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ukfamilysolicitor
ukfamilysolicitor, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1494
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor Currently specialising in Family. Also experienced in Corporate, Employment, Civil Litigation, Debt Recovery
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I'm having some techno issues. Switched to my smartphone now

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Hi Caroline. I'm having some techno issues. Switched to my smartphone now
Assistant: Where are you located? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Yes we are staying in the UK. We live in Surrey, England. No plans to return to SA
Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No
Assistant: Anything else you want the solicitor to know before I connect you?
Customer: We have been separated for over a year now but because of finsncial constraints, continued to live together in separate bedrooms. He will move into his own accommodation in 2 weeks time
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I'm not sure what happened on my ipad so I switched to my smartphone but needed to enter all my credit card details again. I've now received 2 notifications from Just Answer advising me that they've received my question. I'm therefore assuming I've been billed twice
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
trust that I'll be refunded once I confirm a double billing with my bank in the morning
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
We have been expats for 10 years. The salary package my husband earned was generous regarding schooling and housing accommodation. However it worked on a "use it or lose it" basis meaning there was no way to save money. Each month the company paid either the school or the landlord the agreed monthly amount.

Hello

Found you!

I'm sorry I don't have any admin functions as we work remotely and we don't have any information on any payment that you may have made as we don't actually receive any credit unless you star rate our answers positively, but you can call customer service free phone tomorrow and they will be able to check for you.

The number is:

0***-***-****

I just need to know what you both earn now, the value of your assets and who will be the main carer for your minor child to give you a full answer.

kind regards

Caroline

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
My husband received a retrenchment package in June 2016 but only secured employment again approx 10 months ago
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
In this time, almost all the retrenchment package was spent on schooling, accommodation etc etc

will you be the main carer?

kind regards

Caroline

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Cash savings is approximately £20 000Investment in Singapore is approx £80 000Policies are still in SA
His 25 yr Unilever Pension is in SA
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Married according to ANC with accrual

Hello

Thank you for all your responses and for confirming the position to me.

I will prepare an answer for you now.

This will take me about 15 mins or so to type for you.

kind regards

Caroline

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Meaning at the dissolution of the marriage, the party with the least assets is entitled to half of the difference of the value of the asswts
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Assets between the parties
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Basically it turns out we were living beyond our means. My husband didn't tell me he was cashing in Unilever shares to fund family lifestyle and he transferred all the money from the sale of our house in SA to use here in England
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I think he was hoping he would acquire another hufh paying expat salary to continue to pay for our lifestyle
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
The grounds for the dissolution of the marriage is irretrievable breakdown - years of poor communication, lack of intimacy and his online porn habit
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
The agreement to divorce is amicable however when the subject came up last night regarding my financial settlement, I was taken aback as to what he believes I'm entitled to
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
He is of the view that he owes me no maintenance for myself or the two oldest girls once 18I was under the impression that maintenance was payable for children whilst in full time education ie meaning uni etcAs for maintenance for myself, i left a business in SA to follow him to Singapore to raise our family
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
From the time he told me that we were in a finacial crisis, I have gone and found work. Although part time and erratic, I've tried my best to assist finanxially whilst still running the household and taxing children to and from 3 different schools.

Hello

Thank you for clarifying that for me and also for your patience in waiting for a response.

I think it is best to give you an overview of the matrimonial finances and how the court deals with the same.

In relation to the matrimonial finances - the correct way of dealing with the same is by making a claim which can only be done once divorce proceedings have been issued.

If your marriage was a legal marriage in South Africa then it will be recognized here and as you have both lived in this jurisdiction for 5 years and you intend to remain here then the appropriate jurisdiction to deal with any divorce and matrimonial financial proceedings would be here.

The matrimonial finances includes all of the assets and liabilities for both of you including all other assets including your pension/s.

You will both be under a duty of full disclosure to provide full details of all assets and liabilities for both of you to each other so you will get to know the full position.

As you have been married for a long time then the starting point for the division of assets is going to be equality.

