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History: Home UK Divorce Forum
A year long divorce process that never ends (11 Posts)
Started By:
13 June, 2017 03:40PM
A year long divorce process that never ends
End of the road - 13 June, 2017 03:40PM
Hi, after some advice please as I am best part of a year into this process with little in the way of resolution.

- We married late 2009
- FMH bought with £50k deposit from my former home
- We attended marriage counselling in June 2016 which she pulled out of after the second session
- My wife filed for divorce in August 2016
- We attended mediation early 2017 which she pulled out of half way through the second session as she wife did not feel it was working
- My income is £70k per annum as a self-employed financial consultant which commenced Oct 2015. This is £3500 pcm net. Prior to this I was employed on a permanent basis on a salary of £45k
- I require a 25% deposit as I am only 18 months self-employed and there are few lenders that will underwrite mortgage borrowing. My IFA has confirmed this in writing
- Her income is £19k over 2.5 day’s part time which attracts £9k of welfare benefits so £28k total which is £1910 pcm net. She reduced her working days in Sept 2011 but still does a similar role which was £36k full time and 30% bonus. She has been with the company 15 years and is very well thought of
- Her original role became vacant in Jan 2017 but she refused to apply as it meant an element of travel each month. This could have been easily managed with the childcare arrangements proposed alongside a phased start into the role
- We have two children ages 6 and 4 with our youngest starting school in Sept 2017
- Our property has £215k equity, £380k value
- I have offered £115k capital and £48k pension on a clean break, 50.50 shared care with a view to retaining our home to maintain continuity for our children. I have offered to pay all child related costs including childcare, clothing and tuition. With her borrowing capacity of £128k this gives her £243k capital
- She has rejected this and requested £172k capital, in lieu of pension and £1000 pcm maintenance and does not agree to shared care
- She refuses to increase her working days as she says she is better off on benefits and it will enable me to buy our home
- We had FDR in May and there was no direction from the deputy district judge so now waiting for full hearing date
- Legal costs to date are £26k with total costs to full hearing likely to be £55k to £60k
- She has accrued credit card debt of £10k in the last 12 months

She is adamant that she will prevent me from buying our home. Her comments to me have been that she will rack up as much credit card debt and legal fees as she can and that she would sooner live in a council home with our children than let me have our home. She is also threatening to incur further legal costs for custody arrangements.

I am heartbroken that she has no regard for money and is taking away our children's inheritance.

Any thoughts on best and next approach please, specifically around what I can do in court to make her behavior out to be wanton and reckless with regards to finances?

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 13/06/2017 04:16PM by End of the road.
Re: A year long divorce process that never ends
jill_of_all_trades - 14 June, 2017 07:19AM
You are fighting for YOUR solution. She is not going to accept that. Children survive moving home. Put something to her that involves you moving - it might save a lot of court fees.
Re: A year long divorce process that never ends
End of the road - 14 June, 2017 10:01AM
Thanks Jill of all trades.

It is near impossible to buy one home where we live let alone two. When a property comes to market they end up with bidding wars and closed bids, it could take six to 12 months to move. Also, the finances do not work as I need 25% deposit as I'm self employed.

After looking at all solutions retaining the FMH makes financial sense in the short to medium term and benefits the children. A few friends have suggested the same but after discussion the numbers simply do t add up.

It amazes me that in 2017, a court can force sale of our home and place a court order to share income yet they can't instruct that an educated person can't increase her working hours.
Re: A year long divorce process that never ends
jill_of_all_trades - 14 June, 2017 12:05PM
The solution is not you get the house, the £70,000 job that can be done around school hours and 50% custody while she gets to rent and work her 50% time with the children around an employer who wants her to travel and pays wages around half the rate at which you earn.

Suggest you deal with all transport to do with the children on the 2.5 days she works which will alleviate her stress and mean she feels more able to cope with more hours at work on those days.

