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Back to the drawing board - divorce finances

(25 Posts)
PleaseReleaseMe Sat 29-Dec-12 15:30:18

Hi, I would be ver grateful for any advice please.

DH left me early 2012, we have a 6 yr old DS. I started divorce proceedings in Sept and we agreed a financial settlement by email. DH therefore cancelled our appointment for mediation, also by email (I have copies of all comms).

Our agreement was that we would have a Mesher with DH remaining on mortgage with spousal maintenance so myself and DS could remain in our home.

3 weeks later I receive another email stating that he wants us out of the house, will not stay on the mortgage as he wishes to buy a new property for himself and will be reducing the money he agreed to provide us with.

I am devastated. I work part time self employed and have zero chance of getting a mortgage. We have approx 20k equity in the house that will be taken in fees if he forces sale. Rents in my area would be almost equal to that of current mortgage.

I have a solicitor who is providing legal advice but she is urging me to 'remain as reasonable and fair' in order to avoid court.

I don't know what to do anymore, he refuses now to speak to me and wishes all matters to go through his solicitor. I just cannot afford to do this ( don't get legal aid).

Do I stick with 'amicable' solicitor or do I need to look elsewhere? I can't take much more of his abuse, I just want this all to be over.

RedHelenB Sat 29-Dec-12 17:46:53

What does he earn (& is he self employed?) and how big is the house (court would want to know rental prices on 2 bed properties as that is what you need to house you & your son) Any other assets apart from the 20,000 equity?

PleaseReleaseMe Sat 29-Dec-12 18:21:38

Hi Helen,

Our details are:
He is employed, earns 75k (3700 month)
10k bonus per year
80k pension
About 5k shares

We have a 4 bed house. Valued when he left in Feb at 100k less than we purchased it for. Will require some repair work before going on the market. Current mortgage 1400 per month.

Rent for 2/3 bed house would be approx £1200 per month. I really do not want to have to move DS into a flat.

I gave up my full time career 3 yr ago to work pt as we were planning more DC's and to avoid wrap around care for DS.

I am so upset, I just want to provide some stability for my DS and all I can see ahead of us is a life of shifting from one rental property to another while STBXH enjoys the security of his new house.

PleaseReleaseMe Sat 29-Dec-12 18:27:00

Just to mention he was going to provide enough finance so that I could, with my income afford to pay the mortgage etc. He has agreed to 30% equity upon sale and i was not going to make a claim on his pension as a result.

He is now saying he wants out, no spousal maintenance, £500 child maintenance and will fight over pension as we were only married 4 years.

RedHelenB Sat 29-Dec-12 18:33:07

/How much is owing on the mortgage? A 4 bed house is too big for your needs so what could you buy a 2 bed for?

nkf Sat 29-Dec-12 18:36:21

There is a long way between reasonable and court. Back to mediation maybe? He probably planned this all along.

RedHelenB Sat 29-Dec-12 18:39:38

I think you probably would get some spousal but for him to cover the mortgage is almost half his salary & with a school aged child there is no reason for you not to get a job. Your claim on his pension would be the 6 years of having the child so probably not that much in monetary terms?

nkf Sat 29-Dec-12 18:42:09

How could either of you buy a new house? There isn't enough equity. The solicitor should be explaining your options to you not telling you how to behave.

nkf Sat 29-Dec-12 18:43:16

And I think RedHelen is right about the job. Sorry but you can't really afford to work part time any more.

PleaseReleaseMe Sat 29-Dec-12 19:34:55

I have no issues with working full time but my job involves travelling both uk and overseas. Before I gave up work we work sorted childcare with dh taking leave and my mum helping out but it was hard and was one of the reasons that we decided it best for me to give up.

Dh is now not prepared to help with childcare if it means he has to take leave so makes it very hard for me to return to my former role.

I must add though, I earn a decent salary working pt although this is contract and could end at any point. I think if I had to pay childcare to enable me to work ft, it would work out that I would be left with the same income.

I am certainly not work shy btw, would love to be financially independent from him.

Feel like he's played me for a fool.

PleaseReleaseMe Sat 29-Dec-12 19:46:47

He could afford to get a new house btw because he will be able to get a mortgage.

nkf Sat 29-Dec-12 20:15:21

But you still need hefty deposits to get a mortgage. I just wonder if it makes sense to sell the house when it's lost so much value. The courts will care about the child being taking care of and housed properly. You have a solicitor but you still need to post in Legal on MN. The solicitor needs to work for you, explain things properly and help you plan a response.

