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Financial settlement negotiations

(41 Posts)
GuiltyMumOf2 Tue 21-Jun-16 19:42:31

Hello all, I hope you don't mind me asking but I'd love some opinions...

My ex and I agreed we were over Feb 2014.

He earns (last I knew) more than £150k. I earn £17k.

Now, after 28 months, we still have no financial agreement. There have been two agreed to before (both his idea of what he would offerr, and me capitulating). However he has never paid me a penny of spousal support. He has paid the minimum of child support as worked out by the online calculator.

Trying to get a settlement (I want some closure!) I had my solicitor write a letter making a proposal for a settlement. I expected it to be a sort of opening bid.

Two months afterwards, I have received a letter from him offering: no money, ever, under any circumstances, except 50% pensions split.

Now, I do not have a bottomless purse, nor a thirst for vengeance. I totally understand that I will basically have to either accept, or stay married. (I'm being flippant. I'm not staying married!)

My questions are: am I right that at some point in the process, the court is going to write and tell me I'm a fool? Someone told me something like that... What's that like, what should I expect?

Secondly: I have kids, aged 17 & 21. One day I'm going to drop dead and they're going to find a big folder of papers basically detailing how selfish etc their dad is. How do I protect them from this? Can I destroy all the papers at some point? Or I'd that not fair, do they need to know? Mum guilt sad

I would just love some reactions if anyone wants to share!

OP’s posts: |
traviata Tue 21-Jun-16 19:59:26

not sure I understand.

You can get divorced before the finances are resolved. Probably best not to get decree absolute, in case he goes under a bus before the financials are finished, and you lose your widow's pension rights.

If he has made a stupidly low offer, then go to court. Start the process. You and he have to keep on negotiating anyway. You don't have to 'accept or stay married'. If you can't afford a solicitor, talk to one about the finance options. On £150k he can be paying for your solicitor, and there is a specific application to court for this. Or do it yourself. Plenty of people do.

Guilt? (as per your username?) It's not your fault if ex H can't see why his financial offers are rubbish. Certainly, plan to destroy all the paperwork WHEN you have your final order.

GuiltyMumOf2 Tue 21-Jun-16 20:04:44

Sorry, I tried to simplify so I didn't do a super long rant lol

Nisi granted Oct 2014.

I don't want to throw money at the court system. He'll win when it's about money spent. The additional time and stress simply not worth it.

From what I googled earlier although he might be told to pay costs for the divorce, he won't be for the financial settlement. And the whole thing is just a gamble I don't want to enter into.

OP’s posts: |
traviata Tue 21-Jun-16 20:33:27

so there are pensions - he concedes 50:50.

he earns nearly 10 x what you do

your kids are nearly adult but they probably still need a home.

what other assets do either of you have? Is there a house? Savings?

what did you offer last time?

GuiltyMumOf2 Tue 21-Jun-16 20:43:48

He has bought a house with his new partner although chose not to disclose this in mediation (mentioned by kids). I've no idea if he has savings although I doubt it.

I have capital right now (from sale of family home which was split at the time) which I am about to spend on a house deposit.

I offered £2k per month for three years (allowing me to get qualified).

I am certain that he is being unreasonable (as I see it) because he knows I either won't go to court or if I did, will win a Pyrrhic victory.

I'm not playing his game. Happy enough to walk away. I believe the system is unfair and he is selfish, but I don't have to let either of those facts ruin my life.

Just bothered about what happens next!

OP’s posts: |
traviata Tue 21-Jun-16 20:53:33

Well, the court won't make you do anything if you walk away.

It's up to you.

The court is not pro-active, it will just look at what is put in front of it - whether that is a contested application, or an agreed consent order seeking the court's approval.

If there is no financial order, he could come after your assets in the future if his luck changed.....

traviata Tue 21-Jun-16 20:54:52

If the court thinks a draft consent order is unfair, it might ask for a written explanation or arrange a short hearing to ask how the proposal is justified. Is that what you are concerned about?

GuiltyMumOf2 Tue 21-Jun-16 20:56:05

Sounds like what was mentioned. So whatis sufficient explanation?

"I know it sucks but I don't care"?

OP’s posts: |
GuiltyMumOf2 Tue 21-Jun-16 20:56:58

Traviata they can't refuse it can they? I'm more afraid of this never ending tthan of anything else!

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traviata Tue 21-Jun-16 20:59:05

That might do. But the court can just refuse to make the order if it isn't fair.

There isn't really a set answer. All you can do is state your position. You don't need to pay your solicitor for that bit, usually it's only the parties themselves who deal with these hearings (often called 'mentions').

GuiltyMumOf2 Tue 21-Jun-16 21:01:32

OK. Do you know what happens if they refuse to make the order? It'll still be in his interests to not negotiate won't it?

Sorry, I'm being all needy and panicky now :/

OP’s posts: |
traviata Tue 21-Jun-16 21:01:43

If you both sign the order and send it in, either the judge will approve it and make it final, or s/he will ask for more explanation, by letter or by hearing.
it is unusual for an order to be refused but I certainly have know it to happen.

