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Writing divorce petition - advice on Financial Orders(18 Posts)
Hi I'm posting here as it's busier and I know that many of you fine mumsnetters have been through divorce and may be able to help. I have completed my divorce petition and will send it to the courts next week. In the Prayer section it asks what Financial orders are being applied for. I've ticked the ones I believe are appropriate but I could a bit of guidance. I'm planning to use mediators/solicitors where appropriate for the financials but want to do things myself where possible to keep costs down. So I have ticked the following: an order for maintenance pending suit; periodical payments order; property adjustment order; order for the pension sharing and, for the children a periodical payments order. I am in the marital home with my child- STBXH said I could stay here until child leaves school. Basically the outcome I am looking for is 50-50 property split on eventual sale; equalisation of pensions via a pension sharing order; maintenance for my child and nominal maintenance for me in case I lose my job (due to all the childcare I have to do). Should this cover it? Really appreciate any help or advice.
The advice I was given was to tick every box. You don't have to apply for everything you tick, but it would be difficult to later apply for something (should your circumstances change) if you hadn't ticked that particular box.
Hi Dulce that sounds reasonable thanks.
I am in the marital home with my child- STBXH said I could stay here until child leaves school
Is the marital home subject to a mortgage and, if so, who will be responsible for making the payments and undertaking repairs and maintenance until the dc leaves school?
Goddess it is subject to a mortgage - he is currently paying half and half bills but is leaving repairs and maintenance to me since he left.
Sorry by half bills I mean the utilities and insurances etc. there's been several repairs needed which he has left me to pay for. Is not currently paying any maintenance but the above contribution comes to quite a large sum so I've been ok with it.
what Financial orders are being applied for. I've ticked the ones I believe are appropriate but I could a bit of guidance. I'm planning to use mediators/solicitors where appropriate for the financials but want to do things myself where possible to keep costs down.
Have a solicitor look over your petition before you send it to advise you on anything else you need to add. Seriously, I cannot stress this enough.
You tick all the boxes. It allows for maximum flexibility when negotiating the financial settlement. He may be being fairly reasonable at the moment but that can change quickly during divorces.
the outcome I am looking for is 50-50 property split on eventual sale
What you're describing is a Mesher order which may not be in your best interests or, for that matter, those of your stbxh.
You should be seeking something in the region of a 70/75% to 25/30% split in your favour of the equity in the marital home at the present time and it would be preferable for you to raise the funds to buy him out. Is that achievable for you, perhaps by remortgaging the property?
If not, I strongly advise you to instruct a solicitor who specialises in family law to negotiate and draft the terms of a Mesher as doing it yourself could adversely affect your finances at a future date.
Also, with you asking for periodical maintenance in case you should lose your job you should be aware that spousal maintenance is only awarded on a needs and ability to pay basis. For example - if he was a very high earner and you had given up work to care for the children. I doubt that it would be awarded on the off chance that you lose your job in the future. Courts are also reluctant to make spousal maintenance orders as it ties the two of you together financially well beyond the divorce - they much prefer a clean break order so you can both walk away without ties.
Where finances are concerned unless it is a very simple case (E.g. no children, no savings, no pensions no disagreement) then the advice is always to see a legal expert and even then they will only tell you what the possible outcomes will be and cannot give a definitive answer.
Goddess thanks for coming back. There is a lot of equity in my home - such that I couldn't afford to buy out even with a remortgage. If it were sold however even with my share of the equity I couldn't even get a one bedroom flat around here. My child is at primary school and I have a lot of friend support around here which has been a lifeline.
My thinking is that I'd be happy to split the eventual equity 50/50 if we share pensions but otherwise I would want a significantly larger share of the equity. When it comes time to draw up the mesher order, yes I would get a solicitor to do it to protect both our interests.
Dilly thank you. My STBXH thrives on conflict and I've had enough of it over the years. For my child's sake I am determined not to engage in a battle with him and I think a 50/50 split cannot fail to appear reasonable.
Kite I have seen a solicitor who gave me advice on possible outcomes and my thinking is based on this. I suspect STBXH has also, or at the very least has spoken to his many, many divorced colleagues as initially he was suggesting the home would need to be sold but very quickly changed to saying I could stay until our child finished school, which is exactly what the solicitor told me should happen.
Another one advised to just tick all boxes.
I cannot say this loudly enough: you must go and see a solicitor. You have a STBXH who thrives on conflict. Do not be naïve and think this will be easy.
You think 50/50 is reasonable?
If I were him (even nor thriving on conflict!) I would say "no way - there's a lot of equity and that all came from me. I'm paying 50/50 when I don't even get to live there for 10 years*. Therefore, I want 80%"
*a guess at primary aged child
I'd be very surprised if you got spousal maintenance and even more surprised if you got it based on a future change in circumstances.
With a conflict driven XH, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush I think - better to have a bigger share of the house guaranteed now, than some theoretical amount if you can't work in future (what if he can't work? You going to accept him not paying the mortgage then?)
Cabrinha neither of us had anything when we met. We've both always worked and paid half each towards everything - even on mat leave I paid half the mortgage. I paid all the deposit and fees when we bought the home so I can't see how he can think he's entitled to more than 50%. The spousal maintenance wasn't something I considered but the solicitor suggested a nominal amount of £1 a year to keep the possibility of a claim open otherwise you can't ever go back to it. I've always supported myself and ok to continue to do so. My 3 main aims, which I think all of us probably have is that my child has a stable and happy home, 2 parents who can co-parent and that I don't end up in an impoverished old age. I don't care if I don't get every penny I could but I do want what's fair for myself and my child.
You sound like you have the right attitude. Too many people are set on bitter revenge or greed when it comes to these things. It's a lot happier in my opinion for everyone going forward if things are split fairly (not always even) based on need (such as who mainly has the kids). If it can't be agreed the courts would look to split things fairly any way but the solicitors would make a mint. The main thing is to find what is fair to all parties and be able to justify why it's fair. This way hopefully your ex will see that you are fair and you can continue to work together for the kids without bitterness in the future.
So fair play for you trying to be fair. Just ensure what your asking from him is enough to be fair on you and the kids too.
OP, sorry if I was unclear.
I wasn't suggesting that you should 'take him to the cleaners'. (I went about 20/80 in his favour in my own divorce because I voluntarily decided not to include some business assets I didn't feel morally entitled to although the law said otherwise. I also don't claim £300pcm in child maintenance that I could)
I was giving an example of what he could say if he "thrives on conflict".
You really REALLY should talk to a solicitor.
"The spousal maintenance wasn't something I considered but the solicitor suggested a nominal amount of £1 a year to keep the possibility of a claim open"
There is no fucking way his solicitor will agree to that. Unless there are VERY unusual circumstances, it will not be granted and will just cost a fuck-tonne applying for it.
That's known as a nominal order and they are quite tricky to get, usually has to be very particular circumstances. I only got mine because if I had gone to court I would have probably got SM as it was a long marriage where I had given up work to look after the DC for 18 years and there were reasons why I may not be able to work in future. But if your solicitor thinks you have a chance go for it.
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