Saw my solicitor recently to discuss the actuary's report - she unlike David Terry recommends them. On a 50/50 split of the house and the pensions I would be due 45% of his largest pension. He thinks 20% and more of the house capital is a fair offer ie I get around 37% of the total assets. I understand house capital is seen as more valuable than pension capital. However I am in my late fifties and when you add into the mix that we are not a 50/50 case - solicitor's words - but more like a 60/40 one - then what I see is someone having more cake to eat than I do when I have made the majority of the career sacrifices to keep the domestic show on the road.

In the short, medium and long term you need a deal which allows your wife to live the same lifestyle as you do.

Re: A year long divorce process that never ends
End of the road - 14 June, 2017 02:31PM
Hi Jill,

On my 50% I will do all the childcare arrangements which gives her three days to concentrate on work. I will support her where required if she needs to travel on her days which is unlikely due to the availability of grandparent support and school activities.

You will not believe me but the very reason for the divorce is that alongside my £70k role I do 75% of the domestic jobs (pink and blue) and the weekend activities with the children. Our eldest is in full time school and our youngest is in preschool etc for four days a week. You say you keep the domestic show on the road, so do I.
I apologise if this sounds like a rant but I am a very hands on father and this process makes out that the mother is a needy creature. In some cases yes, in our case no but that seems to getting overlooked.

Her work travel is local (within 30 miles) to where we live with occasional European travel which she does now part time.

We struggled all our married life financially and my redundancy payment when I went self employed in late 2015 cleared a lot of our debt.

My wife and I are early 40's, she has been part time for 6 years and is doing a virtually identical role to what she has done for 10 years and has worked for the company for 15 years. Her original role came up earlier this year and she refused to consider it simply because she does not want me to have the house. She has a grammar and university education and was and still is very good in her job.

Increasing her part time days to four gives her £170k borrowing and if she did that in a mature way along with the shared care proposal, we could have civil and amicable conversation about settlement as to both having great homes for us and our children. Instead, she has created adversarial deadlock, she will not work when she is more than capable and is prepared burn £60k in the process. Further to this she is threatening to burn more in Child Arrangement legal costs!!!

I don't agree in full about the lifestyle point. Equality has come a long long way and if she wants any lifestyle like she is expecting she needs to work towards it. I do agree with the career sacrifices but a year on from asking for divorce she has failed and refused to get more hours at work to exploit what is a broken system.

I want a fair deal and she assured me she could get four days which is realistic, once she found I wanted to our home her attitude changed. She will have a much lower mortgage payment (£600 pcm) and I have offered to pay for all our childrens costs (£400 a month), you name it I will pay it, yet this isn't enough. At the end of the day there are two little people to consider at the end of this. I want the best for them and for me that is having two nice homes, enough financial security and with parents who can at least be civil to each other.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 14/06/2017 03:12PM by End of the road.
Re: A year long divorce process that never ends
jill_of_all_trades - 14 June, 2017 06:11PM
You have obviously hit an emotional sticking point for your wife and not knowing your her I don't know why she is so adamant about selling the house. Look at the figures and work out a deal that lets her keep the house or sell it and have 2 much smaller properties or offer lots of pension capital. Your insistence on keeping the house for you is spending the money just as much as her insisting on selling it.

Your deal: she gets the hassle of moving, she gets to increase her hours, she takes on European travel that has to fit in with important clients of her employer and Grandparents and schools and not your custody schedule. Forgive me but I can't see anything you are offering that gives you any real extra trouble whatsoever and that I suspect is the root problem about why she is not accepting your deal.

£70,000 plus being a hands on Dad = lots going on in the background that enables you to spend a lot of your non-earning time as a hands on Dad. I believe the average full time wage is about £25,000.
Re: A year long divorce process that never ends
End of the road - 15 June, 2017 08:24AM
I've taken away the emotion (after a year) and looking at this financially and for the benefit of our children.

We always agreed she would increase her days once our youngest started school. Isn't that equality? I fail to see how she can expect to have the same standard of living on the same incomes, the numbers simply do not add up. I have taken a risk going self employed for the benefit of my children, the least she can do in take on extra work which gives her greater borrowing. The economics of her staying in the FMH do not work.

