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Financial settlements and divorce

Financial settlements and divorce

So you’ve gone through the long and wrenching process of divorce and reached what for many is the final stretch: the financial settlement. This is where the courts set down the terms of the deal between you and your former partner in black and white. Once they have done so, the settlement becomes a binding ‘financial order’.

Financial settlements used to be called ‘ancillary relief’ because they were seen as ancillary to the main event, the petition for divorce. But I think the current name is much more fitting. Surely it is the financial settlement that is the main event? That is what is going to shape your and your children’s lives for however many years to come.

Generally reaching the financial settlement stage comes as a relief to divorcing couples. It is often the first point in the drawn-out end of the marriage when the former partners can begin to think about the future, putting the hurt and acrimony behind them. Parameters have been defined and numbers discussed.

Key points

If you have reached this stage, whether you are the husband or wife, the wealthier party or the dependent one, there are some key points to bear in mind while the fine details of the financial settlement and divorce are finalised.

Firstly the children. The courts will want clarity about where and with whom any children will live so they can determine the size and type of housing required to meet their needs.

The length of a marriage is a central consideration. It will affect the size of the settlement. In law, a “short” marriage is one that lasted five years or less. A “medium” marriage is between six and 14 years. Thereafter a marriage will be regarded as a “long” one.

The family courts will need to see the budgets for both spouses and the children, with future income and financial needs set out in a sworn statement, called a ‘Form E’. It makes no sense to exaggerate or underplay your budgets when filling our your Form E. The judge won’t be impressed or swayed. Your future housing needs and income requirements are some of the most critical parts of your Form E, so investigate and do your homework before submitting this information to the court.

Your solicitors should be able to provide budgetary advice, but if not, our worksheet could be a useful starting point. If you have more than one child, car or property, a separate budget can be prepared for each if necessary. This means that the separate costs can be identified far more easily and clearly displayed.

When drawing up a financial settlement following divorce, the courts will take a long hard look at each spouse’s future earning capacity and may set this against their needs for financial support – ie maintenance –  both before and after retirement. For example, can you go out to work if you haven’t worked for the last 10 years? If so, what will your position be and how much will you earn? What could you reasonably do? Will you need retraining? Can you work if there are young children to look after?

Each case is considered strictly on its own merits. A judge may decide that one person cannot reasonably be expected to work but require a mother with children work, even if only part-time.

Much depends on the judge and the facts of the case, but it certainly makes sense to contribute towards your own cost of living if you are the dependent partner.

The court will also take new relationships into account. For example, if you are living with a new partner in their home, the court is likely to conclude that you have fewer financial needs following the divorce – or perhaps none at all. After all, some or all of your maintenance needs are being met. Remarriage will always end a claim for maintenance, but not for capital – for example, your share in the former marital home, if this has not already been resolved.

How much?

There is no one answer to how much should be paid. Each case, as mentioned, is judged on its own merits. In the interests of fairness, the courts need to carry out a detailed analysis of the family’s net worth, and also to assess how and when that worth was acquired. If that wealth is determined to be “matrimonial” it should be shared between the parties, but if it is “non-matrimonial” it could be excluded from the settlement. In the majority of cases though, this point is irrelevant, because there is barely enough to meet the parties’ needs.

Once basic needs have been met, how will the courts divide any assets left over? Increasingly the view is that ‘non-matrimonial’ assets – i.e. those not acquired in the course of the marriage – should be ring-fenced once reasonable needs have been met. What is “reasonable”, however, may vary from one case to another, and depends on the parties’ usual standard of living during the marriage.

One partner may be required to pay maintenance – or alimony as it is known in other countries –  to the other less wealthy partner. In the majority of cases, of course, it is the husband who pays maintenance to the wife, but not always. When wives are wealthier than their former husbands, the men are just as entitled to support.

The courts reserve the right to extend the period during which maintenance must be paid – or not, as the case may be. Maintenance obligations may end if the recipient begins living with someone new (cohabiting), and will, as mentioned,  automatically end if they remarry.

But in other cases, maintenance obligations will have no cut-off date and can only be ended on the orders of the court or if one of the former partners dies.

Such open-ended maintenance order can be ended by mutual consent. Both parties may agree upon the payment of a lump sum in lieu of future maintenance. Or they may agree that the time has simply come for the order to end, with the spouse who had been receiving support now able to manage alone.

A clean break

The law states that the financial obligations between spouses should cease as soon as possible after the end of a marriage. However, maintenance is paid to the former spouse after divorce when they require it. The actual amount to be paid will generally be agreed between the two of you, or by a court if you cannot reach an agreement. But sometimes, when there is enough capital or money available to cover future maintenance needs, a “clean break” divorce may be possible.

In such arrangements, the courts make an order for a one-off payment, which relieves both parties of any future financial obligations to the other.

This is not a one-time-only option, however. If you are in receipt of maintenance you can apply for a lump sum of capital at a later date, in place of the continuing payments. This is called “capitalisation of maintenance”.

A ‘clean break’ may not have been possible at the time of the divorce, as neither you or your former partner had sufficient capital. But years later, your financial positions may well have altered. The paying partner could, for example, have rebuilt their capital and be about to retire. If their overall income is about to drop, then they may wish to pay you off so, for example, they can hold onto all of their pension.

If you, like many people, end up paying continuing maintenance after a divorce, you may see lump sums as ‘grass is greener’ alternative, but actually this may not be the case. If your former spouse were to remarry, for example, your maintenance obligations will cease at that point. That could make maintenance a more cost-effective option.

Get in touch

If you would like any advice on divorce or other family law issues please do contact our Client Care Team to speak to one of our specialist divorce lawyers here. 

The founder of Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known family law solicitors and divorce lawyers. She retired from Stowe Family Law in 2017.

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  1. Steve says:

    Interesting post, the issue for may is how much. In many instances individuals do not want to go to a final hearing as the joint costs would potentially £10K plus when represented.What I find missing is some guidance document on what is a “fair” settlement for both parties, its all too often one side has to “give-in” mainly of the fear of FH costs and often escalating legal costs. I hear too often from Solicitors “well it will be all considered by the court in the end”….the point is that often individuals don’t want to go to the end as the legal costs are just so much.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Steve
      I agree with you. I do give that specific advise to my clients because there is usually a “bracket” and a deal can be done. Obviously the figures will alter dependent on the disclosure being acceptable, the facts of the case and the factors set out in Section 25 Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.
      Example, assuming both parties are happy that disclosure is complete, a 60year old woman with a long marriage, with no income capacity and small pension can expect a different settlement to a 30year old childless woman married a few years who is starting out on her working life. Similarly a family with children will have different needs to a childless couple.
      Im always happy to give an opinion on the facts of a specific case but overall for most people the general approach will be about how much income and capital there is and what the needs are of both of them (housing, maintaining themselves and their children) and how those needs will be met out of the total income and capital.

      • peter says:

        Hi Marilyn
        my question is it it fair that my wife expects half my pension which all accrued before I met her?
        she is alreadyl expecting half the proceeds of the sale of the house even though she put nothing in and wants more besides. there are no kids, short marriage but she has no pension of her own. ages 55 and 60 ( me) my solicitor says the court will see me as rich! but if I lose my job I will be very poor indeed,
        appreciate an independent view and how u feel the court will see this!

        • Michelle Moneypenny says:

          I don’t have a lawyer since I can’t afford one my husband does and the financial paperwork she sent me put me as the pentioneer and me as the respondent so I did respond to thing I shoukd have like paying his cable bill so I need a contenuence I already had one so how do I give his lawyer no choice but to agree since it was her fault

      • C says:

        My daughters soon to be ex is by your terms a narcissist. Short marriage, he came to the marriage with zero just debt. My daughter inherited a small home and some money from her father, split between herself and brother, my daughter an NHS worker of 19 years took out a mortgage to pay off her brother. The husband failed rugby professional, had a meltdown and decided to take on a Phd, he had no funds to pay for this, so asked my daughter to lend funds from her inheritance, which was £15k, he also needed a car to go back and forth to University, so my daughter said he could have her fathers car valued at the time £3k+. During the study period of 3 years a child was born ( at 35 my daughter saw her window of fertility getting smaller) She took a years maternity leave, but the husband refused to take what he termed as ‘lowly’ paid work to help so reluctantly she left her child to return to work full time she had no option. The husband cared full time for the child but only for a maximum period of 5 months, during which he dumped in every child care facility he could to pursue his own interests including in the care of wife’s family. He was a psychological bully telling my daughter when she was heavily pregnant how unattractive she was, and constantly criticising what she ate because she was get fat (she is a size 10). During the last year he got a part time job at the university but omitted to tell my daughter it was a Paid for position. Eventuaally he gained his sports medicine Phd. He attained a job with the university on a friday and left my daughter the very next day. Nice Chap. Subsequently he is claiming 50% of the equity made on the home from the day he moved in until the day he left some $58K, he is also suggesting he may go for her private pension and wants a clean break. This man has not paid a single penny into the home and my daughter has paid every single penny of all household bills, food, child needs and equipment, holidays, wedding including her own ring, right down to his spending money and toothbrush and mobile phone. She did this because she felt in the future she would be able to have another child and either stop work or go part time to be with her children as his income would be much greater. Wrong!!! In fact his parting words were “I was never giving you another baby” Nice. His future earning potential is much greater, as is his future inheritances. This man is arrogant and self opinionated, meeting him you would think the most eloquent man on earth but he feels his is above all in intelligence. I just cannot believe the law will let him have this. His solicitor seems to be very pro active. My daughter made him an offer of £10K and to keep the money £18K he owes her, (His solicitor says this £18k is irrelevant) It took 9 weeks for them to come back with a response during which time he had taken advice from a barrister. He has given her a two week window (and over Christmas) to respond before he will apply to the court. She is unable to see a barrister until mid January. This man is priceless. Money is very tight, he does pay child maintenance but as low as possible. He is demanding and bullying at every turn, surely he cannot get away with this. Five months of caring for a child is the only difference between a lot or a little and during that five months he placed the child every where he could so as he didn’t look after him. Desperate for help. Thank you

      • Shaun Andrew Scowcroft says:

        My wife and I have signed a court order that was set out at the financial dispute hearing in June. We have agreed to give my wife the majority of the sale from our family home if she leaves my pension alone. Not that we have both agreed and signed the court order is that the end of the matter legally ?

    • Rich says:

      I was divorced almost 9 years ago and went through financial settlement proceedings.

      After all this time I have now.been contacted out of the blue by a solicitors that have taken over my ex wife’s solicitors company pay court costs from 9 years ago.
      I cannot ever recall being asked to pay costs.
      If I am liable do I have to pay after all this time ?
      Seems unfair to me

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Rich
        Sounds odd?
        My thoughts.
        1.I believe a debt for a court ordered sum is not enforceable after six years.
        2. Are they trying to get a costs order to then enforce 9years out of time because unless a specific sum was ordered or agreed at the time the costs have to be assessed by the court and be the subject of a court order before the debt can become enforceable.
        3. I think a court would have no sympathy at all with a firm of solicitors who now tried to take those steps in order to enforce a court order 9 years old and would most likely throw it out.

    • Name Witheld says:

      HI any advice would be much appreciated. To cut a long story short ill highlight the facts

      me and hubby divorcing after 5yrs
      I own a business that i build up myself working through to the small hrs at home.
      we have 2 children 5 and 6
      he was out of work for over 1 year so paid nothing to the home
      now in work(self employed) claiming he cant get a full time job although he has turned down one.
      kids are with me in the home.
      He still pays nothing toward the mortgage.
      started paying child maintenance.

      Im the higher earner by 20k because i work my bum off constantly til 2am in the mornings to support our boys.

      we have 124k equity in the house he want 70k which leaves me with 54k he says this is because i earn more money and he cant secure a permanent job.

      My solicitor wrote back saying 70/30 split to me as i have the kids. He has refused and its going to court. His solicitor is saying that i may have to pay him maintenance!