PleaseReleaseMe Sat 29-Dec-12 20:32:20

I know nkf, that is why I wondering if I need a second opinion with another solicitor?

It doesn't make any sense to sell at the current time but I fear that it is the principal of us staying there that he is against.

Really appreciate all of the advice. x

Collaborate Sat 29-Dec-12 22:26:47

There's no substitute for taking proper legal advice. Unless you know someone answering your posts is legally qualified (and I know some aren't) you might as well nip down to the pub and ask them there what to do. I couldn't offer advice as I'd need to know much more about your case.

PleaseReleaseMe Sat 29-Dec-12 23:30:43

Thanks collaborate, point taken.
Would you be able to make a recommendation for where I could get a second opinion? I am in Herts if that is relevant.

Would I be right in thinking that our previous documented financial agreement would not be taken into consideration now he has decided that it is no longer acceptable to him? I could kick myself for allowing him to build my hopes up.

I have a terrible feeling that this is going to be a long and drawn out process and my ability to remain amicable and fair is going to to pushed to the limit.

I just want a permanent home for my DS, i seriously am not a work shy, gold digger which is how I fear I am going to be viewed.

Collaborate Sun 30-Dec-12 08:17:26

The weight given to that email agreement will depend on a number of factors, incl whether he got legal advice over it.
Look on the website for details of a solicitor near you.

babybarrister Sun 30-Dec-12 08:42:59

In herts I would recommend Lyn Cowley at nockolds - no legal aid tho. You do need detailed legal advice

RedHelenB Sun 30-Dec-12 08:58:03

If the only assets are 20,000 equity I would think very hard before using all that up in legal fees!! I understand what your solicitor is cautioning you against. I have plenty of divorced friends & aquaintances & once you start going to court things get expensive! Surely it would be more sensible for you both to have a 2 bed house than you rattling around in a 4 bed & bear in mind that courts support non resident parents needs to have somewhere for their child to be during their time with them.

PleaseReleaseMe Sun 30-Dec-12 11:43:49

That is why I posted here Helen because I really don't know which way to turn. He has me backed into a corner. Either I accept his new offer or face losing what little equity we have fighting him.

A 4 bed is obviously too big now for my needs, but is it right to force a sale right now when we stand to lose so much in value, plus with estate agent & conveyancing fees I am going to be left with nothing.

STBXH has already rented a 2 bed flat which he did back in March and has fully furnished it so DS stays over every Friday night and spends all day sat with him.

Thank you for the recommendation babybarrister I will give her a call. Hope that you and your family are well, I followed you all on the assisted thread a couple of years ago now when I was going through it. Fortunately in hindsight, none of my 4 attempts worked but if things do really happen for a reason, then I can now see why.

RedHelenB Sun 30-Dec-12 12:26:49

Why not start looking, see what mortgage you could get (wage, child benefit, maintenance, tax credits all count) & then propose a time scale to ex for eg, sell in a years time or whatever. Any debts at all?

babybarrister Sun 30-Dec-12 22:06:15

Good luck smile and thanks - mine did not work either!

TheDreamCoach Tue 15-Jan-13 18:53:20

DON'T ignore his pension. It could be his second biggest asset after your house. You are entitled to claim against it and receive part of it under a pension sharing order if it is the correct thing to do. Don't be fobbed off. Many Lawyers still ignore the pension fund as they don't understand the complexities of pensions. Have you spoken to the CSA regarding his minimum commitments ? I don't think your Lawyer is doing a good job for you. The courts will start from a position of fairness for both parties which in itself implies equality in assessing all assets, house, pensions, savings. The court will give consideration to the welfare while a minor of any child of the family who has not attained the age of 18.

Collaborate Tue 15-Jan-13 20:27:19

Don't know what company you keep. Never know a lawyer to ignore a pension. We go on enough courses about them.

MOSagain Wed 16-Jan-13 07:56:01

Many Lawyers still ignore the pension fund as they don't understand the complexities of pensions Really? shock Do you know many specialist family lawyers then thedreamcoach? In many cases the pension can be the biggest asset.

babybarrister Wed 16-Jan-13 08:22:45

I agree! Simply not true -the courts do not count pension value tho as pound for pound the same as other assets - given your ages they would probably halve the value ie 40 k and then deduct an amount for the fact that most contributions were made outside of the marriage. Your best bet is to go after spousal maintenance as well as child maintenance as there is really very little else and you have no guarantee the house will go up in value again ...

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