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Unable to settle via Consent Order

Posted by 50somethingalready 
Unable to settle via Consent Order
November 21, 2022 10:55AM
I left the family home in August 2019, I was suffering from serious mental health issues at that time, which required being cared for by a local Mental Health Crisis team.

My ex-wife threatened and pressured me into paying approximately £50k of the £75k Equity from the house sale.

This was to pay for debts in her name that I had no control or awareness of during the course of the marriage, as she built the debt in her name, she always refused to share finances.

The house was in my name only, I paid the mortgage and the original deposit of £7.5k to get us onto the property ladder was from my own finances.

We are now divorced and I received the Decree Absolute recently.

Numerous requests over the past three years to split all assets equally via mediation or a consent order have failed.

Her previous solicitor stated that I am only entitled to 50% of the pension during the course of the marriage, we were together for 13 years prior to a 10-year marriage and had a son in our first year together in 1998.

After demanding and taking £50k from £75k equity in the home to pay off her debts, she then purchased an almost new car and lives in a rented 4-bedroom house with one of our 2 sons, (both adults now and he works full-time).

She earns a salary of approximately £36-38k, and I am on disability benefits and a modest income of around £5k per annum.

I’m unable to provide a full-time income for myself as I have Multiple Sclerosis (symptoms began 2004) and Degenerative Disc Disease surgery in 1991.

I previously used ‘Divorce Online’ to process my divorce as it was the only affordable option at the time, they advised me there is nothing they can do, and I have to say on the whole I never felt represented or listened to by them.

What I would like to know is, if I am able to perform a miracle in the future and find help for legal fees to take her to court, will the judge take care of my future needs as a disabled person?

Approximate figures are as follows, Her pension £245k, my pension £12k (as I was paying mortgage), equity split £25k me, £50k her.

I contacted her solicitor recently and was advised they are no longer taking instruction from her.

Total assets are approximately £325k (pre-divorce), her proposal for me to settle via consent order is approximately £70k

This does not meet my future financial needs, particularly as the type of health condition(s) will and have been worsening with age.

I’m looking for some advice on how this would be likely to pan out in a divorce court as my ex has consistently refused a 50/50 split, or anywhere near it.
Re: Unable to settle via Consent Order
November 21, 2022 04:38PM
The first thing I should say is that you have recently obtained decree absolute it may be very important that you make a court application to settle the finances arising from the marriage BEFORE you remarry. If you were to remarry before doing this you could possibly lose all your rights arising from the marriage. I say, 'may' and 'possibly' because it depends who issued the divorce petition and whether any financial claims were made in the divorce petition. If the divorce petition was issued by your wife then you definitely must make a court application before remarrying (or entering into a civil partnership).

Given your financial and health circumstances you may be eligible for Legal Aid. A local Citizens Advice Bureau should be able to tell you if you are or not.

Possibly there is nothing that can now be done about the sale proceeds of the house if those sale proceeds have now been spent BUT you almost certainly have a claim to a pension share and that will likely be to a share of all your wife's pension. That is because of the length of the relationship (10 years plus 13 years so 23 years rather than just the length of the marriage), because of your disability and because of your need. There can be absolutely no doubt that you are entitled to a pension share. Indeed, the disparity in your respective health and financial circumstances means that you also have an arguable case for maintenance from your ex wife.

Your ex wife's position is unreasonable and you should not let this drop.
Re: Unable to settle via Consent Order
November 29, 2022 08:35AM
Thank you so much for this invaluable advice, I will be contacting Citizens Advice to see if LA is possible, thanks again.
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