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Divorcing: Have to choose between going for the money or preserving some cordiality with STBXW

(36 Posts)
OnTheBr1nk Mon 20-Jun-16 12:50:29

Not sure if others have been in this situation, but I am going through a separation and my STBXW is really adamant on how she wants the financial split to happen. The terms she is proposing would put me at quite a disadvantage and are basically unfair. She feels that she deserves to get more than me, partly because she feels hard done by and angry with me (even though the split was mutual: no major incident or drama, just a growing apart) but chiefly because I have two living parents who will -- at some stage -- die and leave me money. She has no living family, so this is not going to happen for her.

I am torn on how to proceed. I have always wanted our split to be as cordial as possible, and for our kids to feel that we are not at each others' throats. The money issue could well torpedo all that, as she has stated that if I choose to 'get lawyers involved' (whatever that means) then it's all going to get really nasty and she's going to fight with everything she can. I really feel it would get expensive, drawn-out, and mean.

So...do I just accept her terms? I would still get a decent amount but she is essentially asking me to just leave her with sole ownership of the family home we bought together, without her either having to 'buy me out' up front or split the equity if/when it eventually sells in the future. Might I end up spending £X (on legal fees) just to get £X from the divorce split, and therefore bring a lot of misery and stress into my life for no real purpose/reward?

purplefox Mon 20-Jun-16 12:54:29

How old are your kids?

The financial settlement should be fair, your living parents are irrelevant. I feel if you let her get away with this she'll continue to behave like this with threats of drama and misery to get whatever she wants in the future.

WellDoYaPunk Mon 20-Jun-16 12:55:18

I think you need to go to mediation.
I'm separated & have just started a thread asking for help too!
Anyway I refuse to discuss terms with ex privately, emails back & forth, snidely comments etc I can't be doing with it.
I think I read somewhere mediation is now required before court.

WellDoYaPunk Mon 20-Jun-16 12:55:59

There's a programme on this week about mediation I think

TickingClock1 Mon 20-Jun-16 13:25:38

Mediation is required before going to court and even when you go to court, you end up mediating backwards and forwards with your solicitors and (potentially) agreeing a settlement based on the judges recommendations. If you cant agree then it goes to Final Hearing. Its very expensive, emotional and draining and definitely spoils relationships. That doesn't mean to say that you should agree to her terms if they are not reasonable. My friends husband offered my friend 70% of the assets, she wanted her day in court and got 50% as they had no dependent children. She had not worked an awful lot due to being a SAHM and illness and wanted all of the assets plus half his pension. He offered her 70% of the assets (which included the marital home mortgage free) and half his pension, but she ended up losing the house due to greed and her husband didn't want that to happen. She is now living in rented accommodation and very bitter. It might be worth pointing out to your wife that she is being unreasonable and might lose more than she has to gain by going to court and she is putting her financial future in the hands of a Judge. Good luck.

SandyY2K Mon 20-Jun-16 13:46:04

Your living parents are not relevant to the split of assets.

Does she have a job?

hellsbellsmelons Mon 20-Jun-16 13:58:02

So you get none of the assets at all?
She gets everything?
Not OK!!!!
That is not how it works and that is not how a judge would see it?

I wish parents money came into it.
My OH would be laughing as is ExW father is feckin' loaded.
But it just doesn't work like that.
It's marital assets. That is all that is considered.
And a judge will not just give her everything.
Is she going to be paying the mortgage for the foreseeable future?
How old are the kids?

hellsbellsmelons Mon 20-Jun-16 13:59:03

And by the way, I originally chose to it all nicely.
I let him have his way in the beginning and I got royally screwed over.
Believe me, they get worse and not better as time passes.
But I get what I deserved in the end.

Anniegetyourgun Mon 20-Jun-16 14:05:56

If the only way to keep things amicable is to roll over and play dead, that's a false friendliness that comes at an unacceptable price.

You've got to wonder why one party is so adamant that the other should not get legal advice. I would always, always advise calling in an experienced family law solicitor for a marital split involving assets. (I am not a solicitor nor related to one, just someone who got divorced!) It doesn't have to get confrontational but it really helps to have the right advice from someone who knows what's what and is 100% in your corner. Advice from soon-to-be-ex spouses is really not going to be in that category.

OnTheBr1nk Mon 20-Jun-16 14:09:06

Kids are 9 and 12. She is going to be paying the mortgage as I will be paying rent in the property I have rented as I moved out. This is another reason she feels she should get the house. "I'm going to be paying the mortgage with no help from you, so it's effectively mine." She has completed paperwork to get my name removed from the mortgage and hers on there solo.

OnTheBr1nk Mon 20-Jun-16 14:09:50

(I have not signed this paperwork)

prettywhiteguitar Mon 20-Jun-16 14:13:42

How many years left on the mortgage ?

She is correct if she was still married to you she would benefit from your inheritance and now she won't.

That's a huge thing later on in life. Does she have a pension ? How which she support her later years ?

