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ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1441
Experience:  Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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I separated 3 years ago, but not divorced. We took half of

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I separated 3 years ago, but not divorced. We took half of the profits from the house each in order to live sepaparately, but never discussed other assets as my husband always becomes agressive & threatening. I want to divorce & want our pensions taken into account. His pension was 220000 when I left him. Mine was 43,000. An added complication is that I'm a third share holder inour joint business. I get 10,000 per annum wages and 8,ooo dividends. I have no other form of income. He pays himself £36,000 per annum, plus extras for new cars etc. he has threatened to run the business into the ground if I come after my share. The business was worth approx £150,000 in cash & equipment when we separated. I am afraid he will carry out his threats, but me & the two boys are on the breadline. I am just about to downsize my house in order to release some capital & give them a better life. Worried I should actually take the bull by the horns and try & get a better sttlement instead.
Thank you for your question. I'm a family solicitor and able to help.
In relation to the matrimonial finances - The correct process for dealing with the matrimonial finances and division is to go through a process known as full and frank financial disclosure. Yourself and your husband need to exchange full details of all assets ( including pensions) and liabilities before negotiations take place in relation to settlement.
The normal rule for division is 50/50 however the matrimonial causes act sets out factors which could lead to a departure from this rule. A few examples are the likely earning capacity of both of you for the future, health needs etc.
You should consider making a referral to a mediation service. They can assist in relation to the process of disclosure and also in relation to negotiations about division. One such mediation service is the National Family Mediation service.
If agreement cannot be reached then an application would need to be made to the court. You can not make an application to the court until you have at least attempted mediation first (gone to a session called MIAM).
I note that you have already divide some assets in order to be able to live separately. It is important that no further division takes place until a court order is obtained. If division is agreed without the need to apply to court then you should submit a consent order for Judicial approval prior to division and obtaining decree absolute. Not doing so could leave you open for a future claim.
You need to have obtained decree nisi before a court can make an order or approve a consent order.
Kind regards
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Just so I'm clear-Does your last sentence mean I have to apply for a divorce before I ask for a settlement? Also my husband would never attend mediation-can I attend on my own if he refuses? He will stop my wages if I even hint I want a legal settlement. It's the fear of this that has stopped me seeking a settlement so far. He also would not disclose financials, so I guess I'd need to go to court to do this-and I have no money for legal fees. Can I get legal aid for this?
Thank you for your reply.
Yes - Financial Relief in relation to the matrimonial finances is an application that can only be made within divorce proceedings.
If your husband does not engage in mediation / disclose his financial information then you will have to apply to court. There is little point in attending mediation alone as you won't be able to reach agreement by yourself.
If your husband does stop your wages then you could make an urgent application to the court for Maintenance Pending Suit. This can be applied for before obtaining decree nisi. A Judge can make an order for interim payments of maintenance to you until the case is finalised.
Legal aid is only available if you can obtain domestic violence evidence and qualify on income and capital savings and investments. You should refer to the Legal Aid Agency.
If you can't afford legal aid then you can issue at a family court using Form A with a fee of £255.
Divorce forms can also be obtained from Current fee is £410
Courts do have a Fee Remission Scheme. They would assess if you were eligible for a fee reduction if you submitted form ex160 with your applications.
Kind regards
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