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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34907
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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I believe my ex-wife is sabotaging financial settlement,

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I believe my ex-wife is sabotaging financial settlement, probably because she believes that I will give up and reunite with her or agree to her demands. Decree Nisi was granted month ago, arrangements for children are to be solved in court (12 Nov is 1st hearing), after mediation did not work out. She is either verbally and physically aggressive or crying every time we meet or talk. At mediation she demands 70% of assets for herself. We ve been separated already for two years. I am planning to obtain decree absolute as soon as I can, just to stop this emotional turmoil. What should I do then with the financial settlement??, mediation or solicitor negotiations are likely to be emotionally and financially draining and most straightforward options for me either to file with the court or do nothing. I am paying mortgage on the house she lives in and mortgage is in my name only , and the house has massive equity. Kids 13 and 16. Am I loosing or risking anything by getting absolute before financial settlement?? Equity in our matrimonial home she lives in is 200k, I live in  a house with equity around 75k, I have a small premarital apartment abroad worth around 40k (she wants this to be split as well together with everything else); savings little to none

Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How long did you live together
how much would a cheaper three bedroom property in the same school area cost to buy?
What other assets are there including pensions?
What income do you each have?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I gave you slightly more precise figures all again: Matrimonial home is valued at 270k, with mortgage left 54k; cheaper 3 bed house in this area can be bought for ~210-230k; the house I live in is valued at 280k with mortgage 195k; apartment abroad 40k. My penseion transfer value 168k, her pension transfer value 72k. My income before any deductions 54k, her income 37k. Older child goes to private school 2 years left, 12k per year; savings-- me 16k; she 5k; credit card debt -- me 5k, she 3k

What is the detals of the settlement she has suggested
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

she wants 70% of everything, including my premarital apartment, wants me to transfer 54k mortgage in her name, which is on a very low rate, proposes that I either disappear from children lives or they stay 4 nights per month maximum with me .. end of proposal.. I want : my premarital apartment ring-fenced, split the rest 50-50 or close, I continue mortgage payments on matrimonial home, till the younger one is 18, or she forms relationship..

Has she asked for a Pension Sharing Order
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She has not asked about anything related to pension... I do not think she or me fully understand how we can play pensions around.. about 2/3 rds of our pensions are contribution by employers, and only 1/3 or even 1/4 are the actual savings from our salaries

How long have you lived together?
How do the children currently share their time between you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We lived together for about 17 years; after I filed for divorce her approach to children was enforced-- 2 weekends per months (4 nights) or even less, when she plans something for them. We agreed that school holidays are 50/50. The apartment has been always managed and rented out by my parents, who have used the rental income for themselves; it was inherited by me from granny

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

on pensions.. there is no question, that she will demand a part of my pension; If split is justified I am likely to be fine about it..

Thank you for that
How much are you paying on the mortgage and how much are you paying in child maintenance
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am paying £370 pcm for family house, £970 pcm for my house, I was paying £400 per month child support, but from this month going to pay £450, it is private arrangement, and soon I may end with even more to pay , she applied to CSA and they are going to come with a new figure for me soon; and force me to pay from my salary directly and may even charge me (not her) 20% for this .. I do not know how is that possible and why

You can calculate what the CMS assessment will be here
You are currently under paying as only half of the mortgage is taken into account since the property is half yours.
If you wish to avoid the 20% charge then you need to start paying her in full - and tell her that the mortgage is her responsibility to pay.
With regard to the pensions you are each entitled to half of the others pension that has accrued since you were married - so you need to do the arithmetic and then work out how much you need to pay her to equalise them.
If no agreement on settlement can be reached then the way forward is to force the issue by applying to the court - this will lock you into a court timetable which will lead either to agreement or the court deciding the matter
You are likely to be able to argue successfully that the Apartment should be treated separately.
The property you live in should be transferred into your sole name - the matrimonial home (and mortgage) shoudl be transferred into her sole name - with you having a charge back payable when the youngest is 18 to protect the percentage equivalent of £36,000 - this gives her a 60/40 split o fthe assets - likely to be seen as reasonable by the court.
On top of that is a pension sharing order UNLESS she would rather have the house and let you keep your pension intact
This however is only a rough guide
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

my question was what will be different for me (better or worse) if I go first with the decree absolute, before financial settlement is in place ?? or even forget about settlement for couple of years

what is your reason to say that 40/60 is likely to be considered fare by the court? and what is it exactly that shifts the really fare 50/50 balance ? [is it just a traditional discrimination of males by English courts? .. this was just a side comment]

I wish it was a precise as that
the main factor is that the children are still with her (unfair I know) and there will be a presumption that over the years she has possible compromised her career and pension prospects to care for them.
The fact that you do also have this other asset will also be in the courts mind.
You may be able to argue against this if you have also regularly had time off to care for the children over the years
I have also noticed an error above - I had not realised the property was in your sole name - which means that NONE of the house mortgage is taken into account as maintenance.
This is a factor which MAY assist in your limiting the split to 55/45 and maybe even 50/50 in five years time.
Actually if the foreign property was included then a 50/50 split of assets and pensions would be very likely indeed.
There is no gain or loss in applying for the Decree Absolute - although you will not be eligible for her spouse pension if she dies before matters are resolved.
Waiting may or may not work for you - it depends how your assets increase in the mean time - but in terms of moving on without baggage sooner rather than later is best
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thanks for that... I am thinking if I could ask you to help me with this matter further and to act on my behalf .. I am based in Bath, .. u learned a lot about finances in my case.. if distance and other factors are ok

I am afraid that i am a long way from bath - however I am happy to help on here as much as I can
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