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Divorce finances

(8 Posts)
PulpFriction Mon 13-Jul-15 11:28:21

StbXH and I have finally agreed to separate after five years or so of putting a brave face on our disintegrating marriage. I have several questions buzzing around my head, and would be grateful for any advice.

Because I knew this was coming, I've been squirrelling away money over the years as my escape fund - mostly from an annual work bonus that I didn't disclose at the time - and it's now a not inconsiderable amount - about £18k.

As I understand it, the entire divorce process requires full financial disclosure. We haven't involved solicitors yet, so I'm wondering if it would be sensible/ethical to transfer this fund to my best friend or sister asap until after the divorce. StbXH is awful with money, and I suspect he has debts that are equal to the sum of my escape fund. If I disclose the escape fund, I presume half of it will be used to pay off his debts.

Also, StBXH has very little pension to speak of, whereas I have been paying into mine since the age of 23. Will he be able to claim half of my pension even though the DCs will be living with me?

When we met, I sold my flat to buy somewhere together, and from the equity of my flat, I contributed £100k towards our first home. At the time, (this was 15 years ago) he signed a 'declaration of trust' to say that when that property was sold, and in the event we split up, I'd be entitled to the first £100k - effectively getting my money back. However, since then, we have got married, had children and have purchased a new home. Any chance I'd still be entitled to the money I first contributed, or is it ALL 50/50 now? I still have the document he signed.

Thanks for any help you can offer. Now that the wheels are in motion, I suspect this won't be my first posting on here..

babybarrister Mon 13-Jul-15 13:08:43

you certainly should not transfer any assets to anyone else - everything has to be considered by the court. if you do he will find out as you need to disclose 12 months of bank statements in any event. the court also has the power to transfer the monies back into your name and/or take the view that you have had the use of them so you will get less of what remains

go and take some proper legal advice from someone who is a specialist family lawyer - Resolution has a listing

midnightvelvetPart2 Tue 14-Jul-15 09:50:57

You need proper legal advice Pulp, get a solicitor or make an appointment with the CAB as divorce finances are too complex for all but the simplest question on an online forum smile

babybarrister Tue 14-Jul-15 18:07:14

Although the question about transferring monies to your sister is a question eminently capable of a black and white answer - no!

Newbrummie Fri 17-Jul-15 10:28:54

But if you need to use that £18,000 to escape and buy a new home etc then that's what I'd do with it, otherwise you will be paying those debts with your money. They can't have what you haven't got as I've learnt from the other side of the fence.

STIDW Sat 18-Jul-15 01:28:42

Newbrummie wrote;

But if you need to use that £18,000 to escape and buy a new home etc then that's what I'd do with it, otherwise you will be paying those debts with your money. They can't have what you haven't got as I've learnt from the other side of the fence.

It doesn't work like that. Any asset held in joint and sole names forms the matrimonial property to share. Therefore if money is invested in a new home the equity in the property is still an asset available for sharing. However assets are shared according to a checklist of factors in s25 Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, not necessarily 50:50. The priority in the welfare of children. Their welfare and the needs of both spouses usually determines how assets are shared.

Debts are seen in light of the overall particular circumstances and you really need specialist legal advice to find out where you stand and what options there are before moving out or buying or renting another property.

Newbrummie Sat 18-Jul-15 07:27:16

You say it doesn't work like that but my experience of the law and family courts is that it very much does work like that. Maybe buying a house is a bad example as you would have a tangible asset but say if the £18,000 had to go on rent then he can't have it if you haven't got it?

babybarrister Sat 18-Jul-15 08:59:49

SPending the money on something you need to such as rent is not the same as transferring it to a third party to hide it

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