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His financial disclosure form completely fictitious

(17 Posts)
LisaB777 Sat 10-Sep-16 12:51:47

I am divorcing on grounds of adultery. I'm seeking a consent order for the finances and advised mediation for a settlement.
After attending the first mediation session we were both given form to compete to show financial disclosure.
My problem is the following. He is self employed. He deals with cash and only out some jobs through official channels. This has always been the case. He declared a mere £13.5k income last year.. Laughingly this means he gets legal aid for his mediation... Whilst I pay for mine.
The child support I have insisted comes from a standing order - this he pays from his business account. Can he pay that from the business?
He's claiming he NEVER does things for cash (I've watched hi do it for 20 years). I'm seeking a financial settlement but am unsure how this can be achieve if his finances are completely fictious. His company books will show very little turn over as they will only show what's he's chosen to declare. He's obviously very scared about HMRC getting involved. But what can I do to make sure he's not got lots of cash stashed...
At the moment he's laughing at me about all this. But I need to get the consent order in place and the finances sorted so I can move in and get another home for me and the two boys. Any advice?

Dogcatred Sat 10-Sep-16 12:57:14

Most people in this situation seem to be able to pull the wool over the court's eyes. We had nothing in cash so not our issue on divorce and we both knew the other's finances anyway.

What HMRC do is look at spending so you can do the same - eg do you nkow what holidays he has been on with his lover in the last years? What sort of watch does he have? What is the company car like? Has he any expensive possessions? Can you prove he goes to expensive places to eat?

How does he deal with cash? It is quite rare for traders to be paid in cash nowadays although I suppose there are a few cash only industries left.

What you probably want is money from him rather than no money but HMRC imprisons him.

Hopefully you can reach a financial settlement on the mediation. When you were married what happened to the cash over 20 years? Did he use it to pay for things (probably stilldoes). Did you see him putting it under the bed or in a safe? Could you find out from his siblings or parents?

Does he have a limited company or is he a sole trader?

LisaB777 Sat 10-Sep-16 14:39:24

He's a sole trader. He builds bespoke furniture and kitchens. Most of his clients are happy to get a few thousand off for paying cash. He put some thought his books but not the cash. I always wanted him to put it all through, but he never would. He pays for his 'lads motorbike' holidays abroad with it, his social life, everything. I've no idea if he's stashed it away or if it gets all spent. His father does his business accounts. He's an ex bank manager and as straight as they come. He has always insisted that if there was cash stuff going on, he didn't want to know about it.
I suspect he has put everything down as an expense against the business, motorbike included. He pays his child maintenance from the business.
I don't want to see him in trouble with HMRC or anything serious like go to prison, but I don't want his fictitious accounting to affect the amount me and the boys walk away with to start our new life. I don't want to find that he had thousands stashed away, has has bought himself a lovely house with the new woman. His settlement offer at the present would mean he would walk away with £65k. With his fictitious salary of £13.5k it doesn't give him much chance of purchasing anything. I'm sacred that a judge will grant him a higher percentage of the equity from the family home.
I'm struggling financial, especially with all my legal costs at the present, and he's been on a bike Holiday with his mates, he out playing tennis every night, yoga, the gym, taking his girlfriend out all over the place... It's so frustrating... I don't know where to go from here...

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 10-Sep-16 15:56:28

He can pay the maintenance out of the business if he is a sole trader it will get put down as 'drawings'. It all depends how much you want to push it, my Ex claims he is self-employed earning virtually nothing ( he forgets to include his air b'n'b and rental property income, but frankly I am beyond it now so I have chosen not to push this. My DD is old enough to see through him particularly as he has announced as soon as she 'no longer needs him' he is moving to Spain.

LisaB777 Sat 10-Sep-16 17:43:31

Thank you 'Lone Cat' for you info.
I await his financial stat,ent as I'm sure it will make for an interesting read.
Hope you and you DD are doing ok.

