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Topic:
Finances - Final Hearing (17 Posts)
Started By:
Date:
27 September, 2016 02:50PM
Finances - Final Hearing
puma931 - 27 September, 2016 02:50PM
Hi All,

I would welcome your views opinions what might be considered a fair settlement (I know it is difficult to say as each case is different).

Background: separated for 2.5 years and now divorced. We both had c£30k savings, but this has now gone (both sides) in legal fees as I have had to fight for access which was recently granted (in line with the cafcass report) and also finances is going to final hearing as we can't agree.
Former Matrimonial House - 5 bedroom house, joint mortgage, value c£350 k and £150k of equity. My ex lives in the house with our child (age 8).
Pensions - my pensions have a cash transfer value of £250k
Employment - My ex has just started a temporary role paying £21k. I have a good permanent job paying £80k + bonus and benefits
Child maintenance - I pay £600 per month

At the FDR my ex wanted: To sell the house in 2 years, 100% of the equity, £1,700 spousal allowance on top of £600 child maintenance I already pay plus 25% of my pensions. My solicitor proposed 100% equity and a clean break (I was not happy with giving 100% away though). Obviously we were so far apart we could not agree anything.

My thoughts are now:
House should be sold asap (we have both agreed on a realistic value)
60% equity to my Ex and 40% to me (I need some equity to help me to buy a property).
44% pensions to my Ex and 46% to me, so overall the split is 50/50.
£700 spousal allowance (my ex can get a mortgage when she gets a permanent job or after two years of temping). This starts when the house is sold. Stops when our child is 18.
30% share of any bonus I get paid. Stops when our child is 18
Child maintenance £600.

I know it is difficult to say, but I would welcome any feedback regarding what I am proposing. For example am I likely to get any equity? Are the splits fair and reasonable. Is it okay to say my Ex can rent if she does not have a permanent job and can't get a mortgage for 2 years? I have stopped using my solicitor now, but will pay for a barrister for the final hearing (likely to be in the new year).
Re: Finances - Final Hearing
MattSmy - 27 September, 2016 03:22PM
Hi puma, absolutely stick to your guns. There is no way she'll get £1,700 in spousal with a part time job, plus a part of your bonus and half of your pension! I earn just over what you do, the ex refuses to get a job (any whatsoever, and goes for the old mental health chestnut) and the judge at my FDR thought the right amount for spousal would be just over £1,200 until retirement, no bonus % and just under 60% of the equity of the family home (in my case this means she won't need a mortgage). I'm heading for a final hearing too as she won't agree.

In terms of the sale of your house, that may the main part to negotiate - but look at it that way, the house might go up in price all being well. She'll, however, be expected to pay the mortgage, or at least you should absolutely make sure that happens.

Hope it all goes really well for you.
Re: Finances - Final Hearing
puma931 - 27 September, 2016 04:20PM
Thanks. She won't pay the mortgage! which is why I would propose not paying spousal maintenance until it is sold (as ill have to pay the mortgage as she won't)
Re: Finances - Final Hearing
Andyk - 27 September, 2016 06:52PM
Don't offer to pay spousal maintenance / bonuses until the child is 18, that gives her no incentive to get out and go to work. t the very least make a trigger that it would stop if she co-habits or marries.
Re: Finances - Final Hearing
puma931 - 28 September, 2016 07:25AM
Andyk - thanks. She is working but in a temporary role so can't get a mortgage, but there is no reason why she can't get a permanent job and get a mortgage. I am not sure how the judge will view this as I can't afford for her to get all the equity. I will add a clause about co-habiting (6mths) or gets married.
Re: Finances - Final Hearing
davidterry - 28 September, 2016 02:31PM
Just as a matter of interest spousal maintenance stops automatically once the recipient remarries. There is no longer any right to it at that point. This is statute law so it does not need to be stated explicitly in a court order. Cohabitation is different. Spousal maintenance stops upon cohabitation only if the order says so (although the change of circumstance may justify the person paying making an application to the court to vary or stop the amount).
Re: Finances - Final Hearing
puma931 - 18 January, 2017 02:17PM
Quick update on Final Hearing - it was postponed in December due to lack of judicial resource and the new date is now April!
Barrister is recommending my ex gets 100% of the equity and we go for a clean break and his job is to try and limit pension sharing (pensions transfer value is 2 x equity in house). The reason for 100% of equity is my Ex will need to buy a house free of mortgage for herself and our son to live in.

The mortgage on the FMH that my Ex lives in hasn't been paid since October, so our credit records have been hit. I'm okay with this as I can't afford to pay anything and it is highly likely I won't get any equity, so I won't be buying a house any time soon. My solicitor raised mortgage affordability a number of times with my Ex's solicitor and we never received a response. I too have contacted my Ex as the bank keeps writing to me/us about the arrears, and I have updated them on my position and court dates etc. My Ex to date has not replied to anything and has not contacted the bank.

