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How my divorce settled...

(32 Posts)
Goldilocks3Bears Tue 06-Feb-18 13:47:12

So many people in here have questions about what to ask for and what will happen so I thought I’d share my story in a few points and feel free to ask anything you like.

1) whole thing took 18 months and we ended up in court.
We have two small kids living with me that he sees every second weekend and half holidays
2) I spent 19k on the divorce
3) the sticking point was house equity and his final salary pension
4) I asked for too little - the judge would have awarded me the whole house he said but as I’d set out my stall lower he couldn’t do it in reverse
5) I earn a 30% more than him but combining his and his gfs income they earn the same as me
6) he pays statutory cm according to the online calculator and thinks that needs to cover everything so wants me to fund stuff like bday cards and presents on weekends he has kids
7) court was tough. I got just over 60% of the house and a third of his pension. He could have just given me the house and walked away and we’d have been at same money. I asked for that but he thought he deserved half.
8) relations are hard still. He’s very controlling and tries to undermine me every step of the way.

To all of you going through this, hang in there. Things get resolved and there’s life and love afterwards xx

wobytide Tue 06-Feb-18 14:15:30

He could have just given me the house and walked away and we’d have been at same money

He wouldn't though, whilst final salary pensions are worth good money they don't buy houses in the short term. Whilst he obviously didn't get half he still got 40% of the equity so presumably the judge decided he had a need for the equity so he could also house himself and the kids?

Goldilocks3Bears Tue 06-Feb-18 14:48:31

No. I decided this and proposed something along those lines as the alternative would have forced him to move away and not be around. Whereas I’d like him to move to the moon, the children come first and that means being able to see him.

The judge took a dislike to him due to his behaviour in court and told him he’d have awarded me the house and “some pension”.

Goldilocks3Bears Tue 06-Feb-18 14:49:25

Ps - he’s accommodated. The judge also made clear that buying property was not an automatic right

Whatiwishfor Tue 06-Feb-18 17:03:29

19k on the divorce wow thats a lot!! Im glad your now sorted and able to move forward.

Iv struggled to sort the finances out for nearly a year as my soon to be ex husband has previously refused to discuss finances. He is also very controlling and manipulative.

We were ment to be in court last month but he wasn't ready. Iv finally been given his form E but hes missed out so much on it, hes also self employed which makes it even harder.

I'm trying to make a settlement out of court as even though i do believe hes hiding money i believe finding it out will not outway the cost of the solicitor fees. Im wanting the house and equity if he takes his pension.

Hes behaviour through the separation (which he wanted) has been disgusting. Hes now saying iv shouted at him in front of the children, and i have received a rather unpleasant letter from his solicitor. I was at work so it obviously didn't happen. But i just want it all to come to an end, im fed up of having to try and navigate his hostility. Hes now living with another woman so really should have moved on by now! Hoping to get it all sorted soon though, the end is near

Goldilocks3Bears Tue 06-Feb-18 17:23:54

Yes the solicitors were the only winners in this divorce. He tried to out me under financial pressure so would send a letter to them about something stupid, knowing she’d charge me about 30 quid ffs.
Saying that, paying for a good barrister for court was worth it. In hindsight I wish I’d self represented and then had her do the court thing, or gone straight to her for dealing with it quicker. I dunno, it’s super stressful and hindsight is no use.

End of the day, I’ve got enough.

RockPaperCut Wed 07-Feb-18 10:02:12

Thank you for posting op.

It’s so comforting to hear that there is an end to this horrific situation somewhere. 14 months and 45k down hopefully only another 6 to go!

Goldilocks3Bears Wed 07-Feb-18 10:29:35

@rockpapercut 45k - wow that is a lot of money being spent there, why so much and how are your funding that? Sorry if that’s too personal but curious...

AdoraBell Wed 07-Feb-18 10:38:27

Glad you got a resolution and are feeling more positive now Goldilocks

RockPaperCut Wed 07-Feb-18 10:47:05

@Goldilocks3Bears In short my STBXH has made everything difficult at every stage possible. He stalled at every point then blocked my move at the 11th hour. He had already moved 35 miles away. So I had to apply for a CAO and specific issue to relocate approx 50 miles away but still only 35 miles from his new adress, that has taken 8 months and 5 hearings, just waiting for next court date for the judgements. Then also in the process for finances. He is very bitter that I petitioned, he was/is very controlling and manipulative so its all just a game to him.

I had to apply for a Novitas Loan. We have proceeds of sale from FMH and enough equity (just about) in two rentals. Meanwhile he’s intent on over spending on credit to increase his liabilities, he’s somehow managed to run up 100k in legal fees, whilst I struggle on a small income and benefits. The end really cannot come soon enough.

GeriT Wed 07-Feb-18 12:06:56

How long were you married?

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow1 Wed 07-Feb-18 12:13:38

Hi OP - sorry if I misunderstood but was the final settlement negotiated by you and your ex or did the judge decide? It's just that you said " he’d have awarded me the house and “some pension”.".

Goldilocks3Bears Wed 07-Feb-18 12:44:37

Geri - we were married for 13 years

Notsuch - the way the family court and divorce works here is that you are encouraged to settle out of court. So for the court hearing, you prepare your “offer” and share with the other party. You then go before the judge and he asks any questions and listens. Then he gives some words of advice and guidance. You then go out and have a few hours to hash it out between you. This part was terrible. I’m glad I had my barrister for this. Then in the afternoon you go back before the judge either with an agreement or sticking points and he then gives a “strong recommendation” for how he would rule (this is where the comment re the house came in, XH was gunning for my savings too and got a bollocking from the judge about putting kids first). You then ideally agree with him and then he does the paperwork and you go to wetherspoons for a gin and a good cry.
You can decide to disagree but that would have added another six months and thousands and also you’d be off to a bad start with the next judge as it’s frown upon to be that stubborn when a judge has given you guidance.

