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Divorce and proceedings

Posted by Andy2021 
Divorce and proceedings
May 09, 2021 03:04AM
Hi all,

Hope you're all well and safe. Wanted to get some advice regarding my situation.

Background - Married in 2013. Separated in 2017. Got back together in 2019. However, in March 2021 heard my wife chatting with a co-worker and understood that they are in a relationship since 2016. I am now certain that was the reason for the separation in 2017 although she at that time accused me of entirely something different. In those two years of separation, my wife actually co-habited with the co-worker.

Finance and others: We both are in IT and work for well-known (separate) high street retail banks. We don't have any children. She makes roughly 2.9K per month after taxes and I make 4.1K per month after taxes. I bought a house in Nov 2020, priced at 380000. It was a new build and I managed to secure it with the help of a 5% deposit and the help to buy scheme. I am accountable for the mortgage and the help to buy equity loan (20% of the property price). She didn't contribute a single penny when the house was purchased, nor when the expenses were incurred (such as buying furniture, tv, beds, curtains, moving etc.) despite working and had 10K+ savings when the contract exchanged. On top of the mortgage and equity loan, I also have about 8 grand loan on a credit card due to the aforementioned expenses. We both are 33, have separate work pension pots. Our finances were/are always separate i.e we never had a joint account. She currently pays 700 per month what she references as rent.

Current Situation:

Since we had the discussion in April that I know about her adultery, we're mentally separated. We are under the same roof but cook separately, and sleep in different bedrooms. I also take care of common household chores now such as taking trash to the bins, lawnmowing, paying all bills, cleaning the communal areas. However, she doesn't want me to file a divorce just now but verbally agreed to sign them after October. She has also verbally agreed to sign a separation contract now agreeing to keep our financials separate and not claiming anything in the imminent divorce and mentioned that she will move out from the property in November.

Questions

I have accepted the marriage is over and my top priority is to keep the house and finance. This is a first-ever owning something in our family (I come from a dirt poor background) and the time/money I have already invested in the house (about 40K including deposit, fees, and other expenses).

1. Would the separation contract give me any kind of protection when it goes to the court, that she voluntarily agreed and signed not to claim anything?

2. As mentioned she will not sign any divorce paper now but says she will in October. I don't know why this is the case but I want to keep this divorce process as amicable as possible. I don't have any proof regarding the adultery and the person with whom my wife has this relationship is a co-worker, they also work 12-hour shifts so phone records of calling each other at odd times can easily be discarded as 'work chat'. So where should I go from here? what is it you would do if you were in my shoes (I pray that you would never)?

3. Any good website or literature for me to understand the divorce process step by step in a very low-level detail? I read a few after Googling but it perhaps confused me more.


Thanks for reading the long post and grateful for your thoughts.

Andy
Re: Divorce and proceedings
May 09, 2021 08:47AM
It is possible to regulate financial issues once for all with a separation agreement (properly drawn up and not simply on the back of an envelope). The reason why one would not normally recommend a separation agreement is that it almost by definition forces you to obtain a divorce based on separation. Other grounds of divorce (at the moment) provide for instant divorce in that one does not have to wait. A divorce based on unreasonable behaviour, for example, can be issued immediately and there is no need to wait. That is why divorce on that ground is so common. Divorce based on separation takes a minimum of two years before one can issue a divorce petition and five years if the other spouse does not agree. This is normally a powerful reason to settle financial issues within the context of a divorce rather than by way of a separation agreement.

Your position is rather different. First October is not too far in the future. The other, more important point, is that you say that keeping the house is the most important thing to you and that your wife says she will move out in October and (presumably) make no claim upon it. IF that is what she means, and it is a very important if because if she means she will move out but still make a claim upon the house that would be wholly different, it may be worth you getting a separation agreement in order to make it formal and binding. Then you would be trading off keeping the house with a delay in getting divorced. Of course, if your wife will not sign such a separation agreement you would be better of getting a divorce now. You do not need your wife's permission or co-operation in order to divorce her.
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