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Selling house before divorce with difficult ex

(25 Posts)
piperchapman44 Sat 06-Feb-16 15:11:44

Hi all I wondered if anyone had any experience of whether it was a good or bad idea to sell the family home before a divorce.

Background is - separated a year after abusive relationship. Joint family home, although he considers it more "his" as he put more money in. In this area, there are maybe two decent roads I can afford. I keep going cold at the idea of getting divorced and being forced to sell and nothing being available on those roads. Also, I want to move, this house ties me to him and I am sick of it.

He says he has seen a solicitor, he won't mediate, and the divorce will be "difficult". My unreasonable behaviour reasons would be abuse ones.

I am thinking of proposing to him - we sell before a divorce , he gives me 65/70% of equity (with a private view that 60% is my bottom line) , and he takes car, keeps his pension (I know from legal advice i have no entitlement to as main pension earned pre marriage) , and we sell as soon as I can make an offer on a suitable house on one of these roads. In return, he agrees to a no fault quick divorce in a year's time on the basis our assets are already split. I suspect he may have some savings but not a lot, and my half of those even if we tracked them down would quickly be spent as I suspect we would end up in court at the moment through a divorce, so I don't think I have anything to gain by forcing financial disclosure. He also has a property elsewhere, worth £20k. I would drop any claim to this also.

Presumably, the quicker we sell, the less capital gains he'll be subject to ?

My concern is though, if we sell, everything goes through, we get to the point where we divide the sale money and he suddenly insists on 50% which legally he would still be entitled to as no transfer of ownership will have taken place. Is there a way of protecting me against this happening? I'd want to stop the sale if that happened, but I'm concerned that the division of money would take place after sale?

I am seeing my solicitor to discuss but I want to keep it to a 30 minute appt to keep costs down so I;m trying to educate myself as much as possible ahead of that, so I'd really appreciate any experiences on this. I just feel that if we divorce now we will end up in court, and I don't want that! So although I appreciate I could argue for more through solicitors / courts - it carries a great risk of costs along with stress. It is the house which is the main bone of contention at the moment, that and the car, which tie me to him. I want rid!

DontCareHowIWantItNow Sat 06-Feb-16 15:15:34

I think you need to seek advice. Many will say not to sell until finances are sorted.

You don't want to sell when you haven't agreed on the split.

Without formal agreement there is nothing to stop either of you changing your mind.

piperchapman44 Sat 06-Feb-16 15:28:03

He would have to agree to 60 + % though before I would agree to sell ahead of a divorce. And thinking about it, I wouldn't be able to buy a new house unless that proportion of the money was available, so if he suddenly said he wanted 50% and wouldn't release to me more than that, I would default on the sale? Otherwise there is no motivation for me to sell. I appreciate that in a divorce he could then argue for that % back, but if I have housed myself and dc in a modest house, given that he earns more than me etc etc, I ca't see him getting very far on that?

i will seek advice, but I also appreciate solicitors won't say - do it without solictiors!

kittybiscuits Sat 06-Feb-16 15:33:42

You cannot go for what's reasonable with a person like this. You need a good solicitor and don't settle for less just to get away from him. He sounds a charmer - well done for getting out.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sat 06-Feb-16 16:01:57

No. No. NO!

The financial settlement needs to be be agreed as part of the divorce. You sell the family home, agree percentages, buy another home while he's still married to you and your new home forms part of the marital assets. Fancy being made homeless much?

He's abusive so you absolutely need to tell yourself that every single thing that comes out his mouth is a filthy, manipulative bloody lie. He'll just use the sale of the house and the split of assets as an opportunity to abuse you some more. Please do not underestimate how vile he's prepared to be. He's an abuser and he's had plenty of practice.

Get a solicitor. Get the solicitor to communicate with him. Disengage with him completely.

"Family home" so, this means there are children involved? Children means you could ask for a great deal more than just 60%. Most especially if you're willing to sacrifice a share of his pension and that other property. 20 grand? What is it, a derelict shed in a Scottish glen ten miles from the nearest paved road?

You got any independent documentary evidence of his abuse? If so, that could entitle you to legal aid.

RealityCheque Sat 06-Feb-16 16:05:40

Do you have kids? If not, why do you feel you should get more than 50%?

RealityCheque Sat 06-Feb-16 16:07:52

You can't sacrifice a share of a pension if you're not entitled to it in the first place, bitter. Op has stated she already has advice on this.

Agree with you the the financials should not be done separately from the divorce.

Phoenix69 Sat 06-Feb-16 16:11:16

What Bitter said.

See your solicitor, get the solicitors advice, use the solicitor to communicate, he will drive you insane with controlling nonsense. Spend the extra money, get the divorce paperwork in and see the solicitor about finances. It will drag on forever otherwise.

Nottodaythankyouorever Sat 06-Feb-16 16:13:06

Most especially if you're willing to sacrifice a share of his pension

OP has already been today she has no claim on his pension so she isnt sacrificing it.

She isn't entitled to it.

piperchapman44 Sat 06-Feb-16 16:56:15

I hadn't thought about my new property being part of the pot,he could hide his money and come after that. And the point of moving is that I am sick of him moaning about what he's owed. Hmm. Divorce it is.

I have one dd, need to stay near school hence 2 roads I can afford. He says he plans to move away, to area he can buy a 3 bed for half cost of the 2 bed I wAnt. We earn same pro rata but I work pt. he plans to give up work and not pay any maintenance, live off his house equity, or so,he says. I will be mortgaged to hilt to stand a chance of keeping dd even remotely near her beloved school.

