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Will ex’s new debt affect settlement?(7 Posts)
My ex-husband and I separated over 4 years ago after a 10-year marriage. The children live with me, with him having access. He’s still in the marital home, and is court-ordered to pay the mortgage on it. I’m renting.
I issued court proceedings just over a year ago. They’ve been a nightmare as he’s failed to co-operate.
By the time Form E was completed, he was earning £55k, I was earning £26k. Since we separated he’s somehow gotten £20k of credit card debt (holidays and cars from what I can work out). And I’ve just found out he’s now paying a very high rate of tax this tax year and next, as HMRC found he owes back taxes. He says he’s broke and on the verge of bankruptcy. And is dreading me claiming child maintenance because he just cannot pay it.
My question is - is all of this debt, that he’s accrued since we split, going to affect the financial settlement? I was hoping for a favourable split - I have the children, I earn half as much as he does, and my parents put in the sizeable deposit for the house (equal to about half the equity).
But given divorce is supposed to take into account the needs of both parties...he has so much debt now. Essentially, am I (& the children) going to suffer because of his stupid financial decisions?
I only got residency of the children in May. It took years of court, Cafcass, social services and the Police for that to happen. (He’s an abusive twat, for reference!).
Prior to that the children were with him (unfortunately), and he never asked for maintenance from me. Although tbf he was earning £90k at the time and I was barely keeping afloat on £23k.
He always accused me of only wanting the children for the money.
He also always insisted he would buy me out of the house, so I figured if he wasn’t paying maintenance he’d stand more chance of getting a mortgage to do that. I doubt he could get a mortgage now though.
So between those things, I’m not sure how I feel about claiming maintenance. It would help a lot. But then if there’s a chance it’d bankrupt him, does that then screw me over for the financial settlement?
They will take all of his debt and outgoings into consideration unfortunately for you.
Whatever they agree you should get must take into account the reality of what he has, what he can afford and what his own costs of living will be. They will not agree an unreasonable sum that youd never actually get.
Thank you for your reply.
The only question really is how the equity in the house is split. But I was worried that might be the case. It just strikes me as so ridiculously unfair.
When we separated he was earning very well, and had no debt except for the joint mortgage (which is approx the same as the rent I’ve been paying). I’ve scrimped and lived incredibly frugally over the last few years, managing to stay out of debt. Meanwhile he’s bought expensive cars, been on multiple holidays each year, gone for expensive nights out etc etc, plus attempted to cheat on his taxes. And now I’ll be effectively paying for part of that.
He was incredibly abusive when we were together (we separated when I was in hospital, due to his behaviour). This just seems perpetuation of that abuse. I don’t know why I dared hoped for anything else tbh. We have attempt #3 at a first directions appointment hearing next month, at least now I know not to hope for much from it (although I already knew that hearing’s going to be a complete waste of time!).
Have a read at this: www.advicenow.org.uk/guides/survival-guide-sorting-out-your-finances-when-you-get-divorced
The advice I have been given is liabilities accrued after separation will most likely be excluded by a judge esp if there was no benefit to you (my ex is financially irresponsible) It should be something you call out in your issues/proposal,
If he goes bankrupt before you have your financial settlement then the bankruptcy trustee will assume that you own the house 50/50 and will look to realise his share of the equity. If the the court orders a different split of the equity before he goes bankrupt then they will usually respect that. Can't advise on what the family court will do though, sounds like you need some legal advice.
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