RainbowInACloud Mon 20-Jun-16 14:17:15

Really not an expert but it seems unfair. What if both your parents end up with dementia and their home has to be sold to pay for their care?
That inheritance is by no means guaranteed so I wouldn't think it counted?

OnTheBr1nk Mon 20-Jun-16 14:17:47

pwg -- We only bought the house a couple of years ago, so about 23 yrs left.

Of course, she would benefit if we were married, in terms of the inheritance, although of course you can't guarantee anything. Maybe one or both of my parents will go bankrupt, or require lengthy and expensive nursing home care. No way to predict. If they were both hit by buses tomorrow, I would get a decent chunk of change, but there are so many variables, and longevity runs in my family so anything I inherit could be in 20+ years.

She does have a pension. She also earns a lot more than I do.

prettywhiteguitar Mon 20-Jun-16 14:23:15

Well in that case I would tell her facts and figures, the house is worth so much and my parents may require care, maybe estimate an amount,

The fact you have bought the house recently helps, why don't you split it for a clean break ? Can't she run the house on her own ? Will she move. ?

KittensandKnitting Mon 20-Jun-16 14:28:02

Any future inheritance is completely irrelevant it's almost laughable she had brought this up - she sounds horrible and that even if you give in to this "first" demand it's still going to be horrible, it will be the first in a long line of complications I am sure.

Do not sign that paperwork, go to mediation take a view on how to proceed, but get a lawyer and do it via mediation court protects you that way.

OnTheBr1nk Mon 20-Jun-16 14:31:15

Hm. Yeah. I think I have it in me to be a pushover (not good at confrontation) so I need to make sure I don't sleepwalk into something. I just know that it's going to cause MASSIVE resentment and anger from her, though, which will impact the children. angry It's almost as if I need to put a £££ figure on a calm/quiet life. Is it worth it?

KittensandKnitting Mon 20-Jun-16 14:35:10

It's just horrible and a nasty situation to be in.

You shouldn't roll over though IMO, what ever is decided should be fair and reasonable, otherwise your going to be the one with resentment and anger and that's equally as bad.

QuintessentialShadow Mon 20-Jun-16 14:35:25

Living parents are a red herring. As other say they may need care, and fees are atrocious. They could be in debt, have a massive mortgage, get into a cruise habit, be gambling, so your parents should be kept out.

If she earns more than me, she is will be ok. She may have a mortgage, but she has a house with, and you live i rented. Your chances of getting on the property ladder are different, so you will be much more disadvantaged than her.

I assume she thinks she is the residential parent, the kids needs the stability of their home. She has no idea how much you will end up paying in maintenance, how much you will spend on the kids now (most non-residential fathers I know refuse to even buy their kids a pair of wellies outside what has been agreed, let a lone chip in for a phone, bicycle or laptop, just to spite their exs.). The mortgage is fairly new, assuming you paid half of the deposit, that is perhaps alll she feels you are entitled to. If she paid all, I can really see her point. You get to rebuild your life and start anew, she gets to be a single working parent. Why make it difficult for the sake of a part of a deposit?

Out of interest, what percentage of the deposit did you personally pay, do you know? Or did she perhaps spend her own parents inheritance on the deposit?

QuintessentialShadows Mon 20-Jun-16 14:37:01

If she earns more than me, she is will be ok.
hmm

You! YOU, that was meant to say.

OnTheBr1nk Mon 20-Jun-16 14:42:37

We're going to split the kids 50/50 -- time with them as well as money spent on them. I would happily buy them wellies.

The majority of the capital in our relationship came from me (she was pretty much penniless, then my grandfather died shortly after we met and I inherited a nice amount that enabled us to fund everything we have done since. She is now a high earner, which is nice, but that has only been possible because of the inheritance I brought into the situation at the start.)

hellsbellsmelons Mon 20-Jun-16 14:45:42

Did you pay the mortgage before now?
She can't claim 100% of the equity if you paid previously and as you lived together I assume you did contribute??

OnTheBr1nk Mon 20-Jun-16 14:49:54

Hard to separate out the expenses -- we both contributed, although she contributed more than I did as I went freelance and so my income went down, as I stepped up to cover all the school pickups and dropoffs with my groovy new-found flexibility. This was something we hoped would benefit the kids and my wife as it enabled her to focus on her work and not have to worry about who was picking up the kids. Prior to that, with both of us working M-F, 9-5, this was a constant source of stress.

Cocoabutton Mon 20-Jun-16 14:51:55

You need legal advice, there is no way of keeping lawyers out of it. Even if you go to mediation, go informed with what your legal obligations are and what is reasonable in terms of the split. At every stage, state that you wish to reach an amicable solution, and look at both sides.

If you have the kids 50/50, it is half your job to provide for them; it is also the case that decisions need to be made in their best interests. Those decisions include financial decisions.

prettywhiteguitar Mon 20-Jun-16 14:57:12

Yes it's complicated, I would definitely go with legal advice. That way it's fair and unreasonable demands get shot down.

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