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Can anyone tell me how divorces work?!

(21 Posts)
Nottalotta Thu 13-Apr-17 21:12:11

Husband is seeing a solicitor to start divorce proceedings. We have a joint mortgage. Two children. Under 2, I'm.on maternity leave. Pretty sure I can't afford the house alone. My parents may be able to help financially but I'm not sure. I don't even know if I want to stay here. Love the house but it's old, rural and not that practical for small children.

Do I wait and see what happens? See a solicitor myself? What happens next? I am clueless.

He's been a total arse tbh and if I posted his behaviour here most people would say he's controlling and abusive.

Any advice?

category12 Thu 13-Apr-17 21:14:46

Go to a solicitor yourself, asap.

Nottalotta Thu 13-Apr-17 21:17:31

I don't have any money.

Lelloteddy Thu 13-Apr-17 21:24:52

Ask your parents to help you financially. You NEED a solicitor if he is being an arse.

Nottalotta Thu 13-Apr-17 21:28:09

Ok. Thanks. Should I try to 'get in first?'

category12 Thu 13-Apr-17 21:30:00

You might be able to get a free half-hour to start you off - I did. Have a look round at family solicitors in your area.

category12 Thu 13-Apr-17 21:32:33

It costs about £550 to file for divorce (excluding solicitors), but whoever files has the opportunity to go after the other for costs. In your situation, I would definitely get proper advice.

EggysMom Thu 13-Apr-17 21:33:56

There's no benefit to 'getting in first', there's no stigma in being the respondent rather than the petitioner. Nobody really knows on what basis you are divorcing and who is saying what - only you, the other half, and any solicitors. Nobody's going to judge you on what is written on the divorce petition.

Sounds like you will need help with the Financial Proceedings though - they are a separate legal process that runs alongside the actual divorce. Given that you have a mortgage and children, I'd say you need a solicitor, it'll get complicated.

In the meantime, take a look at the Wikivorce website and forum. Very informative, very friendly forum members who can answer questions.

Nottalotta Thu 13-Apr-17 21:39:48

Thank you egg. Just looked up the grounds. I guess most go for unreasonable behaviour. But how is that 'proven'?

category12 Thu 13-Apr-17 21:44:33

You just give a few examples, preferably with dates of some incidents. Unless it's contested, it just goes up in front of a judge and you don't even need to be there.

Nottalotta Thu 13-Apr-17 21:48:38

Pisses me off that he might say I'm.unreasonale when he's the abusive one. I guess it's best for me to just agree though.

PaterPower Fri 14-Apr-17 08:56:49

It's just a technicality. Let him have the hassle of submitting all the paperwork. As pp have said, it's the financials you need to concentrate on.

Ellisandra Fri 14-Apr-17 09:07:36

Yep, financials is the important bit.

Don't worry about getting in first, and don't trouble yourself with whatever bollocks he concocts for UB. It's a means to an end.

First thing, even before seeing a solicitor is to make sure you take copies of everything financial whilst you have the chance. Any old pensions, savings accounts etc - photograph the lot. Just in case he decides not to declare them.

I wouldn't start thinking in terms of your parents helping you just yet. First and foremost you should make a financial split that is fair to both of you and the children, without factoring in your parents helping out.

For example, if the fair thing is for you to stay in the house for the children's sakes, then make that happen based on your own marital finances, not money from your parents.

Of course it might be fairer to sell up - not saying you should stay put.

Don't panic. If you borrow money from your parents, let it be for a solicitor to talk you through the financial possibilities. Do some reading of your own. And don't forget that if he has a better pension that you, that's often worth a lot more than divorcing women realise!

Last bit of advice: do not settle for less than you are entitled to because you think it will be better for ongoing coparenting. An arsehole is an arsehole. If he's the type to be a difficult coparent, he will be whether you settle for a fair sum, or less.

Deep breaths - nothing moves fast in divorce, you have plenty of time to make your decisions. Good luck!

Mumteedum Fri 14-Apr-17 09:14:09

You can sign to progress divorce for UB but state you refute all claims against you. That's what I did.

Don't feel pressured to progress if you are not ready though. My friend's ex refused completely to sign for UB. He has strung it out for ages. Not saying you should to be awkward but it's a shock to be served and if you need time, then take it.

Re the house, do you really want to live there? Maybe fresh start would be better? Take each step at a time x

Nottalotta Fri 14-Apr-17 11:14:59

Thanks all. Annoyingly, he has no pension. I do though. Neither of us have any savings. He was unemployed for years and his parents subsidised him. He told me he had savings and was using those but he ran out and they gave him money.

