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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 15681
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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We have been separated with my husband for one month,now he

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We have been separated with my husband for one month,now he has file the divorce Petition asking me to respond in 7 days.
Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: I haven’t done anything,we had agreed on separation to try resolving issues
Assistant: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: I live inManchester
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: He has been nagging me to sell our family home then get half half money

Good afternoon. i will assist with your question - be aware this is an email not chat service therefore I maybe delayed in replying.

how long were you together and married in total?

any children under 18?

who's name(s) on mortgage?

who pays mortgage?

what is your preferred outcome if possible?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
We’ve been together for 13 years and 12 years marriage
We have two children both under 18years one only 15 months and the older one 10years
Our both names on a mortgage
He is the who is paying the mortgage just because we splitted bills and I was paying other bills but mostly the house deposit money was from my savings.

Sign the divorce petition and send it back but tell him before you do that you will only sign it and send it back straightaway on the strict understanding that he does not make an application for costs against you.

It’s not going to be a fantastic amount but enough to give you a reasonable holiday. The court fee alone is 550 pounds and solicitors will charge about 1500 pounds just for the divorce element.

The big bucks in solcitors costs is arguing over children and money.

It is normal that the Respondent pays the petitioner’s costs but you can agree what you like between you.

You can’t stop the divorce but you can make it awkward for him and it’s not unreasonable to saving you will play nicely, sign the papers, provided he undertakes not to claim those costs.

If he will not do that, don’t sign anything which will just give him a lot more inconvenience.

Do remember that it doesn’t matter what he puts in the divorce petition (as long as it isn’t a blatant lie such as, you have lived apart for 6 years whereas it is only 12 months) and many Petitioners, if divorcing for unreasonable behaviour are inclined to exaggerate to make sure the divorce goes through.

The courts have seen it all before, just sign it. It does not make any difference to the eventual financial outcome.

In respect of the marital home: unless a sale of the house produces enough money for the parent looking after the child(ren), the resident parent, until the youngest reaches 18 and produces a surplus for the non-resident parent, the sale of the house is not on the cards until the youngest child reaches 18.

Both parents are under a duty to provide a home for dependent children until they reach 18. Only then would the house be sold.

The court will only get involved with the finances of the marriage once an application is made for a financial order.

As it is, the chances that you could hang onto the house for another 16 and a half years although A person is not responsible for the mortgage or rent or the bills of a house that they do not live in although they remain liable to the lender or landlord if the other person stays in the property and doesn’t pay the mortgage or rent.

In that case, the non-occupier would be entitled to recover any mortgage or rental payments made by the non-occupier, from the occupier within the finances of the breakup of the relationship/marriage.

So you would be paying the mortgage and the bills meanwhile.

If you are the resident parent with day-to-day care of the children, and you receive the child benefit, then you are eligible for child maintenance at the CMS rates which are here

Do read the whole document but the basic rates start at the top of page 18.

Child maintenance is reduced by 1/7th for each 52 nights that the non-resident parent has the children.

There is a possibility of a liability for spousal maintenance, maintenance paid to keep a spouse , as opposed to children. Although most commonly paid from husband to wife, that is not necessarily the case. Spousal maintenance is based on both incomes, ability to earn money, previous lifestyles and most importantly, need. It is not about equalising incomes. There is no exact formula, but these links will give some reading..



And here is an interesting and informative article with regard to the division of finances in general

And finally, here is an article what happens to inheritance in the event of a


With regard to the division of the marital finances, starting point for the division of marital finances is 50-50 and it is then adjusted up or down, one way or the other, in favour of one partner or the other depending on what the individuals put in at outset, the length of marriage and the time together before marriage, the needs of the individuals after the divorce, what savings, assets, pensions et cetera there are and also the ability of each person to work after the breakup.

The time which a couple are together before they get married will be taken into account because it would be grossly unfair if someone had been together for 30 years and then split up after being married for 12 months to have the finances treated in the same way as a couple who had got married not long after they met and were then divorcing after just 12 months.

It’s largely a mathematical thing but does look at needs after divorce.

Even if everything is being divided down the middle, it’s not really a case of dividing it down the middle, all the assets wouldn’t be split 50-50 but the bulk would be 50-50 and therefore one person may keep the house and the other for example could have the savings and the pensions.

Going back to the house, if you cannot afford to pay the mortgage, you would not be the first spouse who could not afford to get divorced. Downsizing may be an option and having the money applied to a new house.

He may not want to wait another 16 .5 years for his money from the house, until the youngest child reaches 18 and if you can raise any money, you may be able to buy him out at a knockdown price.

He may prefer 10 percent now than 50 percent in another almost 17 years time.

It’s also not uncommon to negotiate a clean break (depends on all the assets and incomes and pensions et cetera) whereby you get the house and he keeps his pensions and pays no spousal maintenance. That is a very common option also. The younger children, the more attractive it would be to him.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

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Thank you.

If you still need any points clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

Best wishes.


F E Smith and 7 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
What would be a process after signing divorce petition.

After you sign the divorce petition and return it to the court, the matter then gets put in front of a judge and he either assigns it off or asks for further information or asks for a hearing or gets rejected.

There is nothing for you to do, you just wait for the next correspondence to pop through the letterbox.