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Impacts on Consent Order and Prior Agreements

Posted by RandomUsername 
Impacts on Consent Order and Prior Agreements
August 30, 2023 05:39PM
Hi, apologies for the long post…

Me and my husband have been married for 5 years with no children. We decided to divorce in February this year and he moved out a couple of months ago. The divorce was my idea so we agreed I would cover all legal fees. I am trying to keep the costs to a minimum, so am filling all forms by myself. I have submitted the D8 form and have around 10 weeks left to wait for the conditional order. I plan to visit a solicitor to help with the preparation of the consent order. Having seen the D81 form makes me worried as I suspect his financial sitation may worsen by the time we apply for the financial separation.

Me -
Salary: £27k p/a
Savings: £3k
Loans: Nil
Pension: £15k
House: worth £200k owned jointly with my sister who also lives at the property with her partner. The house was purchased during the marriage and has £100k in equity. Mortgage and deeds are in mine and my sister’s names

Husband -
Salary: £28k p/a but plans to change jobs in the nearest future
Savings: Nil
Pension: approx. £1k as he stopped his contributions early on
Loans: Estimate £10k before we met, £1k during our marriage but I wasn’t aware he had taken this, and he has accrued further loans recently after we agreed to separate. I am unsure of the amounts

Upon discussions, we agreed I would pay my husband a one time lump sum of £30k to compensate for the house as we didn’t want to go down the court route and potentially lose large sums of money in court battles. He believes he is entitled to half of all equity as it’s considered matrimonial home and he has made some payments and helped around the house so in his views he does me a favour accepting lower payout since he was aiming at £50k. We also agreed we would not split any other assets and he would be solely responsible for repaying his loans as they were taken to support his lifestyle. I am trying to make this as amicable as possible but I am stressed about his financial situation having a negative impact on the whole situation. My questions are:

* Since the D81 form requires to list the money, property and income, would it impact the court’s view on the agreement we have already made verbally, if his situation was to worsen by the time we apply for the consent order?
* Would it be wise to track his financial situation at the point we decided to divorce in comparison to the point of actual financial separation so there’s clear evidence I am not responsible for his choices post break-up? Which is the cut off point I need to present on the D81 form?
* Is there anything else I could do or acquire prior to seeing the solicitor for the consent order, to minimise the number of visits needed as I am stressed about all of this having a huge impact on my own financial situation?

Thank you in advance.
Re: Impacts on Consent Order and Prior Agreements
August 30, 2023 06:18PM
I am not clear about the house. I am assuming from what you say that you and your husband live in it as well as your sister and her partner. On the face of it if the property is jointly owned by you and your sister and the equity is £100K then your share of the equity is £50K so if your husband was entitled to half that would come to £25K. Or perhaps there is something I have not understood here.

Be that as it may, you and your husband earn much the same, there are no children and the amount of equity is known. In principle if you and your husband can reach agreement and have it drawn up into a court order a court is likely to approve so long as the terms are broadly fair. What you are suggesting seems easily within the range of what a court might regard as reasonable.

It is worth getting it drawn up and settled just as soon as you can after the conditional order so that you can both move on with your lives. If you have agreed a figure which is broadly justifiable there is no reason why it should not be straightforward.
Re: Impacts on Consent Order and Prior Agreements
September 07, 2023 09:46PM
Many thanks for your response David.

I do agree with everything you’re saying and cannot wait to get a clean break and start my life over.

There have been complications and reasons as to why I ended up buying the house with my sister. I guess my husband has always seen the house as his and mine, hence why he feels like he’s entitled to half, although from the legal point of view and all the facts it doesn’t quite work that way.
Re: Impacts on Consent Order and Prior Agreements
September 08, 2023 10:40AM
>>I guess my husband has always seen the house as his and mine<<

I don't know whether there is any justification in that or not because I know nothing of the circumstances under which your sister became a co-owner. There is something odd about a house being bought during a marriage but the title being in the names of two sisters with neither husband nor partner on the title. Much will depend upon the reason for that and who exactly paid the deposit and who exactly has been paying the mortgage since. Your husband may or may not have a point. Whether he does or not very much depends upon the detail. It isn't just a matter of the names on the title deeds.
Re: Impacts on Consent Order and Prior Agreements
September 08, 2023 07:13PM
I paid the deposit and it was saved for numbers of years. My husband made no specific transfers towards this sum but our agreement at the time was that he would take responsibility over bills and groceries so I could concentrate on my savings. I was contributing towards various payments as well but would say that majority outgoings were covered with his salary.

Our mortgage application was however denied as my husband had various CCJs he had ignored for years which is why my sister agreed to buy with me as it was unlikely I would be able to buy a house with my husband any time soon. She did not contribute towards the deposit.

I am the one paying the mortgage. We ended up splitting all costs associated with the bills and mortgage between myself, my sister and her partner, whereas my husband paid the internet, mine and his phones bills and insurance. He would also contribute towards some repairs and decorating however any larger payments were covered by me. I would also say that soon after we moved in our finances became more separated so I found myself covering the house and other regular outgoings as well as financing things for my husband’s personal development which I guess it totally unrelated issue.
Re: Impacts on Consent Order and Prior Agreements
September 09, 2023 11:43AM
Then your husband has a point. This is the matrimonial home funded by you with no contribution to the deposit from your sister. Whether the deposit was saved for a number of years is irrelevant as is the fact that your husband had various CCJs or that he pays some bills while you pay others. I would say that he has a point in thinking that the equity should be divided between you equally.

I think you will probably have a problem at some point with your sister because at some point she will probably say that she is entitled to some share of the equity as a result of making contributions towards the mortgage. However, that is a problem for the future between you and your sister. It could have been avoided (and perhaps was for all I know) if a deed of trust had been drawn up at the time of purchase which specified the beneficial interests of you and your sister. If this was not done then there may well be some dispute between you and your sister in the future.
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