      Please any advice or experience would be much appreciated.

      Thanks in advance

      • caren says:

        Did you ever get a response to your question? I’m in similar circumstances and I’d like to know whether there was a response from Marilyn?

      • Jo says:

        You put a question to Marilyn Stowe a while ago which I’ve just come across. I would really appreciate you getting in touch and updating as to how you got on as I’m in a very similar situation. Thanks for your help

    • Louise says:


      my partner is getting divorced from his wife after six years separation from is long term marriage He has a full time job ~ beenpaying maintenance monthly for his children who are all now over 18 . He lives with me in rented property and his marital home was rented. He earns 20,000 a year gross. Has no savings or assets ~ the only thing I can see her claiming is the pension. So what benefit would she gain by taking him to court for financial settlement if there is nothing to gain? Apart from his pension. She doesn’t work and receiver more than his monthly wage. Please advise as he is really worried. We can just barely afford to live and he has ten years to work still. we are getting married hopefully next year. .

  2. Steve says:

    I wish I had employed you earlier!!!! a year into my divorce my solicitor never advised what a “fair” settlement could potentially be, despite asking for it. The response was that it was for the court to decide……….but I did not want to go to a FH……

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Steve
      It is possible to settle before a final hearing. A solicitor in possession of all the facts (and sometimes on the basis of the general position) can advise what a realistic settlement should be. However it takes two to tango. The other party may hold different views and a lot of money can be wasted arguing about precise values and an over precise settlement. The reality is that settling between two parties who are emotionally poles apart can be a tough call. That is why parties are urged to compromise, give and take.
      However, some people simply refuse to compromise, lose sight of what is important and have to go to court potentially losing out on what they were offered. They then become deeply bitter and rail against the system, when in fact its not the system, its them.

  3. JamesB says:

    I don’t know Marilyn, but I again think that is unfair. I will give you my example. I did have a solicitor who advised me what a reasonable offer was, I made it, the other side had to be really harsh with the other side to settle but they signed it (at the 11th hour before final hearing).

    Then they realised they couldn’t get over themselves and it all went pear shaped. They went back on their agreement and I had to disinstruct solicitor and go to court anyway and (successfully) argue xhydias agreement (on grounds that they had signed provisional agreement) against that deal was vitiated because the joint mortgage hadn’t been paid for a couple of months.

    Then we had another FDR and another settlement which made no sense and I got stitched up with a bit of paper which I do not understand. So, basically you can buy a result if you ramp up costs. But I am glad I stopped spending money as it cost more to fight then lose. It made no sense to me really. They also lost more then they spent.

    I don’t know what the moral of the story is except try and not spend too much on lawyers and it takes both sides to be reasonable.

  4. Steve says:

    Hi Marilyn

    Valid and good point, however this should be highlighted by experienced practioners of family law. I guess in some instances this is a solicitors delight as it means more money rolling in.

  5. JamesB says:

    In short, no, I do not think the system works here. Was it me to blame for it not working in my case and spending too much money. No. My solicitor said it was a mixture of a rich ex father in law on her side and her solicitor not having much work on. I.e. the system ripped me off in terms of the lawyers costs involved, the emotional termoil of having to go to court and be called names and an unworkable settlement.

  6. JamesB says:

    Unworkable and unfair settlement.

  7. JamesB says:

    They won less then they spent on lawyers I meant to say.

  8. JamesB says:

    Had to represent myself as couldn’t afford to go to court represented in the end. Judges don’t even listen to LIPs the other sides case didn’t make sense yet we all had to sit there hour after hour listening to things which I didn’t really understand.

    So, when it was all done and I was to be taken off the mortgage, it never happened because apparently the small print in the order.

    The ancillary relief order has two boxes, applicants solicitors reference number and respondents solicitors reference number at the top. My box was empty. They do not want LIPs there at all and will not listen to you and will find against you. It was and is more and more a rich persons place which I don’t really understand.

  9. Tina says:

    Hello Marilyn,
    I contacted you back in 2011. I recieved my Decree Absolute in February of this year. A consent order was agreed under immense pressure. It states the following :- FMH to be sold and split 60/40 in my favour. Child maintenance for my son until he leaves fulltime education in 2015. Spousal maintenance for me until November 2014 when I reach 60. Thereafter pension kicks in of about £650 per month and lump sum of around £50,000. The maintenance is £1000 per month and will drop to £430 November 2014. We had been married 36 years and my husband earns in the region of £53,000 plus extras of around £20,000. He said at court that he was retiring at the age of 60 which is in a few months time. At the time the consent order was made, I asked my solicitor and Barrister if there was any bar on the order. I wanted to make sure that I could go back to court, should I need to as I have found it impossible to get a job although have retrained over the past few years and was on benefits until the decree absolute. I am still struggling financially with bills to pay and a house to run as well as a teenager to feed. I went back to my solicitor to ask whether I could go back to extend the maintenance order should I need to. She said that everything is here in the order and husband states he will meet his obligations until 2015 when our son reaches 19 and leaves school. I wish at the time I had gone in front of the judge and asked for a joint lives order but was persuaded by my solicitor and barrister to accept husband’s offer. My solicitor advises I could contact CSA and maybe get an increase in child maintenance after a year. Please could you advise me because I thought I could go back to court should I need to and that is the only reason I signed the consent order. Or is it best to accept what I have agreed. Many thanks, Tina

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Tina
      Without sight of the court order and the documentation its not possible for me to advise you. If you want a second opinion you need to get all the documentation together and make an appointment. I don’t want to give you wrong advice.
      Best wishes

  10. Diana says:

    Dear Marilyn,

    I watched you on” This Morning” today, the discussion being about revenge and disclosure conduct.

    Sadly, there are many who do not play by the rules and I wanted to share my recent experience with you.

    I was married 29yrs, one child and worked for 35yrs prior to being awarded ill health retirement. My ex, a high earning professional who I supported financially during his training, had an affair with a colleague and we divorce in 2006.

    I was awarded joint lives periodical payments at Final hearing, he retained all the jointly built business assets and failed to disclose throughout financial proceedings, gaining two penal orders along the way.

    In March 2012 he unilaterally stopped payments of secured periodical payments. I made an application to enforce, he cross petitioned for dismissal /variation to nominal payments.

    The case has dragged on and ended in a FH (trial hearing) It had been listed to be heard by a Circuit Judge, but was a Deputy District Judge.

    My ex had been preparing long in advance of stopping payments and had moved assets so that they would not be discovered. I however found evidence, by legal means, of three company directorships, not disclosed on Form E. There were also withdrawals of large amounts of cash on disclosed bank statements that were only produced after two directions hearings and orders, amounting to nearly 750K. He had also “gifted a valuable property.

    Under cross examination, he gave inconsistent accounts, was evasive and argumentative. The DDJ requested he bring documents the following day.

    The next morning, when asked for the documents, his response was that he had felt ill so not brought them.

    So not looking good, or so you would think!

    The result, downward variation in the form of a few percent pension sharing order, I have to pay for the implementation. I had prepared documents (as per one of your bloggs) asking for costs but the 18 pages from the DDJ states he does not think the ex deliberately tried to hide assets.

    Every penny that I had scrimped to save went on my legal costs, I am now not able to pay my mortgage, taken out in my name at the time of the divorce and with 6 yrs term left to run. I am in my 60’s and face selling quickly to avoid re-possession. Needles to say, I feel let down by the judicial system and from my contact on wikivorce, I know I am not alone.

    It certainly appears that telling lies lets you keep the lions share, my ex and OW live a life of absolute luxury.

  11. Candy says:


    I have been married for 33 years and have been seperated 10 years . I have 2 grown up children . I am not divorced from my husband and receive no maintenance. For most of the marriage I followed him around the world with the two kids , giving up my career in teaching . In 2002 we bought a house in Spain but shortly thereafter split up (one of the children lived with me for 3 years). My husband paid some bills for 3/4 years then ceased to do so . The house in Spain is now reaching Mortgage = value point and I’ve been trying to “escape” it , and the financial burden for years (somehow I am guarantor). I earn a small income in Spain from teaching . My Husband took early retirement around when he stopped paying bills and now lives in Malaysia with a local malaysian women.
    My question is how can I get a divorce and a financial settlement without it costing me a fortune ( I should say I never get past go because I have no money) . Every solicitor I approach qoutes vast sums to even start the process.
    Because I gave up my job /career for his , I have no real pension to look forward to, private or state, and at the very least I feel I should get half of his pension fund

    We have spoken by email and of course he denies having any assets / savings and says his pension is nothing to do with me !
    Is there no way a focused process can get him into court and get me a divorce/financial settlement when I have no capital


    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Candy
      What follows is only for general guidance and constitutes a few pointers for you to consider. I have no actual knowledge of your case so I cannot comprehensively and fully advise you and this is only what immediately strikes me:-
      You don’t say where you are actually living. If in Spain see a Spanish lawyer or consider proceeding here if you satisfy the jurisdictional requirements. If you are living in England or you can proceed, make sure you can actually do a pension share of the pensions in question in England. This is very important given that is actually what you seem to want most. The pension provider will confirm if it will recognise an English pension sharing order.
      Then you could handle the actual divorce here yourself or use a cheap divorce online service and you could issue an application via completing and lodging Form A with the same court in the same proceedings, for a financial settlement which in your case would include a Transfer of property order, maintenance, a lump sum and a pension share. You can handle the documentation and process, go to court yourself and you could ask a solicitor to check over and advise what you are doing as you go along. You could approach Counsel direct and/or seek pro bono help for representation at a hearing. You could speak to an accountant direct to check over your husband’s disclosure and consider what is missing, what overall values are involved and any tax implications that need to be taken into account. As to the pension you should also get professional advice to make sure it is all taken into account from all sources and fully considered properly valued then how much of it you would need for the rest of your life, and also the pension share once obtained is implemented.
      You should also make a will as to which again take professional advice.

  12. Amanda says:

    Dear Marilyn I have been in the process of getting divorced for almost four years now. After a 26 year marriage. (at the time of application) My husband did not work or contribute financially for the last 10 of those years. Which meant that I had to continue to work and take care of our 3 children through their school lives, pay the mortgage, bills etc. He began to drink heavier than he had done previously and I and the children suffered domestic abuse. We eventually had to re mortgage the house, which I have paid the total amount up to date. I also got into financial difficulty (credit cards) from trying to manage everything, which is now being managed by a debt management company, and of which I have paid approximately half. My problem is that now I am being told that he will be entitled to half the net profit from the sale of the house and a percentage of my pension (£60,000). He does get a pension of around £98,000, but as mine is larger it has to be shared equally. He isn’t likely to work again due to a problem with his vision, but is now wanting to rush things through as he is wanting to get engaged.
    My feelings are that he is getting away with being a bully and abuser for years, because it is only figures that the courts are interested in. I don’t want him to be left without, but it makes me wonder why we are told to report any form of abuse.
    Thank You

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Amanda
      The court will not simply divide assets 50/50 if you live in England and Wales. The court takes a number of factors into account to assess the reasonable needs of both parties. This is done under section 25 Matrimonial Causes act 1973. Download my 300 page book on the sidebar of this blog for 99p and you will read how a court does divide up assets in a lot of detail. The proceeds go to charity.

      • Sandra Panciera says:

        I have been in a gay relationship, for 20years, the relationship has gone bad we have two boys that we both are on the adoption degree she is a retired police officer, of 32 years ,do I have any rights as far as property or retirement, we never got married, but I was responsible for, all of domestic, yard work and so on,I have been doing this all of our lives together, she wants me to leave without a thing

        • Marilyn Stowe says:

          Dear Sandra
          You may have. I can’t say. You need to take advice from a lawyer who is skilled at and understands cohabitation and TOLATA claims.
          Best wishes,

  13. Stitchedup says:

    Amanda – “I don’t want him to be left without, but it makes me wonder why we are told to report any form of abuse.”