RockPaperCut Wed 07-Feb-18 13:04:53

@Goldilocks3Bears How many hearings did you have for FDR? I’m still a bit confused about how it all works.confused

Goldilocks3Bears Wed 07-Feb-18 13:16:29

We went to court twice. The first time was February last year where we explained that we couldn’t proceed without an actuary report on the true value of his pension and the court agreed that this should proceed and then recommended a date for the next hearing for end of May to allow us time to get the report done and evaluate it. This initial hearing took less than ten minutes.
We were then back in court for the proper hearing in July and that took the entire day.

Goldilocks3Bears Wed 07-Feb-18 13:17:31

Court timings will depend on how busy your local court is and it’s my impression they fast track horrible cases.

Whatiwishfor Wed 07-Feb-18 13:38:09

Omg its such a full on and expensive situation! Iv had to threaten to take my stbxh to court just to see his financial situation, he submitted the form E but had clearly done it himself, there are so so many holes in it. Iv decided that i would rather settle out of court though as i dont believe i have a lot to gain by going to court. Also his behaviour is becoming more and more bazare, i think hes feeling the pressure so just trying to bully more and more.

With 2 young children i just want to move on with my life, iv already been to court twice regarding the children and may well end up going again. I think he will want me to rack up a huge legal bill. I am entitled to legal aid but still have to pay a large amount back.

Goldilocks3Bears Wed 07-Feb-18 14:38:12

Sorry to hear that. It seems very common that some men (not all) become controlling weirdos and try to make life hard for their ex, even if they were the ones that left or started the divorce. My own ex has been and continues to be absurd and I honestly think the only reason he has not crossed the legal line (the moral one was crossed many times) is that he’s in uniform and would be in a world of trouble. I dont recognise this man and he bears zero resemblance to the one I married.

2hearts1970 Wed 07-Feb-18 16:43:24

Very insightful

I have had my first FDA in court, and am now approaching my 2nd FDA in court. Can you tell me what to expect from the 2nd one?


Goldilocks3Bears Wed 07-Feb-18 17:25:22

I’m guessing it will be like I described above with your own dynamic throw in. If you are not represented, I would recommend taking someone with you if you need moral support. I generally consider myself a cool cucumber and I have a senior job that has given me experience with negotiation and difficult meetings but I got to a point where I was fading fast and my barrister was a tremendous help. Because she was there she did the middle man discussions with XH and I didn’t even have to speak to him directly which was a relief as he threw a huge tantrum.

The general feeling was that judges like formalities and being prepared and showing willing probably goes down better than throwing a pity party like my XH did and pissed the judge off.

Our judge was very blunt and direct with both of us and his absolute main interest was the children’s welfare.

Dress as formal and smart as you can but don’t look too rich... I didn’t wear a suit though as it was summer. I wore a black and brown dress and a black cardigan and heels.

Happy to answer any questions you have.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Wed 07-Feb-18 17:29:08

Court timings will depend on how busy your local court is and it’s my impression they fast track horrible cases

Not necessarily at all. My DBro divorce was very very messy. It took 2 years to get through court and many court hearings.

kimscomments Wed 07-Feb-18 21:18:04

Sometimes the hearing process is altered if the judge thinks it would be more beneficial. My husband refused to provide a pension valuation and kept making unreasonable offers of less than 20% split to me during the pre-court stage. I was the petitioner for divorce, but he was the applicant for financial remedy, as he thought it would scare me into agreeing his terms as I had no money for court proceedings. Luckily I managed to prove DV and had legal aid, which shocked him when he found out at the first hearing. At the first hearing, the judge decided that negotiation would not work so the FDR was skipped and we went straight to a 2-day Final Hearing. In the end, I did get a fair settlement, but would not have done if it was not imposed by the judge. Even on the day, he was trying to get me to agree to an unreasonable offer, which didn't go down too well with the judge, especially as it would have meant depriving the children.

2hearts1970 Thu 08-Feb-18 09:15:52

I did mean to ask, with regards overall costs coming out of your (and our) pockets through our own divorces, does this come into play at the end?

Do you get reimbursed for all your costs once this is finished?

ie: If i pay £19k, and she pays £28k, does this come out of eithers settlement so its paid back at the end? or do you just suck it up and know that you'll obviously get a settlement which will cover these costs?

I only ask, as my OH is spending a lot lot more on fees, so am just wondering if they get this back at the end, and for me not to worry too much on legal costs (I did see someone took out a loan here)
Our legal costs were disclosed on the 1st court hearing (FDA?) so wonder if this is the case?


Goldilocks3Bears Thu 08-Feb-18 09:38:59

You have to declare costs on the paper work but in my process there was no discussion of them and you certainly don’t get the money back in any way. Best case scenario you can argue that oh is running up costs that are disproportionate to yours

2hearts1970 Thu 08-Feb-18 10:06:03

Ok thank you as I did wonder that whatever you spent was dealt back to you at the end, so ''money was no object''?

But yes i will argue that oh is running up costs that are disproportionate to mine as it seems ridiculous now..

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