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Getting divorced and finances

(12 Posts)
Iloveluckyjim Fri 05-Jun-20 08:38:58

Can anyone please give me an idea of what is likely to happen? I’m waiting for a solicitor to call me back today, H and I separated in December (he’d already moved out in November to try and make things work) and we both assured each other we could do things amicably.

Recently a few things have happened that make me think I’m being naive and leaving myself vulnerable especially around money and childcare. We have talked through a few ideas for dividing assets - he lives in ‘my’ flat currently which I owned before relationship and which has equity (and a small mortgage still), we are both on the mortgage for our family home, and he has a flat he bought when we were together which we lived in pre-kids but it is an interest only mortgage and he bought it Just before the crash so we don’t think there is any equity -if anything will come away lucky not to owe anything on that. When he bought that flat he got a £15k loan on top which is due to be repaid in full in 5 years and he has got nothing towards it. I am saying ‘my’’his’ as despite being married most of our money has remained separate - it’s complicated and I don’t want to be judged please, it’s one of my reasons for separating as he’s selfish and unreliable with money.

For the Last year I’d wanted to sell my flat and use the equity to pay off debts so I have better monthly cash flow. Now I need to sell it so I can quality for universal credit as it is considered an asset, even though I don’t benefit from it financially in terms of cash flow (I know I do long term) but I’d rather not have it and be able to live on on a top up of UC (I have an income of £14k from my work, which I fit around our three kids-they live with me and never go overnight to his, he visits them a few times a week at the family home).

I am worried that he will get half of my flat money and I won’t be able to use that to settle my own debts and be better off monthly, that he’ll still own half the house (as I can’t buy him out on £14k??), and that I’ll inherit half of his debts (there are many besides the his flat and the loan that he took out with it..)

Any pointers on what I should focus on with sol would be great.

Should say we did think about transferring my flat to him and I own the family home -but he misremembered this as me giving him the flat and STILL owning 50% of the family home!?!! It’s not me vs him-obviously I have the kids and what they need comes first but he doesn’t seem to get that. I am concerned that he Should come away with enough to set himself up in a bigger flat where kids can start to visit and stay over with him once he gets on board with having to actually have them more.

He is currently not visiting for 14 days as he met up with a woman For first time that he met online in lockdown and didn’t maintain 2m distance. I’d told him Beforehand if he did not maintain 2m in their meeting then he couldn’t come to the house as he will be exposing kids to unnecessary risk. He did it anyway shock . This unreliability and willingness to not see his kids for 14 days has prompted me To move thingS on officially now and get our finances and childcare sorted. I don’t think I can afford a sol for many appointments and I heard legal aid process takes ages so that’s why we tried doing things ourselves initially.

OP’s posts: |
cakemeupbeforeyougogo Fri 05-Jun-20 08:43:12

Are you in the UK? You can do finances via Mediation with minimal solicitor input. That's cheaper.

Pippioddstocking Fri 05-Jun-20 08:47:11

The solicitor will be able to advise as there are so many rules regarding debts , property etc.
Honestly, without my solicitor I would have been far worse off. It did remain amicable but required so much complex working that it would have been impossible to work out without him.
It also took any pressure off you both as you know that everything is being divided by law rather than someone swindling the other.

Good luck

Iloveluckyjim Fri 05-Jun-20 09:10:06

Thanks both. Yes in UK, Wales.

We looked at mediation but thought maybe we could copy the process ourselves using stuff available online, then still go through mediation but limited number of sessions (I know how that must sound, reading it back. I sound really green hmm), then sol to sign everything off-the Consent Order?

Now I'm wondering if I'm not in danger of being screwed over to be honest. He doesn't seem to have our kids best interests at heart in the way I thought he did-he even tried reducing the contact time he has with them so he could have (even) more free time to himself. I don't want to push them on him, in time they will see what he's like I guess and also he would be bad tempered with them and I don't want them to experience that. But equally a night to myself every week would be great.

I'm thinking if I use sol to literally get advice on options for things I just don't know (and that a mediator I guess can't advise on -like transferring my flat to him), then mediation to confirm / discuss preferred
Options that could be a good way to
Do it?

OP’s posts: |
dave112 Fri 05-Jun-20 10:24:57

theres a lot there !! to be honest i would find a solicitor who can guide you through all this & have your best interests at heart.

RandomWordsandaNumber5 Fri 05-Jun-20 10:34:30

You really need to get a solicitor. You’re already doubting his intentions and he is ‘misremembering’ agreements.

