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Divorce advice please

(27 Posts)
ThisIsStillFolkGirl Tue 05-Jan-16 10:46:47


Stbxh and I sit 3yrs ago after his affair. Wasn't in a place to divorce then and waited for 2 yr separation. No joint assets - he refused to buy a house with me. Both work f/t but my career took a bit of a slump to care for chn.

He filed for divorce and paid fees in sept. He expected me to just sign and return but no financial settlement is in place. He wants to tell me what he is willing to pay per month in child maintenance (guided by csa website).

We were married for 4 years but have a 9yo child together. He is voluntarily paying maintenance for my son who he has brought up for most of his life.

I clearly need advice but I don't know.

He is getting cross that I haven't just signed.

mum2mum99 Tue 05-Jan-16 10:49:03

you need legal advice.

sofato5miles Tue 05-Jan-16 10:55:11

DId he buy a house by himself? You need legal advice on asset division.

ThisIsStillFolkGirl Tue 05-Jan-16 12:08:29

No. He doesn't own a house seriously, he wasted thousands on crap but nothing of any real value. Toys and crap.

There aren't any assets sad

TThe main thing is that he is 'threatening' me (just saying "I've had enought" and threatening withdrawal of support) and saying I'll "get served".

Is there a time limit on signing papers?

goddessofsmallthings Tue 05-Jan-16 12:44:24

If there aren't any assets to speak of what are you expecting or hoping to achieve in terms of a financial settlement?

The divorce petition you've received should have been accompanied by a form outlining current and proposed arrangements for the dc including where with whom they live, what schools they attend, and how often they see the other parent. Are you in agreement with what has been set out in this statement of arrangements?

You have 8 days from date of receipt to return the papers but don't panic as there's no penalty if you delay. If you don't return them your stbxh will have to request that a duplicate set be sent to you recorded delivery or that they are served on you personally which will add to his costs.

ThisIsStillFolkGirl Tue 05-Jan-16 13:05:00

No there wasn't anything else regarding the children. It was just the papers stating the divorce. There were also a couple of errors (minor, just referring to the date he moved out - about 2 months out).

I'm not really hoping to achieve anything really, but there's nothing on there to state how much maintenance or contact or anything.

It literally is, this is when we married, this is when we split (wrong date) and now we want to get divorced.

Nothing more.

Epilepsyhelp Tue 05-Jan-16 13:07:49

Well I guess you could amend the date if you think it matters but if he is agreeing to maintain the children of the marriage and there are no assets then I think it's all agreed. You can have a separate agreement about the amount of maintainance but if he wants csa level then he's the one in a position to calculate it.

ThisIsStillFolkGirl Tue 05-Jan-16 13:21:58

So there wouldn't be anything to consider on either side pension wise? Or spousal maintenance?

TempusEedjit Tue 05-Jan-16 13:26:31

What is it that you've actually received? If it's the Nisi then you respond to it first as it just indicates the intention to divorce and whether you agree to it. The finances etc get sorted between the Nisi and the Absolute, either by consent order or going to court (court will be pointless wrt finances if there are no assets, pensions etc). Once consent order is agreed first between you then by the judge, the Absolute can be applied for and the consent order will come into force when the Absolute is granted.

hellsbellsmelons Tue 05-Jan-16 13:27:47

Spousal maintenance is hard to get now a days.
Are you in a position to be able to work?
If so then there won't be spousal maintenance.
The pensions should be considered though.
If he has a good one and you don't then you should be entitled to some of that.
Go and see a solicitor if you can afford it.
You can sort out finances after you have signed the divorce papers but I would want it all up front in writing.
A solicitor will be able to help you with that.
I would want everything to be above board as well so get the dates changed.
As he has served you papers, what are his grounds for divorce?

Epilepsyhelp Tue 05-Jan-16 13:29:10

You can of course make a claim for spousal maintenance, you can make a claim for higher maintenance, lots of things. If that's what you want to do I would suggest mediation first?

TempusEedjit Tue 05-Jan-16 13:29:14

Cross posted, you wouldn't get spousal maintenance unless your exH is a high earner and your earning capacity is compromised.

goddessofsmallthings Tue 05-Jan-16 13:33:48

Is he attempting a diy divorce via the internet or has he employed a solicitor?

ThisIsStillFolkGirl Tue 05-Jan-16 13:34:31

And it's all on his terms and his say so. I don't know what his salary is, although he tells me it's more than the csa amount.

What can I put in place to make sure that he doesn't just change his mind?