    There you go!!, did they ask you to dig deep and think of anything that could possibly be construed as “abuse” Amanda??

    Did your Husband wish to find work? perhaps his drinking was as a result of not being able to find work and provide for his family as he once did.??

    Did you and the children make him feel worthless and unloved because he was no longer working??

    Has he physically assaulted you or the children?

  14. Pip says:

    Dear Marilyn,
    In page 303 of your book you mentioned this story where the husband deliberately proposed a low offer, in my case it is exactly this opposite. I am the main financial earner but decided to propose a decent offer. If we could agree a deal before going to court, she would stay in the house (300k net) with the children (9 and 15), share the house equity 40% (me), 60%(her), get alimony for a fixed period and share pension, She came back wanted 100% of house, alimony for life, 50% of pension. I am baffled.
    If the house is not sold and financial needs are met why the house equity would be different than 50%50%? What strategy to adopt when someone which supposed to be weaker financially try to bully you instead of negotiating a decent solution.
    Thank you.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Pip
      Yours certainly appears to be a tough case. Limited means cases are always the hardest to resolve because there isn’t enough to go round. The approach I would consider adopting however, is not asking for it all like your wife or offering a percentage as you both seem to be doing, rather consider the court’s approach, which will deal with ascertaining both parties reasonable needs, in terms of capital and income and the court will then share out the capital and income so far as possible to meet those needs, considering first of all, the needs of the children in particular, housing them.
      So what are your respective needs and how will they be met?
      Assume the house is sold now. How much equity do both of you need to be rehoused? You have income and can raise a mortgage. Does your wife work? If not can she work? How much can she reasonably earn? How much does she need in capital and income?
      Then if a sale is possible and you are giving her more capital, you want more pension in exchange.
      Income:- I appreciate you would prefer term maintenance and she doesn’t. Your income would be reduced by your mortgage payments in any event and you have to pay child support. A compromise might be (if there is any left over) for a return to court when your youngest leaves school for her to show cause why it should continue. In the meantime she should agree and be encouraged to become independent, perhaps by assisting with child care.
      I don’t know if any of the above helps because I don’t know your situation but I hope you will see that there are many permutations, and meeting reasonable needs is by far the most appropriate starting point.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Pip
        I have just come across this case which is a Court of Appeal decision called Tattershall v Tattershall (2013) EWCA Civ 774 and I am pleased to note that they dealt with it along the lines of my suggestion in my earlier response.

  15. Andrew says:

    The government of the day made a terrible mistake when it changed the rules to stop Calderbank offers in ancillary relief. Offers seem more reasonable when you can lose a big chunk in costs if you fail to beat them. It works in personal injury and it worked before in divorce.

    It was said that an order which just about kept a roof over W’s head might be “disrupted” if H had offered more and she had to meet his costs. The answer was and is that if he had made an offer which more than jsut about kept a roof over W’s head she should have taken it.

    If Calderbank was restored it might be necessary to postpone payment of the offeror’s costs during the minority of the children, probably on Mesher terms – of course with interest.

  16. Mary says:

    We have been divorced almost two years. My ex is taking me back to court to reduce the house by £65k. All my equity is in the house. He has financial investments, a property abroad and most of his pension. This seems unfair

  17. Stitchedup says:

    ” I dont want to be cynical about mediation and I have told my solicitor that we need to at least ask husband if he will mediate; my solicitor wants to go straight for a FH.”

    If you husband is claiming domestic abuse mediation would not normally be allowed. It is a common tactic to claim domestic abuse to avoid going to mediation. Also, if he gets a non-mol he will probably apply for an occupation order excluding you from the home, again, another common tactic to keep people away from the house and often their children also. He will not have to prove violence, just say he feels intimidated or that you’re causing distress. The non-mol will come with the power of arrest and most probably a non-communication order, you can then get convicted and possibly imprisoned just for talking.

    Sounds like your husband has done his homework…. it’s all a game and from what you have written he appears to know how to play it . One thing you have going for you is you’re a woman.

    • Kerry says:

      @stitchedup – how jaundiced and biased a view you have! While people seek support on here, you’re whinging or gloating about their challenging circumstances. I’m left wondering whether your spiteful attitude is the result or the cause of your personal relationship experiences. If you want hard luck stories to feed on pruriently, I suggest you stick with TV soaps and keep your snide and unwelcome comments to yourself.

  18. Stitchedup says:

    Your solicitor is advising a full hearing –

    CS and child benefit = he’s the resident parent after all.

    Renting a place not big enough to swing a mouse in – par for the course for the non-resident paremt

    House in joint names but his cash paid for it and the wedding – you’ll probably do OK out of it eventually and your solicitor is advising a full hearing.

    Domestic abuse in your case is being claimed both ways so being a woman will be to your advantage.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The way Stitched describes things is pretty accurate. He is playing the solicitor game, and sounds as childish, angry and controlling as most resident parents. It’s just surprising that being a male, he has gotten this far, but there is an explanation for this. As the notion of judicial independence is total myth (contrary to what we would be led to believe), and as family law is completely in the grip of the patriarchal state, it seeks to punish mercilessly those mothers who have the audacity to work. (After all, for the octogenarians who judge us, women ought to know their place, which is the home – yes, that’s how sexist they are). If I were the solicitor here, I’d advise quitting your job and letting the court know that you can now take up your role as the resident parent. No doubt they will reward you, as they love nothing better than to maintain the status quo.

  20. Andrew says:

    Anonymous, judges retire at 70 or in some cases at 62 – but they are never octogenarians. Not that they’d be necessarily the worse if they were.

  21. Andrew says:

    72, dammit, not 62!

  22. Stitchedup says:

    InDespair – I’m no lawyer but I was in a similar position to your husband but with no previous convictions or allegations of abuse.

    I had a period of umemployment and had just accepted a job with a salary a fraction of what I would normally earn, so for the first time in our 20 year relationship, she became the main bread winner. A month after me taking employment my ex called time on the relationship, claimed we clashed/incompatible, i was outdoorsy she wasn’t, I’m over 7 years older than she.

    The way my ex played it (and it worked for her) is as follows:

    She left the family home, leaving me to look after the kids, 17 and 18.

    Several weeks later she asked to move back in.

    I refused to leave the house.

    She wanted to sell the house and made me a financial offer.

    The house was in joint names but I had paid the vast majority towards the house so refused her offer but offered mediation to work towards an agreement.

    She refused mediation and in the same letter from her solicitor there was a claim that the relationship wasn’t without doemstic abuse.

    She then secured order of sale through the courts, Non-molestion order and occupation order.

    Claimed that within the past month I had sent her text wishing her a slow and painful death. – impossible as she had barred my number.

    Claimed I was known to the police as an agressive and violent man yet I had only just passed an enhanced CRB check for the job I had just started. I also contacted the Police they refuted the claim.

    Claimed I drink alcohol everyday – complete and utter B.S. – I do drink moderately but I don’t smoke, gamble, or take recreational drugs.

    Claimed I had deliberately struck my son in the chest fully aware that he is under the care of a cardiologist. – My son and I had bumped in to eachother when he rushed through the kitchen door late for school – I, my sons, my sisters, niece, nephew etc all have heart scans once every five years to check we haven’t developed the same condition that killed my late father – cardio myopathy – often described as sudden death syndrom.

    Claimed the CPS had commented to her that they wanted to prosecute me but were frustarted that they couldn’t – I put a complaint into the CPS and they strenuosuly denied what she had claimed.

    Claimed I always leave my sailing bag in the hallway after I’ve been sailing. etc etc.

    Not an exhaustive list, but gives you some pointers. Most Judges will be only too happy to accept such claims in an ex-parte hearing and rubber stamp a non-mol and occupation order.

    They take the stance that it doesn’t stop the respondent doing someting he/she (mormally he) shouldn’t be doing anyway, and it doesn’t affect them as long as they don’t breach it, so the non-mol will be issued as a safe bet.

    You then get occupation of the house, custody of the kids, your ex can’t even speak to you, and with a non-mol you will be viewed as a victim of domestic violence so qualify for legal aid and the order for sale will just be a formality – QED – Away you go – “move on”.

  23. Stitchedup says:

    If you get occupation of the house and custody of your child, obtaining an order of sale should pretty much be a formality, and you will secure at least 50% of the house I imagine, assuming you’re joint tenants. You could go for an order for sale straight off, but as he has custody of the child the courts might be reluctant to order the sale until the child has finished full time education. I stress I’m no lawyer, I’m just talking from personal experience.

    Not sure about other assets, sounds complicated, perhaps that’s why you’ve not had any response from the experts. Separate bank accounts might be significant, also he would have earned his military pension before you got together so morally I wouldn’t see why you would want a share of that; but that it is a moral argument not a legal one.

    Marliyn may comment but you could download her book in the meantime.

    Again in my experience, if you’re not happy with your solicitor best find a new one. However, there comes a point where you need to accept advice whether you like what is being said or not.

  24. Stephanie says:

    Just a quick question: I have divorced from my husband in 2008 but we both remained in the house until we managed to sell it in October 2013. The profit was split 50/50%. We have never had settlement. Is there a deadline for that after the divorce or separation?
    Thank you

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Stephanie
      No. You can still apply. The court will look at your financial position as it is at the date of the hearing. It may decide not to share assets which have been accrued following your separation, but its first priority will be to make sure reasonable needs of both parties are met. That is particularly so for the party with whom the children are living.

  25. James says:

    With regards a Clean-Break Agreement that has already come into force – I have recently discovered that my wife hid money assets that she had stated in court she had destroyed. Just 1 day after the Clean-Break came into force I a now told she hid the money by taking the cash and lending it to an unknowing family member. She thinks this is funny, but I don’t. What can I do???

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear James
      Court Orders once made are intended to be final and are not easy to reopen. You need to act fast and will need the court’s permission to appeal/set aside the order and order a fresh hearing. Its tricky so go and get your own personal legal advice. You will need to be able to conclusively prove that she hid the money, and prove the amount involved, but also prove that if it had been disclosed, it would have made a material difference to the overall case.

  26. James says:

    I think over £120k is a sizeable chunk.

    I got just 10k as my share of the house (equity) because she said the rest was gone (in spite/ break-down she re-financed and threw it away). It was loaned to her sister and now she sues her sister for it. They are not close, so she had no idea about it. Another family member let it slip to her sister about it all and her sister had been trying to reach me. I have the Claim paperwork and it states that she took all the money out the house and lent it to her sister. This was a few years ago though.

    Just goes to show, its not just the girls who gets ripped off. But at least I have the kids because she was so abusive to them (which was why I left her).

  27. Debra says:

    Our divorce has
    been going on for a year. We were married for 20 years. Have 2 sons, now 16 and 19. I have always been the breadwinner. My husbands’ employment was sporadic the first 5 years of our marriage. He has sales skills and has always been capable of working. It was never okay for him not to work. I have never stopped working full time since before our marriage. I Earn a decent income, but I am far from wealthy.
    We sold our home and split the proceeds. We have also split all our other assets. For the past 8 months we went through 2 temp agreements where I paid him $2700/mo. I have 100% custody of my younger son. I also am 100% responsible for my adult college son for expenses and tuition.
    My husband was never a great father. He has no relationship now with our minor son due to terrible behavior on my husbands’ part. He has always been lazy and preferred to stays home smoking pot and doing as he pleased rather than working and /or being a good father. I stayed in the marriage because I did not ever want to have a night without my children under the same roof as me.
    Now, our temp alimony agreements are expired.
    And, my husband inherited approximately $ 1 million dollars from an uncle.
    I just want to finish the divorce and I don’t want to pay alimony since he is more than capable of taking care of himself.
    He also has a part time job, and has chosen not to seek another part time job or a full time job.
    What do you think my chances are of escaping alimony if we go to court?

  28. Luke says:

    If your case is as you describe it then I really hope the court orders you to pay nothing to him Debra – it’s yet another situation where it would be a joke if you have to pay spousal support.

