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This year I need to be free

(26 Posts)
Comfortblanket Thu 01-Jan-15 01:25:27

Anyone else? I want him to leave but I know he will be unpleasant. I want to be free asap but have a problem with the financial agreement. He has agreed to 50/50 on the house but will not discuss 50/50 on pensions. Will a judge question if I agree to not going 50/50 on pensions? He earns nearly double what I do. It is a long marriage. No dependent children they have all left home.

EhricJinglingHisBallsOnHigh Thu 01-Jan-15 01:28:54

You really need to get legal advice as soon as possible.

LineRunner Thu 01-Jan-15 01:31:10

Then you need to take more of the equity in the house.

He will have to supply financial info to the court anyway.

Comfortblanket Thu 01-Jan-15 02:10:04

I have had legal advice but I want to get rid of him rather than go to court. He has ruined my life and I would rather have a bit less of a settlement and get rid of him quickly. I know it sounds mad but the early death of someone I knew has just put it into perspective that we really don't know how much time we have left. I am worried that the judge would question it.

AcrossthePond55 Thu 01-Jan-15 02:41:27

I think a judge would be willing to accept a settlement worked out and agreed upon by both parties as long as it wasn't too terribly one-sided and you could prove that your consent to the settlement was 'informed consent' and not under duress.

It sounds as if you've had a real shock and wake-up call. I understand. But please be sure you don't throw out the baby with the bathwater in your haste to be free. Can you not separate now and work out the financials a bit later after you've had a chance to regroup yourself?

akaWisey Thu 01-Jan-15 08:51:09

I agree with PP's advice to be cautious about giving up (usually) the most valuable asset of a marriage before you've at least found out the CETV so you KNOW what you're giving up if you still decide you want to. This right was fought for and won because so many women in the past were left with virtually no financial cushion after divorce.

You say you just want rid. I understand that. But tbh what he's 'agreeing' to is a shit settlement for you whatever that looks like in hard cash.
Please don't do anything rash. There is no reason to rush this. The end result will be the same, you will be rid of him.

Comfortblanket Thu 01-Jan-15 14:05:40

Thanks for your sage words. I know the value of both our pensions. He would have to give my pension pot 50k to make it 50/50. This would only be any use to me as money to buy another property. Any ideas how much 50k in pension would be in money? It would help me to know as not worth spending huge amounts of lawyers money to fight for very little when balanced with quality of life without him.

AcrossthePond55 Thu 01-Jan-15 14:48:58

Do you mean how much would your pension be with that extra 50k and without it? I can't give you the figures but I'd be willing to bet that the pension office or agency could.

But here's the thing. They can only give you the value in today's money. I worked in the US OAP office over for 30 years and calculating benefits was part of my job. We would tell people that future calculations were really only reliable within 2 years of retirement date. After that there were too many factors to be completely accurate; cost of living, regulatory changes, inflation/deflation, changes in calculation factors, future earnings.

So do get those figures from a reliable source. The paying agency or a certified accountant with experience in retirement strategies. But be sure you question how accurate the figure is if you are quite a few years away from claiming. And remember that you don't know how expensive it will be to live as you want to live years from now. That £150 (or whatever) you give up today may mean the difference between a comfortable retirement or one spent scrimping and saving. Trust me, I've seen it.

Comfortblanket Thu 01-Jan-15 16:26:58

Across the pond I would like to know if at all possible hoe much e tea equity could I have instead of 50k being transferred to my pension. Hope that makes sense.

Tobyjugg Thu 01-Jan-15 17:12:44

In very rough terms, £50K will get you a flat £2,500pa from age 60. No inflation proofing, or other ancillery benefits.

Tobyjugg Thu 01-Jan-15 17:15:48

If he is in a final salary pension scheme and has been in it for a fair number of years, there is every chance it is worth more than your house. Go for the pension as well as the house. You're a fool if you don't.

