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Divorce and Houses: Finances

25 replies

flowertot · 26/06/2007 19:15

My husband and I are divorcing. Neither of us live in the house it is under offer.
The equity in the house is the only money we have so the only financial battle there may be.
He wants to settle 50/50 out of court when it sells, or for me to buy him out half the equity.
I reckon if we go to court I will get the bigger share because of having 2 children. However, the court costs will be huge and I may pay as much as I get more. Also, if he doesn't get the money quickly (ie if we don't settle now) he will have to go bankrupt and then I guess his creditors will be hounding for the house money too.
Anybody have any advice? I have a solicitor for the divorce but he is so non-commital about what I'd get or what would happen if bankruptcy starts. No one knows the truth about my husband's financial problems because he won't tell us but I know it is very serious and people are after him. If we don't settle and the house is sold would the bankruptcy people have first dibs at the money? In other words it would be a waste of time and money me fighting for some of his share if they have more chance of getting it than me

OP posts:
moopymoo · 26/06/2007 19:18

Agree about avoiding huge sols. costs as it all comes out of the same pot in the end. was talking to a friend today whose solicitor has told her she should get between 60-70 % of assets, with 2 kids 15 years of marriage. maybe make him an offer? cant be in his interests to go to court. hth good luck divorce sucks but there is happier life beyond.

cba · 26/06/2007 19:19

havent got a clue re@ the bankruptcy, someone will be along who will know, I am sure.

flowertot · 26/06/2007 19:35


OP posts:
flowertot · 27/06/2007 07:11


OP posts:
BandofMuggles · 27/06/2007 07:52

just bumping for you
Good Luck

flowertot · 27/06/2007 09:05

bump anyone?

OP posts:
Lauriefairycake · 27/06/2007 10:16

Are any of his debts secured against the house? Or are joint debts?

If categorically no then they can only get HIS money in the house not yours. You are most certainly entitled to more than 50% as you will be responsible for the childcare/upbringing/providing home.

And I don't want to be over thinking but if I read between the lines and your ex has been hiding his money problems from you then do you think he's going to be 'good' in the future at providing child support??

In my opinion (and I wish that someone had been so forthright with me 8 years ago) the asset of the house money is ALL you may ever get. And if you need it to provide for the kids then you need to try and get it.

If you don't think your solicitor is acting in your interest then get another one - nearly every person I know has had to change half way through.

Consider moving back in to the house - even if bankruptcy against him starts they can only come after his share - they can only put a charge on his share and you then get a year to 'buy ou' his share. All this would take a lot of time

Even threatening to move back in may get you more money - if you need 70% stick to it.

And one last piece of advice - only talk to him through solicitors - not friends,family, kids - otherwise you may get bullied into giving in to 50% and then end up with all the looking after costs afterwards.

I would definitely get maintenance agreed before I sold the house or any costs afterwards agreed/ Childcare/dentist bills/etc

The house is your only bargaining chip - change solicitor (and keep an eye on their costs) and get one you like.

flowertot · 27/06/2007 15:31

Thanks. Yes I believe all I will get is the house money. He won't be able to pay any maintenance or anything. But he also needs the house money to pay stuff back. Its hard, I feel sorry for him. Also he will make my life hell if I take him to court and fight for it. I would rather settle outside to save the costs. Can't afford to change solicitor. But equally house is only asset so not that hard for him to fight if I asked him. Just don't want to go down that route unless no other way.
Thanks very much for yuor advice

OP posts:
LIZS · 27/06/2007 15:33

Can you go to mediation - it is a stage prior to a full court hearing and may avoid some of the acrimony and costs.

NKfffffffffbc3697cX121112e9527 · 12/05/2009 18:38

Message withdrawn

mumoverseas · 13/05/2009 14:41

terrible situation to be in flowertot and you have my sympathy.

Lizs is right to suggest mediation, that may be very helpful to you as it may avoid court however from what you've said, if he won't voluntarily supply his financial disclosure, chances are he won't agree to go to mediation.

Yes, you could agree to settle for a 50/50 even though you would be entitled to more in order to avoid court costs. However, to make the agreement legally binding (very important if he is potentially going to go bankrupt) you need the agreement to be incorporated into a Consent Order to be lodged at the Court once Decree Nisi has been pronounced. Unless you do this, any agreement will not be legally binding and he (or you) could potentially seek more at a later date. However, the District Judge at the Court will only ratify (approve) the Consent order if he/she feels it is fair and reasonable. If the DJ feels it is not reasonable (ie you are not getting enough of the equity) then they could refuse to ratify (approve) the order.