To be clear, it isn't a custody schedule I am after. I still want to wake up with my kids, walk them to school, collect them, read them bedtime stories and put them to bed as well as do all the fun stuff with them. I do this now so why should this change because a court says so. 50:50 should be the norm. I'll be donning my batman suit soon.

Neither me nor my children asked for this, I've got my head around that now but I am prepared to take on a financial burden for sake of my children to make this work.

Like I said, I am amazed that someone can ask for the earth simply because they are female and courts bow down to it when in fact the exact opposite is true in most cases in 2017. As I have read recently: there is an outdated notion that mothers ought really to be at home. However, in today’s world, both parents often work, and women are no longer seen as weak, dependent creatures to be looked after.

One in three families in the UK where children are ages 5-11 have both parents working full time. It is about time that the law caught up.
Re: A year long divorce process that never ends
davidterry - 15 June, 2017 02:05PM
Your solution is not realistic and I very much doubt that it will find favour with a court. However, you look at it and whatever rationale you give it your solution involves you continuing to live in the former matrimonial while your wife and two dependent children basically have to make whatever arrangements they can. The children are aged 6 and 4. All the inconvenience of your proposed arrangement falls on your wife. It is not surprising that she finds it unattractive.
Re: A year long divorce process that never ends
End of the road - 15 June, 2017 02:40PM
I will support and make sure they are in great homes with my wife were they will be local and happy.

If she gets an extra days work she can manage to get a £280k home nearby. Instead she is racking up £60k of fees and refuses to work. Is that fair? Is that right? The children aged 6 and 4 will have continuity of home and a great home nearby which I see as a fair solution and my wife was happy with that until I said I could raise the funds to buy our home.

She does have the inconvenience of moving but she will have to anyway if she forces sale. I have offered her a good cash settlement if she can get an extra days work alongside pension sharing, loans, parenting plans, and other solutions to bring this to a close but she has said she will rack up as much debt and legal cost so I can't have our home for our kids.

£60k is a tremendous amount of money, nearly a third of the equity and that could have gone towards a lovely home.
Re: A year long divorce process that never ends
davidterry - 16 June, 2017 09:38AM
>>If she gets an extra days work she can manage to get a £280k home nearby. Instead she is racking up £60k of fees and refuses to work. Is that fair? Is that right?

>>Her income is £19k over 2.5 day’s part time which attracts £9k of welfare benefits so £28k total which is £1910 pcm net.......She refuses to increase her working days as she says she is better off on benefits

Would you prefer to work an extra day or get £9K of welfare benefits for not working?

As a taxpayer it is probably best not to say what I think of that system but thousands if not millions of people follow its logic just as your wife does.
Re: A year long divorce process that never ends
End of the road - 16 June, 2017 11:15AM
An excellent point made and I concur.

Her income increases from £19k to £29k from 2.5 to 4 days. This changes tax and ni liability from £2600 to £5800 a year, a benefit to the treasury of £3200 but instead she is eligible for £9k welfare a year. There lies the problem in today's society that people are better off on benefits than working, in this case the treasury is paying out net £6k a year to someone who can work, is extremely capable but does not want to work even though their children are in school.

4 days = 30 hours which is exactly what the new childcare offer is for 3-4 year old nursery care to enable parents to get back in to the workplace. Coincidence?

When family law (the irony) catches up to 2017, the issue of work, income and borrowing should be the main point that needs to be updated in section 25. JSA and widows allowance has strict limits, why is this any different? Receipt of benefits is seen as maximising income in the current model!!!! It seems to ignore borrowing capacity as it stands. Behind all this are children driven away from parents, passed from pillar to post and all because the system is out dated, bias and discretionary.

If a court could simply order these so called dependent creatures back to work or increase their hours, divorce costs would reduce and there is a chance (a small chance) that the divorce rate in this country would reduce, marriages saved and children could grow up in a family unit. A very sweeping statement that doesn't apply to serious cases, but to divorce over tidying up the family home is pure madness.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 16/06/2017 11:20AM by End of the road.
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