Financial Separation
June 24, 2022 10:27AM

I'm divorcing my husband and I just don't know where to start with it all. I understand the divorce part is actually the easiest, its the financial side I'm struggling to get my head around. We own a property together, joint tenants, and both still live there. It is not amicable. I have a teenage daughter from a previous relationship and we have a 10 year old son together. I have moved in to his room.

Im 41, hes 36 - we bought our first house together from his dad and he kindly reduced the asking price by £12K. We extended downstairs but unfortunately my father in law then passed away and my husband invested some of his inheritance in to the property doing the upstairs. We made quite a bit from that sale and we have extended the property we are in now. With price rises at the moment there is a large profit.

My husband is adamant he should get, at least, the first £60K once its sold and then split the rest 50/50 (Looking to be about £180K profit altogether). This is to include the initial £12K his dad reduced the house by and the inheritance he used.

We have separate finances, never had joint, believe it or not I cant even tell you how much he earns, it can be anywhere between £25K - £32K a year, I earn just under £22K. Been together 13 years and married for almost 9. I have only been working full time since January, for the last 5 years I worked 30 hours a week due to school pick up. I also have a work pension (been paying in for 6 years) and he doesn't as he is self-employed. I would like to change my lump sum if anything happens to me to the children, is this something I can do?

I feel like I'm banging my head on a brick wall trying to 'negotiate' but he is not budging. He becomes angry like a child not getting his own way and it is sometimes not a nice environment to be in - he is not bothered that the kids are there and even bothers me whilst I'm outside so the neighbours can hear. He must have sent me 6/7 messages Monday morning alone trying to get me to agree but when i retaliate, he accuses me of being awkward and making everything difficult.

He has now booked a house valuation behind my back and asked me to book my own as he wants to deal with them himself. In no way, shape or form am i trying to be underhand and take everything, i just want whats fair for me and the kids. Im even happy for him to have slightly more than me money wise as long as my pension is secure. However, his new threat last night was that we haven't yet received the completion certificate for the extension (finished December 2020) and he can hold this off for as long as he wants therefore not having to sell the house.

Financially I cant afford a lot myself, he pays the mortgage and I pay all the bills as well as stuff for the kids. He keeps threatening solicitors and legal action for a decision to be made. I suffer with anxiety and it is going through the roof just not knowing what mood hes going to be in everyday. Where do i stand if i moved out of the property with the children in to a private rental?

Any advice would be appreciated, thank you.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/24/2022 10:31AM by Oafy.
Re: Financial Separation
June 25, 2022 12:19PM
You would be unwise to move out and thereby leave him in possession of the matrimonial home. He will be much more difficult to dislodge if he is left there alone and it will almost certainly mean that settling finances will take forever because he would have no incentive to settle.

The fact is that the £12K and the inheritance are not ring fenced. They have gone into the matrimonial home and that is a joint asset. On these figures what will matter will be where you are each to live after divorce and how that accommodation will be paid for. This is a case where 'needs' (including the needs of the children) trump everything else. There can be no question of him getting the first £60K. He will not like it but the length of the relationship and the dependent children make all the difference.

Yes, you can change the nominations on your pension if that is what you want to do.
Re: Financial Separation
July 05, 2022 09:47AM
Thank you so much for your reply.

We are still going round in circles, even after having the house valued. I know mediation is the next step but I feel it will be a waste of money as we still have to come to an agreement but in front of someone. I would prefer to sell the house and both go our own way but he will not agree to this until I agree to 'accept' a much lower amount than him.

What would my next move be?

Both myself and the children are getting affected by this now and both of my children have big years at school next year - i do not want this causing any upset.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/05/2022 09:56AM by Oafy.
Re: Financial Separation
July 05, 2022 11:14AM
It is always worth trying mediation if there is a realistic possibility it would work. However, even if you start mediation it should quickly become apparent whether there is good faith on the other side. If there isn't there is no point in continuing with mediation and it is better to draw a line under it rather than waste time and money on it. If mediation is not going to succeed then the only way you have a forcing closure is by making a court application within the context of the divorce. In that way you get to impose a time table and, ultimately, a decision whether your husband co-operates or not. There is also something called 'alternative dispute resolution' which basically means you both agree and will be bound by a decision of a third party (typically a barrister or solicitor with extensive family law experience who has also trained as an arbitrator). It sound as though you might have as much difficulty with the latter as with mediation. In that event the court application route is the way you will get closure.
Re: Financial Separation
July 06, 2022 01:26PM
Hi Oafy,

This sounds like a really difficult time for you. I have been there. There is light at the end!

My pointers:

1. He cannot ringfence the £60,000 for the reasons he suggests to you.

2. All of the resources would and should be distributed by reference to your respective 'needs'. Mostly housing needs. What do you both need and how will you acheive it. Who earns more, who has a greater mortgage capacity etc. The aim should be fairness.

3. Nominating a beneficary under his pension does not seem to be an issue. If you are Divorcing and seek to share in his pension then you will have your own share of it and would not need to benefit. In any event you lose your spouse entitlement once divorce is finalised.

4. In terms of affordability, again the remedy her is spousal maintenance but is assessed by reference to your needs and how dependent you are on your husband.

These things are never easy but I agree with Terry, mediation is the way forward. Avoid court if you can, it is costly.
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