ThisIsStillFolkGirl Tue 05-Jan-16 13:37:56

He's attempting it diy. He has paid the court.

We're divorcing because he had an affair and we decided to wait for the 2 years and keeping it amicable.

I do work full time. I'm not really interested in 'fleecing' him, just don't want the chn to lose out

ThisIsStillFolkGirl Tue 05-Jan-16 13:38:43

Ah, I see, so returming this means I'm just not contesting it?

TempusEedjit Tue 05-Jan-16 13:52:10

I've just had a look at the forms from my own divorce, the first document outlined the details of the marriage e.g. location, date etc. It then goes on to list the reasons for the marriage breakdown, and the accompanying paperwork says "The Respondent now has 14 days from [date] in which to complete and return the Acknowledgement of Service form to the Court."

Does this sound anything like what you've received? N.b mine was from 4 years ago so wording might have changed.

TempusEedjit Tue 05-Jan-16 13:54:03

Btw the judge won't sign off a consent order (which is the part that deals with finances etc) unless both sides have taken legal advice.

wannaBe Tue 05-Jan-16 14:01:59

If you're working full-time then you wouldn't be entitled to spousal maintenance. SM is usually awarded e.g. If the woman has delayed/compromised her career in order to bring up the children thus leaving her earning capacity compromised.

But the initial divorce papers are just to do with the actual divorce rather than the finances. The finances are covered in the consent order. So signing the current papers just means that you're not contesting the divorce.

ThisIsStillFolkGirl Tue 05-Jan-16 14:25:18


TeapotDictator Tue 05-Jan-16 14:26:58

Whether you work full time or not has nothing to do with being awarded spousal maintenance. It is there to compensate a party if there is a large discrepancy in income upon divorce and yes, in particular if one has sacrificed their earning capacity due to having raised the children. The courts aim to leave each party on roughly an equal financial footing.

Without knowing more about the numbers it's impossible to say whether you'd have a case for it. Although it's less common than it used to be, it's not true to say that it is rare (particularly in London).

It sounds as though you have been sent your STBXH's divorce petition. By signing and returning it

wannaBe Tue 05-Jan-16 14:50:32

I receive spousal maintenance and it is nowhere near the level of bringing our incomes on an equal footing.

But the reason I receive it is because I became a sahm when DS was born, plus because I have a disability my ability to find a job is compromised (I.e. I am limited in the types of jobs I can apply for.). However it was only given for ten years.

What I would say however is that while there are often reasons for spousal maintenance, it is better if you can have your own financial independence. I am currently looking for work, and although the award was for ten years as soon as I can find a job I will be stopping the SM of my own will. I don't want to be dependent on my XH, it is dis empowering IMO, and I want, need my financial independence.

Child maintenance is of course a separate issue. :-).

ThisIsStillFolkGirl Tue 05-Jan-16 15:02:57

I am working. I work full time. My stbxh earns probably 50% more than me, but I don't know because his salary was always a secret and none of my business.

I don't want to be dependent in any way. But, at the moment, it all feels very much on his terms. He is living with his parents still and doesn't take the children there as they are alcoholics, so all contact happens at my house.

It all just seems to suit him.

He has talked about me paying half of his petrol costs for coming round and picking the children up...

But that's nonsense!

wannaBe Tue 05-Jan-16 15:13:07

Ok, contact/child maintenance needs to be separate from the other financial stuff.

Him not being able to take the DC to his parents' house is his problem not yours. Equally he is having a laugh if he thinks that you should be paying the petrol for him to come and have contact with his children.

You can take control of this aspect, tel him that the children will be available for contact at x times and that he will need to collect them or you can drop off if that works. but contact will no longer be happening at your house and he has no right to dictate that it does. If he stops contact as a result, or threatens to, then tell him that while you can'tt make him have contact with his children, this is actually about the relationships the children have with him rather than his need to throw his toys out of the pram. Also leave him under no illusions that child maintenance and contact are separate issues, and that if he doesn't continue contact with his children he will still be eligible for maintenance, which you will be pursuing through the CMS, and which, if done that way, will cost him more as he will be eligible for fees in addition to the maintenance awarded.

If this ends up in court you will need to go to mediation first, but it might be a good idea to suggest that anyway.

ThisIsStillFolkGirl Tue 05-Jan-16 16:13:44

Thanks. I know he wants to be amicable but he reverts back to old tactics if things aren't going his way.

He feels very frustrated by his living situation and I'm happy to accommodate, but it was initially an arrangement for 3 months and it's now pushing 15.

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