You would also need to have had full financial disclosure before the terms of the Consent Order were agreed.

If you DH will not provide full financial disclosure off all his assets (and debts) then you will have no option but to issue an application for Ancillary Relief (financial support) in the County Court where the divorce has been dealt with. This will trigger a series of up to three Court appointments and a great deal of paperwork will need to be collated, filed at Court and exchanged with the other side prior to these hearings. This will get very expensive, particularly if the matter goes to a final hearing. It is likely that you could get more than 50%, even as much as 70% but it could be 70% of a lot less taking into account all the costs!

You really need to try to resolve things sooner rather than later to try to get an agreement/Court order before your DH's bankruptcy.

If you feel your solicitor is not acting in your best interests you should consider looking for a new one. I'd recommend you look for a member of Resolution in the hope that matters could be resolved as amicably as possible (google resolution solicitors, sorry, haven't time to find website, baby is crying) good luck

babybarrister · 14/05/2009 08:22

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wombleprincess · 14/05/2009 18:23

how is ownership configured? (tenants in common, joint ownership etc..)

mumoverseas · 14/05/2009 18:31

Why does that matter? They are married

wombleprincess · 14/05/2009 18:48

Because if it is all in his name and he declares bankruptcy i suspect she will have no call over the equity at all. equally i believe one of ownerships (joint/tenant) affords more rights to the co-owner in case of bankuptcy.

mumoverseas · 14/05/2009 18:49

but it forms part of the matrimonial pot therefore it should be assumed a 50/50 starting point

ilovemydogandMrObama · 14/05/2009 19:03

Reopen any deal includes mediation?

wombleprincess · 14/05/2009 19:11

nope. not when bankruptcy is concerned.

babybarrister · 19/05/2009 21:07

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mumoverseas · 20/05/2009 09:37

thanks for clarifying that point bb

iheartdusty · 20/05/2009 15:30

you really should get the application for ancillary relief issued ASAP even if you then ask the court not to do anything more for a while.

He has creditors. They may try to (or may have already) got a charging order over the house. They may try to get the house sold. Your interests will ONLY be taken into account beyond a year or so to sort things out, if you have already issued a divorce petition and made an application for ancillary relief.

On divorce, if the value of the house is not enough, (taking into account your respective mortgage capacities) to house you both, then the parent with the children (ie YOU) will get a bigger share. I think this is unlikely to be a 50:50 case and I strongly recommend you think about whether you have the right solicitor. It sounds as though you haven't been given full advice about the implications of your husband's debts.

Can you tell us approximately what the equity in the house might be?

iheartdusty · 20/05/2009 15:34

Grr - just noticed this was a 2007 thread!!!

Cuz · 28/05/2010 16:16

Can anyone help me i am new to this site and basically split with my husband in November last year he said he would pay me off and agreed to release equity from the house so i signed it over, he has used the money to pay off his sports car and not pay me i am in rented accomodation with my 2 children and he wants me to wait for my settlement till our eldest is 16 (now 9) but they live with me and he is letting his new girl freinds children trash my childrens bedrooms when they arnt there.He has also said if i make him pay maintenace through the CSA he wont see them the sad part is they love there dad and i wouldnt ever tell them the truth. I just dont now what to do as he has told the children that if i make him sell the house he will have to have the family dog put down!!!!

woragi · 18/06/2010 16:13

Cuz,this guy's a coward and a bully.I WOULD CALL HIS BLUFF! X

Chil1234 · 19/06/2010 10:44

Do you have a solicitor Cuz? There sounds so much wrong with your story that I'd have thought legal representation is essential. Ordinarily it's best to keep things as amicable and out of the courts as possible but when you've got one party behaving so irrationally that they use threats of killing a family pet to get their own way, I think you need back-up.

Do contact the CSA as well. They exist precisely because of this situation - he can't bully and manipulate the CSA the way he is doing with you. And then do sit your children down and explain (kindly) that Dad is not behaving well at the moment and that you are very angry with him. Children are not stupid and they can deal with information if it is presented in a matter-of-fact fashion. Even though I understand your motives not to affect their relationship with their father, it's not wise to let them carry on thinking that their father is the innocent/injured party either. I know a few mothers for whom that well-meant strategy has badly backfired.

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