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Do I need to get a solicitor now?(8 Posts)
DH left 1 month ago, he will now be moving in to a flat in a few weeks and is saying that he can't see us getting back together.
We have 1 Dd, he has seen her most days since leaving, putting her to bed in our house a few nights a week and coming to pick her up in the mornings as he has always done the morning school run. We've started with her staying at his mother's with him one night a week. This will move to 2 or 3 nights a week once he moves in to the flat. I have no doubt that he will continue to see DD as much as he can, he's very much pushing for 50/50.
But now my friends and family are mentioning that I should start looking for a solicitor if this is going to be a permanent split. Just wondering if that's really necessary?
We don't own our home (private rental). He has given me a rough idea of child maintenance which while I think it's low (£200 pm, possibly 100 more if he can get tax credits ) compared to how much it actually costs to support a child, I understand that he will have fund his own home. I work and have my own pension scheme and all my savings are in my own bank account. He has no savings as he spent then all gambling last year. I did take out a large loan to cover his gambling debts which he pays me the repayment each month and has said he will still be paying.
I can't see any obvious reason to see a solicitor now apart from starting divorce proceedings which seems a bit hasty. Am I missing something obvious?
Unfortunately it isn't "your" pension and "your" savings- they are joint assets and he may be entitled to part of them. These are the things you need a solicitor for - to know where you stand and to get proper advice. It may be amicable now but these situations have a habit of becoming acrimonious very quickly.
You definitely need to see a solicitor - all "your" savings and pension could be half is. Not sure how the gambling loan might complicate things. You need to see a solicitor to know your rights and also make sure that the divorce is done properly so that he can't come back to you years later and demand money.
I think the main thing to remember is that 'divorce' is really 3 separate processes:
1) Legally ending the marriage.
2) Division of relevant assets and ongoing money (maintenance).
3) New arrangements for children.
1) is mostly form-filling if you can agree on reasons for divorce (e.g. a mild form of unreasonable behaviour, which can be written in a mutually agreeable way)
(1), (2) and (3) can be done yourselves, via a mediator, or solicitors, or some combination. The division of money, like pensions, will also depend on the length of the marriage, ages of parents/children, other assets (if any). The current trend is towards relatively equal asset division and not too unequal children's arrangments, but each case is different, and the gambling loan ('conduct') could certainly get included, too.
Sadly, the inclusion of solicitors in the process can look like a hostile act, and end up costing a lot of money. It can start as being about 'fairness' and then become about what each party can get.
By all means, try to find a solicitor through recommendations and get some initial guidance, but if you're able to co-operate with the ex I would be less minded than the other posters to be instructing solicitors to do anything at this stage. If you get a solicitor, probably so will he, and then he's likely to try to get a 50% money and childcare arrangement which, in personal negotiations between you, he may not seek (as an example).Then you're into paying £400+ just to value your pension, £50 for your solicitor to read an email from his, and so on.
From your initial description, he may be in more need of legal advice than you are (!).
I say savings, it's a pitiful £4k but I've worked bloody hard to save that in the last few years after maternity leave and 2 house moves ate through it.
It was supposed to be going towards a house deposit but now I see it as my little safety net in case my car needs to be replaced or I need to move again.
He has absolutely no idea how much is there, can I simply withdraw it and ask my parents to open an account for it?
I don't know whether you can, But I bloody well would. In fact I would gamble it myself before I gave him half.
Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.
I think I'll start withdrawing an extra £20 or so everytime I go to the cash point, better to have the cash sitting in a drawer. And I'll really start overpaying my credit card because that will have to be paid off eventually anyway.
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