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Who gets What?

(28 Posts)
ohnobaby Sat 29-Aug-09 08:58:49

Ok, so this is complicated, but after a heated conversation with ex p last night he's decided he wants to go to court for them to agree on how we split everything. Story: We moved back from Australia a month ago, he decided he didn't want to be together anymore once we were back and now I've found somewhere to live with my daughter. We have all our household items being shipped over from Oz mid sept and he originally told me I could have averything and the car, now he's saying I'm not entitled to it and he has to start over, so he wants half of it and wants to sell the car, split the money and I can get a car from that. I'll end up with an old banger instead of a nice VW Passat. But, anyway, I've got an appointment with a solicitor next week but now I'm worrying and will be until I see them about having to buy everything for the house, which I move into next week. Can anyone advise who usually gets what if it does go to court? He already has a house he rents out and a holiday home in Bulgaria, whereas I have nothing! Thanks

steaknife Sat 29-Aug-09 09:14:11

Sorry I have no advice for the legal side. Just sympathy for the very difficult situation you are in.

I hope someone comes along with something more constructive soon.

southernaccent Sat 29-Aug-09 09:22:06

If you have no children together then a 50 50 split seems fair. Do you have the original agreement in writing/email? that would help. A court normally looks at 1/arrangements for joint children 2/ earning potential going forward 3/length and type of relationship. it is always best to avoid court and the money you pay in solicitors is pointless. Maybe say to him, he made an agreement which you have now made plans on, say going back causes you stress and complications. Finish by saying that under the circumstances, and the position you are in, a bigger split to you would be a compromise maybe 60 or 70%. State agreeing this will equate to the same with no legal bills.
Would you get legal aid? would he have to pay for his legal services? These things can get complicated but should be sorted between you to stop feeding lawyers.

hope that helps in some way and good luck

ohnobaby Sat 29-Aug-09 09:31:18

Yeah, there's no agreement because this all came up when we put it in writing and it came to him signing the agreement. I will be entitled to legal aid but he'll have to pay. That's what I don't understand, for half of what's coming back he'll end up paying more in legal fees. I think he's just trying to scare me into letting him have it all. I said he can have the plasma tv, the surround sound thingy and the bed, and I get the kitchen bits and the towels and linen. Surely that's fair? he doesn't even have anywhere to live at the mo and is staying with his mum!

southernaccent Sat 29-Aug-09 09:47:14

You tend to find that family and friends get involved and advise that they have "been there and done that" and this often changes things! The fact you get legal aid and he needs to pay is a big plus. It sounds like he has more earning potential too, so that is in your favour. How long was the relationship? I would like to think any lawyer would say you had a good chance of 60 - 70% of it. However, i am sure they will urge a private settlement, there is no house equity to resolve. even if the assets were worth 20 - 30k that would be seen as a small case. Sounds like he is being an A**e!

It does sound like he is trying to scare you. It will always be best to divide the assets rather then sell cheaply and divide cash. hopefully, you dont have to sell the car, but if you get an higher share and have to, and need the money quick, then webuyanycar was good for me. one appointment, car gone, money next working day. got about 400 less than I would have adverising but no risk of it not selling after paying for the advert.

ohnobaby Sat 29-Aug-09 10:14:08

Thanks Southern accent, you've put my mind at rest. Yes he's working at the moment earning 26k plus bonuses so he can afford to buy things. I'm just trying to get everything sorted before I start looking for work. We were together 3.5 years. He seems to think that seeing as he was working when we were in oz and that I was at home looking after the baby, he paid for everything so it's his! He already has a car aswell, he wants to sell it this week so he leaves me without a car for moving house next weekend. Then I go to cyprus for 2 weeks in 10 days to see my parents, I can't wait for the break! Hopefully all be sorted by then if he can compromise!

southernaccent Sat 29-Aug-09 10:21:19

That's a longish relationship so i am sure you, or your solicitor, will bang his head against the wall and tell him to wake up and smell the coffee. The best thing is you both move on enjoy life. His argument that he worked and paid while you were at home will not wash and will be seen as under valuing the role you played. Just refuse to sell anything at this stage. he cant make you.

Cyprus, luvly. Good luck and really enjoy the break!

Niceguy2 Sat 29-Aug-09 10:44:56

Since you are saying ex-p rather than ex-husband I assume you were not married.

