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Clean break order or signed letter drafted by his solicitor?(6 Posts)
Hi, looking for some advice?
My soon to be ex husband is desparate for a divorce as he has proposed to his girlfriend of 4 months. He is doing the paperwork himself thro the courts but I said I wanted a clean break order done before i would agreed to divorce.
He has come round tonight to say he has spoken to a solicitor who has advised a clean break order would require a list of assets and debts and the judge would decide if it was fair. I have already bought him out of the family home and gave him his share of the equity and property now in my name. This of course means my assets are a lot more than his as I have the house and he has now run up about 30k debts.
The solicitor has apparently suggested a letter be drawn up and witnessed stating we will make no claim on each others finances - is this enough or will i need a clean break order? Would a judge give him some more equity in the house even though we have agreed not to claim off each other?
I may need to see a solicitor but i am so skint with paying mortgage etc I am trying to avoid it!
You must have an order - an agreement is NOT sufficient. Go and get some legal advice as whilst the divorce is easy, finances are not and you do not want him making a claim on your assets later on. Whilst of course his solicitor would advise him a letter is OK - that is the advice to him. Advice to you would be different....
A solicitor should be able to draw up a Consent Order reflecting the agreement you have made signed by both parties. I assume you had no children.
You should get a solicitor to draw up a consent order. His solicitor can draw it up and you can get a solicitor to check if you want to keep your own costs down.
The consent order will dismiss all your claims against each other. To be honest it doesn't add time to a divorce, if you are organised, as you have to wait 6 weeks between the decree nisi and decree absolute. So there is plenty of time to get the consent order in front of a judge and agreed between the two decrees. The consent order will dismiss any claims he has against your property, inheritance, pensions, etc in the future. I was advised that no agreement would be as watertight as the consent order.
You don't need to do a full Form E disclosure to each other. There is a smaller form you send in with the consent order. There's a space on there to write how you came to the agreement. I simply wrote that we had a prior agreement and we had already transferred the deeds to my name in return for X amount of equity, that we had agreed to each keep our own debts, or to share pensions.
In effect my consent order said that ex would pay me maintenance for the kids, dismissed any claims against each other for inheritance (if one of us should die) and pensions. I have a nominal amount of £2 for spousal support in case I need to claim in future - e.g. If I got sick and can't provide for the kids. This nominal amount stops in the event of my remarriage or when my youngest turns 21.
I know it's costly, but I strongly advise you consult a solicitor about the consent order to make sure it protects your property etc and that there is no way he can open up a claim for anything you own in the future.
And yes the judge will consider if it is fair. I was advised about that too, as on paper I had the house and savings with no debt, whereas ex had no assets and lots of debts. But my solicitor said to make a note of the form (think it's the D81) that goes with the consent order on how we had agreed. He said if the judge did think it unfair, he/she might call us both to explain. But as we had clearly come to a mutual arrangement and it was fair, that it was nothing to be worri d about. Especially when you consider that he had built up the debt on his personal spending and that I had already released equity from the home to him. I had paperwork ready in case we were called, detailing how much money I had given him and when, but it wasn't needed as the judge signed off the consent order without asking for any additional information.
Thanks for all your replies - things have turned a little bit heated tonight as he thinks I am just putting obstacles in the way and he is absolutely desparate to get divorced.
I think I am going to have to bite the bullet and see a solicitor as I dont want problems in the future as his debts are huge and he is crap with money and I dont want him coming back to me in 5 years time desparate for cash!
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