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My husband is petitioning for divorce and I am concerned he is hiding assets (5 Posts)
Started By:
25 August, 2017 11:20AM
My husband is petitioning for divorce and I am concerned he is hiding assets
Alana - 25 August, 2017 11:20AM
Hi There

Firstly I want to apologise for the length of this post..

I have a relatively complex situation that I would dearly love some clarity on, I will try and explain it as simply as possible...

My husband and I have been married for 20 years and I was the main provider for much of that time. During the last 8 years my husband formed a business partnership and together with myself we built a few successful businesses, one of which I built up over 7 years and worked at myself, although my husband was the director. This company had an estimated value of around £2,000,000

The other company my husband and business partner mainly built, although I also had a major input into its success, this company was valued at around £16,000,000 in 2013/2014

My husband has always stated that the business partnership was only a gentleman's agreement and that nothing was or would be written on paper, although I did not agree with this, my husband refused to change it.

Towards the end of 2013, my husband began taking courses which resulted in him travelling to and staying in London, these courses with costs of approximately £30,000 were paid for from the company I was building. As far as I was aware, he had cleared this with his business partner.

At the end of November 2013 he resigned as Director of the company he and his business partner were working together on, this was an amicable agreement between them as my husband wanted to take care of his ailing mother. He was still Director of the company I ran.

He continued to travel to London on a regular basis, whilst myself and my care company looked after his mum. He became more and more distant, he would often refuse to tell me where he was staying, making me feel that he was having an affair although he denied this.

During 2013 and 2014 I was becoming increasingly more exhausted with the responsibility of running a care company and also responsible for doing the payroll and recruitment for both company's, and supporting the family, eventually I became quite reclusive and could barely leave the house and even cut off the landline to stop it ringing. I felt emotionally wrought and physically drained.

In 2015 I asked my husband to take over looking after the company I was working at because I felt that I couldn't cope with it at that time and I needed a break. We had a permanent manager in place so he was just there to oversee that procedures were adhered to. It was at this point that I found out that all of his trips away were because he had been consulting for a different company, completely unknown to me, that he had negotiated shares in, although I cannot prove this as again it was a gentleman's agreement.

During this time he was becoming more and more aggressive towards me, not physically, although he did one occasion collapse part of my lung, it was more of a dismissive couldn't care less nature, so in the July of 2015 I spoke to him and told him that I wanted to separate. We did so amicably and continued to work together on the businesses, although my part was less hands on.

Within 6 months or so, my husband took the company I had been working on to the brink of collapse and signed all of my clients back to the respective councils, literally overnight, effectively leaving no company.

In the January of 2016 I found out quite by accident on facebook of all places...that during the period late 2013 to when we separated in 2015 he had been having an affair with the majority share holder of the company he had been consulting for, so essentially my money funded their adultery and at the same time building her company, whilst mine disappeared and I was left with nothing.

Since my company was dissolved my financial position has been difficult, with no help from my husband I have had to little by little regain my confidence and am currently building a firm foundation of a separate business, not profitable yet but will be in the very near future.

So that is a little bit about the background I hope that it wasn't too long winded, but it leads to my concerns now.

After 2 years separated he has asked for a divorce, not a problem as far as I am concerned, but on the paperwork he has ticked all of the boxes concerning financial orders, including maintenance for himself and the children. Since separating I have moved out of the marital home as I could not afford to keep it and my youngest daughter who is 15 has stayed with my husband, as he lives closest to her school and we didn't want to affect her GCSE's. He has also just put the marital home on the market.

Since separating he has claimed benefits and declares that he has no assets or income, yet he flies regularly around the world supporting his new girlfriend and her company, recently returning from a 5 week road trip across America, the reason I point this out isn't because of sour grapes, I have no issue with them doing as they choose.

As he agreed to consult with the company whilst we were together and some of my money was used to pay for the business trips, I believe that his shares if it could be proven that he has any, should be brought into the financial assets on the consent order, is this the case or do I have no right to this?

The gentleman's agreement with his previous business partner was that we had 25% of both businesses and 50% of an office block and two warehouses as these were purchased from the businesses, which were an additional value of approx £1,500,000

In 2014, the original business partner and my husband had a falling out because he found out that my husband had been spending money on those courses and business trips behind his back, even though my husband had assured me that the business partner was aware.

This in turn led to complete cessation of communication although my husband assures me that the terms of the agreement remain the same, whilst at the same time telling me that who knows whether the agreement will be honoured.

Which has left me confused as to my position..

On Company's House in the filed accounts section of both company's my husband is shown as Director in 2010 with a 25% shareholding, so I would have thought that that made it a legal agreement? again is this the case or am I incorrect.

In late 2013, when he resigned as director, the 25% shareholding was transferred to the business partner, is this normal? There was no falling out at this point, so I am wondering if my husband, having met his girlfriend, started disappearing assets ahead of time, with a future intent of divorce.

So in brief

1. Can my husband sell our home and take any equity as a maintenance payment? He also has around £40K in debts that he wants paying off as well, of which I am aware that although they in his name I will be liable to pay them.

2. Was the first business partnership agreement legally binding with shares filed at company's house?

3. Is it ok just to transfer what is essentially very valuable shares back to his business partner without me knowing? Do I have to take this on the chin or is there something that can be done about?

4. What is my position regarding funding my husbands consulting position with his girlfriends company growth and shares that he will have negotiated but I have no proof of?

Finally thank you so much for even reading this far down the post, I have wanted to throw myself off a cliff just writing it!

I will put a lol in there smiling smiley

But seriously any advice or clarification would be gratefully received as I only have 5 days to return the divorce acknowledgement papers.

Kindest Regards

Re: My husband is petitioning for divorce and I am concerned he is hiding assets
jill_of_all_trades - 25 August, 2017 10:21PM
Didn't read the full post but from the ending I think you are seeing the divorce and the finances as one thing. They are not. The divorce is a separate legal matter from the financial agreement. The financial agreement should be in place before the decree absolute is granted.

All you need to do is acknowledge the divorce papers have been served on you.
Re: My husband is petitioning for divorce and I am concerned he is hiding assets
Alana - 27 August, 2017 04:59AM
Thank you, yes I am aware that they are separate issues, my concern is that the papers served have incorrect details and also that if I consent to them I have a limited time, with no money to establish the financial assets before the decree is granted.

Thank you again for your reply smiling smiley
Re: My husband is petitioning for divorce and I am concerned he is hiding assets
davidterry - 27 August, 2017 08:04AM
>>my concern is that the papers served have incorrect details

I may have missed it in your long post but I did not notice any mention of incorrect details or what was incorrect.
Re: My husband is petitioning for divorce and I am concerned he is hiding assets
Bubblegum - 27 August, 2017 10:12AM
Hi Alana,
Your situation sounds messy and I think you really need to see a solicitor and at some stage maybe involve a forensic accountant.

1. It's normal for all the boxes to be ticked on the petition. It just makes it possible to make a claim and doesn't mean he will.
2. Is the FMH in joint names? If so, he can't sell without your agreement. If not, you should register matrimonial home rights to protect your interest until the finances have been sorted.
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