If thats the case its very simple. Legally speaking, what he bought is his, what you bought is yours.

The fact you have a child, didn't work, looked after the family etc. is totally irrelevent in the eyes of the law.

So to give you an example, if he paid for the dining table from his bank account then its his. If you paid for it, its yours.

If you were/are married then its a totally different kettle of fish and the starting premise is 50-50.

southernaccent Sat 29-Aug-09 12:05:09

I still believe a court will look at earning potential going forward, Especially with a child together and a relationship of more than 3 years. How could ohnobaby have been expected to work whild being at home with a young child. A courts main concern will be ongoing arrangements for the child and if ohnobaby is the resident parent she will get more.

Niceguy2 Sat 29-Aug-09 15:38:21

Not if they were not married they won't.

No matter how long the relationship or amount of children, UK law still effectively treats them as individuals. The fact they have a child is completely irrelevent. He has absolutely no obligation to provide a roof for either of them. His only liability is child support which is roughly 15% of his net income.

OP has no rights to his property or spousal maintenance. Basically what is his is his, what is hers is hers, and what is jointly-owned needs to be divided.

Being able to prove who owns what is key. If he paid for everything out of his bank account then he technically "owns" everything.

In the case of the car it is the ownership which is important and not the registered keeper. When I split from my ex my solicitor told me that since I paid for it, insured it and put petrol in it that I was the owner despite it being registered in ex's name.

Trust me, I've been through this twice and the only thing thats stopped my ex's taking our home was the fact I wasn't married.

Ongoing child maintenance is dealt with by the CSA, not courts and that is income dependant.

If I were ohnobaby I'd compromise sharpish rather than attempt to go to court. Cos chances are she'll lose. Its not that the courts don't want to help rather than their hands are tied by law.

Is it fair? Well that depends on which side of the fence you sit.

southernaccent Sat 29-Aug-09 16:16:16

I know a claim can be made on behalf of the child for a share in a propoerty under the children's act in these circumstances. I am sure the same would apply to contents. Also, in a three year relationship i am sure it will be very difficult to prove who paid for, or contributed for what.

Niceguy2 Sat 29-Aug-09 19:09:36

Really? I'd be interested in any links you have on that. Its news to me and certainly not what my kids mum's solicitor told her. Had she been able to claim anything from me then trust me she'd have done so.

Your right on the fact its difficult to prove who owns what. Another good reason for just compromising rather than wasting money on solicitors. But as they say, possession is nine tenths of the law so if I were OP, i'd try to get as much of the contents as possible then let her ex worry about how he's going to prove he paid!

ohnobaby Mon 31-Aug-09 21:26:43

Thanks guys. Well, everything from Australia is coming to my house anyway. He can have back everything he had before we started our relationship, and even though he may have paid for most of the things we have, the only reason I didn't was because I wasn't working whilst I was raising our daughter! Anyway, I've tried reasoning with him by asking what he actually wants from the stuff and he won't answer me with a list of things, he just says half of it. But he's now decided he wants to go court to agree on it. Which is fine, for what it costs for him to pay for a solicitor will be half of what all the belongings cost anyway! I'm just waiting to hear from his solicitor now! Can't wait to go on holiday a week tomorrow and just relax and get away from it all!

Niceguy2 Tue 01-Sep-09 11:42:20

If its all coming to your house then what I'd do is give him back his stuff, keep the stuff you need and tell him if he's unhappy to feel free to go to court.

There's what the law says and whats practical. Depending on the "value" of the stuff, if his solicitor is truly giving him best advice (which he's obliged to do) then he'll probably tell him it isn't worth the cost/aggro.

giveloveachance Tue 01-Sep-09 11:57:44

Yes the child is entitiled to a share of the dad's equity in any property - under the Children's Act - so that the child can be rehoused with the mother. BUT only until the child is 18 where upon it has to be paid back.

The court will let you take anything that is for the child's upkeep, her bed, clothes, toys etc but anything else, if he paid for it, it is his.

There is such an appalling disparity of rights for the woman if she is not married, than if she is. It really is not fair. The child is only entitled to 15% of her dad's net income as child support. The mum gets nothing. so the mum ends up paying the vast majority of the costs of rearing the child and has responsibility and difficulities associated with lone parenting, while the dad, can rebuild his life much more easily.

rant over...

huge sympathy for you. hope it gets sorted quickly.

