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Divorce settlement advice

(39 Posts)
Pomegranatenoir Sun 06-Oct-13 17:01:40

Hi

I am in the middle of a rather nasty divorce and we have got to the form e swapping stage. I thought I was getting good advice from my solicitor but my ex tells me that they are rubbish at every opportunity.

Feel like I'm going crazy with it all. My ex had an affair and left me with 2 children. He is also a company director, high earner, access to a lot of cash and puts majority of costs through his business.

Is there anywhere that I can go for advice other than a solicitor. I'm so scared that I am going to be left penniless. He has offered the minimum csa amount to support children but it doesn't even pay half of the childcare cost. If I accept it I will be left with £10 per week for food, clothing and classes for all of us once paying out all bills - that includes downsizing and making major sacrifices to the children's lifestyle. He will be left with over 3000 per month. And he lives with new partner.

Anniegetyourgun Sun 06-Oct-13 17:02:56

I thought I was getting good advice from my solicitor but my ex tells me that they are rubbish at every opportunity

And you believe your ex because...?

HisLommel Sun 06-Oct-13 17:03:21

Are you claiming all available tax credits, child benefit, housing benefit etc?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 06-Oct-13 17:09:19

The only alternative to a solicitor is another solicitor. However, any solicitor is going to struggle in the situation where someone is a) not in a traditional salaried role and b) too mean to support their own children. Putting costs through the business to keep the tax bill low is a very common and legitimate technique. People who use the same technique to try fooling the CSA are just cheap-jack shits. Are you satisfied that your lawyer is getting to the bottom of his real assets and earnings?

Anniegetyourgun Sun 06-Oct-13 17:11:08

Thing is, if your ex wasn't a lying, cheating, self-centred toad, you would still be happily married, right? This is not a man you can trust. It's true that by no means all solicitors are great, but then again, just think why your ex might be sneering at yours. Would it be because you are not receiving the best advice that will enable you to take the bastard to the cleaners get your fair share of marital assets? Or would it be because you are receiving good advice? Just think about that, honestly.

Pomegranatenoir Sun 06-Oct-13 17:23:41

I get tax credits but not sure what else I am entitled to. I have got a mortgage on family home - are you able to get housing benefit if you own the property?

I work full time (to try and bring in extra money was only 3 days a week before) and earn 35kish I have got a nanny for the kids but he is saying I must get rid of her, put children in nursery and after school club which breaks my heart (both under 5) sell family home and move somewhere smaller. He has also cut the amount he paid for children for last 4 months without asking or advising me and proposing a 50% cut next month. My little one needs new shoes and older one has had to stop going to swimming lessons as I now can't afford them. I simply won't be able to pay for everything long term

How can I find out what the courts will do. I'm petrified about getting into debt. I accept that lifestyle will have to change but it seems so unfair that I shoulder the childcare costs, sacrifice career development and be financially hindered by decisions. Ex does not have children over night and sees them for 12 hours every fortnight. He is being quite a bully at the moment and I feel very low. Can't seem to pick myself up because I'm so scared about what he will do next and how me and my babies will cope in the future

Pomegranatenoir Sun 06-Oct-13 17:25:11

He didn't disclose everything in form e and has 40 outstanding points/ actions that will be sent by my solicitor this week.

Lucca22 Sun 06-Oct-13 17:32:05

Don't you just hate the lying bastards, not only has he left you but he's got a nerve to rub your nose well and truly into the crap he's created. Go to citizens advice they are good at telling you up to the minute entitlements, in the mean time stick with mediation, you should get that on legal aid - it's the only thing this government is giving away at the moment! Don't sign anything if you're not happy with it, they can't force you. Good Luck and look after yourself and your children.......he can go to hell!!!!

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 06-Oct-13 17:35:28

I'd suggest you get together with your solicitor and go through all the points you're worried about. See if they can put a rocket under him. Bullying/stalling behaviour should not be tolerated even though you're aiming for a fair settlement & there will have to be compromises. Mediation is not recommended for bullies. Wheel out your big guns.

SirSugar Sun 06-Oct-13 17:38:19

get a good barrister along with the solicitor & I'm sure you'll find you do rather better than he thinks

Twinklestein Sun 06-Oct-13 17:40:18

If your solicitor really was crap it would in your ex's interest not to mention it. But there's no harm in getting a second opinion to make sure you're getting the best available advice.

Anniegetyourgun Sun 06-Oct-13 17:42:04

A solicitor who has any divorce experience should have a fair idea what a court is most likely to rule in the circumstances. Did you ask them? If they have no idea, maybe your ex is right after all confused

Have you done any research of your own into this? There's bags on the internet, although of course every case is a bit different. As I understand it (mind you my divorce was over 5 years ago now and there weren't any company directorships in the mix!) you should be looking at 50% of marital assets at the very least, and the non-resident parent should be paying at least 25% of their income towards the keep of two or more children. You may have the right to stay in the family home until the youngest child is 18, although of course ex would retain a percentage interest in it which he would collect on sale (which is fair enough).

