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Has anyone made any big mistakes when negotiating a divorce?

(5 Posts)
madgered Mon 15-Oct-12 07:48:58

I'm going through the early stages of a divorce at the moment. it is extremely tough and I feel emotionally strung out. but I know I need to keep my wits about me to ensure I'm well provided for in the future. I know I'm not in the position of thinking clearly. Do any of you have any tips for me? Is there anything that happened during your divorce that affected your settlement? any mistakes you made, pitfalls that I need to be aware of? I would really appreciate hearing from you.

daffydowndilly Mon 15-Oct-12 07:56:52

Lots of emphathy, as I am in a similar boat. I have a really good solicitor and can only trust she knows what she is doing... my X on the other hand is unstable and angry and is in the process of self-representing and making sure that the court "is up to date on the truth". He will make it more expensive and drag it out and the hilarious thing is there is nothing to 'fight' over as he is in so much (totally self-inflicted) debt, and I haven't a dime (he spent it all). Quite why anyone needs to know that the split isn't only his fault, when he doesn't even disagree with what I have written as causes of unreasonable behaviour, just says a lot more about him and his narcissistic leanings really. So no advice other than make sure you have a solicitor you like, and that the emotions running high is felt here too.

fluffyraggies Mon 15-Oct-12 08:33:00

daffy OMG that's all so familiar! Especially the bit about fault and blame. He refused to begin divorce proceedings against me - forcing me to divorce him - then got stroppy because i'd given grounds! He also refused to get legal advice, ignored all the letters form my solicitor, and generally made the whole process more painful and expensive for both of us in the long run hmm

OP - if you've got children and you are having sole care of them, and there is any property to be sold, make sure you get the lions share.

I spent many months saying a 50/50 split was fine. Then XH's deliberate awkwardness, delaying tactics and refusal to discuss maintenance payments resulted in me saying to the solicitor to go for it and i got much more than i was expecting. Just as well too, as X then managed to avoid paying a penny piece towards his kids (including xmas and birthday presents) for the next 3 years despite being in a well paid job sad

Anniegetyourgun Mon 15-Oct-12 09:00:48

Ha, yes, XH did that thing too. His way of proving the marriage had not irretrievably broken down was to point out all the things that I had done wrong too confused I think he had a sort of view that the court would find in favour of the most deserving case, which was obviously him, and he didn't want the marriage to break down so they'd say I had to either stay or walk away with nothing. Don't worry, they didn't! It was 50-50 in the end, which under the circumstances I considered fair. (I was the main earner.)

Two colleagues were divorcing at the same time and they both got done over pretty brown, by their own solicitors as much as by their exes. Their solicitors were a lot more expensive than mine, too. So paying a lot doesn't guarantee a good service. It's more important to find one who's experienced at divorce/family law, who is pragmatic over which battles are worth fighting to the bitter end and which are better to concede, and who is unquestionably on your side.

Oh, and of course, no 1 rule: do not trust a word your ex or his legal advisers utter. Until it's been nailed down on paper, crawled over by your legal adviser and if appropriate an accountant, and stamped by a court, nothing, but nothing, should be taken as agreed.

madgered Mon 15-Oct-12 12:53:19

Wow. I'm sorry to hear and also reassured to hear that we are all and have all experienced the same thing with our spouses. I guess it's the same old story and our legal advisors have heard it time and time again. Daffy, my thoughts are with you. I wish you all the very best. Some advice I've receive from my GP has been hugely helpful. Exercise, get lots of rest and eat well. My solicitor has advised me to get some counseling, for myself and for help with what to say to the children. I've looked at my relationship with my partner and decided that we are both our children's carers therefore I need to treat him as a collegue. I refuse to get drawn into arguments, although that is tricky. Hold tight, look after yourselves. X

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