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Divorce finances...

(18 Posts)
Ostagazuzulum Wed 20-May-20 20:38:20

Put on here for traffic...putting this on behalf of a friend. She has mental health issues and on one of her more manic moments has done something that's resulted in her husband asking for a divorce. After a really tough time she's got her condition under control with meds and support. At the moment they're still living in the marital home with their 9 year old d. Husband is keeping house and living there with DS but they're still Cohabiting until divorce goes through. House is being split fairly however he's buying her half off her by selling his shares. Shares are solely his but as they've been married for 14 years and together for 2 years before they got married surely they would be considered marital asset? Is he paying her off with something she's entitled to??

He's got really cagey about the documents and seems to be playing on her mental health to take advantage by not telling her anything and pushing her into signing documents. At moment she's trying to find ways to resist signing without causing an argument. Any advice from personal experience? She can't afford a solicitor. Thanks

GinDaddyRedux Wed 20-May-20 20:46:11


JavaQ Wed 20-May-20 20:47:45

it is a marital asset whether he likes it or not. (I am not a lawyer btw!)
14 years
9yo kid
lots of water under the bridge, so division of previous assets could get murky.

she MUST get assistance as she wont have a house- and who is deciding how much the house is worth? Him?!

LakieLady Wed 20-May-20 21:17:33

I'd say marital asset. My ex's savings were all in the pot when the court divied things up.

Also not a lawyer!

planningaheadtoday Wed 20-May-20 21:25:06

It's a shared marital asset. They both (immediately) need to fill out the form E for the divorce which each party has to state assets held.

This clarifies it.

She needs advice from a good solicitor.

The reason it has to be done immediately is that only the past 13 months are valid for declaration. So if he has known that the will be divorcing for longer than 12 months it's easy to dispose of assets and not have to declare them.

Get her to get this rolling ASAP. And no, she cannot be paid off with what is in effect her own portion of marital assets.

He won't want this know as if he can't do this he might not be able to afford to buy her out. But she needs to know.

A way around is to put a hold on part of the house so when it's sold eventually she will get her portion then.

Please tell her to get decent legal advice tomorrow!

planningaheadtoday Wed 20-May-20 21:25:44

Typo, it's 12 months

BumpBundle Wed 20-May-20 21:34:37

I am a lawyer - although not a family lawyer.
There's a good chance that shares are a business asset and therefore separate from the marital assets if they're separated by a limited liability arrangement.
It's worth remembering that the court decides the division of assets and what they agree isn't final. It's also worth remembering that until the divorce, they can spend or sell or give away anything to prevent it being considered in the final divorce order. In theory, she could sell him her half of the house for the shares, then liquidate the shares, spend that money on a holiday and then petition the court to get her half of the house back as a marital asset (although it's unlikely a judge wouldn't see right through that). There are also other things to consider here - like a mortgage. If there is still a mortgage on the house then she's liable for half the mortgage even if she sells her half of the house.
Also, where there's an expectation of undue influence (like a husband and wife) then banks (and similar bodies) can't process anything unless they insist she gets independent advice (from a lawyer or financial advisor). She really needs to speak to a lawyer to be honest.

Ostagazuzulum Thu 21-May-20 10:09:18

This is all great advice. Thanks for taking time to reply! I'll call her today.
FYI he's decided the value of house. Then knocked off £25k for what he thinks will be decreases value of corona virus effect and then taken off what's remaining on mortgage and offered her half of that, only.
Not sure if that's confusing. Basically house is worth £325k. He's reduced it to £300k. £50k left of mortgage to pay so he put equity at £250k and has offered her £125k not taking into account his shares or savings etc.

Ostagazuzulum Thu 21-May-20 10:09:57

And she has no shares or savings of her own. They're not linked to a business either (or they're both civil servants)

BlueSuffragette Thu 21-May-20 10:12:09

Your friend is being financially abused. Tell her to agree to nothing. She needs to get a solicitor who will agree to be paid at the end of the divorce. Some offer a free one hour appointment. She needs legal advice but must not agree to anything he says.

MeanMrMustardSeed Thu 21-May-20 10:15:57

Tell your friend that she can’t afford not to get a solicitor.
It sounds exactly like he’s calling the shots to his financial benefit. She needs to ensure it’s fair for the sake of her child and her future.

Techway Thu 21-May-20 10:16:20

Are there also pensions? Who will be the resident parent? What are her earning potential?

If the shares are from his job then they are a benefit in the way bonus payments are considered.

Shamoo Thu 21-May-20 10:16:25

agree with Blue - she needs to get a solicitor and pay at the end of the divorce, it will be worth it many many times over.

Xenia Thu 21-May-20 10:18:07

It depends. If the wife is a civil servant with a big pension she might well have the most valuable asset of either of them and have to share that with her husband. That is why she needs a solicitor. We are all above assuming they are in England. Scotland has different divorce laws.

Lovelydovey Thu 21-May-20 10:24:37

He should be paying half the market value of the house - so half of £325k (£162.5k) - not half the equity. He should also get a proper valuation.

Ostagazuzulum Thu 21-May-20 13:50:57

They're in England.

He has bigger pension. Also she worked part time for years to raise DS. She's said though that she'd prefer to leave his pension alone as he's worked for it. After reading your replies though I think she should use it as levering tool to make him play fair.

The house was hers originally so she paid deposit etc. The intention is that he keeps house as they don't want to disrupt DS's living situation and she's going to try and buy a flat so DS can go between them.

BlueSuffragette Thu 21-May-20 17:40:01

She needs to get professional advice. She can pay later. It will be worth it. Why should she give up her own home if it was originally her own house? She is being so manipulated by a bully. If she can't stand up to him on her own she needs support from a solicitor. Otherwise she will get screwed over financially.

JavaQ Fri 22-May-20 20:53:42

To get the value of the house, you ask a surveyor for a valuation. This will be lower than a value put on it by 3 real estate agents (which is the other way).

So if she wants to buy half, get a surveyor to value it.
If she wants to be bought out, get 3 estate agents to value it.
(this was from a family solicitor)

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