  29. Andrew says:

    Once again, Debra, why are you seeking advice from a website run by an English lawyer? Try a lawyer in your own State!

  30. keith says:

    A quick question. There is a lot of information around about the actual papers presented to start the court divorce procedure – but is there a pro-forma that can be used where an agreement has already been reached on financial matters? It would be useful to know how to set out what has been agreed (by both partners in advance) in an acceptable format for the court – what to include and how to word things.

  31. Jennifer says:


    My husband and I owned our house in joint names. When we separated we made an arrangement whereby he paid me a lump sum in order to sign the whole equity over to him. We did this because we wanted to avoid a financial dispute, we wanted to settle things amicably. Also, as we are waiting for a two year separation period I needed to be free of my half of the mortgage so that I could afford to move into my own property (rental). I think that I took less than I could have if I had challenged this legally – my desire to remain amicable and for a swift resolution meant that I accepted.

    During this time I lived rent-free with family and this has allowed me to save money. This, plus my lump sum, means that I have quite a comfortable savings pot. When we come to reach a financial settle will this money I’ve saved since separation be taken into account?

    We are both in our 30s, both work, there are no children. I would be happy to walk away saying ‘what’s yours is yours, what’s mine is mine’. Can you do that without having to make a financial declaration?

    I also have a pension. He never set one up despite working full time. Will he be entitled to this even if he is able bodied and in full time employment?

    I am a little concerned as we’re very different people, I always saved while he overspent. When we divorce will I be effectively punished for my prudence?

  32. Jackie J says:

    JamesB is totally correct. LIPs are treated with contempt by the courts. You are not allowed to speak and cannot possibly present any evidence as you are constantly silenced.
    You ask if you may say something but are told no. You have relevant papers with you but they do not want to see them. It is totally impossible, even for the most concise and organised person, to be heard or show any proof in relation to their claim. How can a judge make ANY judgement without the facts or related evidence? They make comments which are incorrect but will not allow you to correct them. They quote from the oppositions statement and do not allow you to comment. An awful situation and completely unfair. Also, many of the questions set out in a Final Settlement Claim Form are dismissed as not necessary or inapplicable, i.e., correct statement of assets or potential inheritance, etc.
    How can you show that someone is in a far better financial position than yourself if they are not required to state their true assets or inheritance, etc. Neither are they required to explain how they managed to dispose of a VERY large sum of money shortly before the court appearance. Appalling!

  33. Gill says:

    I’m trying to work out what would be reasonable to ask in a financial settlement. Married almost 15 years. He has had affairs but I can only prove enough for unreasonable behaviour. He also had hidden debt (in his name only). We have around £90K equity in the house. I’ve been a stay at home mum for almost 7 years. My former job is low paid with long hours that pay less than childcare costs, but it is something that I would be prepared to return to part time once our youngest is in school (Sept 2014)or to find some other kind of part time job. I have very little pension and not even a full complement of NI payments for my basic state pension. I still have student loans to pay off. We paid off my husband’s student loans in full during the marriage. He has a good civil service pension and earns just under£60k a year. I am currently living on Income Support. He is paying the mortgage, but I do not wish to be linked to a debt with him in the future because of his debt problems: I would like the house to be sold so that I am no longer financially linked to him, but the equity would not be enough to buy anything outright in this area. Any advice would be much appreciated.

  34. Miss T says:

    Hi Marilyn,

    A wife who left the marital home purchased a home where she ran a business out of. The husband tried to divorce her 1st time round but she objected. He finally divorced her after years of separation in 2001. Unfortunately, the financial part of the divorce was not dealt with at the time. The husband died in 2012. She is now claiming half property of the house due to the fact she is on the land registry. She can not sell without a court judgement due to a restriction on the land registry. Will the judge look into her financial needs before awarding her? She has a house which she lets the homes out in the UK, house abroad, land abroad.

  35. Rik says:

    I have divorced my now ex-wife and she is trying to claim half of my Army pension and war disablement pension. We were only married 6 years with a year break in-between filing for a divorce then cancelling. I left the Army 2 years before we even met. Can she claim half or even any or my war disablement or Army pension?

  36. Aundrea says:

    Hello Marilyn

    I apologise in advance for the length of my comment. My solicitor wont give me a direct answer.

    I am 47 and discovered my husband was unfaithful 5 years ago after 20 years of marriage, as he would not leave the home I did and after staying with my sister for 6 months I got a flat and my 15 year old son moved in with me leaving my 18 year old son in the FMH with his father. I never received any support for my son and had to get a 2nd job to help pay the bills. It was important for me to remain in a civil relationship with my soon to be ex as everyone told me it was easier for the children and so it was for 3 years.
    I sometimes plucked up the courage to ask my ex for help with finances and occasionally he would give me £100 here or there. If I spoke of selling the house or finances he would start to get cross and I would back off (as I always had throughout our marriage) for fear of him.

    After he got a permanent girlfriend 2 years ago, I told him we had to sell the house, (they were managing a couple of holidays a year and me and my son were sat under blankets because I couldn’t afford to put the heating on, I know that’s my fault for my cowardly approach) He then stopped talking to me completely and was openly hostile. Even though I asked if we could do it all ourselves and not involve solicitors he refused to speak to me so I put it on the market myself with his begrudging permission and then approached a solicitor who applied for a divorce in August 2012. My ex refused to acknowledge anything from my solicitor or the court and the court server could not reach him to serve papers so I had to employ a private server. These were served in October 13.

    Every offer we had on the house he rejected until November, but then he stated he couldn’t find anywhere and the buyers finally withdrew their offer in March. We then got a cash offer for the same amount as the previous offer two weeks later, but my soon to be ex rejected because now he wants to put the house on again for more money which meant I lost the home I was looking to buy having already paid for land searches and mortgage applications etc.

    My son and I had to move back into the FMH in December as I had been borrowing money from family and friends over a period of time and owed about £4K to them and couldn’t borrow anymore.

    During the time of our 4/5 year separation he has amassed around 20K in savings as over that time he was paying the £250 mortgage and I had to pay £650 rent even though he earns a lot more than I do.

    When I moved back in I asked to see the joint mortgage bank statement because I needed to start paying my half of the mortgage, He stated as I had not contributed for all the time I was away from the home so I was not entitled.

    All I wanted 5 years ago was my half of the marital home, to start again. I worked mostly full time my whole adult life and contributed to everything even going back to work 4 months after my children were born and at points was the sole bread winner. Now he has been delaying and messing me around for so very long I feel I would be justified to request half of his savings and other assets. He still goes on his 2 foreign holidays a year and I am still paying back the money I owe my family.

    I have managed to get the last bank statement for the mortgage and utility bills and can therefore back pay into the account for the last 3 months I have been back.
    The document I have to fill in for the court for a financial settlement will have the small amount I am paying now and not the huge amount I was paying over the last 4 years. Will this be taken into account please?

  37. Melissa says:

    Dear Marilyn,
    I would appreciate some advice in arranging a clean break financial settlement. In a nutshell:
    My 10 year marriage ended 4 years ago, we co-resided for 18 months (my ex husband was not working and refused to leave which was torturous and was abusive and violent) he eventually left when he got a job and girlfriend then we divorced in March 13. We have two children now 10 and 12.
    I have always been the breadwinner, used savings and inheritance to improve the house and add value. I am very well educated and for most of the marriage earned on average 45k but since the divorce earn more than double that. The house has also gone up approx 100k in value since he left as he would not engage in settlement. He does have the children regularly now- much more so since his solicitor advised him too but it’s always on his terms and when it suits him leaving me still paying after school care so I can work. I pay for everything for the children, I have never received child support, he doesn’t spend money on them Xmas and birthdays etc but obviously buys them food when they stay with him and has started buying them clothes (again under solicitors advice). There have been many issues which sadly I know don’t hold water: he is an alcoholic, smokes pot, emotional abuse and some violence, not a good role model to children and despite him leaving remains bitter and abusive in his correspondence. I have always enabled my children seeing him which is now being used against me as he is claiming equal habitation (it’s about 2/3 days him to 4/5 days me depending on the month).
    He refused to engage reasonably in a financial settlement asking for unreasonable sums of money. My offers were always based on what I could afford to raise.
    He worked sporadically for the first five years and not at all by his choice (he didn’t like being told what to do and wanted to ‘be a musician’) but I still paid for childcare and did the vast majority of the cooking and household tasks
    There is approximately £350k equity in the house now- about £250k when we divorced. I invested 150k (not including mortgage payments and family maintenance).
    I feel a ‘fair settlement’ would be I get back my investment and we split the rest at value at split even happy to split the difference. It’s his life choice not to have a career. He works now in a low paid job that suits his lifestyle but he has post graduate qualifications but simply doesn’t want to put the effort in to work – easier to live off me.
    In order to buy him out I need to raise a much bigger mortgage which I can do do to my recent promotion (which he has intimated he is entitled to a share of).
    Eventually I offered him 100k now or 120k when youngest is 18. But he wants 50%of the value of whatever the house is worth then (which as it’s in a good part of London is likely to be considerable). He eventually said £120k now but he doesn’t see why he should pay any child support.
    I can raise this but means I will have an enormous mortgage on my own, have to find £1200 PCM extra and extend a 14 year mortgage to 25 years. It is a modest terraced house in a ‘good’ area but selling is not an option as I couldn’t buy anything remotely similar in this area now and have schooling to think of. He won’t allow me to move outside London.
    Not really a nutshell but my questions are:
    Would this be considered ‘fair’ by a court?
    Would a settlement be predicated on the future value of a property (when child 18) or the current value/value at time of divorce?
    If this is considered reasonable and I should accumulate debt so that my ex husband can buy a property outright (his mother will give him anymore he needs), what is the most straightforward way of writing this up for a court order and getting him removed from the deeds and mortgage? Is this something you can do for me?
    I wish to resolve ASAP as it has taken far too much of my time, emotion and money.
    Many thanks for your consideration.

  38. Gabriella says:

    Hi Marilyn

    I am about to go to first court hearing in London with my husband – he is a police officer retiring after 30 years service shortly, he is almost 50, we have been together 15 years, 11 of them married and 4 living together.
    I have worked full time and still working. He moved out last year to live with his affair partner (knew nothing about it til the day he announced it!) she gave up her job within weeks of them living together – which looks suspicious. There is small equity in the marital home, – which I am living in and I have been paying the mortgage (interest only) for the past 18 months – I have had no financial support from the moment he walked out – The main asset is the police pension – which we were planning during the marriage, to use the 25% cash lump sum allowed, to pay off most of the mortgage – his pension pot or Cash equivilant that he has supplied for the E form is estimated around £500k. Do we need an actuary, as I understand the cash equivilant can be undervaluing the amount, and from what I have read this amount may be too low. He is very close to retirement only few months away – any advice would be gratefully received. I want to try and keep my home and take some % of the lump sum to pay a little off the mortgage, so I can survive paying a smaller mortgage monthly amount and some pension going forward- he doesn’t want to release any of his pension and wants to keep all for him and new partner. He has been confrontational throughout the last 18 months, aggressive etc and plays the victim. I have avoided all contact and tried to take the high ground, but just want to be sure we are doing all we can to get a fair result.


    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Gabriella
      Without a shadow of a doubt;- run this past a specialist who understands police pensions and can give you some advice on the information provided.

    • Stitchedup says:


    • Mary says:

      Hi Having worked in pensions for over 25 years the CETV figure provided by the pensions department will be accurate, so there will be no need to go to the expense of hiring an actuary.

      The pensions department do not take sides, they do have to provide accurate figures and will have done so. Don’t forget though that when an officer retires after 30 yrs service his pension is reduced because of his age. The longer he stays at work the less the reduction until age 60 (or 65 if he’s a higher ranking officer). This will be taken into account by his solicitors. So what your solicitor may not see as a 50/50 split could in actual fact be just that.

