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History: Home UK Divorce Forum
parents divorce (4 Posts)
Started By:
27 February, 2017 04:41PM
parents divorce
ssb1308 - 27 February, 2017 04:41PM

I would like some advice please, have recently joined and reading through posts has been extremely helpful.
Our case is as follows, my parents have been married a long time - 35yrs, have 3 adult children from the marriage.
Dad had an affair started 20yrs ago, which resulted in a child (now 14yrs). Mum 'accepted' the circumstances reluctantly and agreed to work with him to provide maintenance etc.
Over the years he has worked abroad, and we have come to learn that he was actually living a double life - with the other woman and child. they were in Dubai, woman has his surname and they told they schools (and friends) that they were married (ie, he was divorced from my mum). this was not the case, and he clearly was fooling both sides.
my mum finally filed for divorce and is awaiting nisi - due to be pronounced this week. in the lead up to filing for divorce, we learnt may things about him and circumstances arose that the fraught relationship broke down beyond any civilised discussions- involving him bringing his 14yo to the marital home to live with him - mum having a total meltdown etc.
since then, my mum walked out of the house, as did my youngest brother who was still living at home. they go back now and the to collect bits and pieces, but dad is being awkward.
financially - my mum has paid the mortgage for the last 8/9 years (he did prior to that for about 6/7). it was a good mortgage rate, however interest only and we have discovered that the joint endowment appears to have been surrendered/cash, basically doesn't exist, without my mum knowing about it.
he insisted that he was not yet being paid his pension, but again discovered that he had sold it for an annuity from 2011.
he lost his job in Dubai in 2014 and so he was living back at home, we were under the impression that the other woman and his daughter had moved and he was providing them with basic maintenance.
things were becoming very financially confused and he had spun so many lies to keep up the façade. he had debts registered as cautions on the home (under his own name) that my mum, until last summer, was helping him by giving him £300/month to ensure no missed payments etc.
whilst we have been waiting for nisi, we have tried to contact him through my husband as a negotiator to come to an agreement on the final settlement to save time and legal costs. he has nothing, no job, no other assets and a (illegitimate) dependant. the house is worth approx. £1m, mortgage is approx. £450. his debts are £50k. we offered him 37%, with a 20k advance and a £200/month to cover the repayment on the debts secured against the house. this would be deducted from the overall settlement once the house is sold/re-financed within 3years (remaining term). he has countered, and asked for 45% and £300/month and £25k upfront (we applied for cost order, which apparently has not been contested and he is now saying, if he will have to pay costs, we need to give him extra cash advance.
my mum is understandably distraught, as she is nearly 58, and worried about her long term too. she wants to help my brothers to get settled as they were all living together and this has prematurely displaced all of them.
I fully accept that the law doesn't financially frown upon 'bad behaviour' but if we were unable to reach an agreement - what is our best position going to court, how could we maximise our chances of a favourable settlement (I understand it starts at 50/50).

any help is much appreciated, totally not sure how best to approach this (our solicitor has refused to give any opinion as we decided to not do form e).
Re: parents divorce
davidterry - 27 February, 2017 06:54PM
Ahem, this is between your father and your mother. It is their marriage and their divorce. It really does not have anything to do with adult children. It is also very obvious that these adult children are not impartial. If your mother wants independent legal advice she should seek it for herself and not rely upon the opinion of her children. This is not about 'settling' adult children.

For what it is worth it does not matter to a child of 14 that she is illegitimate.The need of that child is to be supported and it cannot simply be shrugged off because your mother agreed with your father to provide maintenance for that child.
Re: parents divorce
ssb1308 - 27 February, 2017 07:11PM
many thanks for taking the time to read my post, and for your view. I am sorry it seems that my position is impartial, however maybe in my desperation to get some help I have misled things.
my mother has not disregarded the needs to support his daughter, hence the support over the years to be able to pay them maintenance and support them. infact, my mother looked after her after he was arrested for aggravated behaviour, so we recognise that the child is not at fault or should not suffer.
my mum feels hard done by, that my father has abused her trust and commitment to make their relationship work despite his affair and deceipts both regarding the affair and monetary matters.
her views are that she should be awarded more than a 50% settlement as she has put up with this over the years, he has ruined her financial security through his behaviour. they have had jointly held savings, which have disappeared, the endowment on the house, jewellery belonging to her has been 'stolen' etc. her desire to want to give some to her children is only her wish, not any reason for her to need more money, merely me stating that my brother used to live at home and he has effectively been kicked out so that my dad can live (for free, without contributing a penny to the bills/mortgage) with his child.
and after the years of mental abuse, is it not ok to be impartial?
Re: parents divorce
davidterry - 28 February, 2017 09:05AM
You are not impartial. You (and the other adult children) have a stake in the matter which is why your mother should take independent advice.

>>her views are that she should be awarded more than a 50% settlement as she has put up with this over the years,

There are two things worth saying about the above.

1. A person is not entitled to more because of the behaviour of the other unless the circumstances are truly exceptional - which these are not.

2. The perspective of your father may be very different. He may feel that he should be compensated for having to put up with your mother for so many years. You may find that hard to understand but any divorce lawyer can tell you that the causes of marriage breakdown are rarely one sided. Very often it is six of one and half a dozen of the other. You really don't know but experience tells me that 'fault' is unlikely to have been 100% one sided.

That is, incidentally, why courts are extremely reluctant to delve into 'fault'. They usually find it is a waste of time because it can usually be attributed to both in some measure. The fact is that it is irrelevant.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 28/02/2017 09:07AM by davidterry.
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