WavingNotDrowning Sat 10-Sep-16 17:46:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LisaB777 Sat 10-Sep-16 18:08:43

I have to get a consent order to get my equity from the family home. When he renewed the mortgage several years ago my name was removed! So I have had to register a 'matrimonial right of interest' on the property. I have been told that a judge will not rubber stamp the consent order unless he sees financial disclosure... Even if we make an agreement it won't get rubber stamp without the judge seeing the finances. Is that right?

My ex is obviously very concerned about having to disclose any information.

WavingNotDrowning Sat 10-Sep-16 18:20:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LisaB777 Sat 10-Sep-16 18:33:10

That puts my mind at rest. So if he decides not to disclose full finances then I can still get my consent order stamped. That's a relief I can tell you.

WavingNotDrowning Sat 10-Sep-16 18:48:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LisaB777 Sat 10-Sep-16 18:54:40

I just want my equity from the house sale when it happen, and maintenance for the boys.

Dogcatred Sat 10-Sep-16 22:43:10

It is not right that the judge will want to see the financial disclosure. We both had solicitors but agreed our financial deal and our solicitors put it to the judge (no hearings, no financial disclosure was everything was joint and open, I even did both our tax returns) and the judge will not need to see financial disclosure. I suppose if a consent order say 100% to one person and nothing to other the judge might ask for more information however.

If you and your ex agree your share of the equity from the house and maintenance for the boys a judge is highly like to agree the consent order if you have solicitors advising you. Are you going to sell the house or you stay in it until the children are 18 or you remarry and then sell it and divide it?

LisaB777 Sun 11-Sep-16 06:59:40

The house will be sold and the equity devided. The amount is to be decided. it was a renovation project - hence why he stayed living in it and I moved myself and the boys in to rented. He's taken his time finishing the work but it should be ready to go on the market this month (fingers crossed). The original agreement was that me and the boys would get 64%...with a clean break. Now he's offering 60%... Seems to change on a daily basis...

Dogcatred Sun 11-Sep-16 07:07:26

You could both easily spend a lot more than a 4% difference on lawyers or mediation fees. My ex got 59% of our assets - we agreed it through negotiation. We were too mean to pay a mediator (or probably more correctly did not need one) and we still lived together so although I paid both side's solicitors our discussions about the sum were between ourselves and then we told the lawyers the figures to write into the agreement.

It sound s like you are happy to sell and also that percentage 60/64% is probably fair enough and it means you both get a clean break with no maintenance paid to the other (my husband wanted maintenance for life which is one reason as well as the fact I earned 10x more) that he got more than 50% despite not paying for or ever having the children to stay after the divorce (! - his choice - his loss).

Cabrinha Sun 11-Sep-16 09:19:53

As he seems scared of HMRC rather than cocky, I'd hard ball.

You must have some idea what he's earning in cash - you know that your mortgage payments are, etc.

So work out what you feel is a fair figure and stick to it. Either "75% or we go to court, you fucker, and I call HMRC" or a more subtle "75% - we need to avoid court because I don't want you to have any problem with your cash jobs".

Just bear in mind when you go for the settlement that he a man who fiddles his taxes will surely fiddle his maintenance - so take cold hard cash up front. You will get bare minimum CMS in future.

Of course once it's all over and you are getting only that bare minimum, then I'd report him to HMRC. You could have done this years ago though - you have chosen to live off the gain of his tax evasion, which has now come back to bite you.

LisaB777 Sun 11-Sep-16 13:34:51

I had spent the last 15/20 years asking him to declare everything. It's worried me for years... And I hate dihonesty, all all its forms. His excuse was he couldn't afford to declare it all, and that everyone did it! We had many 'heated' conversations about his money. And yes, it is coming back to bite me, sadly.

babybarrister Sun 11-Sep-16 21:43:23

you should take legal advice before approaching HMRC - it may or may not be in your interest to report him

judges look at people's spending as well as their "income". try putting together a spreadsheet of what he actually actually spends instead ...

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