      A police officer pays in the old pension scheme paid 11% of their salary (less 1p) into their pension.

      People think officers get a great pension for the same cost as other pensions, but over their 30 yr service paying in 11% they will have paid in quite a bit more than someone paying 6% over a period of 45 yrs.

      For those who may comment that they’re lucky to retire early, I would say to you, if you were held up would you prefer a young police officer who was physically able to run fast after a criminal, or an old officer who may be suffering from arthritis or some such? I know which I’d prefer. Also, if you think they get a good deal, well, you should have become a police officer yourself.

    • mary says:

      I worked in pensions for 25 years and can assure you that the pensions department don’t take sides and the CETV figure given to your husband will have been accurate. You could ask your solicitor to request a copy, but you would need your hubby’s written authority for this. Your solicitor could ask for all the figures used in calculating the pension too, and providing they know how to calculate the CETV they could do so for themselves.

      But don’t forget that when an officer retires after 30 yrs service, if he’s under age 60, the pension is reduced on account of their age. The reduction becomes less the closer they are to age 60 (or 65 in the case of senior officers) So what you might think is less than a 50/50 split, may in fact be just that.

      If you hubby was in the old pension scheme he would have paid 11% (minus 1p) of his salary into the pension. This gives a good pension, but over a 30 yr period a police officer in the old scheme (the new one is 6% of their salary) they would still pay quite a lot more in their pension than someone paying 6% over a 45 year period.

      Also if anyone thinks they retire early, would you prefer to be protected by a young officer able to run fast after a teenager or who ever or an old police officer who may be struggling with arthritis? I know which I’d prefer. I’d also say, if you’re jealous of their pension, go become a police officer.

  39. Gabriella says:

    Many thanks Marilyn

    I will ask my solicitor to ask the court for an actuaries report on the Police Pension.

    Appreciate your help

    Kind regards,

    • mary says:

      HI, sorry, forgot to mention that if your hubby was in the old scheme, it’s not an automatic lump sum. They can choose to convert up to 25% into a lump sum.

      • mary says:

        Hello again. I also forgot to mention that if you are going for some of his pension, you won’t get it paid as a cash lump sum. What you will get is a pension split. This means that you will then have a pension with the police in your own right, but you will not be able to claim it until retirement age. It used to be aged 60, but it has been a couple of years since I did this sort of pension scheme and it could have changed to the age at which you will receive you Government pension, so you will need to check this out. Also be aware that if you are going for a pension split there will be costs involved. You will be asked to pay your share (unless you get agreement that your hubby pays). Back when I did pensions the cost was £750 each party. As I said it’s been a few years so this amount is likely to have gone up by now. You need to ask your solicitor exactly how much you will be asked to pay so that you don’t get blind sided and unable to get the split because you can’t afford it. Good luck. I wish you well.

  40. Gabriella says:

    Hi Marilyn

    My solicitor has written to the other solicitor and said we wish to have an Actuaries Report – I suspect they will not agree and this will be discussed next week at our first appointment in court.

    Can I ask what the judge usually would do if a husband (as mine has done) puts on the financial statement that 10 years ago he sold his house (after we had bought the marital home together) and his equity then was over £100k – this is a lie completely – my solicitor has asked for proof of this but of course there won’t be any as so long ago – if he had had this sort of equity we would of course have paid some of the marital home mortgage off. However there are also other lies on his form e – what happens in these circumstances – it seems outrageous and says on the form that it has to be truthful ?

    Any help gratefully received – just need to know what to expect next week in court in London

    Many thanks


  41. Hobson says:

    Hi Marilyn,

    Here is my story…

    I owned my house for 10 years, and also brought another property on my own a bungalow. I then met a girl who lived with me for a few months in my house. I sold the house and with the equity I knocked down the bungalow and built my own house. My partner was with me still, we later had a child, and then married. However, my marriage only lasted 30 days as she had many affairs beforehand and started a relationship on her hen party which carried on up to the wedding and then she left 30 days after we married. We did get back together some months later, but then it finished 5 months later, due to other affairs she had. In total our relationship only lasted 6 years which consisted of 30 days of marriage, plus we have a child. During this time, she has never paid any bills or contributed any of her earnings to the house. My house was brought before I knew her and my other house which I sold and used the equity was my house again before I knew her. I submitted my divorce papers on the day of our first wedding anniversary. two years on we are still going through the divorce! We have a 2nd FDR at the end of the month, and all she does is lie about everything to the solicitors and courts, we have actual proof of everything that has happened and what she says etc… But they are fighting for 50% of everything, could you please advise, of what will be the likely outcome that the judge may say on the day? At present I am already paying for her to stay in another property that I own which is a two bedroom maisonette and paying the mortgage for her to stay there plus child maintenance, however, I also know she has moved her boyfriend into my property with her, of which I am paying for, but she refuses that he lives there! any advice would be great thank you.

  42. Luke says:

    you REALLY have not helped yourself – she had multiple affairs both before the marriage and immediately after – and then she left – AND YOU STILL TOOK HER BACK !

    Once you have signed the marriage certificate (always a bad idea) and had any sort of relationship with a child the whole force of Family Court will stack up on her side because you are the ‘deep pocket’ – that’s how it works and you are probably going to suffer as a result.

    I don’t mean to be offensive and I hope things work out well for you – but honestly you have been too naive for words…

    • Stitchedup says:

      Hobson’s choice?

    • Hobson says:

      I only knew of the hen party affair when she left me 30 days after the marriage… then it was all played down to a silly mistake, it was only after she left the 2nd time more evidence and people came out of the wood work… It seems the whole relationship was based on lies, this has only just became apparent. What bothers me more is that all her Form E is packed full of lies, which she cannot back up with any evidence, whereas mine is the truth where I can supply all paperwork. For example, how she states she helped purchase my properties, I didn’t even know her when I purchased these properties and at the time she states, she was married to her first husband living in army accommodation etc…. she states, in her Form E we were in a 10 year plus relationship, the list is endless…. she took me for spousal maintenance, which went in her favour, based on her only providing one months bank statement to the judge which was a year old… it was only the other month where she had to provide other bank statements to do with the questionnaire questions that she had to do, where it has come to light that she lied to the judge for the spousal maintenance, down to, her benefits received, her salary income, she been receiving rent for my flat which was not disclosed, denied that I gave her 2k to the judge a few months before, denied she had a savings account etc… the list is endless and this is what I’m up against. My solicitor has now advised me to stop paying the spousal maintenance even though there is a court order as he will take it up on the 2nd FDR…. My concerns are how can a judge make recommendations on a settlement at the 2nd FDR when all his given is stacks of lies…. I’ve been informed its only at the 3rd hearing cross examinations and all the evidence will be looked at but at what costs will that be with all the legal fees etc… the list is just endless… I know I was duped into marriage, for one reason only, for her to gain and get more money… I have no objection for supplying for my son whatsoever, the objection I have is what she has done to me, just to gain financial benefit at my expense.

  43. Jones says:

    I need some help and advice . Apologies in advance if it may sound confusing.
    In a nut shell my life history with SoonToBeEx goes as follows:
    We met and he moved into my home in 1997. I had a child in 97 and 2002 with him. During that time between us we had brought three homes . One in my sole name ( now sold) / one in his ( while still married till he decided to leave us) used for rental purposes and the other in his name not sure if that has been sold. Currently right now I do not know where he lives.
    We Seperated in 2010. At that time I had to rent out my home and live else where.
    All debts ie credits cards for general use and home improvements were in my name (Please note all this time I was supporting him finacially till he left) which has now been paid off by me. Except one debt which was a secured loan joint names on my property ( now sold) but debt is still there .This debt he will not pay and I cannot afford to pay as I am in financial difficulty. .
    Child maintance has now finally being paid to me although before he stated I should not get as I am working ! even thou he never has the children at all yet claiming he has them of a night!!
    Now that I have been granted a D/Nisi back in 2012 I had’nt had the chance or time to sort out the consent order due to family illness. But now I have.
    I have read that short term and long term marriage can have an effect on the financial settlement and divorce. I understand that living together seamlessly to marriage counts as one. In my case over 10yrs. So would that count for me. Also STBX is refusing to cooperate in regards to the consent order. And what of the homes he had brought while we was together do I have a right to that ?.
    The STBX is quite a narcissistic being and has had me and my family duped for years. Only now the light is shown but now my battle with him will begin with the consent order.
    Thank in advance for any comment.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Jacky
      You need a detailed run through what the law is and how it works. Could I suggest you pay 99p and download my 276 page book from the sidebar? You will find all the answers and your 99p will go to the Children’s Society charity. If you have a specific question thereafter I will be delighted to help.

  44. lucinda wisdom says:

    Hi marylin,
    Im pleased to say me & my ex have drawn up a consent order , & my money from him paid in 30 days of the order. I am temporarily living at my mothers house, & have found a flat which i want to purchase with my settlement. Im really conserned how long it will take for the courts to rubberstamp the order , as its taken me 3 years to find a property i see fit to buy. I have fallen in love with this flat & so dont want to lose it !!! Should i contact the courthow explaining my urgency to buy a
    property ?? How long does it take the court to draw up the consent order, as the vendor of the flat wont want to wait too long to sell it
    Very anxious, lucinda wisdom

  45. Claire Miller says:


    I am after some advice.
    I have been with my partner for juts over a year and we are now living together. He is currenlty going through a divorce and her solictiotrs have asked to see my bank statements and any proof of assets etc?

    Is this a legal requirement or can i object?

    Thank you

  46. Luke says:

    Claire, hopefully Marilyn or one of her colleagues will answer your question, but I’m pretty sure it ISN’T, I wouldn’t give them anything – in fact to actually request it I regard as outrageous.

    • Claire Miller says:

      Thank you Luke, I did think this too but thought maybe there was something I was missing!

  47. Tracy says:

    My ex husband and myself have been divorced just over 2 years after bring married for 33 years. I am now 54 and my ex husband 56. We have 2 sons now 31 and 28. When he disappeared one morning after leaving me a note, the house had to be sold as I could not afford the mortgage. The proceeds of the house sale were split equally between us £10,000 each via a solicitor. However my ex husband had worked for Royal Mail for over 20 years and has a pension and lump sum payout. When the divorce was granted he said he would make sure that I got half of the lump sum when the pension paid out as I never paid into any work pensions because he always said that we would live quite well on his lump sum and private pension when we retired and it was a waste of money me paying into a pension as well. This agreement was not in writing and I am now wondering where I stand as I have no contact with him as he would never divulge where he was and is. Can I make a claim against his pension as I am now increasingly concerned that I will only have the state pension to live on when I retire after all the years of us planning to live comfortably on his lump sum and pension. Is there anything I can do?

    • mary says:

      Hi Tracy, here is the address for the post office pensions department.

      Write to this address:

      Pensions Service Centre
      PO Box 500
      S49 1WX

      Call us on: 0114 241 4545 Email: [email protected]

      You may not get a response personally as they would have to have his permission to give out any information, but you should check with a solicitor.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Mary
        Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on my blog. It’s much appreciated.

        • Mary says:

          Hi Marilyn

          I hope I didn’t step on toes when it came to the posts about pensions. I just wanted the ladies to be aware of the costs involved in pension sharing and that they won’t get their share as cash as the Government doesn’t allow that. Also that pension scheme’s aren’t being difficult if they don’t provide the information direct to the members’ spouse as they are bound by Data Protection laws.

          My comment about how much police officers pay into the old scheme and about becoming a police officer was in response to Stitched up’s comment, as a CETV is not the amount of pension a police officer (or indeed any member of a pensions scheme) receives as a pension, but it’s the calculation process used in working out how much it would cost to provide said pension.