He doesn’t sound trustworthy. Amicable is fine but look after your own and your children’s interests first.

JustBeingMoi Fri 05-Jun-20 10:36:42

I'm so sorry to gate crash, @Iloveluckyjim, but I couldn't help but notice that you look a few months ahead of me. I notice you were know a break before splitting, which is where we are at the moment. How did you come to the conclusion it wouldn't work?

Iloveluckyjim Fri 05-Jun-20 11:48:46

Don't apologise at all smile things had got really bad and I thought maybe if he lived on his own and just stayed on wknds It would improve. He was an absolute misery to be around and was beginning to opt out of things like not spending time with me in the evening (instead he'd do his own hobbies in every minute of spare time he had), not wanting to even play with the kids -football, taking them for bike rides, Lego etc. He would only do gaming as that's what he already enjoys. He was permanently short tempered and I was beginning to be on egg shells around him. Idea was he'd live on his own mon-fri and then come back refreshed and full of beans on wknds. That did not happen. So I got to be a single parent mon-fri and then have a miserable husband at home on wknds.

It came to a head at Christmas (typical!) because MiL arrived unexpectedly from overseas and stayed with me and kids, which meant I had to suddenly take time off work to accommodate her (my work is home
Based so it's not like I have an office to go to) and he did not take any time off. The disruption of having her visit (she doesn't help with kids or anything, it's like having a guest rather than family) was all on me. When I tried to explain the disruption, how it had messed up how I was going to work, wrap presents, get all prepped for Xmas down he was full of rage at me. In addition he had taken a really well
Paid job when we am started to live apart, the principle being I would have some of the money from it as I'd essentially become a single parent with the living arrangements. That did not happen (haven't seen a penny of it to this day) and it was further proof to me that we couldn't continue.

I think living apart helped me to see his true colours, and realise the changes I wanted were not going to happen. It could have gone the other way, and I did it with the best intention hoping it would suit us. But to live apart, have taken all the burden on with the kids, not have an improvement in finances, and then still ultimately be left with the same problems (his attitude, lack of wanting to be with the kids, no recognition of impact on me of his choices etc) made me realise it was futile to continue and the rel was over.

I hope things work out well for you, whatever happens x

OP’s posts: |
Muppetry76 Fri 05-Jun-20 12:47:09

In divorce everything goes in the pot. I assume you've been married a while - the longer your relationship, the higher the chance of yours/his being classed as joint. So all assets - money, savings, pensions, cars, art collections (?!), properties - all 3 of them - are included. The same goes for debts (unless you can prove that they were run up by one partner on ridiculous things eg gambling, or post-separation), all comes out of the pot.

This is not up for debate, unless there are extenuating circumstances that would mean any assets are protected eg recent windfall or inheritance). The starting point for splitting everything is 50:50. You may be entitled to a larger share if you have reduced your earning capacity due to taking time off to have children etc, and if you will need to provide a full time home for them.

If the children are resident with you he will be required to pay maintenance, see the CMS website. This is not optional for him.

You actually don't need a solicitor at all, though if you can afford one, use them wisely. Do your research properly (not on mumsnet, try wikivorce for free specialist advice and support) and only engage the solicitor when you need to.

As for visiting relatives - not your problem. They can stay with him. Ditto him seeing the children - you don't have to have him visit your home.

Good luck op.

Iloveluckyjim Fri 05-Jun-20 13:08:38

Thanks muppetry I hadn't heard of that website. Will look now

OP’s posts: |
VanCleefArpels Fri 05-Jun-20 13:12:15

There’s loads of info on the citizens advice website about what happens when you split and how things are divvied up. Mediation is good because any agreement is something “official” which is more difficult to wriggle out of and in the worst case scenario would be a starting point for a judge to consider if you went “legal”.

Free advice may be available through a local law centre or university - your local CAB will be able to point you in the right direction.

Legal Aid is not available for divorce except in cases where there has been abuse (which you have to provide evidence of).

With regard to selling your flat in order to be able to claim benefits please beware that if you are deemed to have off loaded assets in order to qualify you may not be able to claim. In any event if the cash you are left with is between £6k and £16k this will reduce your entitlement. Anything over £16k will prevent you from claiming anything.

The issues re children will be considered entirely separately from the financial settlement. It’s never a good look to prevent the non resident parent from having access to their children pending settlement of the finances (however tempting) so do bear that in mind (through gritted teeth!)

JustBeingMoi Fri 05-Jun-20 14:48:06

Thank you @Iloveluckyjim I appreciate that.

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