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Divorce questions - Please help

Posted by PaulJ 
Divorce questions - Please help
June 02, 2022 11:16AM
Hi

Myself and my soon to be ex wife are still friends and have agreed what we want from a divorce. We have 2 children, 2 and 6. We have been married for 8 years. She is 39 and I am 41.

I work (65k) and she doesn't. She left her job a few months ago after returning to work after a few yrs off. One of the reasons she left was because she wasnt particularly happy in the job she took. Her dad passed away around the same time and after after probate, she asked me for a divorce.

She has received a property as part of the inheritance which is currently going through a sale for 380k. She also received 40k in cash and she already had approximately 10k in savings. This is hers and I do not want any of this.

We have a joint house which has a 170k mortgage (value 420k) and the plan is for me to buy her out and give her the 125k. This would leave her with 555k to buy anew house outright with a bit of surplus cash.

I would then have a 295k mortgage on house and would be a lot further down the ladder but happy with that as I will be a bit more on charge of my own destiny and most importantly our kids would have 2 stable homes.

We will be looking at true 50 50 parenting for the children, splitting their time across both households and I would give her 400 month for child costs. She is looking to get back into work ASAP but I will give her 500 a month over 2yr period whilst she does that.

We don't want any claim on each others pensions.

My question is, we both agree on this and both want a fresh start without disrupting our children. If we want to get this drawn up into a financial consent order, how do we go about it? We don't particularly want much advice and just want the documents. Do we both need to see separate solicitors or can we go to the same one?

Sorry for any spelling or grammar mistakes. I done this on my phone.

Many thanks

Paul



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/02/2022 01:02PM by PaulJ.
Re: Divorce questions - Please help
June 02, 2022 11:23AM
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/02/2022 12:59PM by PaulJ.
Re: Divorce questions - Please help
June 02, 2022 02:44PM
In order to be made formal and final any agreement needs to be turned into a court order. It normally requires the help of a solicitor to do that. One solicitor cannot act for both parties in a divorce because there would be a potential conflict of interest. However, both parties do not necessarily need a solicitor. It is possible for one solicitor to draw up the agreement at the request of one of the spouses and for the other spouse to act in person without a solicitor.

Whether it is actually wise to enter into a binding agreement of this type without taking legal advice is another matter. The solicitor who draws up the agreement will also give advice because it would be negligent not to do so. If the solicitor drawing up the agreement thinks it is unfair then he/she will say so and will probably require the client to sign a formal disclaimer acknowledging that the agreement is being entered into against legal advice. A court will also not approve an agreement and turn it into a court order unless the court is satisfied that it is broadly reasonable.
Re: Divorce questions - Please help
June 02, 2022 02:48PM
Thanks very much David. From your experience and with the info provided, does the above sound like a reasonable resolution. I appreciate you are looking at a snapshop of it.

Thanks

Paul



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/02/2022 02:51PM by PaulJ.
Re: Divorce questions - Please help
June 02, 2022 04:46PM
Well,

(a) No figures are given for pensions so it is impossible to know if what is proposed about pensions is fair.

(b) Bearing in mind the huge disparity in capital in your wife's favour the very least you should get out of that is a clean break between you and your wife - ie only child maintenance, no spousal maintenance. It is possible for spousal maintenance to last for a specific period of time and for then to be a clean break but if that is what is intended (and it is the very least you should expect to get out of this) it is very important that YOU get the order drawn up and that your solicitor ensures is is properly worded so as to guarantee a clean break. This requires very specific wording and it is essential that it correct. Under no circumstances should you think of dispensing with using a solicitor in this type of situation because a person who did not have legal advice would almost certainly get it wrong.
Re: Divorce questions - Please help
June 02, 2022 05:17PM
Hi David. Thanks very much for the information on which I'm sure is a day off for you.

I've just read back over the original message i sent and I didn't mention I have 50k in savings. I spoke more about her inheritance situation. There is still a big capital difference like you say as my total out of it will be about 175k and hers will be 555k. My plan was to take 12k out of that to cover the 500 per month if we go that route or possibly pay it in one go and then that might make a clean break easier. I was then thinking of possibly putting 20k into the mortgage to make it a bit more manageable considering it will go up quite a bit. Nothing certain yet though. Also, I was thinking of putting some in my kids accounts.

In regards to pensions, there is not a big difference in what we both have as 5 yrs ago she worked in the city 12 yrs on a good salary. Therefore we don't want to include the pensions.

I really appreciate your steer on this.

Thanks

Paul
Re: Divorce questions - Please help
June 02, 2022 06:58PM
With difference in the distribution of capital and bearing in mind that your wife probably has a significant earning capacity the only justification for this serious inequality would be for you to obtain a clean break. Without a clean break (and possibly even with) this distribution of capital unfairly favours your wife.
Re: Divorce questions - Please help
June 02, 2022 07:32PM
Thanks you very much for the info David. If I get the contract drawn up, I'm assuming from what we discussed, she should go and see a solicitor too? I'm only asking as we will discuss in the next few days. The reason I ask is, do the courts expect both to have legal advice.

Many thanks
Re: Divorce questions - Please help
June 03, 2022 11:47AM
Your wife would be prudent to seek advice but she is not obliged to do so. However, if you want a clean break (and you should upon this proposed division of capital) you would be very unwise not to attend to drawing up the formal document with the help of a solicitor acting for you. This is not something which should be left to a solicitor acting for your wife (who would act for her, not for you).
Re: Divorce questions - Please help
June 04, 2022 12:55PM
Thanks David
Re: Divorce questions - Please help
June 04, 2022 02:45PM
Thanks David
Re: Divorce questions - Please help
June 06, 2022 04:42PM
Hi David

I hope you can help.

Following on from what we discussed at the weekend, i spoke to a solicitor and she said to go for the clean break but one thing that the court could possible want is a nominal spousal order. In your experience, does this type of thing happen due to my children's age?

Thanks
Re: Divorce questions - Please help
June 07, 2022 10:49AM
If you are going to agree to this much inequality in the division of capital then you should insist on having a clean break in return - no spousal maintenance, not even 'nominal' maintenance. You should make it clear that any deal is contingent upon a clean break and that even if there is 'only' nominal maintenance then you will not agree to this proposed division of capital. Do not be pressured into agreeing nominal maintenance. Make it clear that if there anything other than a clean break you will not agree to this proposed division of capital which is so hugely in your wife's favour. Under no circumstances should you allow yourself to be put in the position where it is said that everything is agreed except for nominal maintenance. Make absolutely sure everyone understands that NOTHING is agreed until EVERYTHING is agreed and from your point of view a clean break should be non negotiable if your wife wants this much capital.
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