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A bit worried about divorce proceedings

(8 Posts)
99percentchocolate Mon 18-Jan-16 13:34:39

Before I start, this isn't about me but my parents. I've tried to keep out of it but I am getting increasingly concerned.
Mum left dad 4 years ago and moved in with my grandparents. Split was amicable, no one else involved.
When she moved out DM stopped contributing to the mortgage. She is named on mortgage and house deeds. DF did not, and has never paid any spousal support. Child maintenance not needed as both Dsis and I are adults.
DM filed for divorce on grounds of 3 year separation and requested the house be sold and proceeds split.
DF refused to sell house and refused to appoint a solicitor, choosing to represent himself. He was very uncooperative (he agrees this but said that this was because he needed to read up on the law to ensure he wasn't disadvantaging himself) so DM's solicitor changed the grounds to DF's unreasonable behaviour. DF refuted this and said he would only agree to a divorce under 5 year separation terms for the financial implications. (They were at 3.5 years at this point). He offered half of his pension as a settlement but refused the sale of the house, stating that he could not afford to move out.
DF has now appointed a solicitor, but they have taken months to reply to letters and haven't cooperated. DM's solicitor is now pushing for this to go to court so that a judge can decide the sale of the house. She is pursuing for court costs too so if DF loses then he will have to pay his fees, mum's fees, and court costs. This has been estimated at upwards of 20k.
Some more info:
DM is still living with my grandmother. She cannot afford rent in the area we live in and has no deposit to buy again.
DF lives in family house but has a new partner and spends most of his time there.
When DM moved out the house was in a good state. DF cannot cope with the upkeep of house and it is now in a very dilapidated state. It would cost thousands to fix. This is due to DF being unable to afford to heat the house. Wall paper is peeling off the walls due to damp, the garden is over run and filled with rubbish, the walls are black with damp and mould. It is not in a habitable condition.
DF cannot afford to rent privately either, but has been in a relationship with his DP for over 2 years and spends most of his time at her house.

Everything I have read, and from what DF and DM tell me themselves, suggests that a court would find in DM's favour. DF agrees with this and knows it is likely, but is determined to go to court anyway as he doesn't want to sell the house willingly. I'm concerned that he is going to cost himself and DM a huge amount of money when it can be avoided.

Is it really as clear cut as that or should they go to court? I know it is none of my business but I care about them both and don't want to see either put in a bad situation if it can be avoided.

99percentchocolate Mon 18-Jan-16 13:40:36

Sorry, should have added, DM has stated that she would agree to being bought out but DF has refused this on financial grounds.
DM lives with her very elderly DM (late eighties and health declining). DM has two brothers - one of whom has bought equity in DGM's house. He has also paid for substantial work to be done to the house. I believe that his intention is to acquire the house after DGM dies and rent it out.

99percentchocolate Tue 19-Jan-16 13:10:47


Borninthe60s Tue 19-Jan-16 13:32:09

If it goes to court your fathers partners income may be included if he is cohabiting with her. It's,likely there'll be a 50/50 split of the proceeds of sale or your father will have to remortgage and find 50% for,your mum.

99percentchocolate Tue 19-Jan-16 17:45:52

Thank you Born, that's what I thought. I'm very worried about him. Going to court will ruin him financially. They aren't officially cohabiting but he is definitely spending most of his time there.

RandomMess Tue 19-Jan-16 17:49:57

Tell him to grow up and stop wasting his money and sell the house and go 50/50 on it otherwise he will lose far more!!!

Sunnyshores Tue 19-Jan-16 17:54:52

although strange things seem to happen at court, it does seem very straightforward and the split would be 50/50. If your mum was contributing to the mortgage payments when she lived there, and you say she didnt when she left, they may adjust her 50% to take account of payments she has missed.

Can you talk to your Dad and look at properties together that he could then afford? Clearly remaining where he is, isnt pleasant for him either.

99percentchocolate Tue 19-Jan-16 18:35:20

Unfortunately he seems to be aware that a judgment in court will very likely go against him. He is determined that he won't sell the house unless ordered to though. I'm very worried about him. I didn't know that his DP's income could be looking into as well. I may mention that to him.
He is determined to retire in 5 years and so refuses to rent privately. He says he will be turned down for a mortgage if he applies so can't buy either.
It's a very tricky situation.

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