Cabrinha Sat 06-Feb-16 18:22:04

I think you've been advised wrongly about not being entitled to pension earned pre-marriage.
There are no hard and fast rules in divorce. You work part time - to care for BOTH your child - and have compromised your pension to do so. You did that on the understanding that you were married for life and his pension on retirement would cover for the shortfall in yours.
He can certainly argue about assets before marriage - but I really don think they are automatically ruled out.
When my husband and I had to give CETVs (pension values) we didn't have to give any detail on how much was put in before and then after marriage.

I understand that you want to be prepared and make the most of your appointment - but do NOT scrimp on legal time.

ThisIsStartingToBoreMe Sat 06-Feb-16 18:39:04

"I know from legal advice i have no entitlement to as main pension earned pre marriage"

This is incorrect.

Please see a solicitor.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sat 06-Feb-16 18:43:47

"He plans to give up work and not pay any maintenance"

He plans to do no such thing, although he'd like you to think he would. He's an abuser, this is just another demonstration of exactly how abusive he is. If he's ever put that in writing you'd be justified in asking for an extra percentage of the family home's equity in lieu of child-support.

You work part-time, you've sacrificed your own pension, and possibly your own earning potential in support of his career. That should be worth another additional percentage of the equity.

You need someone on your side to play hard-ball on your behalf. Like a decent solicitor or your arsehole of an ex will run rings around you.

piperchapman44 Sat 06-Feb-16 18:45:49

Actually I think you re right I last had advice 18 months ago, before he left. There was a discussion about how it was earned before marriage, and so that would affect negotiations, but not that I wouldn't have any entitlement. I don't want it but if it will help get more equity that would be good. Once dd is out of school I can move areas to ensure I have some savings for pension age. Just this area is fairly insane cos of good schools and I so desperately want to keep her with her friends after everything she has experienced. Her school have been quite incredible in their support.

Nottodaythankyouorever Sat 06-Feb-16 18:46:38

Please see a solicitor

OP has about the pension and been told she has no entitlement.

They have more info about the OP situation than any poster on here.

piperchapman44 Sat 06-Feb-16 18:48:07

Yes i have sacrificed a career. The job I do now is my choice as it is flexible and I can care for dd. it is not a career and there are no promotion possibilities. Pre dd I had a career but it was long hours and not family friendly. My choice but one he didn't have to make, because I did!

Shutthatdoor Sat 06-Feb-16 18:50:45

How long were you married. That may also play a part.

TempusEedjit Sat 06-Feb-16 19:12:05

Definitely don't sell before divorce. He could fritter his percentage away and then your percentage would become the marital pot to be shared between you.

The pension might well be affected by how much he built up pre marriage but you would still be entitled to at least some of it. Pensions are often the second biggest asset after property (sometimes more).

RandomMess Sat 06-Feb-16 19:19:17

Also you bring the fact he has told you that he is going to move away and give up work to avoid maintenance to the court proceedings to argue for a higher percentage share of the marital home. The fact you are left responsible for housing DD near her school etc. also may add weight to you getting more than a 60% share etc.

How old is DD now?

LazyDaysAndTuesdays Sat 06-Feb-16 19:22:47

Also you bring the fact he has told you that he is going to move away and give up work to avoid maintenance to the court proceedings to argue for a higher percentage share of the marital home

Be careful in getting into tit for tat though. If you have no proof of the fact he said it. He will probably deny it.

piperchapman44 Sat 06-Feb-16 20:20:04

My sol told me it the division was determined by need. So he needs to state what he is planning to do, because he has said on more than one occasion that he plans to go move away and if he is planning to move away to a much cheaper area, then he needs less, than me, housing dd in an expensive area. If he moves away that necessitates giving up his job and he would not find the same job (in fact any job) in the area he wants to move to. Hence no maintenance. My view is anyway that I will budget on no maintenance, and if I get it, that's a bonus. He does also have anther property in said area, the one that's worth 20k. It's in pretty piss poor condition, but it is a property. It predates marriage though, but it does form part of the pot.

DD is 8.

His logic is shot anyway. I was SAHM for 3 years and his view is that he "allowed" me to do that oh so generously whereas actually my current salary, after travel, is less per day that would be nursery costs and certainly less than the cost of a nanny, because of the time spent commuting etc, so me working wouldn't have made us any financially better off. The number of times he's trotted that little gem out.. I've never responded. I'm too aware that he's impossible to reason with.

Actually i can't believe I was thinking of selling before divorcing. He won't even mediate. So he's obviously going to fight me tooth and nail. Sometimes I fall into the trap of forgetting he's a complete arsehole.

piperchapman44 Sat 06-Feb-16 20:22:51

married 8 years. So it counts a short marriage, which i think is part of the issue with the pension. He brought a lot more ££ to the marriage than I did, but I did have some equity. He thinks he should take out the percentage he put in. He also seems to have found a solicitor who has not removed that delusion.

piperchapman44 Sat 06-Feb-16 20:25:21

He is quite a lot older than me. Not too far from pension age. And he says he's been advised that makes a big difference to what he is entitled to?

piperchapman44 Sat 06-Feb-16 20:25:57

I don;t mean state pension age. I mean the kind of early retirement age that people used to take.

TempusEedjit Sat 06-Feb-16 20:36:59

Seamless cohabitation counts towards the length of marriage - how long were you together before marrying? As far as I'm aware <5 years is a "short" marriage - yours is medium length at the very least and having a child together changes things significantly.

Earning capacity is taken into account therefore him nearing retirement age will have a bearing. Having said that the courts would take a very dim view of him giving up work in order to try and gain a bigger % of assets/avoid CM etc.

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