another house. But that if you have to pay spousal maintenance you can't afford to do that. I would expect she would be advised to go for half of both the pensions - regardless of when they were started - but don't quote me on that. Assets/capital are usually 50/50 and maintenance/income is treated separately (although as you point out they affect each other).

I think if she doesn't have a job, a court would expect to see that you were helping out financially for a period of time until she has retrained/got working again - not least because your son would be living with her half the time.

Back to the capital. Although it is usually 50/50 - sometimes there can be pension offsets. Eg she gets more of the capital in the house (or even all of it sometimes - maybe depends how much it is) and keeps the house, but doesn't get a share of the pensions. This makes things more cleancut in the future (ie when you no longer have contact and have moved on and don't want to be in contact over a pension coming up eg).

It all seems straightforward - half the house proceeds each, share the pensions (to a degree), 50/50 child care, no child support. The problem is that leaves her unable to live and pay for things for your son - she'd have to claim benefits until she found work.

The court may say in that case she should stay in the house and keep a home for your son, until she can afford to support herself.

Maybe go to mediation and see what her views are on income? Spousal support is only payable if there are children - otherwise there is no requirement to pay it - so in 3 years time it may stop anyway. Might be cheaper to wait till he's 18! And tell her to get retraining now.
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#14
Charlie and Sandman....thanks for your replies although I have to admit they scare me.

I always thought that if I am offering half of everything and she agrees and signs to say so then its a done deal?...why would a court seek to undo what we've agreed on?

I am applying for a mortgage as we speak...i'm incurring costs both for that and for the divorce and solicitor...I'm paying everything...she is paying nothing and is not looking for work.

She goes to France next week to visit her family and will be away for 3/4 weeks...on her way she's staying in London for 3 nights to go salsa dancing with her dance club...she was in Edinburgh last month doing the same....where is the damn money coming from for that?

All bets are off if the court awards her spousal maintainence...I will move out and pay the minimum required for child support....she'll have to find some work if this happens...if we stick to what we've agreed then she gets to sit on a pile of cash and do fcuk all until it runs out.....this is what she wants,she doesn't want spousal because that means I cant buy her out.


Would a court seriously look at this agreement and go against it?
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#15
Sorry I may have missed something. If she has agreed to everything - without spousal support and she has had legal advice, then it should go through.

But an example of someone I know. To avoid legal costs and solicitors being adversarial, they both went to a solicitor together and drew up a financial agreement to be sent to the court for stamping. When it got to court the Judge said he wanted to see them both to be sure that was what they wanted to agree to because they hadn't both had independent legal advice. One was happy to go to court - the other one just wanted to walk away and get the thing stamped and said they didn't want to go to court, so the judge just stamped it.

Three years later it was back in court with a claim that because they hadn't had legal advice at the time the agreement went through, it wasn't valid due to state of mind at the time. The whole thing was overturned and redone based on current circumstances. Cost a fortune.

So - I am not an expert in divorce financials but I'd say that any agreement you make to submit to a court, you need to have both had independent legal advice and there MUST be a capital clean break (that means neither can pursue the other for capital in the future). eg if you won the lottery she can't suddenly claim half of it and vice versa. Likewise if she went bankrupt she can't come back for more and claim the original settlement wasn't fair - if you have a clean break.

Spousal maintenance is something else - and dealt with separately I think. You really need some legal advice on all this. I think it's unlikely that, if she agrees to no spousal maintenance in lieu of capital - it's unlikely she could try and claim it later - but it's possible.

So the wording of the agreement may need to be the key thing. If she had legal advice, a solicitor may say to her, she's entitled to half of everything AND spousal maintenance - at least for 3 years or something. And then if that's contested you both run up loads of legal bills and there's less capital.

All I know is divorce financials can be quite complex. Capital you can deal with and draw a line under. Spousal can go up or down at any time on a claim to court.

What stage are you at with her in terms of some kind of written agreement? Has it been done via mediation for a consent order. Everything needs to be 100% legal so there are no loopholes.

It sounds like you have put common sense to her (ie if she wants spousal maintenance there won't be the capital for you both). But the mystery is - what is she planning to do for income if she agrees to this. Maybe ask her.
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#16
Thanks again Charlie...so far we've both signed divorce papers but my solicitor says he can't present the financial order until the nisi stage has been reached.

My wife is not having a solicitor....which of course is the danger area, my solicitor is writing to her to say she should have legal advice although he's explained it isn't mandatory...he'll put in a disclaimer saying she does not wish to seek legal advice and is happy with the arrangement.

My wife agrees what I am offering is fair and is happy to move on on this basis...we haven't used mediation just my solicitor.

I read all the time about people doing online "quickie " divorces without a solicitor...how do they manage it?
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#17
Hmm. It is good if it is all agreed and goes through. Do you think she has a boyfriend or someone else helping her out? I would expect the Judge would want to see both of you if she hasnt had independent legal advice before stamping the financial order.
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#18
(01-21-2019, 07:27 AM)Lincoln Wrote: Thanks again Charlie...so far we've both signed divorce papers but my solicitor says he can't present the financial order until the nisi stage has been reached.

My wife is not having a solicitor....which of course is the danger area, my solicitor is writing to her to say she should have legal advice although he's explained it isn't mandatory...he'll put in a disclaimer saying she does not wish to seek legal advice and is happy with the arrangement.

My wife agrees what I am offering is fair and is happy to move on on this basis...we haven't used mediation just my solicitor.

I read all the time about people doing online "quickie " divorces without a solicitor...how do they manage it?

My ex wife and I didn't want to make the solicitors rich so we agreed informally via a separation agreement (from this website), I then sent it off to court to get turned into a consent order at the nisi stage, to confirm that I had thought it through I got an online firm to turn the agreement into a consent order (cost me £250) and sent that off with my STBXWs signature to confirm she was happy with it all and had either had advice or didn't want it.

I pointed her to all the advice and of course she went for a 'free' session with a solicitor who said the deal outlined was fair, neither of us took it further with the lawyers. The consent order came through and I signed over properties and cash to her.

Daughter lives with me and I haven't asked for maintenance and I wish I had, I was maybe too generous/proud. The lesson? Once she signs this off, and you have pointed her in the right direction without lying to her then she has to take responsibility for herself.

A word of caution, if she has money and you don't know about it, and she is happy to take half without checking, she could have resources you don't know about? Also, when valuing assets did you value your pensions correctly (i.e. actual value is 60%-80% of CETV)?
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#19
Sounds like good advice - I may be out of date :-)
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