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friend just found out OH affair

(11 Posts)
everythingsgoingsouth Wed 24-Dec-14 19:04:55

Hi, just wondered if anyone had any advice please. my best friend has found OH has met someone else. marriage over.
she is thinking she will be homeless. in her late fifties.married 5 years .she had not a bean to her name(sold her negative equity home to move in with OH) His house then worth about £275000,now about £300000, fully paid up mortgage. its his family home ,had his two children living with him, one now moved out.
there is nothing with her name on, just electoral role. she has paid OH £600 every month since by standing order towards bills and groceries.
is a court likely to award her any money to get a home of her own?
can't see a solicitor until next week now (never mind getting through xmas)
how can I help her ,practically?

thanks for reading

Quitelikely Wed 24-Dec-14 19:06:52

You said marriage over but then call him OH

Are they married?

Quitelikely Wed 24-Dec-14 19:07:46

If they are married then yes she will be entitled to some of the proceeds of the house.

gatewalker Wed 24-Dec-14 19:10:38

She will definitely get marital assets, but as far as I know it will be based on length of time married and how much was/wasn't accrued over that time. She won't come out with nothing, I'm certain of that. So maybe what you can do is simply be there to help her through the emotions and the significant change she's facing. Poor thing.

HamPortCourt Wed 24-Dec-14 19:32:24

The courts will take into account any time they lived together before they married if that helps and no, she won't be left without a bean, he will have to provide her with some kind of settlement.

Practically I guess a shoulder to cry on and helping her find a good solicitor for the new year sad

everythingsgoingsouth Wed 24-Dec-14 19:53:44


sorry, yes, they are married .only lived together about 18 months before wedding.
I can do the emotional hand holding /support etc, it's just the "how will I afford to live" bit i'm not sure about !
and the thought of her trying to get through Christmas sad , we live 200 miles apart and we are both working tomorrow and boxing day.
thanks again, merry Christmas to you all!

WellWhoKnew Wed 24-Dec-14 20:17:40

It's complicated your friend's situation, but I understand your/her urge for quick reassurance.

Firstly, all the ins and outs of divorce read Family Law Made Simple by Gordon and Slater. It explains the difference approaches (and the divorce procedure). It certainly calmed me down when I read it! Litigation via solicitors/barristers is shockingly expensive, so a DIY divorce may work for her. In which case, that book, and Wikivorce, will be a God-send to her.

If he will admit to adultery, then I gather he has to pay the costs of the court fees. These are a few hundred pounds. If not, she'll have to divorce him for Unreasonable Behaviour.

Just so that your friend can understand a bit more of the reality, forgive me, for talking about myself, but I want to reassure her initial fears of living on the streets bit..given it's Christmas at all.

I too have a 'wonderful' husband who is claiming all the capital assets of the marriage were in fact loaned to me, and now he has left, I must pay him back! This floored me for months until, finally, he accepted this was a completely arse of an argument! He is now claiming 50% of the assets in my name, and has spent all the assets in his aside from the one's we have managed to get freezing orders on! He has repeatedly ordered me out of my home. I am still in it - he is not! So, your friend, if she can stand it, must remain in the marital home for now unless there is somewhere else she can go. However, I realise why this often is hell on earth as often times there's nowhere for the other person to go. And divorce can take many moons to resolve...

At the moment, he is paying me (hard fought for as it was) spousal maintanence (properly called Interim Periodical Payments). This you can get awarded very quickly (within weeks of your application going in, but only after you have started your petition to divorce) and it lasts until (at least) the court directs otherwise. The key issue is whether he can afford it! If he can't, she has no hope.

Obviously every marriage is unique, so every divorce outcome is similarly unique so it's impossible to say what she will leave with. The rule of thumb is: it will NOT be the case that she leaves with nothing at all - after all if the house has gone up in value, then half the value of that house increase minus capital gains, are hers.

Likewise, it doesn't matter if he was the earner and she the 'home-maker' she has still contributed fully to the marriage, so she's entitled to 50% of any accruals in pensions/other assets during this time (but not post-separation).

She is not entitled to half his income following the split.

That's why, for example, Heather Mills, left her similarly short marriage 16m pounds better off than when she arrived in it. The fact that there was a child involved obviously was a very important consideration. However, the rules are the same for us all.

I hope some of this helps. She won't get a bean for him being a cheating bastard though as 'fault' doesn't affect divorce law.

everythingsgoingsouth Wed 24-Dec-14 20:29:39


thank you for taking the time to post all that info and share your story. will pass it on to her.
wishing you a lovely future!

Vivacia Wed 24-Dec-14 21:04:41

She was in debt when she got married (negative equity) and paid costs she'd have paid otherwise? Does she still have debts from her old house and where's she been getting the £600 from?

everythingsgoingsouth Wed 24-Dec-14 21:50:22

She works! paid off neg equity with inheritance from her mum. she has no personal debt thank goodness.

WellWhoKnew Wed 24-Dec-14 22:29:37

Great that she works. With her earnings, can she afford to live (and rent) post divorce?

The primary job of divorce is to ensure both parties can "move on". If you go the solicitor route (it is very expensive) she can expect the costs to be between 5K - 10K for a simple 'negotiated' divorce (which most are). The rule is 'each side bears their own costs' so therefore the court costs come out of the marital pot/earnings (just like the wedding costs did!). So, for example, when I get my settlement, the first thing I'm going to have to do is pay the lovely solicitor and scary barrister for their time. (Although for me, so far, he's paid quite a chunk of it because of his litigation behaviour...but it is extreme so it that way "I'm lucky"!)

The onus on divorcing people is to negotiate their own settlement. Yes, whilst you're full of hurt, snot and tears, you are supposed to calmly sort out the money!

If you have to divorce a total shit of a person, then you have no alternative but to go to court. This experience ensures that you can add between 3K and 10K per visit (that's my experience anyway!).

The reality is that you will be substantially poorer for divorce (that's me!), but the court will bear it in mind a period of adjustment is necessary: "without undue hardship"....

As if getting cheated on, being lied to and shat all over isn't undue hardship, I don't know what is. However, in divorce this fact actually makes no difference to the outcome. You still have to pay a fucking helluva lot of money to get out of the marriage that they fucked off from.

Her case will be one of 'needs' and so it will boil down to what can be afforded given the resources within the marriage. Clearly the 'rights' of a person in a long marriage are different to the rights of a person in a short marriage, but this comes under 'all the circumstances' of the case.

Does this 'clinical' approach make any sense to you?

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