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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
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Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I am in mediation going through divorce. My ex wants half of

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I am in mediation going through divorce. My ex wants half of property and does not take into consideration my personal contributions into asset and the fact that I have been the only person paying the mortgage off since he left 3 years ago. Would I be forced to settle 50/50 in court?
Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: We have a decree nisi and will file for absolute when we come to an agreement on finances and children
Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer about this yet?
Customer: No. Just mediator
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don’t think so thanks

Hello, my name is Jim and I am a qualified lawyer happy to help you this evening.

50% is the court's starting point but the end figure depends on a lot of factors (including the extent of your contributions) which I will touch upon later in the answer. Your argument should be for more than 50/50 given your further contributions.

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 ex eventually agrees to a settlement then you can have a consent order drawn up to bind the parties to the agreed terms.

The court will consider 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 ex), 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, and so on.

As I said above the starting point is 50% but if there is a disparity in earnings or you have paid more in the way of mortgage/rent, etc, you can ask for more than 50% of the former matrimonial home. It would be worth speaking with your ex to see if they would agree to any split without having to involve the court.

If nothing can be agreed then you would need to issue financial remedy proceedings once decree nisi comes through so you ask the court to become involved in a financial settlement as well as the divorce.

Mediation must be attempted first and you are already at that stage so if mediation fails then you can issue financial remedy proceedings.

You would need to complete and send two completed copies of Form A (one copy is attached) 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.

Please see this link for further information regarding a financial order:

www.gov.uk/money-property-when-relationship-ends/apply-for-a-financial-order

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 - if you can please accept the answer and give me a 5 star rating (there should be a button at the top of your screen to do this), I can answer follow up Q&A's at no extra charge and Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.

Many thanks,

Jim


Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thanks Jim, most helpful.
My next mediation meeting is on Saturday. If my ex does not move from his entitled expectation of 50/50 although he did not contribute 50/50, and mediation thereby has failed to help us reach a compromise, am I right in thinking that my next step will be the application with Form A to the local family court?

Yes indeed that is the correct way forwards. You shouldn't need a lawyer and feel free to come back to this site for further guidance. I can advise you as the case progresses and I also have the forms required (Form E, statement of issues, questionnaire, etc).

 

please let me know if any of what I have said requires clarification. I am happy to help. In the meantime if you could either leave a rating and click “submit”, or confirm that I have answered your question for you, I would be very grateful.

Many thanks,

Jim

JimLawyer and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thanks Jim. All clear. I will submit and rate and will be in touch again as this progresses. Thanks and good night