  48. Michelle says:

    My husband and I married in 2009 with no co-habitation. He moved in with me in my family home that I had lived in since 1996. I had been a council tenant for over 25 years and 3 months later after marrying we bought my council property with a large discount I had accrued under the right to buy scheme. 23 months later we separated and I finally divorced him June 2013. The marriage lasted 25 months in all to separation. He is now asking for a clean break of 33% of the capital in the property. SInce two months before he left the property he stopped contributing to anything…mortgage, bills, insurance etc Over the 23 months of mortgage payments during our marriage we paid 50/50 despite him earning considerably more than me. The capital payments off the property for his part over these 23 months were less than £2,500. I have tried to do some research on short marriages and can vaguely remember a ruling back in 2011 or 2012?? when a woman was ordered to pay her husband £10,000 even though he was asking for half of the equity on the property. Please can anyone help with refreshing my memory on the names of the case or if anyone knows of any rulings on short marriages. I would be very grateful

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Michelle
      The court will take the short marriage and your substantial contribution into account. Is all he paid a form of rent? Is he entitled to anything at all?

  49. Michelle says:

    Oh yes I meant to add that I have continued to live in the property and pay the mortgage with no contributions from him.

  50. Alison says:

    Can I add to my inquiry message from May 3rd please. When my ex husband disappeared apart from having to go on medication and falling apart I was left homeless for two years before being able to find somewhere to live as the council would not house me stating that due to the house being sold to cover debts and it having a suspended repossession order on it then I had made myself intentionally homeless!!!! It took me the best part of 4 years to find myself in a place mentally where I could move on and begin to pick up the pieces of my life. I live in private rented accomodation and have lived here for 3 years but have been on long term sick since November 2013 from my job as a primary school teacher, I have been diagnosed with endogenous clinical depression and am on medication, under the care of the local mental health team and attend therapy and counselling sessions. I am now unable to continue my employment and will not be able to continue living in the flat I rent and the local council say they have no properties available. I have financial commitments I will be unable to keep which is causing me no end of stress and at the moment don’t know where to turn or what to do. If I was able to access what I consider is my share of my ex husbands pension lump sum then this will relieve some of the anxiety and stress I am under. I spent a long time paying off debts he had left behind and that in turn led to my credit rating being shot to pieces. As well as leaving me struggling financially. It seems that all the years we spent planning a secure and comfortable future during the 30 years of marriage were based on a lie on his part and me being very naive in believing him. I hope you can advise me in this matter as I am desperate and have no where to turn. I am not just after his money, I am not being vindictive but this is something he said would be mine-half of his pension lump sum. It is money that would ease the pressure, stress and enable me to keep going. I have some paperwork regarding the post office pension but obviously it is all in his name and no one will discuss or disclose anything with me. Thank you so much.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Alison

      The thing about going after someone’s pension is that there’s quite a lot involved, not just paperwork but costs too. As I mentioned in a post earlier, when I did these sorts of pensions the costs were around £750 per party, so you would have to be aware of that and would have to be willing to pay the money, unless of course you could get your ex to pay your half.

      The main thing you need to know is that you will NOT be able to take your share of his pension as a cash payment. The Government has strict rules on this and, were you to be successful and be granted a portion of his pension you would then be set up a pension in your own right.

      Now some companies allow these types of pensions to be what is termed ‘in-house’ this means that they would deal with the pension.

      Other pension companies will state that you must invest the money in a private pension scheme, doing this means that their liability ends when the money is paid over to the private pension scheme.

      Here’s the address for the Post Office Pension

      Pensions Service Centre
      PO Box 500
      S49 1WX

      Call us on: 0114 241 4545

      Email: [email protected]

  51. Tracy Mehmet says:

    I wrote a comment on May 3rd 2014 at 11:14 which is fine and under my name but I then wrote another one on May 5th 2014 at 12:08 which has come up under the name Alison????? I have no idea why it hasn’t come up as my name. Apologies.

  52. Melanie says:

    Hi Marylin,

    I contacted you some time ago for some guidance and wonder if I could possibly ask again. Briefly, amicable arrangement went off the rails as ex husband decided I should have anything…because he could basically.
    Lots of money spent on solicitors fees…3.5k so far and that’s without really too much negotiation…eeek. Basically, our amicable agreement was 15k, eventually he offered this and I agreed even though I have spent all this money on fees. My solicitor advised that to ask for more to effectively cover my costs would potentially end up me no better off. As his costs would continue to rise. So out of court settlement. All paperwork submitted to the judge who has not put the order through due to the capital assets. Seemingly the section 25 covers his refusal to award this order. I haven’t received the actual paperwork from court as they are behind, this is from me phoning them. Basically his army pension left him with 82 k lump sum with 500 a month which started on departure from the army last dec. he is 40 this year so the actual pension valuation would be quite significant. Is this what the judge is worried about. I am insure where this leaves me and how to approach it with my solicitor who seems to change his mind somewhat in terms of what I should look for, from saying he should snap my hand off at 15 to then say well you really should be careful of the cost of trying to get more as you may not etc etc ???!! How does this help??! Can you shed anymore light on this. I have no pension that is of any worth and in come is 6k 0per year due to looking after kiddies etc.

    Thanks millions in advance of any help you can give. I don’t think you will realise how much people who have no money and are forced into having to fight for every penny for their children appreciate your kind of help. So if you ever have a bad day, think of all the good you are doing for people like me and smile 😉

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Melanie
      The pension is in many cases the most valuable asset. It has a capital value even though it is in payment and the total capital value can be shared between you. You need to find out what that capital value which professionals call the “Cash Equivalent Transfer Value” actually is and take this into account when dividing up the assets. You also need to check the CETV you get from your husband is correct and a pension expert can help you.
      I hope this helps.

  53. Maureen says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    I wonder if you could advise whether I have a good case in protecting my interests and my families future from an ex-husband who is seeking a financial settlement from me. I was married for 18 months to a man who brought no financial capital or security into the marriage and was living in temporary accommodation when we met. He moved into my home which I had bought outright with the help of my family a number of years before I met him. I have 3 children from a previous marriage one of which has special needs and I am his sole carer and he will be dependant on me for the rest of his life. I have little opportunity to work and this will not change for the forseable future. My ex-husband is seeking financial gain from the house but I am keen to protect my asset as it is my disabled sons sole means of security in the future. My solicitor advises I have a strong case to request a clean break and to give no financial settlement but advises this is also a risk and my ex is not accepting the clean break as a mutual agreement so it looks as if I am being forced into a judgement situation. My Ex has his own company but has not declared any financial accounts and has no tax returns for the last 4 years and has so far not responded to any questions we have surrounding his very vague form E. Any advice or suggestions would be welcome before I committ to pursuing a final hearing? Thank you. Maureen

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Maureen
      Thanks for writing to me but there isn’t much to go on from what you write. Your solicitor sounds like he’s got it nailed though. Sure there’s a risk but also it seems you have a good case to fight. What is your risk in fighting? Ask him to spell it out and go from there. Good luck. Sometimes you do need nerve to stand your ground but the rewards can be worth it.

  54. Maureen says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    Many thanks for responding, the risks appear to be the unknowns as to what a judge will decide on the day, he could suggest a token payment of say £1,000 or he could suggest £20,000 you never really know (My ex is asking for £140,000 in order for him to be able to buy a one bedroom flat in the area, I’m proposing a clean break with no settlements as I just want this unpleasant episode to go away!) – it would be nice if the judge looked at the claims and awarded me a settlement or maintenance but I’m not sure it works like that! either way I have no funds to make a settlement whatever the judge decides and if the worse comes to the worse I would have to have a voluntary charge put on the property. Also, I am currently in receipt of legal aid and therefore I need to make a decission now on how to proceed. If I leave it any longer I will not be entitled to funding due to the changes in legal aid rules, however by taking this to a FH will increase my fees to over £10,000 and I just don’t have the funds to do that so again a charge will be put on my property – all in all, one way or another I will be losing some of my sons security in fees or settlements it seems – unless I can claim for me fees of my ex?
    Thanks for you time. Maureen.

    • Luke says:

      “the risks appear to be the unknowns as to what a judge will decide on the day”

      Yup, that’s part of the problem, you are pretty much at the mercy of a Judge’s particular view, and they certainly don’t all see things the same way – that’s why getting married was a really bad idea – you effectively give up the rights of your assets to the court and via lawyers they usually make you pay for the privilege of their decision.
      I hope it works out for you as you obviously have a strong case and if the case is as you describe he should not be asking for anything anyway – but lawyers and courts cost a great deal of money and somebody is going to pay…

  55. Jacquie says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    We have agreed that I get the house in UK and he gets the house overseas. We have 100K equity and 150K debt on the UK home. The overseas home is worth 100K fully paid. So, we are happy that it is a fair split. Problem is, he won’t agree to making it legal by signing a consent order, as it might force declaration of all income and savings. Also, if we do go in for a consent order, my savings and assured income will mean that I am financially better off, even though I’m taking on the full responsibility of paying off the mortgage and all child care. Can the court decide that he isn’t getting a fair deal and order me to pay maintenance, even if he isn’t asking for it? We both want the divorce to be finalised, neither have any plans of resettling immediately, and the house is the only asset which is exchanging hands. I am willing to consult a solicitor, but I understand that a consent order can only be drawn up if both parties are willing. I would be ever so grateful to receive some advice?

  56. Gina says:

    Hi , I had a thirty year marriage three step sons and a son of my own , after thirty years of a rotten marriage where he had a number of affairs the last with my best friend , on advice of my GP , I left the marriage ( boys all grown and had left home ) as I was depressed and not well , I went to America and met another man , long story short , I came back to England after two years bringing my partner with me. I had no money so could not get a solicitor , my husband said he would divorce me with no cost to me if I would say I was the one that committed adulatory , I was not to ask for any of his pension or any thing from the house and I would be divorced . The house was in both our names as he would not have been able to have brought the house with out my wages being include , and he took out four pensions which I did help to pay for at certain times in the marriage , well as I was still not feeling to brilliant , having no money , no job and my partner and my self living with my mother I agreed to his decisions , the judge asked to see the pair of us , before the meeting my husband got in touch and warned me to tell the judge I wanted nothing from the marriage and then it would be plain stalling and I would get my divorce and move on , saw the judge told him what my husband wanted me to say , the judge told him he was to make a will and make secure on the sale of the house that I was left a share , he agreed , well it’s 12 years down the line now , he has still not made a will , he has sold the house and has four big pensions that gets paid out to him , I feel very angry, that I am still struggling , I took his three boys on at the age of 17 , had my son at the age of 18 and for thirty years I looked after and raised his children while he had the best of all worlds , I know I can’t do any thing about my situation but I can tell any woman that finds her self in my position , don’t listen to the person that’s done the dirty deed GET solicitors advice and if you can , don’t have the money then just hang on in there , I gave every thing to that marriage and he’s the one that’s got every thing , life’s just not fair but there you , you have to learn by your lessons in life . Gina

  57. CL says:

    My very soon to be ex husband has refused to provide full financial disclosure. We have tried mediation, however because of his dishonesty about his finances this means we have been unable to reach a fair or amicable settlement and now it looks as though we are going to court. We are not arguing over large sums of money, i have just asked for enough to be able to rehome myself in rented accomodation. However my husband in his Form E is only claiming he earns £14,000 instead of realistically £40,000. Our marriage was very short (6 months) before my husband committed adultery. He moved out of the marital home and i have been living and maintaining it for nearly 2 years now, as well as contributing towards the mortage for 3 years before that. Since filing for divorce in August last year i have had to endure threatening, abusive and bullying behaviour from my husband and his family as they have tried to get me to leave the marital home with nothing – but i have nowhere to go without a settlement lump sum to help me rehouse myself. My husband has delayed sorting this out and as a result any small amount of savings i had have since depleted and there appears to be no support for people like me in this position. All i want is for my husband to tell the truth – court appears to be the only way he will be found out from his lies. Please help, any advise would be greatly appreciated.