I'm now in the hands of a judge and hope the judge will order a fair settlement.
Re: Finances - Final Hearing
Bubblegum - 18 January, 2017 03:36PM
You've already had legal advice from a barrister so have most likely been given a good idea of what you can realistically expect although I'd be surprised if you get a full clean break given the difference in income. The thing that I would suggest is getting some proper financial/debt advice. You can't just wash your hands of the FMH. If no one is paying the £200k mortgage since October and a decision on the house is not being made till April, you could potentially risk the lender taking possession and selling it for far less than market value. Even if the lender does wait it out till the FH - the arrears and fees incurred will put a dent in the remaining equity - will she be able to rehouse herself and child, mortgage free with less than £150k. The arrears will remain on your credit files for 6 years and this will impact on access to credit and ability to rent (letting agents also run credit checks). I don't understand why with her household income of over £28k pa and yours of £80k pa... , a mortgage of £200k is not being paid. In my view this should be a priority over legal fees. You don't say what your ages are or if your ex has any pension provision of her own.
Re: Finances - Final Hearing
puma931 - 12 April, 2017 12:08PM
I had the final hearing yesterday and below is a summary of what was in the pot and how it got divided. It may help others who are in well paid jobs compared to their Ex.

Pot:
Equity £150k
Pension Ex £4k and mine £290k
Incomes: Ex £21k (temporary role) and mine £80k plus bonus and car allowance.

Family
1 child aged 9 in private school

Order:
Equity - Ex gets 100% of the equity and the house to be sold immediately (mortgage in arrears since October)
Pension - Ex gets one of mine CETV £64k
Spousal allowance: £750 per month for 9 years index linked to RPI. Separately I also pay CMS of around £700 a month
No order for schooling (can't be afforded but Ex wanted me to pay for it).

Overall, I am just glad it is all over. My solicitor and barrister did not expect the level of spousal allowance nor the duration. My Ex was asking for £1,500 a month for 9 years and we were offering £200 for two years.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/2017 12:12PM by puma931.
Re: Finances - Final Hearing
HatMan - 13 April, 2017 05:31AM
Thanks for the update - can't see her desperately looking for full time work any time soon!

Oh well at least you now move on!
Re: Finances - Final Hearing
Bubblegum - 13 April, 2017 09:39PM
Thank you for coming back and sharing your outcome. It's really helpful to see how modest cases are settled in court. With all the hearings being private unless they are big money cases or appeals it's good to see this insight. She has done rather well for herself. Still you could always hope that she remarries soon!
Re: Finances - Final Hearing
undlou - 02 May, 2017 01:06PM
All the best puma, I'm sorry to hear about what seems to be a very one sided decision.
Re: Finances - Final Hearing
puma931 - 09 May, 2017 08:53AM
After a lot of thought I'm going to have a go at appealing the decision, as I am really struggling to free-up £750 pcm and I don't see why I should pay this high level of maintenance for 9 years.

Can someone explain the process, forms and costs (self representing).

Thanks
Re: Finances - Final Hearing
Bubblegum - 09 May, 2017 09:23AM
Isn't there a two or three week window to appeal the Order?
you may be too late.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/05/2017 09:48PM by Bubblegum.
Re: Finances - Final Hearing
puma931 - 09 May, 2017 11:55AM
I haven't received it yet, so if there is a time window, I should be okay?
David Terry - can you advise??



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 09/05/2017 01:39PM by puma931.
Re: Finances - Final Hearing
davidterry - 11 May, 2017 09:23AM
Unless you want any appeal to fail and for you to be ordered to pay the costs you should take legal advice about whether you have grounds for appeal. There are very limited grounds for appeal. The fact that you do not like an order is not sufficient. You need to find out whether there are any legal grounds for appeal. There is a high degree of probability that there are none.
Re: Finances - Final Hearing
puma931 - 11 May, 2017 02:24PM
Thanks David. I spoke with the Barrister and he is not confident that we would be successful, so its not worth challenging it, as I could potentially be landed with paying costs for my Ex with no change to the order. Lesson learn is I should have challenged the judge on the day regarding the level of maintenance, and asked him to demonstrate how he arrived at the £750 pcm (balance sheet of income and outgoings for myself and my Ex)

davidterry Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Unless you want any appeal to fail and for you to
> be ordered to pay the costs you should take legal
> advice about whether you have grounds for appeal.
> There are very limited grounds for appeal. The
> fact that you do not like an order is not
> sufficient. You need to find out whether there are
> any legal grounds for appeal. There is a high
> degree of probability that there are none.
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