AcrossthePond55 Thu 01-Jan-15 17:35:00

You'd need to talk to an accountant, an estate agent, and a financial counselor. My cousin did this and it worked out to her ex signing over his interest in the home in exchange for her signing off her rights to his pension. She stayed in the home & took over the mortgage payments. Again, I'm in the US so I'm not sure how UK laws would work. In the end I'm not sure she did the right thing because she took a 2nd mortgage (during the real estate boom) to fix up the house. Although she's still in positive equity, her mortgage payment is now considerably higher than it was. This will affect her ability to retire as her retirement income won't cover her expenses. But it was her choice. Some of it needed doing (new furnace/AC) but some was cosmetic. But she's in line to receive a very large inheritance 'in due time' so it should work out ok in the long run.

I'd say it depends upon the amounts. Are you selling or staying? If you and he are selling and you realize enough equity to cash purchase a new home, you can live on less per month in retirement since you wouldn't have a mortgage. If you don't realize enough equity to cash purchase a home, it would depend on your mortgage payment and/or when the mortgage would be paid off versus your retirement income, iyswim.

This is why you shouldn't rush into this. You really need to talk to the UK equivalent of a financial planner AND a solicitor.

Comfortblanket Thu 01-Jan-15 19:16:26

Don't think it is final salary. I just don't want to argue with him any more. It would be lovely if I could rely on the judge to not let it through as it was too much in his favour. He would not argue with a judge. Also it would make him realise that 50/50 of everything is fair. Is that too much of a gamble?

AcrossthePond55 Thu 01-Jan-15 20:17:24

Have you spoken to a solicitor? If not, I think you need to retain one and all communications go through him/her. It sounds as if a settlement has been discussed and your stbx is trying to wear you down or bully you? Is there any way you can separate and then work things out? I can understand it would be hellish to be living with someone and trying to negotiate with them, too!

You really can't rely on a judge to do anything other than 'ok' what you have agreed to, or to make a ruling in the event of a disagreement. If you mean that if you agree to a 'one-sided' agreement but really hope that a judge will turn it down & make a fairer one on his own, I don't think that would happen. If you get in front of a judge without representation and say 'I don't agree to this, but he won't agree to 50/50' I assume you'd be referred to mediation. Again, I'm in the US, the UK system may be different.

You really need a solicitor. Many do a free 30 minute consultation. Gather all your and his financial information and prepare a list of questions and what you'd like, settlement-wise.

Yes, they cost money, sometimes quite a bit. But paying a solicitor now may save you much financial heartache later.

Comfortblanket Thu 01-Jan-15 20:26:37

I have spoken to a solicitor they said 50/50 was reasonable but they meant pensions as well. I think I will have to get financial advice as I thought it was simpler. I am just fed up of his hints that he will try to destroy my livelihood if I don't do what he wishes with the pension.

Can a couple go to see a solicitor together to have the finances sorted? I don't have much money. He does. His mother is very wealthy.

AcrossthePond55 Thu 01-Jan-15 21:40:02

Yes, but would it be wise? Again, if you were to go to a solicitor together with a previously agreed upon settlement, he/she could draw up the papers. But since it's obvious that your stbx is threatening you and trying to do you out of what you deserve, no one solicitor will be able to represent both of you to mutual satisfaction.

Please see a solicitor for a free consultation. See more than one if you need to. Someone on another thread suggested a poster contact the CAB and ask about legal aid? I'm not in the UK so I don't know what can or cannot be done. But you really do need to see a solicitor. Is there anyone in RL you can turn to for help or moral support? Family or friends? Your children? I know my sons would be there for me if I were in your situation. Even if there weren't in a position to lend me money for a solicitor, I know they'd be there emotionally.

AcrossthePond55 Thu 01-Jan-15 21:41:33

Rather than 'see' I meant to say you need to engage a solicitor.