Niceguy2 Tue 01-Sep-09 12:23:35

What's "fair" though? Your assumption there is the dad has no input and pays nothing.

Most dad's do continue to see their kids and incur costs. My neighbour has two kids, pays his wife above what the CSA ask and still pays out for holidays, clothes, entertainment etc. You could easily argue its not fair for him.

As I realised a long time ago. When it comes to family matters, "fair" depends on which side of the fence you sit.

slug Tue 01-Sep-09 13:08:09

Or, alternatively, send him a bill for 3 years of 24 hour childcare. Let him argue it down to half, then point out that will still be greater than the value of all of the posessions. wink

giveloveachance Tue 01-Sep-09 15:21:49

niceguy2 - your nieghbour had a wife - by law he has to provide more finanical support than if he had just co-habited. The law does not protect unmarried mothers who were in long term relationships.

southernaccent Tue 01-Sep-09 17:30:01

this was over a year ago. it should be done though:
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article1913200.ece

Niceguy2 Tue 01-Sep-09 18:57:20

>>>niceguy2 - your nieghbour had a wife - by law he has to provide more finanical support than if he had just co-habited. The law does not protect unmarried mothers who were in long term relationships.<<<

By law his (ex)-wife is better protected yes. But nowadays unless the man is megarich, clean break settlements are the norm. So once the assets have been divided then all that the man pays is child maintenance. Heaven forbid the mum has to go and get a job!

cestlavielife Wed 02-Sep-09 16:06:24

the law does protect teh children in terms of child maintenance and property - see
www.edwardsduthie.com/index.php?selectedpage=services_main&content_category_id=3&content_id=137

the belongings coming to you, you pack up what you dont need and hand it to him. if he wants a particular item - he should let you know.
really it would be daft of him to go to court over items unless they hugely valuable paintings or seomthing!

not worth you arguing over either.

l;et go it it all....go to ikea and buy new stuff if needs be...
or go on local freecycle website and ask for free stuff - you can easily get anough stuff beds and so on.

even in married couples the main issue is property assets...

i left my exp. i owe him nothing. he cannot claim spousal maintenance.

he should however pay some child maintenance. he isnt working...so the kids get nothing.
seems to manage to spend money he does not have on property he lives in which is still joint owned.

as nniceguy says "Heaven forbid the father has to go and get a job!" to support himself and pay something towards his kids!

hey ho

Niceguy2 Wed 02-Sep-09 16:49:50

lol touché Cestlavie

Like I say, fair depends on which side of the fence you sit on. You think its unfair he doesn't pay you maintenance. I bet your ex thinks its fair and is of the (mistaken or otherwise) opinion that he owes you nothing either.

cestlavielife Thu 03-Sep-09 13:47:11

i agree he owes me nothing. (i could argue over bits of furniture as per the op - but it is just not worth it...)

but he owes the children, something !

moot point tho - i am happy to provide for them....

meantime just got a letter from bank as he has withdrawn money - bought building supplies - taking the still-joint bank account (mortgages still on it) over the overdraft facility of £2500!! fee of £63 pounds!!

he has been doing up the joint owned flat which is rented. he took on himself to rip everything out and start again instead of just painting as i had requested in order tog et new tenants as soon as possible...so: two months without tenants (and further into the red) instead of one month; and mortgage still to be paid on this flat.

and now my name is going down on credit rating because he is irresponsible...

hey ho. the sooner can separate financially the better.

giveloveachance Thu 03-Sep-09 15:37:34

heaven forbid the mother has to go and get a job - if only life were that simply niceguy2.

An awful lot of lone mothers cannot get a job that covers the cost of child care, and when you are lucky enough to get an interview - even though employers are not allowed to discriminate, they do ask about child care arrangements, what would you do if LO was sick etc and I think it does influence them.

cestlavielife - sounds a nightmare, hope it is sorted soon.

Niceguy2 Thu 03-Sep-09 16:29:22

cestlavie, i was just playing devils advocate to illustrate my point. In actual fact I think he certainly should pay child support.

Giveloveachance, I thought the govt paid for 80% of childcare via tax credits. Oh and I have to take time off work when my kids are ill. When i have to go away on business then I have to beg friends and call in favours to be able to do it. I've had to turn meetings and even better job opportunities down because of childcare issues so I'm fully aware working and raising kids is not easy. But its far from impossible!

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