I don't know about the house. I'm nearly 40, 2 babies, no money. Would it be foolish to give it up? I'd not get a mortgage on my own. But I do love the house. Would be nice to live in it properly rather than surrounded by his junk.

Re my parents helping, I mean to buy him out. They might agree to put sone money into the house for that. There won't be loads of equity. His semi hoarding will do me a favour in respect of valuations. There might be £50,000 I suppose that's quite a bit actually.

Ellisandra Fri 14-Apr-17 12:01:38

If you are unlikely to get a mortgage alone, then I'd really look into hanging on to the house. Private renting with 2 children might not be much fun.

But there are so many factors - if you're in an area with reasonably quick access to social housing it might not be a bad idea. You could speak to your local housing department about your chances. Then again, is your house a money pit - in itself, or by location?

Remember that even if you buy him out of his share, you still wouldn't be able to take over the mortgage if you can't get approved alone. So work out if you can afford to stay in the house, don't forget to check what benefits you might be entitled to. You say you're on Mat leave now - so do you have a job to go back to? If you went PT after child 1, can you return to FT? Can you return earlier than planned?

You need to sit down and work out your options.

His hoarding won't much affect the house valuations - surveyors see past that.

Ellisandra Fri 14-Apr-17 12:07:24

Look into Mesher Orders... sorry if I'm teaching you to suck eggs!

You could propose that you stay in the house until the youngest is 18 (better still - until they leave FT education). He stays on the mortgage, but you pay it. He has a % of the equity (you agree this) but doesn't get it back until you sell. This isn't uncommon and it's about security for the children. It's not a given though, because it could be unfair on him - depends on all the details. But it's pretty common.

Noting the stint of unemployment and relying on mum and dad... I would be wary of his paying maintenance - so I'd want as much a possible in settlement up front. You've got a lot of childcare fees ahead of you - I had it in my consent order that he was 50% responsible for those, separate to any maintenance (which I don't actually claim)

Of course, all above assumes the children mostly with you - whilst you might decide a more even split is better for them.

justanillusion Fri 14-Apr-17 12:11:50

Im not yet divorced so this is only based on my experience so far.

When say you can't afford the house do you mean the repayments or do you mean you couldn't buy him out yet?

With 2 children so young you might have a chance of being allowed to stay in the family home (if it went to court) until they are 18/21 so you wouldn't need to buy him out now. The house could then be sold and split as agreed.

Check entitledto and child maintenance calculator to see what you might get as a single parent before considering if you can afford the repayments.

If selling up means you can't buy again then you might be better staying put. You know your history and what seems fair.

If he cannot afford to buy by himself he might be happy to leave his money invested in the joint house.

I guess if your parents could buy him out that would give you a clean break.

I think i have paid £1400 for court fee and solicitor. £900 seemed pretty standard for a the solicitors fees where i live, £550 court fee. I'd have been happy if my H was the petitioner, I hate feeling and being treated as responsible for the divorce. And the idea of "Blame" is of no consequence in proceedings.

The £900 covers the divorce process in my case, but not financial advice.

If you do file on unreasonable behaviour grounds then it's IMO a good idea to avoid being antagonistic and just state as much as is needed. I think most lawyers would advise this too.

It is very unusual for things to get settled in court. The expectation is that you reach agreement and then the court effectively "rubber stamps" it. Your agreement just has to be broadly in line with what the court expects.

IME having no money is an issue unless you can easily agree a financial settlement. Mediation might be cheaper than court but still estimated at several thousand. Any financial advice from my solicitor is charged at an hourly rate (£250 an hour i think)
(My divorce has ground to a halt.)

NaiceBiscuits Fri 14-Apr-17 14:15:05

Your pension is part of the marital pot. How much of it, depends on how long you've been together (living together as well as married).

So it sounds like the assets are the house capital and your pension. The starting point for splitting assets is 50/50, but as you have children, you may get a larger share. What it does mean, is that he's going to get either part or your pension + house capital, or you keep your pension and he gets more house capital.

It might be tempting to get a Mesher order (where you keep the house and sell up later) but that's really just postponing the ineviatble, and you'd be looking for a mortgage at an age when it's much harder to get one. It's probably better to sell now.

Nottalotta Fri 14-Apr-17 17:12:36

Thanks all, I wasn't sure of the name of the Mesher order but knew about it.

It does annoy me that I'm the one who has worked hard, paid a pension etc while he sat on his arse for years, not even trying to get a job. Why did I put up with that?! And I have some credit card debt as a result.

I could afford to pay the mortgage but not sure Id be given a mortgage alone if that makes sense.

Nottalotta Fri 14-Apr-17 17:13:03

This is all really helpful, thanks.

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