You absolutely do not have to listen to ex telling you you "must" do this or that. It is for the court to decide how much you should be getting, based on the information your ex is required by law to provide, and for you to decide how you will then manage on what you get out of it. I am fairly sure that your solicitor will be advising not to be doing any downsizing at this time. Meanwhile ex is trying to beat you down quickly by paying you too little for keep whilst dragging his feet on the paperwork, so that you agree to all sorts of things you shouldn't. Stop panicking, stop believing the arse and get hold of information from a more reliable source! (The Legal and Divorce topics here on Mumsnet may be helpful for a start, CAB, Directgov, family solicitor websites etc.)

Wellwobbly Sun 06-Oct-13 18:07:46

Forensic accountant, go to court.

Sleepyhoglet Sun 06-Oct-13 18:11:17

Are you staying in the family house? Can you afford the mortgage? Will it actually be cheaper to have 4 children in nursery etc than a nanny? Have you submitted these costs and told your ex h the proposed amounts? Could you propose an agreement where he pays all childcare costs up to the age of 18.

Pomegranatenoir Sun 06-Oct-13 18:21:48

I would like to stay in the house but he says we can't. He offered all of the equity in house (anything from 50-90k) but house must be sold and me to pay all legal costs in selling. He said he will pay £700 per month. After I've paid childcare and my car all I have left each money his couple of hundred. There is no way I could get a mortgage or rent. Just don't know how I can make it all work.

I feel like a wreck with all the worry. Can't concentrate on work, going through redundancy consultations, stressed about finding other childcare and then he is bullying me. I just want it to be over

comingintomyown Sun 06-Oct-13 18:43:42

"I just want it to be over "

Do not succumb to that feeling once you have settled there is no going back and you owe it to your DC to fight for a fair deal

Wellwobbly Sun 06-Oct-13 18:47:58

He says. He wants. He thinks. He.

It is what the courts say, think and want, OP.

Change your habits! Stop listening to what he ...

What do YOU want, think, say? Listen to your solicitor, not him.

Wellwobbly Sun 06-Oct-13 18:48:53

Forensic accountant!

akaWisey Sun 06-Oct-13 18:52:40

Well I think he's spinning you the line he'd like you to believe OP.

Your sol should be gathering ALL PROOF of both your's and your errant fuckwit h's income and assets. That takes time and even more time if he's dragging his heels and trying to hide assets (which they often do).

Please don't let him grind you down. If you're not satisfied that your solicitor has teeth like these grin then you can seek advice from another (like I had too) who will talk in 'nuclear options' (like my last one did, and it worked - eventually).

I know what this all feels like, I've been there. Stay with it.

LordElpuss Sun 06-Oct-13 19:17:13

Whilst I'm sympathetic to your plight (I loathe bullies and cheats), I'm struggling to see how you won't be able to survive on a salary of £35,000 plus tax credits plus CB plus £700 maintenance from your ex. Obviously the nanny will have to be made redundant, she's a luxury you won't be able to afford but I really don't think you'll be on your uppers with the kind of income you're anticipating.

Or maybe I've missed something confused

akaWisey Sun 06-Oct-13 19:24:45

The OP won't get tax credits. I had mine stopped because the rules changed and the earnings bracket changed. If they pay by mistake it will all have to be paid back - by the OP.

it also depends on the mortgage repayments and the on-costs of running the home. It's all relative. But I agree a nanny is a luxury.

OvertiredandConfused Sun 06-Oct-13 19:24:45

Sorry I can't help with most of your issues but I wanted to make a suggestion about childcare options.

Think about an au pair rather than a nanny - about £80 per week and pre- and post- school childcare will be covered and you'll have another adult in the house. Ours also does some housework and ironing - real, practical support for a single parent.

You really have to look after yourself. I was all for being reasonable until my solicitor yelled at me - he doesn't care anymore, and she was so right! My barrister was excellent - worth every penny. It has cost me a lot to get my financial settlement (5 court sessions) and now ex is likely soon to be going back to court after more time with DS. So if you can snoop - it may not be admissible but it is useful to you to know. When I was clearing out paper work that ex had forgotten to take there were all sorts of useful bits which substantiated that I had contributed financially for years as well as the other. You will only get 1 main chance to fight so you owe it to yourself to do so. I was reasonably happy with my settlement but the anger over how ex and OW behaved will never leave me I fear.

LordElpuss Sun 06-Oct-13 19:39:52

akaWisey - I'm going off what OP said, that she gets tax credits.

Pomegranatenoir Sun 06-Oct-13 19:58:14

I get them now because I they go off last years earnings and I was working 3 days a week and in maternity leave. Moving forward I will get approx £300 per month. Childcare at present is 1700 or a nursery and after school is 1200. I bring in around £2100 every month. I used to have a car including fuel and insurance from my exs business. That was taken off me when he left. I now have a car and including petrol it costs £550 per month (majority on fuel because I travel for work). So 2100 - 1200 - 550 then take off 200 for in Payments off debts he left me with leaves 150. Add his contribution of 700 plus tax credit of 300 leaves me with 1150 to pay for a house, energy bills, council tax, insurances, phones and tv licence, food, clothes, school trips, school dinners etc. not even considering holidays, birthdays and Christmas. I can't make it work at all.

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