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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34905
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 would like some advice to help me proceed with my divorce.

Customer Question

I would like some advice to help me proceed with my divorce. As an outline, here is the current situation and the proposed solution from my soon to be ex husband:
We separated in October 2013 - I had started a relationship with my now partner prior to the separation. We have two boys who initially took their Dad's side and wanted to live full time with him. This lasted until my partner and I moved in together in November 2013. Since then we have had a shared care agreement. The boys are with us both 50% of the time. They are with us every day after school - for their dinner up until 7:00pm, for half the time on Saturday and Sunday - having one or two meals with us. They sleep at their Dad's most days apart from 2 days per week they are with us, therefore having breakfast and lunch paid for by us also. This is an agreement that will hopefully evolve as I would like to have them sleep at ours more often. The child benefit is paid into my account where I pay for uniforms and other essentials - school trips etc.
When the marriage initially broke down, there was a lot of guilt on my part and therefore I initially paid all my income into our original joint account.
We then went through the process of financial separation - both legal physical. - this was my ex's choice to take me off the house and release the equity. A decision I wish had not been taken. I still have not got half the equity - he did pay me £5k to keep me afloat, however, as throughout that time I had an unpaid parking fine in his name, I managed to gain him a CCJ. At this time, I took half the debt and agreed to pay a monthly amount to my ex husband to ensure his and my boys lifestyle was not affected by my choice to leave. This amount was £750 per month, based on the shortfall of his salary - his outgoings. This has been ongoing but there are certain factors that have changed and he now wants this agreement legally bound so we can proceed to decree absolute.
Factors that have changed:
He has been made redundant - his job was double my salary - we agreed that he was to take the career route and I was to take less of one as I would be the main carer. He has now redecorated the whole house and taken the boys on two holidays of a lifetime to Dubai. I am unaware of his redundancy package, what this does mean is he cannot get a mortgage.
My expenses have increased as my debt has risen - not just the previous debt but the debt to live and pay for food/living expenses for my family and what my ex calls maintenance - I don't feel this is maintenance as we have a shared care arrangement.
I now want to come to a financial agreement with him but not sure what this should be - he is inferring that if I don't pay the £750 per month then he will take that off the equity I'm owed - surely this isn't right - I'd end up with a 0 balance??
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further details firstHow much is the house worth and how much is/was outstanding on the mortgage?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The house was work £335 and we had a mortgage of £221.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
So what has actually happened with the house
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He's still living in it, just took me off the Mortgage a year ago.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
What income do you each have?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have 30k, he has £65k but has now been made redundant as stated in my question.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Ok - what other assets (if any) are there?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
None, he has a car but is paying that and keeping it himself. We agreed to keep our own pensions.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
All other marital assets were left in the marital home.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
When you agreed to the transfer of the property what was actually said about the equity?How old are the boys?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It was said that it would be 50/50, and would be paid asap. The boys are 12&13 now.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
OkMay I ask - do you feel more able to stand up to your ex now on the financial issues?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I do now, just need to know what I'm actually obliged to do legally. I do feel a lot stronger although this is the last message I got from him: I'm sick of your inability to concentrate on this fully and come to a mutual and agreed conclusion. This has dragged on too long. I have options that might make it easier, or might not be acceptable, but because you've never prioritised the financials and only thought about divorce for your own future plans, we have never bottomed this out - despite my numerous efforts.
Can you put all the other more interesting things in your life to one side for a short period of time and actually put something into this.
If you've sought legal advice, I presume you were told that you have a legal obligation to pay maintenance and you have done the wrong thing by simply paying nothing for the last two months.
You can see his tone?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Your guilt allowed you to be bullied by your ex - I am glad that you feel strong enough to stop now.With regard to the house you need to Register your Matrimonial Home Rights to ensure that your ex cannot mortgage or sell the property without your knowledge and agreement.You retain your claim on the matrimonial home - although you may find it hard to force a sale before your youngest is 18 unless your ex cohabitsYou certainly do not have to pay as much as you have been and it will NOT effect your capital settlement.Since the children spend more NIGHTS with your ex than with you he is entitled to the Child Benefit and to child maintenance - the child maintenance will be £290 or less a month at most - and he may find having to pay for uniforms and other extras a more expensive optionI suggest that you offer to discuss the finances with your ex using Family hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Claire, thank you for that. Just a couple of questions, how and why should I register my interest on the house? Am I entitled to half his redundancy? Thanks
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
You file a Matrimonial Home Rights Notice with the Land Registry
The position on the Redundancy is less straightforward as you may not be entitled to any of the actual payment BUT if there is enough cash to settle your share of the equity he could be forced to pay you