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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 14785
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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My husband applied for a divorce and the decree nici was

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My husband applied for a divorce and the decree nici was awarded in March 2019. Since then we have had failed financial negotiations, failed mediation and then failed negotiations. This in part is due to my husband not moving from his demand of 70% of the marital home as well as long gaps in correspondence. I am still awaiting a response to my letter of 20th April 2021 despite prompting. What are my options? Going to court would be a financial burden. We married in August 2009 with the marriage finally coming to an end in April 2018. We spilt up for three years in the middle of the marriage. My husband moved out of the marital home in November 2018.

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today.
Sorry to hear of the issue. I will set out my written answer shortly.

If mediation has failed then realistically your only option is to involve the court. You have not yet applied for decree absolute I presume - you should consider a financial order though if mediation was more than 4 months ago you will have to attempt it again.

The marriage is not classed as a short one if it is more than 5 years, so a split of assets is likely as opposed to a clean break. There are two orders available: a clean break order (if there are no assets to split) and a consent order.

If you disagree and cannot come to an agreement, you can ask the local family court to assess a split of the finances and also to deal with the property.

Assuming your husband eventually agrees to a settlement then you can have a consent order drawn up to bind the parties to the agreed terms. The following company can draft the order and they also file it with the court too: Divorce-Online | Quick, Easy & Cheap Online Divorce From £59

The court will consider the factors contained within Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 when it assesses a financial settlement. Therefore your ages, length of marriage, any children under 18, your earnings and earning potential (same for your husband), the assets including the former matrimonial home and pensions if applicable, any debts, financial and non-financial contributions to the marriage, your standard of living enjoyed before the marriage breakdown, your financial needs in future and your housing needs, any medical needs and so on.

The starting point is 50% but if there is a disparity in earnings or you have paid more in the way of mortgage you can ask for more than 50% of the former matrimonial home. It would be worth speaking with him to see if he would agree to any amicable agreement and a split of assets without having to involve the court. The more that can be agreed without the court's involvement, the better. If he is not responding then there is nothing else you can do apart from applying to the court unless he does agree to mediation.

If nothing can be agreed then you would need to issue financial remedy proceedings which you can do now as you already have decree nisi.

Before you involve the court with the finances you need to contact a local mediator which is compulsory before you ask the court to intervene in the financial aspect. You can find a local mediator here : https://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/find-local-mediator

Assuming mediation fails or your husband doesn't agree to mediation then you will need to issue financial remedy proceedings and you would need to complete and send two completed copies of Form A (available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/885814/form-a-eng.pdf) to your local family court and pay a fee of £255 payable to HMCTS. If you are on a low income or have low savings you can ask the court for help with the fee here https://www.gov.uk/get-help-with-court-fees

The court will then list a first appointment and give directions for a financial dispute resolution hearing (FDR) where the judge will give their opinion on a likely settlement - which usually prompts a settlement at this stage. The court will ensure the parties make full and frank disclosure of their assets and liabilities to ensure the financial positions of you both are known and to allow the court to make a settlement decision. If the case does not settle, further directions will be given and a final hearing may take place if neither of you can agree to settlement terms.

Finally, if you need money before the divorce finalises you can apply for “maintenance pending suit”, which means you ask the court for an order that your ex pays you support to help with bills and so on before the case finishes. You will need an application form under Part 18 of the Family Procedure Rules 2010 and the fee is £155. You would need to attend a hearing for this.

I hope this helps and answers the question - my goal is to ensure you are happy with the answer and have the information you need. If you have any follow up questions then please let me know. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.

Many thanks,
Jim

Please let me know if the answer helped or if you need me to cover anything else?. I am happy to clarify the answer or if you have any follow up questions. If so, I’d be grateful if you would let me know. I am free most days, including weekends, so feel free to ask me anything you are unsure of.

Best wishes,

Jim

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Thank you Jim. You have been very thorough. We had mediation which did not lead to resolution and ended in January this year. Do we need to repeat this?

Thanks and yes, the mediation certificate would need to be dated in the last 4 months which has passed in your case - you an ask for a fast track mediation appointment though - here is a link for that : https://www.mediateuk.co.uk/online-miam/

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Thanks

My pleasure

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