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Manipulation and compliction

Posted by Scared 
Manipulation and compliction
December 02, 2019 12:48PM
I am in the early throws of a divorce and to be honest, very scared. I am 47, he is 54. We have 2 children, aged 13 and 16. We still live in the same house. He is bullying me regards finance, as that is all he is interested in. The house is on the market, but could take months to sell. I work full-time, and he part-time...he says he wants to retire and doesn't wish to work anymore.
He is a part owner of his business, and the company are buying his shares from him over a 6 year period, to supplement his income, but this comes as an annual sum and is taxed. I suspect he is avoiding some taxation somewhere. He is threatening me that if I come after the company, he will make himself redundant and de-value the shares, so I cant get anything. He is contracted to 16 hours a week, and that is on a 4 monthly rolling contract. I understand he has worked hard to put himself in this position, and so he wants this to be seen as income and not capital. He is wanting a financial settlement in the next week, so he can be financially free of me. We dont have our NISI yet either.
I shall have half the house, which will be about 600k if it sells for asking price, then both our pensions amount to 230k which will be split.
I am concerned about supporting myself and kids as I earn 1700 pcm and he gets 2700 salary plus about the same in an annual lump sum. He doesnt see the need to complete a form E ( clearly hiding something).
Can he make himself redundant and de-value shares for a short period of time, so it looks as though he earns nothing? Can he say he is going to give me nothing on a monthly basis and do so? I coudl be spending a fortune on solicitors so really want to get this moving on, as it is hell living under the same roof and he wont move out.
We currently have a joint account and I have my account. I put half my salary into the joint, but he controls what is spend by shouting at me and I am worried he will freeze this.
Re: Manipulation and compliction
December 02, 2019 06:33PM
Frankly you would be bonkers to try and settle this directly with your husband without taking your own independent legal advice. The sort of figures you are talking about here are such that any legal advice would very likely pay for itself many times over.

For a start

1. You should not agree to a sale of the former matrimonial home except within the context of a formal and final financial settlement in the divorce proceedings (taking legal advice about the fairness of any such settlement BEFORE you even consider entering into it).

2. If you think your husband is being less than frank about his financial circumstances then you must insist upon proper financial disclosure (backed up with documentary evidence) before even considering terms of settlement. You cannot make an informed decision without this basic and essential information.

3. A court will not think it reasonable for a 54 year old man to retire if that is at the expense of his obligations to his wife and children. If he were unwise enough to think otherwise a court would very likely transfer all assets to you so that he either had to realise his earning capacity or starve. You cannot and should not be blackmailed in this way.
Re: Manipulation and compliction
December 04, 2019 09:23AM
Many thanks for this. Blackmail, control and narcissism has been the norm for the last several years, I have just never really wised up. I have a solicitor, who is frank. I have a mediation meeting with him in a few days, where he is wanting this 'all sorted before the year ends'. I am not foolish enough to sign anything. He is threatening me that if I 'go after his business' he will make himself redundant and devalue the shares! Surely that would be seen through??
I dont want to put his business at risk, as it is not just him in the business and I dont want to hurt them, however, he is making me feel uncomfortable and says he has nothing to hide. He is a bully, but generally bullies are the ones who are scared.
Please keep me sane, as this is very scary.
Re: Manipulation and compliction
December 05, 2019 02:17PM
I have I think accidentally, when completing the application for NISI ticked or unticked a line that said we have not lived together since the divorce has been filed for. As our addresses are the same and we do still live together, it has been a mistake. The court has said they have refused our application and require further information. Do you know how I respond to this? It was certainly not intentional to say we have lived apart.
Re: Manipulation and compliction
December 05, 2019 04:34PM
Impossible to say without seeing the divorce petition. Relevance will depend on the context of the divorce petition.
Re: Manipulation and compliction
December 23, 2019 08:39AM
Thanks for advice so far. Our NiSI will be read out on 23rd Jan, so can apply for orders after this. He has finally got himself a solicitor after fine sent him a letter asking for more information of his business asset. He still does not want to declare this. He is trying to freeze and terminate payments so it doesn’t go into our account. But surely that money will still be in the business? He can’t also surely change wording on is special purchase agreement can he? We had mediation, which was basically him saying what he will offer me. When he asked what I wanted, he said no way! I don’t think he realises that pensions have to go through the court as an order either, am I correct. He is offering me £1000 per month for 6 years when he wants to retire and the payments from his business end. My worry is that he could lose his job, as in a rolling contract, then there would be no money. This would be a global order as kids want 50/50! He also pulled the .....I suffer with depression which is why I work part time card!!!! I am obviously therefore wanting a larger share of house as a lump sum clean break.
Are you able to tell me the likelihood of this? What other numbers and details would you need to help? What’s the best way forward? Fight it out via solicitor or go straight to barrister?
So stressful.
Re: Manipulation and compliction
December 23, 2019 10:51AM
You have a solicitor. You should be asking your solicitor these questions. That is what you are paying for.
Re: Manipulation and compliction
December 26, 2019 02:47PM
Thanks. To be honest, I have very little conversation with my solicitor. I can’t afford her, and she has said that I have to make the decisions not her. This is very scary, and I don’t know what way to take....strangely I haven’t done this before! Hence me asking for any advice at all.
Re: Manipulation and compliction
December 26, 2019 03:50PM
If a person has a solicitor then it is rarely helpful to have a back seat driver. If you have any questions you want answered it might be sensible to make a list and then pose them to your solicitor. Solicitors charge on a time basis so if you make efficient use of your solicitor's time you can keep costs down.
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