Effic Thu 01-Jan-15 21:55:13

I took virtually nothing from my long marriage. Did not claim any of the over 1 million in assets, nothing from his pension & no maintenance. I earn a good wage ( but still less than 1/4 his). Judge refused to grant consent order as "I am concerned about the extremely uneven nature of the distribution of capital and assets" but all had to do was write to the judge and explain that I was 1). Not under duress 2). Understood that I was taking substantially less than I was entitled to and the order was granted. It is not up to the courts to force you to split things 50/50 if you are happy with less.
I wanted out ......did not want to spend years in court fighting ....... Didn't give a toss about the money.....
Now I live in a two bed rented flat, shop carefully, go out occasionally and will probably never be able to go no holiday ever! But I have an amazing son, I have my own life & I'm so v v happy. He's still the miserable horror I left living in his 6 bedroom mansion with his fancy cars & expensive holidays.

Comfortblanket Thu 01-Jan-15 22:17:27

Effic that is exactly how I feel. I just can't cope any more. I will get 50/50 of the house so can buy something small. I just don't want him to waste another 2 years of my life arguing over his precious pension. Not sure of legal definition of duress is though. I am hoping just wanting to get rid asap cannot be counted as duress but suspect his threats about my livelihood which are part of this mess may be seen as duress. Anyone know?

AcrossthePond55 Thu 01-Jan-15 22:51:31

Duress is if you are accepting/saying/agreeing to something because of a threat, either actual or implied, or undue pressure is being applied (like an unrealistic time limit in which to make an informed decision).

If I only agree to a settlement because my husband is threatening me or my livelihood and 1-he has the means to carry out his threat and 2-I have a realistic fear of him carrying out the threat, then I am signing under duress. Or if he were to make an offer and then say I had, say, 24 hours to agree to it or I'd get nothing (thus not allowing me sufficient time to get advice about it), I am signing under duress. If I agree to a settlement because I'm just sick & tired of arguing about it (but no threats have been made) then I am NOT signing under duress. I'm just giving up of my own accord rather than continuing the fight.

Comfortblanket Fri 02-Jan-15 01:02:00

Thanks for that. From your definition I don't think I could honestly say I was under no duress. Is it a form of blackmail?

AcrossthePond55 Fri 02-Jan-15 01:53:05

No, not legally the same. Blackmail is more when someone has 'something' on you that you don't want revealed or threatens to lie about you. That's illegal & the blackmailer can go to jail.

Duress is more of a civil thing, rather than criminal. Signing under duress would invalidate a contract, but the person who put pressure on you probably wouldn't be held criminally liable for it.

So I guess it would depend on what's going on when you say he's threatening to 'ruin your livelihood'. You don't want to 'out' yourself, so may not want to post the details of his threat. It could be blackmail if he's saying 'you sign this or I will tell your employer about XXXX' or 'If you don't sign this settlement I will tell people that you drink while you are watching children' (if, for example, you are a childminder). It doesn't matter if their allegation is true or false, it's still blackmail. If it's just that he says he will drag things out in the courts until you get fired for taking too much time off that could be duress, as it puts unfair pressure on you to agree to his terms for fear of losing your job, but it's not blackmail.

Again, this is all based on US law. UK law may be very different. You really, really need to talk to another solicitor and lay it out on the line, threats and all! They would be better placed to tell you exactly what his threats mean under UK law.

Comfortblanket Fri 02-Jan-15 03:19:25

Thanks. It is just dragging things out that would cause me problems as I am so stressed that I am becoming forgetful and this has caused problems already as I really don't want to tell people what is going on. That is why I am so eager to get rid of him as he knows what buttons to press and I love my work and don't want to risk losing that too.

AcrossthePond55 Fri 02-Jan-15 04:07:44

I understand. But before you do, I'd seriously suggest you lay it all out before a solicitor, including his threats, and ask what they think you could reasonably expect to end up with. If what he is saying to you to get you to sign is legal. And how much they think it may cost in fees.

RandomMess Fri 02-Jan-15 05:33:40

Perhaps you could turn around to him and say "I've been told by the solicitor that a judge is highly unlikely to accept me not getting a slice of your pension as it was a long marriage and I have a much smaller pension due to bringing up the children so as much as you're trying to blackmail me there is no point us trying to divorce unless you concede"

Worth a try? It doesn't have to be 50/50 even something like 25/75 would help you a lot once you retire and it sounds as though you do have your own pension as well?

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