The problem for you is that if you don’t want to get divorced, and she does and she petitions you, it’s going to happen anyway although if she wants to get divorced on the grounds of 2 years separation, it’s very difficult to prove to a court that you were legally separated if you are still living in the same house.
Provided that at least one of the people wishing to get divorced lives in England, then getting divorced in England (& Wales) is infinitely a do-it-yourself job. (I am not familiar with the system in Scotland)
Save yourself a whole load of money: the government website have a do-it-yourself guide
Although you can agree finances between you, it doesn’t draw a line under it unless you have a financial order
And if have children under 18, and you cannot agree who they live with and who sees who and when, then you need a child arrangement order (which includes Specific Issue Orders:
To confirm that something can happen
and a Prohibited Steps Orders
To stop something happening
In the United Kingdom, we do not have “irreconcilable differences”. That is a thing in the United States for the time being at least. The rules are changing here shortly to get rid of the following 5 grounds of divorce and to get rid of the fault issue but that has yet to be enacted. To be honest, in my opinion, it’s going to make very little difference because the big arguments are over finance and children not the actual divorce itself.
It doesn’t matter who divorce is who or why, the financial issues are exactly the same. The court has not apportioned blame with regard to the division of marital finances for many years.
Grounds for getting divorced are:
1 The couple have lived part 2 years or more but less than 5 years and they both consent to the divorce.
2 The couple have lived apart for 5 years or more, regardless of whether they both consent or not.
3 Desertion. Not common.
4 Adultery. Very difficult to prove unless there is unequivocal evidence or an admission.
5 Unreasonable behaviour. Most common and relatively easily to put together a petition on these grounds. For example:
A spouse wants an unreasonable amount of sex/never wants it.
Lack of personal hygiene/obsessive personal hygiene.
Obsessively tidy/extremely messy and untidy.
Gambles to excess/is tightfisted with money.
Never interacts with spouse or children/obsessive with children.
Violent or bullying or intimidating.
Lots of grounds.
If you are getting divorced on the grounds of two years separation and living in the same house you literally have to share nothing. Virtually be like separate lodgers in the same house.
The potential problem for you in respect of income is that the courts will not normally get involved in marital finances unless you have started divorce or legal separation proceedings and I appreciate that you don’t want to do that but if you don’t, she will all be it that she may want to wait two years.
Having said that, it’s not difficult for her to put together a petition for unreasonable behaviour. It doesn’t have to be a character assassination.
The court will not get involved in marriage and finances unless divorce or legal separation proceedings have started.
As part of the divorce process, it is always a good idea to apply for a financial order:
Which draws a line under the finances of the marriage and prevents either of the ex-spouses coming back to the other, in some years time, asking for more money if circumstances have changed (the lottery?).
Strictly speaking, one of the parties should do that before they get the Decree Absolute otherwise there going to have to explain why the delay.
It would be treated as a 17 year relationship and unless there is a compelling reason otherwise it means that the assets are going to be split close to 50-50.
The 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.
With regard to the marital home, a lot depends on who is going to be the main carer of the children until they reach 18. 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 non-resident parent would be responsible 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 (don't worry about it no longer being updated)
And finally, here is an article what happens to inheritance in the event of a
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I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.
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If you still need any points clarifying, I will be happy to reply because the thread does not close. In fact, it remains open indefinitely.
I am always happy to answer any further questions you have on any new thread in which case, please start your question with, “ For FES only”.
You don’t need to do it on this thread, just a new thread. You have me exclusively on this one.