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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 11617
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I’d like to divorce my husband, I have a 17 yr old son who

Customer Question

I’d like to divorce my husband, I have a 17 yr old son who is moving with me so what percentage of our assets am I entitled to ? My husband will not accept my decision so is making it very difficult, I’m worried he won’t allow me to sell our house.
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: No nothing, I don’t know where to start.
JA: 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’m in Staffordshire, our local court would be either Newcastle-under-Lyme or Stafford.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: We own a 5 properties but he put 3 in his name not joint.
Submitted: 9 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 9 days ago.

Hi, this is Jim, thank you for the question - I will resolve this for you.

Sorry to hear of the issue. There are a few factors the court considers when it comes to splitting the assets.

You can either apply for a judicial separation (and then a financial order), or a divorce (if you want to dissolve the marriage, which is the way forward if the marriage has irretrievably broken down) and again, apply for a financial order. Bear in mind with a legal separation you remain married and as such no pension sharing order is permitted (unlike for divorce).

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. You could stay in the matrimonial home as you have kids and I presume you would be the primary carer being their Mother. Or you could ask the court for an order to sell the house if you wanted to do this and start afresh. That order would be binding on your husband.

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 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% of the assets 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 him to see if he would agree to any split without having to involve the court. The more that can be agreed without the court's involvement, the better.

If nothing can be agreed then you would need to issue financial remedy proceedings once decree nisi comes through (if you start divorce proceedings), or obtain a decree of judicial separation, so you ask the court to become involved in a financial settlement as well as the divorce.

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 (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.

To apply for a judicial separation, the site is here: https://www.gov.uk/legal-separation

To apply for a divorce, the site is here: https://www.gov.uk/divorce

And for information on a financial order: https://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 and answers the question - please feel free to ask me anything else.

Have a good day,
Jim

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Perfect advice and very informative
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 9 days ago.

Many thanks, ***** ***** good day