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Does adultery make any difference to divorce settlement?

(21 Posts)
HayleyBarker Wed 11-Jul-18 15:06:37

Apologies if there’s been a thread on this before.

My husband is divorcing me and has left the marital home. He wants a divorce as he says he is unhappy. My suspicion is that he is having an affair with our son’s best friend’s mum, who is going through a divorce herself (albeit acrimonious). This lady’s husband has been trying to make contact with me to chat of his suspicions, and that he has ‘confirmation’, and it’s implications.

It’s hard enough and am broken hearted as it is. Do I really need to know anymore, does adultery make any difference to divorce settlemements?

My husband has always said I work too hard, I am the bread winner, which hasn’t been a problem. He transpires that he is resentful of my job. With the divorce he wants to have half of my pension (cash equivalent transfer value). Is that fair?

I’m getting conflicting advice. Would be grateful for any thoughts.

Many thanks in advance

OP’s posts: |
MargoLovebutter Wed 11-Jul-18 15:14:05

It certainly didn't in my case with my ex-h (adulterer). I have adultery listed as the reason for divorce but it had no bearing whatsoever on the financial settlement. Sorry, probably not what you want to hear.

Bombardier25966 Wed 11-Jul-18 15:19:02

As a principle divorce settlements should not be about punishment, so no, an affair should not make a difference.

50% each is the usual starting point for division of assets, including pensions, property as well as any debts. That will then vary according to children, length of marriage etc.

Jonbb Wed 11-Jul-18 15:20:24

No, but see a solicitor to establish your position because financial settlements can vary considerably and you are negotiating from a position of weakness if you don't know the bottom line.

HollowTalk Wed 11-Jul-18 15:21:20

Get some really good legal advice, OP. If he's cheating on you, then both of them will be trying to screw money out of you. Hold on to whatever you can.

Bluntness100 Wed 11-Jul-18 15:24:02

It doesn't matter what he wants. See a solicitor.

But no, divorce settlements are about what's fair, not about punishing someone. And spousal maintenance is very very rare now. So get some proper legal advice and don't let this man scare or bully you.

Bluntness100 Wed 11-Jul-18 15:25:12

50% each is the usual starting point for division of assets, including pensions, property as well as any debts

That's not true about pensions.

Farahilda Wed 11-Jul-18 15:33:15

Pensions are included as marital assets and they are considered in settlements. 50/50 is an incredibly rough rule of thumb, and you need specific advice on what is reasonable in your individual circumstances (nature and type of assets, debts, changes to career made for good of family, length of marriage, requirement to house DC, future prospects etc)

Bluntness100 Wed 11-Jul-18 15:37:16

Spousal maintenance is now very rare, and that's what's a share of someone's pension is.

If his pension is seriously depleted as he was the main child carer it would be considered, but please don't tell the op her pension is basically fifty percent his and the starting point because it's absolutely not. In no way shape nor form.

MooseBeTimeForSummer Wed 11-Jul-18 15:43:43

Pensions aren’t equivalent to cash. You’ll need to get the CETV (cash equivalent transfer value). There might be an argument over whether it is properly calculated depending on what scheme it is.

He is entitlement to a share of the amount that accrued during the marriage. But the same applies to you for any pensions he has.

Sometimes that share can be offset by way of receiving extra equity in property or savings.

Badtemperedbaby Wed 11-Jul-18 17:59:45

Definitely get some legal advice op. You could probably get a free 1/2 hour. You can divorce for unreasonable behaviour or adultery. You can do this yourself as it's quite straight forward - if that's what you want. As a matter of interest how old is your son?

MachineBee Wed 11-Jul-18 20:41:39

Adultery will be more straightforward grounds for divorce, especially if you have evidence or an admittance.

I left my divorce too long after my now ExH admitted adultery because I was trying save our marriage and so was deemed to have condoned it, so had to go for unreasonable behaviour. This meant writing out a statement listing all the instances of unreasonable behaviour during our marriage (including the adultery). Made no difference in the end just extra work for me.