  58. Daniel says:

    Hi Marilyn, I.m here as I feel I am unable to gain correct advice / direction . My ex wife walked away from the family home 5 yrs ago, I live with two of my children son 22 yrs (yet to gain employment after university) and my daughter who is 19 and at University. My eldest son has his new home but lived with me in the early stages of seperation. My children were 13, 16, 20 when our marraige failed , My ex cohabits with her new partner (convicted sex offender) , since the seperation I have provided all the support for my family covering all costs for Universites and all expenditure such as mortgage, loans , home owner loans , endowments etc etc. I finally recieved my decree absoloute May 7th 2013 but as yet unable to conclude a financial order . I have used The CO-OP solictors to gain my divorce but since then ran out of funds after paying all cost for the divorce and meeting family living costs, i have tried numerous final offer letters to clear my postion with my e xwife but to no avail, I am 55 yrs old and luckily been advised I can gain a mortgage till I am 69 whcih can I assist to help pay off my ex but my ex has always refused to provide any form of setttlement towards myselfas an alternative , my case seem very rare to most on here as being the man with children, I’m lucky as my children have fully supprted me since there mum walked away.. but now its an uphill struggle to gain the correct advice and seems restricted due to funds. I would appreciate any assistance..

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Daniel
      It is unclear what advice you are seeking from me. All I can do is point you in the direction of my book available from the side bar for 99p the proceeds of which goes to The Children’s Society and I think you will be able to see from that what you should be asking for and going to court to do it if she wont cooperate which is a pity.

  59. Gentlergiant says:

    Marilyn, thank you so much for your work on this site. I haven’t said it before, but I have found your blog to be of great help, and sometimes comfort.

    But I wish I had your faith in the process. If Section 25 of the MCA, and the facts of each case, were looked at by judges who could assess “fairly”, the situation would be a lot better. But two LIPs ^up there^ have said that ‘relevant facts’ are simply being ignored by the courts. The resulting judgements will be out of kilter and need appealing against, because the facts were not available to the judges. Is this what is actually happening? (not the appeals, but the deliberate, conscious exclusion of one party to the case, particularly if self-repping.)

    Sorry to ‘rail against the system’, but I would like to know that the system can be trusted to do what is says on the tin. I may have to see for myself soon, and hope it is in working order.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Gentlergiant
      Thank you so much for your comments which are much appreciated. I have faith in the system but only because this is a system designed for judges to adjudicate with lawyers appearing before them, conversant with both facts and law. Remove the lawyers and I’m afraid the system starts to break down.
      Take the lady with disabilities whose child was adopted which I featured on Friday. She didn’t get legal aid. I don’t know why she didn’t, but as a lawyer I find a decision made in those circumstances, where she is losing her child without the advantage of legal representation, to be deeply troubling, similarly decisions made by judges for LIPs in marital cases, either finance or children, who don’t know the law and don’t know the weight to attach to facts and circumstances that may actually be of great relevance: or not. Judges are used to lawyers appearing before them. Their response to this ghastly situation where many people can’t afford lawyers is to try and keep them out of court, going down other routes, rather than protesting collectively as loudly and as hard as they can that the legal system in this country requires lawyers and legal aid. The savings supposedly made by removal of legal aid are arguably none at all.
      So I understand your concern. Lawyers do their best, they argue your case and my view is if you can afford one to represent you, get one, if you can’t at least take advice about what is relevant and the way you should argue your case.

  60. Llewellyn says:

    Really wish I could afford to bring an end to everything. I’m am now divorced but the ex will not sort the financial part out for the divorce, even though it was her who divorced me for adultery which I accepted. We had our house repossessed and I pay Csa for my children but I’ve had nothing from the family business and left with all martial debts so I can’t afford to take her to court for the financial part of the divorce. The only thing I worried about is can she come back after say 15 years and claim half my pension or if I remarry claim half my spouses income to?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Llewellyn
      The answer is unless claims are dismissed then they remain open. That doesn’t guarantee success however. The court will make an order based on the facts and the law at the date of the hearing.

  61. Gabriella says:

    Hi Marilyn,

    My understanding that in pension share of police officer pension, the ex spouse is entitled to the same % of the 25% lump sum the scheme holder is allowed to take on retirement, and the same % of the remaining pension as a monthly income set up in her own name, able to be taken at retirement age by the Police Officer and at 60 by the ex spouse – whatever the Judge decides that % to be – having an Actuary Report as a guide etc.. plus arguments offered by solicitors.

    From the various posts by Mary above – she seems to say different.

    Please could you offer your experience Marilyn.

    Many thanks

    Kind regards,

  62. Henrietta says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    I have been married 7 years and together for 14. We have a modest house and the mortgage has been paid off for a few years, and I paid 50% for it. I have worked in various temporary contracts and haven’t worked for the last 5 years after becoming disillusioned and pushed around somewhat in the office environment. I have been living off my savings during this time, but my husband has gotten increasingly well paid jobs, and now a 6 figure salary. He however expects me to continue to live off my savings while he saves up for another property so he can rent it out and we both then live off the income. Is it unreasonable to expect him to pay for my living costs, and if we did divorce would I have a claim on his substantial savings even though he can prove he has not supported me throughout our marriage? At the moment he sees me as blocking his plan to retire early if he pays all the bills. We have no children and are both early forties.

  63. Ali says:

    Hi Marilyn
    I was married for 35 years, had three children, now adults, although the youngest is 22 and living with me and my partner in the marital home. I decided to end the marriage after realising I couldn’t forgive my husbands past affaires and couldn’t live with him. He agreed to divorce after two years and we have the decree nisi. We have now been separated for six years and are no further forward as he says there has to be some compromise about the division of the assets. He means I need to compromise as i instigated the divorce! I met someone else who has moved in to the marital home with me, and my ex has done the same. He won’agree on what constitutes an equal division of assets. He currently earns twice as much as me, although has to pay rent. I have paid off the mortgage on the property, and he resents the fact that I no longer have to pay out to live in the house. My pension, because I have worked part time whilst raising the children, is £43,000, his is £500,000. If I keep the house which is worth £160,000, the question is how much pension should I get from him. There is debt of £20,000 in joint names which I have continued to pay off, but he has refused to make payments on for 18months, and of this his personal debt includes £7000 in golf fees! The rest is uni fees and financial support for the children, house improvements etc. I do not want the expense of going to court, it has already cost me thousands in solicitors fees, mediation fees, and not got a conclusion. What would your suggestion be. The ex also refuses to get a pension report, saying he can’t afford it. Help!
    Regards Ali

  64. Adam says:

    Hi ,
    Can please advice me .
    My wife divorced me after 26 yrs of marriage , accused me for adulatory . 2years later she is taking me to court for settelment . During our marriage we bought a house on mortgage both names , I was paying the mortgage from day one till now . I also bought a maisonette but this time only her name . My quastion is have I got 50/50 on that aswell ( maisonette ) .
    Also she is taking to court back home in Algeria regarding a properties what my dad gave bearing in mind with new law she is going to get half in there aswell .
    My quastion is : is she allowed to claim about the Algerian properties in uk aswell while she already open a case back home ?( claiming twice back home and in here)
    Thank you

  65. Andrea says:

    Good morning.

    Could I please ask your advice regarding a consent order. This was submitted to the court by my ex husband but has been returned as refused. The court requires Form A to be completed.

    Do we both have to submit this form or just my ex husband as he is the applicant?

    Why has the judge asked for this as it has no financial information on it?

    Thank you for your time.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Andrea
      The Form A tells the court which applications you are making. It is necessary to have a Form A completed before the court can make the order.

  66. Ali says:

    Hi ,
    Please can you advice,
    My wife divorced me after 16yrs of marriage , accused me for adulatory . 2years later she is taking me to court for settelment . During our marriage we bought a house on mortgage both names , I was paying the mortgage from day one till now . I also bought other house but put it on her name . My quastion is have I got a share of 50/50 on that a swell or not
    Also she is taking to court back home in Algeria regarding a properties what my dad gave to me bearing in mind with new law she is entitle to a share of 50/50 over there too . Which I am ok with .
    My quastion is : can she claim those properties in uk while she is already open a case back home ?( claiming twice back home and in here)
    Hope to hearing from you soon


  67. CTolson says:

    Hi Marilyn

    Having read the forum, I find no examples of the situation I find myself involved in.

    A final settlement was agreed and paid, predominantly around my ex not being able to work until our children leave school.

    Interestingly 2 weeks post settlement, the secured a job and have been employed since.

    I am intrigued as to whether the settlement can be revoked and is there a limit on time post settlement to challenge.

    Secondly, given the settlement was to provide support for children, does this mitigate payments via CSA

    Many thanks for your thoughts

  68. Louise says:

    Hi Marilyn

    A unusual challenge for you. 3 years ago I had a deed of separation drawn up from my husband. I was advised by lawyer that a court would not blame him for his treatment of me as he was mentally ill. Aspergers was in diagnostic manual of mental illness at time but has now been removed as now considered a difference not a disability..

    He had a formal testing/diagnosis of Aspergers at age of 43, during the marriage, arranged by myself with NHS which he then used as a excuse for his bad treatment of me. (Diagnosed without disability but 90% less empathy than normal. ) The report documented he was angry at me for being more successful in my career than him when he was more clever. He had IQ in top 3% of population and exceptional ability in many areas. He is highly qualified, a confident talker socially and had run his own business successfully .

    He gave up his business when he married me as he did not want to work. He forced me to keep him by blackmail by saying he would ruin my medical career with lies if not. He did have many attempts at his but it did not work but it kept me doing everything he wanted during the marriage.He inflicted many injuries on me which were documented by doctors as needing surgery and was eventually handcuffed and taken away by police.

    I have numerous serious medical conditions which mean I am unlikely to be able to work to retirement age.I have no pension and his pension from 20 years in car sales is considerable which at moment he has kept under the deed of separation.

    I kept the main home which I renovated and he got my business two properties I renovated and setup as rental properties which means he is semi retired as lots of rental income. One of these he owned prior to marriage in not renovated state.

    Is it best to wait for 5 years of legal separation to remove any risk of him claiming higher needs due to Aspergers and I do not wish to lose my home.

    What is the current thinking on similar cases do stand a good chance of getting damages as such for the mental and physical abuse suffered which is all documented. What percentages of assets gained during marriage am I likely to get in view of extreme abuse.? Am I likely to get more than I have at present under the deed of separation. ? What would be the risk of divorcing him now ?

    Thank you

  69. Sara says:


    I separated from my husband in 2010 when I discovered he was having an affair with a close friend. Due to my job relocating I sold the marital home a year before we divorced and settled all the joint marital debt and the ex didn’t have to pay any costs or pay off any of the joint credit cards. A year after moving I divorced him, he was didn’t pay any costs and refused to appoint a solicior and I tried to reach a financial settlement but he was unreasonable so I didn’t apply for the consent order. I hadn’t applied for CSA, so I applied for maintenance nearly 3 years after he left for our son who was nearly 18 and at college. I also paid the mortgage on the family home for 20 months without help. My ex applied for ancillary relief last November and this has progressed to the FDR where it all started to go wrong. He didn’t fill his form in properly and didn’t respond to any of my questions and did not comply with the terms of the court even though he was the applicant. On the day of the FDR his solicitor pulled my solicitor to one side to say that she had not been aware that my ex had remarried before submitting his form A and that we couldn’t settle on the property we have in Spain because of his remarriage. My solicior should have called for an adjournement but she didn’t, she didn’t tell the judge that they hadn’t provided all the information or submitted all the documents. I was advised to proceed with the pension sharing order and my husband did very well out of this. My question is this: my solicior informed me that I couldn’t raise that I had paid for the mortgage on the family home, that I had paid all the marital debt and that I hadn’t received maintenenace payments for part of the 4.5 years we were apart for our son and also that I had supported my son solely through college and am now funding his first year at university. Is this true? My ex is demanding an overly inflated lump sum and is lying to his solicitor and I nailvely expected my solicitor to catch them out. Is it true that because I settled all the family debt and sold the family home before the divorce that I cannot now raise this to try and recover some of what I have paid as part of the financial settlement? I am considering getting a second opinion because I feel that I have been badly let down by the legal system. Thanks.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Sara
      It isnt clear from your question if your case settled at the FDR or it didnt. If it didnt, the FDR is treated as never having happened. It goes off the table and a new judge hears the case from afresh. So if its still proceeding, dont worry, ask for a conference with the barrister who is going to represent you in court and agree an approach and a figure you want out of this. Dont just worry and fret, take control. You are paying for this service, make sure it is one you are happy with and if you arent happy with the lawyer then change lawyers and or change firms.
      If it has settled then by all means ask for a second opinion to review what happened and advise you if you have a good claim in negligence against your solicitor.

