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Where to go from here?

Posted by Justme 
Where to go from here?
March 29, 2021 03:39PM
Apologies for the long post.

We were married for 26 years before husband (H) left to live with another woman and they are still together now. Our decree nisi was granted roughly 12 years ago, but I did not apply for absolute because finances couldn’t be agreed upon - both sets of solicitors seemed keen for animosity to build between us and a lot of money was spent needlessly.

My two adult children still live with me and one will be dependent on me for life, due to disability. The other child is saving to buy a house, but pays me some rent.

H initially rented a house for him and his partner, but I found out accidentally a couple of years later, that he had moved address, without telling us, and he had bought the house they were living in (I believe through an inheritance).

H has said all along that his partner does not pay any money towards the cost of the house or bills. By saying that, he seems to think that her salary and savings will never have to be accounted for in any divorce proceedings - I don’t know if that would be the case? He certainly didn’t want to let our mediator know anything about her finances all those years ago.

Initially, H’s partner wanted him to get a divorce, so that she could marry him, but things suddenly changed and H told me we should stay married so that I would receive his pension when he dies. The CETV from his job prior to setting up his business was worth approximately £118,000. My CETVs were worth about £21,000 at the time. I didn’t work for many years whilst bringing up our children. I work full-time now but only bring home £1450 a month.

Husband said he would let me have the house if I resigned as a director from his business. He threatened that if I didn’t resign, he would close the business and would then have no income, meaning that if I did go back to a solicitor, I would probably end up having to give him money! I felt I had no choice but to go along with what he said.

He has, however, been generous towards us at times, for example, buying us a new boiler and second-hand car, and paying towards some holidays.

As I am now within ten years of retirement and H is almost at retirement age, I am becoming increasingly worried about the future. My savings will run out before I retire and my pension will be very small.

I very much want to make sure that both our financial situations are fair and would like to sort out pension sharing, if possible, but I’m worried that if I go back to a solicitor, H will probably start to make threats about closing his business again.
Can someone advise me as to the best way of dealing with this situation please? And would it be wise to spend some of my remaining savings on a divorce ifa?

Thank you.
Re: Where to go from here?
March 29, 2021 05:57PM
Bearing in mind that you have been separated for 12 years what your husband has acquired during that time is in principle non matrimonial property so you would be unwise to assume that you have any automatic claim upon it.

For what it is worth it hardly ever makes sense for an estranged spouse to be a director or shareholder of a business essentially run by the other. I think what your husband probably meant was that if you didn't resign as a director then he would close the business and set up another in which you were not involved. That is quite common. Ceasing a business simply in order not to pay the other spouse rarely works in divorce because courts look at earning capacity rather than earnings.

In order for you both to move on with your lives and settle whatever financial issues there are between you it seems to me it would be sensible to seek a divorce. However, that is ultimately a decision for you and your husband.
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