[Solved] Financial Disclosure - Divorce
I'm going through a divorce, still early stages.
Been married since July 2018 (less than 2 years) and have one child (1 years old). I have a 4 bedroom new built home (under my name solely), It was mortgaged after we broke up. It's currently in £4k equity according to my calculations. I make £45-49,000, she makes somewhere between £21-23,000. I live in the house and she lives with her parents with my child. I have no business, two work pensions from work and no other income. I'm dead broke, overdrawn with no savings.
£10,000 periodic payment for 5 years for potential earning etc.
No pension sharing order.
But ideally I have heard people offer nothing. How is this possible?
Is my offer reasonable?
Seems more than reasonable to me. If it was me i wouldnt offer anything if only 4k in equity especially as you have debts anyway.
You more than likely going to be paying a huge amount in child maintenance as it is.
The best thing to do is to try and find out what she is seeking from you.
Financial proceedings are a very expensive process. Hopefully you are representing yourself
I pay approx £330 per month for CMS for 1 child.
Ex have passed the exchange date period the first time, she didnt complete form e on time.
Delayed the process.
I'll be self repping this one.
i see in other thread, your also going through courts for an order to spend time with your child. that will help you reduce your CMS payments, once child starts staying 2 nights with you, every week or every other week.
I am going through ancilliary relief proceedings myself and can offer some advie based on the knowledge I have picked up through self repping.
The important thing here for you is that it was a very short marriage, so you would usually take what each of you put into the marriage. The priority for the courts would be to ensure the children are housed, However, the 4 bed house would be seen as excessive to requirements given it will only be one parent and a child residing there.
I do not follow your suggestion re: Clean break, if you are offering periodic spousal maintenance payments for the next 10 years, then a clean break is not applicable in your situation. From my research, it would be rare for a judge to order spousal maintenance based on such a short marriage term.
I think you are being over generous with the £10k periodic payments offered. Have you had an indication from the ex as to what she is wanting from this? For such a short marriage and limited equity that is available, this would not be one for the courts or for engaging a solicitor. Alternatively, make her an offer but start low to give you some wiggle room, you don't want to offer up front what you would settle at given she is going to want to negotiate. I would pitch to her a clean break and you both walk away with what you put in, no spousal maintenance and no pension sharing.
It's about weighing up the costs and benefits; for example, would she want to go to court and incur 10-15k of legal fees just to secure a 10k periodic payments order and a pension sharing order?
Our child are housed and have maintained at the same home when we were together. They have always lived in grandparents home. This was our matrimonial home at the time. When bought it was listed as a 4 bedroom house, but one room will be converted into an office space and storage as I work from home. The other room is my father's room.
My ex has the assumption I am rich and therefore she wants no less than £40k based on my salary alone.
RE: clean break and periodic spousal, this is what my solicitor said would be deemed reasonable. What is considered a short marriage?
I already offered £10k from the get go, my solicitor advised me to. I initially wanted take what each of you put into the marriage, a clean break, no spousal maintenance and no pension sharing. But my solicitor laughed at it and said it won't happen.
Note I am no longer being represented by my solicitor.
What do I do if the ex doesn't want to do a financial settlement?
She is delaying, missed the exchange date and didn't bother to complete a form e.
Her lawyer is gone AWOL on me.
I maybe wrong but it is my understanding that the judge would only grant a decree absolute in divorce if the parties can prove that child arrangements and finances have both been sorted out.
Generally, anything less than 5 years would be considered a short marriage, you are well below that threshold. Now, if you had significant assets that could be included in the overall matrimonial pot, then the marriage term would not carry as much weight. However, from what you have mentioned, there does not seem to be assets (whether savings, pensions, equity in the home) available for distribution.
Re: Spousal maintenance - the courts are moving towards clean break orders, to have a claim for spousal maintenance your ex would need to prove that she was disadvantaged in the marriage i.e. had to work part time to raise children etc... and even then the judge would look at how long it would take your ex to get back on her feet. Plus, it is not just a case of your ex demanding spousal maintenance, the courts will look at your ability to pay as well.
If she wants a settlement then at some point she will need to disclose i.e. produce a form E. This is the usual tactics from legal representatives so you are not alone, to be honest, her legal representative should be pushing her to disclose and settle given the matrimonial pot is extremely limited.
How much is your pension CETV? This will help determine the approach that you can take?
As of Feb 2020, my work pension is valued at £8063.83.
So what can be done regarding full disclosure? Can I just go to court without dealing with lawyer, i'll self rep. If so what forms do I fill?
We got married while she was in maternity leave. I provided her a percent of my income. We lived at her parents home, which I contributed £500 per month. We had free child carers (her parents).
Your pension pot is neglible in terms of financial settlement, the courts would take the CETV of the pension given it is not a liquid asset. They would assume around 65-70% of the current value of the pension for financial settlement purposes.
Are you engaging in voluntary disclosure or has an application for financial proceedings been filed with the courts? If it is voluntary disclosure then she has no obligation to comply, the way to make her comply would be to submit an application (Form A) to the courts who would then set a timeline. If she continued to miss deadlines and be awkward, she would then have to answer to the courts.
I would not do a deal without her disclosing in Form E, otherwise, you have no way of knowing what is a fair outcome. The only time in your circumstances would I suggest legal advice would be when you have the financial settlement agreed; a solicitor would be useful just to skim over it to ensure it is a fair outcome.
Like i mentioned previously, you do not need a solicitor for any of this. Just come onto the forum and we can support. If you are worried about disclosing any sensitive financial information on here, then feel free to PM
Your ex appears to be working Mon-Fri now, if there is any shortfall in her income needs then she has the State Benefits available to her which she should be claiming as a single parent.
Thank you so much for your help.
I am engaging in voluntary disclosure with her solicitor. She missed the first deadline, I set the second deadline due in the next couple of days. If she fails to comply, I will complete a form A and file to court.
Is there a disadvantage for me if I give my form e before ex does, if she sees mine she can make altercations to hers.
I will PM you regarding my finances. I have been using a divorce calculator to calculate my property and assets.
I would not bother with voluntary disclosure, it is as it says, voluntary. Her solicitor will keep messing you around and has no intention of exchanging form E information. I would suggest waiting until they connect with you with a view to exchange form E information.
Given the limited assets available from your side, I would currently focus my efforts on securing a solid child arrangements order. Unless, you believe that your ex has significant assets in her name that need to be considered as part of the matrimonial in any financial settlement. The Form A application will cost you another £200+ and I would only do this if you are certain she is hiding assets.