The court considers the following criteria when deciding whether to depart from equality:

The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future, including in the case of earning capacity any increase in that capacity which it would, in the opinion of the Court, be reasonable to expect a party to the marriage to take steps to acquire;The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;The contributions which each of the parties has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family, including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family;The conduct of each of the parties, if that conduct is such that it would, in the opinion of the Court, be inequitable to disregard it;In the case of proceedings for divorce or nullity of marriage, the value to each of the parties to the marriage of any benefit which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage, that party will lose the chance of acquiring (e.g. a right to your spouse’s pensions).

From what you have said given that you will likely be the main carer of your child and because you earn less than him, then you should argue for a larger share of the matrimonial assets - somewhere around 10 - 20% more.

The courts main priority is going to be wanting to provide a secure home for your child and therefore securing as much as the assets as possible for you and your child so that you can secured housing.

In relation to income - given that your husband earns more than you then she could also claim spousal maintenance. There is no set rule but the court will want to make sure that you are able to meet your needs and your child's needs and you can also claim child maintenance through the child maintenance service. It is the child maintenance service that has jurisdiction in relation to child maintenance and maintenance is payable until a child reaches 16 or 20 if they remain in full time non advanced education. If your girls are 18 and going to uni then he will not have to pay maintenance for them.

Spousal maintenance orders can also be reviewed in the future which will be useful in your case if he gains higher paid employment again in the future.

Your should also check what benefits you will be entitled to as a single mother, to bolster your income position, as well as looking for work when your child is at school to show that your are mitigating your position.

You need to consider referring to family mediation. This is a prerequisite before you can apply to court for a financial order. Google family mediation in your area and give them a call to self refer.

Mediation will try and help you both through full disclosure of both your financial positions and discussions about division.

In relation to the matrimonial finances - If agreement can be reached at mediation then a consent order should be submitted to the court when applying for decree absolute in divorce proceedings to finalise matters, if approved by the court.

If agreement cannot be reached at mediation then the mediator will sign the form that you need to apply to court.

If divorce is not yet contemplated then you could consider a separation agreement. Mediation could try and help agree the terms for this and what is going to happen in the interim whilst you are separated. You need to be aware that such separation agreements are not legally binding on a future family court Judge but they can and do order in line with what was agreed if they considered that full disclosure had taken place and what was agreed was fair.

Please do let me know if I can help you further

kind regards

Caroline

Positive feedback is gratefully received. Please kindly remember to rate positively by using the stars so that credit is received for helping you today.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I obtained a bursary for our eldest daughter to continue private schooling

Hello

I hope that you got my long response.I can resend if you didn't.

What you need to be reassured of is that the courts consider being a house wife and taking care of the children just as valuable as working as by doing so you have allowed your husband to work whilst you took care of the family.

Given the length of your marriage the starting point for division of all assets is going to be equal but as you will be the main carer then you need to be arguing for a circa 20% larger share. You also need to make sure that you obtain a spousal maintenance order so that you can look to increase this if he gains higher paid employment in the future.

kindest regards

Caroline

Positive feedback is gratefully received

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
i did get your long respinse, thanks Caroline.My husband caught me iff guard last night when he tild me I'm not entitled to half of his assets ( as I believed I was) AND moreover said that financially, it was not in my nterests to divorce him.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
He contended that it was un my favour to legally separate but not divorce so if and when hus finances improved, I would benefit accordingly
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
What is your legal viewpoint on this Caroline?

Well he clearly doesn't know how the court deals with the matrimonial finances in this jurisdction! so I hope that this answer has helped reassure you that you are entitled to at least half and more!

You need to refer to mediation and then apply to court if he won't agree to work with you here.

It is your choice whether you divorce or legally separate. You can still ask the court for a matrimonial order (bar pensions) if you go through a judicial separation.

Points to think about:

- if you wait until your youngest reaches 18, then the court will no longer consider his housing needs and give you a larger share on the basis of you being his main carer

- if you get an order for spousal maintenance now - then you can still ask the court to vary this in the future if you have the need and he is earning more in a higher paid job

I hope that gives you more information to make an informed choice

kind regards

Caroline

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
thank you Caroline.

If I can help you further please do not hesitate to ask. As one you leave positive feedback your question will remain open and I will be able to answer your follow up questions for free for you and I can normally usually respond within 24 hours.

kindest regards

Caroline

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