However you ex H has much more to lose than you do if there isn't a final order, so there would be a very strong incentive for him to improve his offer if the court rejected the proposal.

GuiltyMumOf2 Tue 21-Jun-16 21:03:08

I guess I'll have to just plow on and hope for the best... That the court agrees it.

OP’s posts: |
GuiltyMumOf2 Tue 21-Jun-16 21:04:00

I don't think he has anything to lose, given that I suspect he knows I won't go to court.

OP’s posts: |
traviata Tue 21-Jun-16 21:04:30

best of luck!

traviata Tue 21-Jun-16 21:05:02

Sorry, x-post.

Ex H could find his new house with new partner coming under the court's scrutiny, plus her income, plus his car,; the court might overturn your agreed capital split and give you more .. who knows?

he would have a BIG incentive to negotiate more.

GuiltyMumOf2 Tue 21-Jun-16 21:05:19

Thank you. I appreciate your input!

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Dungandbother Tue 21-Jun-16 21:26:57

I don't have practical advice just sympathy for your court conundrum.

Frankly, it stinks that you have to spend upward of £10k to go to court to get a fair hearing. I too M dealing with a financial arsehole.

We have plenty of equity but I won't spend it on lawyers and court so he continues to do sweet FA.

There's no recourse and it stinks.

GuiltyMumOf2 Wed 22-Jun-16 05:39:02

It does, its a crappy system. But I don't want to let that take over my life, I just want to move on x

OP’s posts: |
millymollymoomoo Wed 22-Jun-16 14:33:15

what are the total marital assets (inc the former home) including pensions, how long were you married? These are probably 2 of the biggest questions. Assuming its a long marriage (based on the age of your children) and your low income I'd suggest you should expect to receive a large share of the assets and possibly interim (or longer term) spousal to help you train and get back on your feet financially.

In cases like these it really is worth fighting and having good lawyers on your side. It is not about taking him to the cleaners, its about getting affair share to help you move on. Have you had mediation?

GuiltyMumOf2 Wed 22-Jun-16 18:58:10

Yes, he didn't tell the truth so I stopped it. I don't know now what he has or hasn't got. Pensions are pushing £200k I think at the last count. I don't even think he's being cruel, he just genuinely doesn't care how anything impacts anyone other than him. Possibly in fact is incapable of seeing this. Never has, that's why I left! So look, money and getting his own way make him happy, and peace and resolution make me happy. Every body wins!

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Moanranger Thu 23-Jun-16 18:40:10

If I were you, I would fight on.
Here's my story: exH has failed to agree a financial settlement, though we were divorced 2 years ago. Unless you get a court ordered financial settlement, the case is very much open. The legal standard is 50% of assets, so I am continuing to fight. Why? My X, too, has a new partner, and there is a big chance he will leave his dosh to her; therefore, I fight on to keep it out of his/her hands & eventually pass on to my kids.
I can no longer afford a lawyer so I am representing myself. This is fine, and I do have some assistance (called a Makenzie friend.)
It sounds like you are getting shafted, & also there is quite a lot at stake, so I suggest you reconsider the white flag. Yes, it is work & hassle, but plenty of people do it, and the courts are quite fair.
I don't agree that the system is bad, but it has its rules & procedures. Also, men are much better at bullying. Put on your big girl pants & get your fair share of the marital assets. You will be glad you did. I also think it sets a good example for children to see that mum is not a door mat.

GuiltyMumOf2 Thu 23-Jun-16 18:57:47

I've had my share of capital from the house. I seriously doubt he has much money in the bank, he doesn't believe in savings. This is really only about income. And I showed the kids I didn't need to be a doormat when I left. They don't know anything about this nonsense!

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lifeisunjust Sat 25-Jun-16 11:51:02

You still haven't said what the total assets are, so it is very difficult for anyone here to give an opinion.

However, you say you have had 50% already of the equity of the house and that is the only asset?? Are you saying there are no savings, no investments?

And you say he has offered 50% of his pension?

So what I think you are asking is if you should get more than 50% of that asset split?

Does the 50% equity from the house sale cover buying a new house for you and the adult and almost adult kids?

I cannot see a court giving you a whole lot more really, other than limited spousal support. The court looks at the needs of kids (they have somewhere to live) and both sides (you both have somewhere to live) and also how you support yourself. The court might decided 17k is enough for you to support yourself on.

Are you saying you are asking for HIM to pay YOU £2000 per month spousal support? Or that you want instead a bigger proportion of the 50/50 house sale split?

If you want a bigger percentage, you need to say what the house equity was really and you need to answer all the questions you've been asked.

I suspect you might be completely unrealistic with kids that age and having already 50% house sale equity and an offer of 50% of pension. I would expect maybe a few more percentage points of the 50/50 split and spousal support for a couple of years but 2k per month, goodness I bring up a family of 5 on that, for one single person that is a hell of a lot. Most ex partners get NO spousal support at all.

lifeisunjust Sat 25-Jun-16 11:52:21

It is really worth setting out the finances to a lawyer and asking for advice on a 30 minute appointment of what you can expect in your circumstances.

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