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Divorce - please, need advice (new to mumsnet and desperate) - sorry, long post.

(18 Posts)
FairyTaleEnding Thu 21-Aug-08 13:23:31

Hi, can anyone who has been through a divorce give me some advice? My ex2b and I are still in the same house can't sell it because of credit crunch and he refuses to move out. We have been through mediation and reached an agreement - subject to legal advice - on a roughly 60/40 split. We have two kids, 5 and 3. I am currently unemployed, though get occasional freelance work and am looking for a job. He has savings (including an inheritance that I've agreed to let him keep), a much bigger pension than mine and is earning about 50k.

Problem is, when I saw the solicitor she advised me to up the split a little bit in my favour. I know, everyone says this is what solicitors do, but as she pointed out, this is the rest of my (and the kids') lives we're talking about. So she duly wrote to his solicitor, and now the shit has hit the fan. Ex2b is going nuts saying I'm not sticking to the original agreement, am a cheat and a liar and he will 'end up on the streets' etc. Says I'm damaging the kids because we said we wouldn't go down the fighting through solicitors route. Should I have just instructed the solicitor to accept the terms agreed on in mediation? I had to fight so hard to get beyond the starting point of 50/50 ... I'm only going for a small adjustment as advised by the solicitor, but she's playing the solicitor's game and going in higher in the expectation of his solicitor coming back and negotiating. Problem is I've got ex2b haranguing me directly about it.

I'm torn now. Have had Ex2b on the phone twice today, shouting and sobbing and saying I'm going to ruin everything. I'm scared of what he'll do and say when he gets home (he is a shouty bully). On side I've got people saying 'stand firm', and on the other I've got my guilt about the kids and fear of what will happen. Would it be easier and better just to ring the solicitor and say 'go back to the original figures'?

Sorry for long post. I'm so confused. I just don't know what the 'right' thing to do is. Any advice would be really welcome.

tab1 Thu 21-Aug-08 13:29:42

i would accept 60/40, get it over with and then you and kids can move on. life is too short

FairyTaleEnding Thu 21-Aug-08 14:02:40

Thanks for getting back, tab. Really true what you say. Can't stand this fighting and tension any longer!

tab1 Thu 21-Aug-08 14:04:46

you want to be able to look yourselk in the mirror and be proud, so don't try to get his inheritance or more money just to please other people or the solicitor, just walk away with your head held high and whatever you do in the future you will know you do it for yourself which is even better.

PersephoneSnape Thu 21-Aug-08 14:14:01

You agreed to a 60/40 split in his favour? Will the children have their primary residence with you? What kind of maintenance provision is your ex making? I tend to agree with your lawyer I’m afraid. If your children are living with you, you should want to get a house in a reasonable area with the same standard that you’re used to in your marital home. One wage, especially a haphazardly self employed one is not easy to buy a house on. We left a lovely area, schools etc when my ex sodded off with his ‘fancy woman’ and now live in an ex local authority mid terrace villa in a horrible area with failing schools, no easy access to shops etc. I think you should listen very carefully to your lawyer. Presuming your children will live with you, this could have more of a detrimental effect on them than you digging your heels in. I see absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t have at least 50%.

FairyTaleEnding Thu 21-Aug-08 14:26:42

No, it's 60/40 in my favour but as he's keeping his inheritance it will end up being nearer 50/50. I've decided I'm not going to fight this any longer - as tab1 says I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror without shame and it's just not worth it. Affecting my health, emotions and could potentially make everyone more miserable. Thanks so much both of you for the advice.

smallwhitecat Thu 21-Aug-08 14:32:42

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FairyTaleEnding Thu 21-Aug-08 14:41:59

Hi all - really appreciate you all getting back with such sound advice. Makes me feel supported, which is everything in this game. Now I know why people rave about mumsnet!

It's true that if I fought I would get more. But I don't think the fight is worth it. Yes, I've had enough of being bullied but that is why I'm getting out - he will continue to bully and I've reached the point where I just need to get away from it. I think I've fought a reasonable fight up till now but if I continue it really is going to have an impact on all of us.

Witchybella Thu 21-Aug-08 14:44:48

Dont be bullied my ex-husband tried to do that to me,we agreed a 55/45 split at christmas then he changed his mind on his new girlfriends advice (when all mortgage documents where ready to sign)as he wanted 50/50, and at times i wanted to chuck the towel in going back to court 4 times this year, but yesterday the judge made the final decision that I have 75/25 split. Try and stay strong.

smallwhitecat Thu 21-Aug-08 14:47:09

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smallwhitecat Thu 21-Aug-08 14:49:15

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cestlavie Thu 21-Aug-08 14:58:11

I think from a personal and professional perspective it's always very difficult to re-cut the terms of a deal you've agreed with someone, even if there's a good reason. The other person is almost always at best unhappily accepting and at worst incredibly pissed off - this is the case in business negotiations, let alone a divorce. Yes, he's being an unpleasant bully but on the other hand, most people would react to displeasure with having the terms of their agreement changed against them.

If I was in your position I'd be inclined to try and decide whether you believe that you genuinely deserve a greater share of the proceeds and whether the additional amount would compensate the ill-feeling and difficulty in relationships going forwards - this is not to say that you should be bullied into giving it up, just weighing up the likely trade off.

I'd also be inclined to ignore your solicitor's negotiating tactics - whilst those might be acceptable in business, personally, trying to use that approach in personal relationships always seems out of line to me. I'd be much more inclined just to be straight and, if you wanted to, say how much more you think is fair and why.

smallwhitecat Thu 21-Aug-08 15:18:48

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FairyTaleEnding Thu 21-Aug-08 15:53:10

I don't feel that I'm going back on the agreement, but he does, and no matter how many times I say 'it was subject to legal advice' he just comes back ranting about 'moving the goalposts'. I'm sick and tired of it all, and think cestlavie has a really good point about the additional money not being worth it in the long term.

I've decided to tell the solicitor to revert to the original figures. I know lots of people will have a go at me for doing this (including my mother hmm) but honestly I already feel better for having made the decision. I don't want to cave in to bullying, either, but ex2b has several blind spots: one is money, natch, and another is an inability to see things anyone else's way. He's not going to change, and the best thing for me and the kids is to move away from him and his way of dealing with life.

Thanks so much all for your advice and support.

smallwhitecat Thu 21-Aug-08 16:01:34

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FairyTaleEnding Thu 21-Aug-08 16:35:55

smc - he is! Sooner I'm out, the better. (Though still have to sell the house, nightmare nightmare.)

It's not so much that it would make it a huge difference, and there's no way I could go through the whole court process. If this is how he behaves in reaction to one solicitor's letter - and he was hell in mediation - I can't imagine how any of us could get through a longer-term fight. Never mind the cost ...

I think part of my resistance was just not wanting to give in to bullying, but you know what, now I've decided I'm not fighting it any more, I feel so much better. He's welcome to it, and his sodding inheritance, the twunt. (Not that I'm bitter, you understand.)

PersephoneSnape Fri 22-Aug-08 15:24:33

is that inheritance going to be frittered away on fast cars and loose women? or is there provision that some of it goes to your children? could you come back and say you agree to the original proposal, but that half of the inherritance is held in trust for your children? then you're protecting your dcs, but not gaining from it yourself - might he be agreeable to that?

(sorry, i know you've kind of made up your mind and this may complicate matters again)

smallwhitecat Fri 22-Aug-08 15:26:33

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