How to prepare myself for divorce and financial settlement

(4 Posts)
meadowquark Mon 16-Jun-14 11:52:58

I have been on the edge for few years, but finally getting my head around this and started thinking of divorce. It may not happen for the next year or so, but I want to get ready and know where I stand (and probably want to rant a little bit!).

H was unemployed when we got married and worked his career up and now earns more than me.

Our finances and accounts have always been separate.

He contributed little since he started working. Now he contributes 1/2 to the household (excluding my mortgage) and would not contribute anything more despite of earning more.

I bought my house in the first year of marriage on my name and my mortgage and with my deposit. He never showed any interest in the house. I spent thousands on improvements, furniture from my salary and the loan that I took out (this is outside our regular household budget). All he bought is a microwave, a bath mat and a BBQ grill.
I attempted to relocate once. I said "if you could add to the mortgage, we could afford something nicer". He said no, he is not interested in buying a house.

He spends his money on personal food, clothes and building up his account in his home country (non-EU) where is he planning to build a house - hence he would not contribute anything more towards us.
I pay for our holidays otherwise we would not go anywhere as a family.
He did not take out pension. He does not expect to live that long. He has a terminal condition but is perfectly healthy.

During the past few years he took out many credit cards and a large loan with fake payslips. All hidden from me so I don't know how he is managing this.

Few years ago I made my will to leave my house to our 2 kids, as I was worried that if I die he will lose the house against his debts.

There is no financial association of us in my credit report (I removed it once when it showed when he applied for a credit card).

He is a bit of Disney dad to our 2 kids. Would take them to McDonalds but would not put them to bed or do homework or spend a quality time with them. Obviously they love him but I despise him for having no values.

He has attempted cheating several times (I snooped), signed for dating websites but stopped it when he knew I found out. At the moments he chats up to girls and it does feel like he is attempting an affair (me snooping again) but those girls don't seem interested. But I do think he will cheat when he has a chance.

He very much presents himself as single. He does not wear a wedding band. His never mentions family. His profile pictures never include anyone else but himself.

He down values me. He does not like what I cook (everyone else compliments it) and then would complain that I don't cook for him. He is always wants sex. I used to think if I agree to it then he will not cheat and that will save our marriage. I don't think that anymore.
He is not listening or caring type. He is selfish. He can brag about his senior position at work but when I ask to contribute more he says "if you can pay yourself why you are asking me". Yes I can because I budget tightly. I spend 100% of my salary on the household, family holidays, house etc. He spends probably around 40% of his salary to the household. He does not account to me.

He would book holidays for himself in his home country for 5 weeks without even asking my opinion. He knows his rights but not duties. if I ask where he'd been, he says I am a control freak.

I don't need anything from him. I would like him to go and never see him again. I just want to retain my house and my pension. If that means no child maintenance (children 6 and 3) that's ok by me. I will survive. I just don't trust him and don't want to have anything in common. I am not planning to restrict visits but the person he is.. I don't think he will care.

I wonder if I can hope for fairness in financial settlement as he earns more but contributed less by his choice and rather groomed himself while I was budgeting and saving pennies. He has land and is building a house and has money in accounts in his home country but obviously I am not interested (and he may hide it during divorce?).

How can I prepare myself best? Collect evidence? Would snooping be accepted as evidence? (I hate doing that but I need to check myself in with the situation). I would like to say to him "be fair and take what's yours" but obviously that is not how it is done.

Thanks for any help!

JaneParker Mon 16-Jun-14 21:45:21

1. English divorce law does not take account of any fault in terms of financial settlements so it doesn't matter who is good or bad.
2. What you each had when you started, who was a lazy so and so, who has what in their names etc is utterly irrelevant too.
3. The starting point is add together the joint assets and then take off the debts no matter whose names all those things are in and then split that 50/50. If that is enough for you each to have a clean break - no maintenance to each other that is what is done.
4. In our case I earned more than he did so he got nearer 60% but in your case it seems the other way round.
5. Many divorces however do not have enough money to do a split and the house cannot be sold until the person who stays in it remarries or cohabits or the youngest child is 18 and only then things are split because the couple cannot afford a clean break.
6. He might of course want to live in the family home with the children whilst you move out and keep them all - there is no more reason you get the house and children than he does as the law is gender neutral. Can you or he afford to buy the other out of their share of the house? If you are not working as much as he is and mostly look after the 3 year old then it is more likely the children will live with you not him.
7. It is ilkely that if you have a pension and he does not that he will be entitled to half when you both reach retirement age - there are rules on pension splitting on divorce. In our marriage we both had a similar pension so did not need to do that.
8. The thing I would be most worried about is he has a "home country" so is foreign - check if his country treats fathers who take the children to the homeland as in the right or returns the children to the mother.

meadowquark Mon 16-Jun-14 22:10:18

Thanks Jane. What if I manage to agree with him that I am taking my house and he is not paying maintenance - can the court object to that and insist on 50/50?

I have been working so hard and he is just taking a piss. I wanted him to contribute more to the household but he refused.

Maybe I can just be permanently separated and never divorce? (so sad as I write ths myself).

JaneParker Tue 17-Jun-14 16:25:19

If you both agree that you can put that in a consent order and have it sealed by the court before your decree absolute and then it is legally binding. It would need to be on the basis of a clean break with neither adult claiming from the other after that. Sometimes the court will ask to check the person not getting their usual share knows what they are agreeing to.

Permanent separation would not really help as a judicial separation (used by people with religious objections to divorce) has the same rules. Also it is very important you get this agreement with him rather than leave it all open. In England finances are divided at date of the financial agreement sealed by the court, not at separation so unless it is agreed at the divorce time he might come back in 10 years and want half of the house as it is then valued so don't leave it open ended.

What you cannot exclude though is child support although in my case as I earn 10x more our court order makes it clear whoever the children live with (they live with me) supports them and whoever they live with I pay their school and university costs. Divorce is very unfair on the higher earner/ one with the biggest assets which of course usually advantages women although not in my case.

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