I did get a share of his pension, as well as 50% of all other assets. I was working FT by then but had been a SAHM and student for a few years when DCs were young.

My solicitor was able find some hidden assets too. However the financial settlement was made entirely without reference to the reasons for the divorce.

lifebegins50 Wed 11-Jul-18 20:56:05

Recent settlements are leaning towards 50:50 with provision for pension for both people.

So yes your pension could be shared but factors are: both your ages, your and his earning capabilities, assets available to buy properties.

Spousal maintenance is not the same as pensions as pensions are assets already accrued, SM would be on future earnings.

HayleyBarker Thu 12-Jul-18 17:51:39

Hi all,
Thank you that was very useful.

He is wanting to avoid solicitors due to cost. But I've booked to see one next week!

Many thanks

OP’s posts: |
Bluntness100 Thu 12-Jul-18 19:25:52

No sweetie he wants to avoid solicitors so he can take you for more than he's entitled to. His worst case scenario is you see a solicitor and he can't rob you blind. He doesn't need to see a solicitor to manipulate you into paying out.

But you do need to see one to protect yourself.

YoucancallmeVal Thu 12-Jul-18 20:03:38

My divorce was v acrimonious due to xhs behaviour but we were both advised 50/50 was the start and ended up being the end result. I did keep all my pension though, as I argued I would be hugely disadvantaged in later years (career earning ceiling) and if he wanted half my pension I wanted 70/30 on assets.

HayleyBarker Fri 13-Jul-18 09:48:12

Thanks for the advice. I would certainly argue to keep my pension.
Bluntness100 thank you I’m beginning to think that’s the case. I’ve been naive to think someone I’ve known for 20 years and been married to for 15 years with 2 beautiful kids would do that to me ..

OP’s posts: |
MachineBee Fri 13-Jul-18 17:34:18

Good luck OP. Do see your own solicitor- mine made sure I had a fair settlement and even discovered hidden monies which was a key factor in him finally accepting a deal as he knew if I took it to court it would play badly for him.

HayleyBarker Sat 14-Jul-18 00:32:28

A friend spotted them (my husband and son’s best friend’s mum) having cocktails together and holding hands. In the past he had denied anything going on between them.
I’m a wreck.. but how is it going to affect my son and his best friend? It’s a crazy situation!!
They’ll end up together and probably live in together. Would it have any bearing to my child custody?
I’m seeing a solicitor next week but I need to get myself prepared, to protect me and my kids. I am very grateful for any advice.

OP’s posts: |
fannycraddock72 Sat 14-Jul-18 07:41:16

Definitely use a solicitor, my ex tried the same ploy of trying to do without to save money and ‘lets be amicable about this for the kids etc’.

2 years later and we were no further ahead with it all and the threat of my ex moving my kids away I’d had enough. I told my ex I would be completing the rest of the divorce through my solicitor. My ex was one of those types who thought they could do anything better than anyone else (*eye roll) so self represented. It was expensive but for me money well spent, when my ex started getting awkward and burying their head in the sand I used my solicitor to apply pressure.

It took another year but eventually my divorce and settlement came through. We eventually went through mediation to sort things and although no one ever wins I have a settlement that means I can get on with my life with out cheater pants.

With regards to my pension I kept all of it but took a smaller cash lump sum through the equity of the house. Like you I was the main breadwinner and my solicitor said that my ex was entitled to 50% of my pension along with other assets. It sucks.

I’m coming out the other side now and have managed to buy a lovely house in a much nicer part of town.

Oliversmumsarmy Sat 14-Jul-18 07:51:47

It is a 50/50 starting point then they look at then ability to provide for yourself, I.e. hold down a job.

In friends case she will not be working ever again because of her disabilities. Her financial hearing is in 3 months so she is hoping things will become clear then what exactly she has to plan her life

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