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Friend with Unrealistic expectations post divorce

(9 Posts)
lljkk Wed 25-Oct-17 21:58:18

I've supported friend for 7 months, since her H moved out. She was very devastated initially. Context: no kids, both working FT, they're sensible with money so low debts. There wasn't abuse but a bit muddled if there was an OW.

I always found friend's emotional reactions & logic sane & understandable. My problem now is, friend is gearing up for divorce settlement & I think she's wildly optimistic about what assets & things (like house) she'll leave marriage with. I'm trying to tell her to have a clear picture what she prefers, but must slow down and just work thru each step as it comes rather than build up too many details about the future. I think I'll add to her (considerable) anxiety if I say "that sounds unrealistic"... but then I'm afraid she'll end the marriage with even more fury & bad mental health impacts if she keeps unrealistic expectations going.

I don't really want to deal with a furious person if I can't be supportive of what they're furious about.

Anything helpful I can do...? Just keep listening? Do the support I can & step back when I can't? Advice sought from folk who have BTDT.

Moanranger Wed 25-Oct-17 22:57:33

Maybe point out to her that in law she will get 50% of wealth accrued during marriage. That is realistic

crimsonlake Wed 25-Oct-17 23:16:56

That entirely depends on the length of the marriage. If it was a short one you leave with what you brought in, I am sure she has sought legal advice on this?

lljkk Thu 26-Oct-17 10:09:11

16 yrs. She's seeing a lawyer today, choking on the £300/hour cost.

10 hours lawyer time will be enough to destroy some of her plans.
Seems like she might need 10 hrs of lawyer, though, if the H continues to contest. She emotionally needs to move on sad. My uncle (divorced maybe 5 yrs ago) said the first 18 months is all about money. Seems to be true.

I swear, I never would have got married if I understood how expensive it is to divorce. I'm going to end up counselling that to DC.

lljkk Thu 26-Oct-17 10:09:21

(ps: thanks for replies)

DancesWithOtters Thu 26-Oct-17 10:43:33

What is she expecting to leave with? More than 50%? Spousal maintenance?

What are their salaries?

lljkk Thu 26-Oct-17 11:02:41

Main thing is she wants to buy him out on the house. The numbers to do that are very tight, though. There are no guarantees in this process no matter what she does. If he fights for a strict 50% of all assets, or even if he just delays her getting a mortgage until interest rates go up (or her salary goes down, which it might), I doubt she'll get the mortgage. She's pinning her security on staying in the house. The relationship breakdown was forced upon her, I do understand why she's trying to control her home situation.

Maybe I'm wrong to anticipate a volcanic reaction if she can't stay in the house. Fury about "losing my home" seems to be a common huge resentment in divorce, though.

House is about 90% paid off. They both could buy something else post house-sale & divorce, though might not be very nice something else.

wobytide Thu 26-Oct-17 11:28:52

So realistically she needs to be able to afford 55% of the house value through a mortgage. Notwithstanding she needs to take into account their respective salaries and any pensions they have accrued. If he for example has a higher pension then she could maybe trade off for a a larger share of the house equity reducing what she needs in exchange for him keeping most of his pension.

All in all it sounds risky if she can't even afford it on the current interest rates and her wages

LoverOfCake Thu 26-Oct-17 11:57:51

What are her current expectations?

TBH the amount of information that is out there on the internet and even on MN doesn't help when it comes to these things because there's an awful lot of misinformation out there e.g. I regularly see quoted on threads that the mother has the right t to stay in the family home until the children turn eighteen; that the father is legally obliged to provide a roof over their heads until the children turn eighteen and wouldn't be entitled to the equity until then and so the list goes on. And actually none of that is true although can happen in certain circumstances.

Also this: "That entirely depends on the length of the marriage. If it was a short one you leave with what you brought in, I am sure she has sought legal advice on this?" is not true as again circumstances can differ. I have a family member whose wife left him after just eleven weeks of marriage and was told that she was entitled to half of all the assets including half the equity in the house he had bought prior to the marriage and that was more or less what she got.

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