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Assets post separation(9 Posts)
I was wondering if someone could help me.
To make a long story short;
Stbxh and I separated in 2015 after 2.5 years married. We have one child together. We lived in rented accommodation when we separated and I was in debt.
I have since got out of debt, met a new partner, bought a house and had another baby. My parents are relatively wealthy, my father died last year and my inheritance went into trust.
We are finally getting around to sorting our divorce. I am respondent and the nisi was pronounced 4.5 months ago so I can now apply for absolute. Things are acrimonious due to a child custody battle which concluded in my favour.
I am desperate for a clean break order due to my future inheritance and earning potential, he does not work and relies on benefits due to poor mental health. He is refusing to sign a clean break order and wants me to 'make him an offer' to sign it. I offered through my solicitor that I would not pursue him through cms. He is now ignoring my solicitor.
I am considering claiming cms and taking him to court as litigant in person (cannot afford solicitor fees) to get financial matters sorted. What are the chances of him being awarded anything I have gained since our separation?
I am resident parent.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
The first priority is to make sure that both party's reasonable needs are met. If the only way of achieving that is to dip into assets you have acquired post-separation then I'm afraid that is what will happen. He may also be able to argue that you have only been able to acquire these assets because of the marriage, e.g. because his help and support were critical to you succeeding in your career.
Even if you can't afford a solicitor to represent you, I would recommend consulting a solicitor to get a realistic view of the likely split.
There are a number of special circumstances in your post that make the answer unsuitable to either the brevity of your "instructions" or this public forum. You must take advice from a lawyer.
I was in a similar ish situation with my ex husband but minus the children. We separated from a 5 year marriage and he didn't work.
My solicitor was quite risk adverse as he wasn't aware of many situations or precedents where the woman is high earned and the man is looking to take assets from the woman. Also for the past 3 years I had been paying all the bills so had been providing for him so the concern was that I might have to continue.
So I ended up giving him a fair bit of extra cash from our flat sale to get rid of him. We split our cash from the sale of our flat 80:20 in his favour. But I got a clean break and he dropped his maintenance claim against me. The first time we filed the judge rejected stating it wasn't fair to me if that helps give an indication.
I would find out what is he after? If is a small sum to get the clean break - it could be worth it to secure your future and not pay court costs.
Also - if he isn't working - how much cms will you really get?
In financial terms I think I lost about £20k with my divorce but i got peace of mind and resolution and the ability to move on financially.
It is usual that your situation at the point of separation is considered the starting point for negotiations. You were married (pre-separation) for only 2.5 years, which is considered a short marriage, and not at all unusual for both to walk away with what they brought to the marriage, financially speaking. Can you tell us what your position was then op?
That said, have you been supporting him since the separation? Does your dc live with you?
You cannot agree to not make a claim for CMS.
If you have made good since the separation, having repaid debts and built up savings, or had the inheritance, it may be worth a small investment to make him sign the forms. (I'm sure he'll find he doesn't have a claim on your inheritance, as your father died long after you separated, but if there is a huge disparity in finances it may be considered that he gets a bigger share of any marital assets (at the date of separation))
Speak to a solicitor, or head to the wikivorce website and post there.
If you have good earnings potential and an inheritance why can you not have a solicitor representing you? Surely it’s worth it in a complex situation? Litigants in person can annoy everyone and it takes longer. Get professional advice when you need it the most to get the best deal you can for your family.
You indeed can't say that you won't go for maintenance when you could change your mind at anytime and no court order would stop that.
How long were you living together before getting married as this could be taken into consideration. Was he working when you were together?
We both worked. When we separated 8 years ago I was in debt and he had just received a large inheritance. He has told me since that he has none of this left - whether this is true or not I don't know. My inheritance is in trust, I will not receive anything until my mum dies. I am the only earner in my house currently as my partner lost his job due to covid, so we can just about cover the mortgage and bills etc. I am in no position to pay for a solicitor.
Depending how the trust is set up, you may be able to access it to pay for some important things if the trustees see fit to do it.
For example, my will leaves a trust for my kids to access when they're 25 should I die. But with a line to say they can have reasonable access for things like uni, a sensible car, house deposit or maintenance of our current home.
If there are 'liquid' assets in your trust, I suggest you approach the trustees to help you protect it.
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