      • Sara says:

        Hi Marilyn

        Many thanks for your advise & I will get a second opinion. The case was kind of settled but I haven’t seen any documents yet. I’ve had a brief meeting with another solicitor but he won’t advise until he sees the consent order but he did indicate that matters shouldn’t have proceeded and he seemed annoyed with the advise I got. He also knew who my solicitor was before I told him so I think she has a history of this.
        This is a really helpful & reassuring service that you are providing.
        Thank you

  70. C says:

    I need help please. I got married in 2002 and got pregnant and living with mother in laws council house. The Marriage broke down when my estranged husband doesn’t want to move out at his mothers house. He work only 2 days a week taxiing. I pushed him to get a full time job but he doesn’t want to and to late for me to realise he is a lazy man. In 2007 I came home and caught him in the shed/video with someone and hurt me bec I didn’t knock the door and reacted by pushing me out. I caught him many times but this time I have enough. Bec we have a son together and I have no money to move out. I stayed at his mother inlaws house. I couldn’t afford to move out at the time. I was in debts supporting our son and our holiday together before we get separated on different room. He can’t get any credit because he have CCJ’s so the credit cards are only on my name ( he have CCJ’s before we got married). In 2011 I move out. I give him divorce paper in 2007 then 2012 he didn’t sign. Now I meet someone and he is as well and we both got a child. He now wants divorce. He sent me a divorce paper requesting me to sign but asking me to pay him maintenance, periodically payments order, secured provision order, lump sum order, property adjustment order and my pension. ( I only understand maintenance, lump sum property adjustment order and pension. The adjustment order and secured provision order I have no clue what it means). I only earn only £22,000 a year with 2 daughters ( 1 is 14 and other is 2 months old from my current partner) and we don’t have a property together but my parents have a little bit of money. My father died but my mother still alive. As long as my mother alive I won’t get any of inheritance. Is he entitle to my parents property? As we don’t have property together I was even living under his mother council house together after we got married ( my own mother doesn’t know I live with his mother) also is he entitle to my pension at work? I have now a new partner and have 2 months old baby I can only work part time when I go back to work. Can he chase me to continue CSA? CSA force me to pay him child support because I work and I moved out on my mother inlaw council house it wasn’t our home. The marriage is over and we haven’t got a home of our own. He has now a partner with also another child. Can he still ask me to pay maintenance lump sum and pension?
    Please help me on this . Many a Thanks

    • Andrew says:

      Most divorce petitions are issued using a printed form which asks for all these forms of relief and many petitioners – and their lawyers – do not think seriously about which to leave in and which to cross out. They just leave them all in.

      I defer to Marilyn’s more recent expertise but on what you say I do not think he will get a penny out of you. Of course if you marry your new partner you will then have no rights against him.

    • Luke says:

      C, hopefully Marilyn or a colleague will comment.
      I don’t think your ex-husband should get a dime off you, but spousal support in this country is bonkers and the CSA seem to be beyond sense and the law so if they are after you I think it will be very difficult.

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear C, Andrew and Luke
        I’m finding the narrative here very difficult to follow. Is there a joint son who your ex is raising and is that why he wants child support? How many children are they and how old are they?
        There is a difference between child support and spousal claims but first the court will want to make sure the children’s needs are met.
        I don’t know your respective financial positions, your respective income and capital. I don’t know the finances of your respective partners which are indirectly relevant since they can both help to meet your respective needs and those of your children. So unfortunately I don’t know enough of the full details to be able to say what may happen nor enough to suggest on factors which may help eg making a claim over your inheritance which appears a long way off so on the face of it no:- but as I say I find the narrative confusing.
        If you can supply more info I’d be happy to help.
        You will get more information about the law and how it’s applied by downloading my book for 99p from the sidebar and the proceeds will go to The Children’s Society.

        • Luke says:

          Yup, I figured you’d need a LOT more information from C Marilyn 🙂
          I read her post to mean that he wants spousal support from C and already has the CSA on her case but I could be wrong.
          I assumed that the inheritance claim is moot as that hasn’t even happened as far as I could tell from what she wrote.
          Anyway if what C describes is true then it doesn’t appear just to me that he should get anything from her at all.

  71. Steve says:

    I have an interesting problem. Just having some marital issues after only having been married for 9 months. My wife wants to divorce me which is her right. We have two young children and I am in the fortunate position in my 40’s to be fairly wealthy. I have an income of around £500k p.a. and assets of around £4m including £1m property and £1.5m in a pension fund. All assets accumulated pre marriage and my wife doesn’t work.

    Sounds like a nightmare, whats the likely settlement a court would approve?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Hi Steve
      If you want some decent advice give me a call. I need more information from you before I can give you a guide. This is not a cop out. I have no idea how long your relationship has actually lasted, whether she married you to get a divorce settlement, how much your wife and children could reasonably be rehoused for, how old she is, how old the children are, what their reasonable financial needs are, what she did before she stopped work and whether she brought anything financially into the marriage. I also would like to know where you are in the country because that too might make a difference.

      • Steve says:

        Thanks. The relationship was for about 3 years prior to marriage and we have two young children aged 2 and 3. She brought nothing financially to the marriage and I cleared her debts before getting married. We are both in our mid 40’s and she has not worked since before the children we born. She just had normal admin type jobs paying less than £20k. We live in the north so housing up here is fairly cheap. I am thinking now that she just married me for the settlement but I would wouldn’t I given the short marriage. I know that I will have to house the children and pay reasonable maintenance and am not bitter as want to provide for the children but at the same time not to be taken to the cleaners. All my assets were accumulated a number of years ago and got through my last divorce relatively unscathed as that was amicable. I fear this time I may have to fight on every point.

        • Marilyn Stowe says:

          Dear Steve
          I reckon you’re over £1m capital plus child support but how far over £1m depends on how you handle your case.

          • Steve says:

            Wow sounds expensive for less than a years marriage. Last time got away with £200k clean break plus £15k child maintenance and that was after 5 years.

          • Luke says:

            Really ?
            You have been divorced before and you got married in 2013 and you STILL don’t understand how marriage works ? To be blunt you only have yourself to blame for being snared a second time.
            If you are earning 500k a year presumably you are not stupid, yet you still don’t know that once you get married all the time you were with the person counts towards the ‘length’ of the marriage in Family Court. Family Court is about going for the deep pocket – period.
            She has played you like a violin and you have let her do that by signing the marriage certificate – be thankful that she was impatient enough to get divorced so quickly because if she had waited it out a few years she could have potentially taken 50%+…

  72. A says:


    Desperately need some advice. My husband and I got divorced after 13 years of marriage and two children – now aged 12 and 15. He has mental health problems and was unable to work…and firmly believed that he has been the victim of domestic abuse throughout the marriage. Which really wasn’t the case, but that is another story.
    However, he left the family home because of this and moved down to Surrey to live with his parents who are very wealthy. I had been made redundant two weeks beforehand which I think had something to do with his departure and I know he has never had a situation where he has been without money because of his parents.
    He left me with debts as I struggled to pay the mortgage and bills. He also persuaded me that an advance on our mortgage to pay off some loans was a good idea…so I was saddled with paying the extra as well.
    I now have another job – which is part-time and not very well paid. We are in the process of moving to a smaller house and the judge ruled I should have all the equity plus a policy. It amounts to £90,000 towards a new property so it is hardly a fortune.
    My ex only has to pay me £27 a month for both children because he is on benefits.
    Meanwhile, I have discovered that he has moved out of his parents home and into a chocolate box type cottage, worth nearly £300,000, which he told the children he was renting. However, I paid to look at the Land Registry details and discovered that the house had been bought a few months ago by his mum and his brother – who lives nearby with his wife and children. How can he pay rent and live in this place, he also has a car paid for by his mum. I am presuming he will be getting housing benefit too and I am presuming this would be paid to his mother who will give it him back, I am sure. But if his housing benefit is roughly around £400, where is he going to get the rest of the money from because it is marketed as a rental income of over £900 a month. Could this be considered as lifestyle inconsistent with declared income. Is it worth going to the Child Maintenance authorities and getting them to look at the situation again or am I on a losing horse – because the house belongs to his mum and younger brother who hasn’t got the means to buy it in the first place. Seems like they are deliberately trying to avoid him paying more money to me.
    His dad died recently and his mother is in her 80’s. When she dies, the three siblings will become very weatlhy, including my ex. If they try to make out that he hasn’t received any inheritance, which would be a farce – wouldn’t that be hiding assets deliberately to avoid him paying child maintenance and would I have a case to claim against him and also have it backdated to 2011 when he left?
    I have a feeling they could play on the fact that he is mentally ill and can’t be trusted to look after his own estate, which again is a farce. Very intelligent bloke with a PHd.
    Sorry this is rambling but I really can’t sleep at nights with the worry and anger over it all.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear A
      What does his father’s will say? If the money went to the mother and she has provided him with a home and an income then I don’t see how this makes a difference to you as you appear to have got everything you could, ie the net proceeds out of the house. However if he actually had a share of the inheritance and this has not been declared and is being hidden to defeat your claims that’s a different matter. Have you told your solicitor all this and asked for advice?
      Appealing an order when the situation changes is not easy. A will is a public document after death so why not get a copy and see what it says.
      I agree you could contact Child Maintenance Options to discuss what you now know and see what they say about increasing child support.
      You’re in a very nasty situation but one last thought, but if its at all possible, you might do better if you could perhaps try and reestablish a relationship with them.

      • A says:

        Thanks Marilyn.

        I appreciate you taking the time to reply because you must be very busy.

        He does not inherit anything under his dad’s will but presuming he will do when his mum dies.

        Think I am just very hurt and bitter due the very difficult time I had when we were married due to his health problems. His family thought I was marvellous to put up with it all. As soon as he walked out and told them the untruths, they cut me out of their lives and forgot all the support I gave him and them. In fact, I feel more hurt by them than him because he is ill.

        But angry with him because once again, his life is probably relatively uncomplicated and financially easy, I know what a soft touch his mum is. But I am sure he is as miserable as sin.

        At least I am with my children who are brilliant.

        Once again thanks – might try going back down the child maintenance option route again.

        • Marilyn Stowe says:

          Dear A
          Thank you too for taking the time to say thanks. I am v busy and it’s much appreciated. If you can get past the anger, accept and move on you can make a new life for yourself. We all get tough challenges in life no one escapes but it’s how we deal with them that counts.

  73. Ali says:

    Hi Marilyn , this is my second time asking you .
    Please can you advice,
    My wife divorced me after 16yrs of marriage , accused me for adulatory . 2years later she is taking me to court for settelment . During our marriage we bought a house on mortgage both names , I was paying the mortgage from day one till now . I also bought other house but put it on her name . My quastion is have I got a share of 50/50 on that a swell or not
    Also she is taking to court back home in Algeria regarding a properties what my dad gave to me bearing in mind with new law she is entitle to a share of 50/50 over there too . Which I am ok with .
    My quastion is : can she claim those properties in uk while she is already open a case back home ?( claiming twice back home and in here)
    Hope to hearing from you soon

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Ali
      I’m sorry but what you say isn’t very clear. If she is litigating in two countries you might be able to get an injunction against her to put the Algerian proceedings on hold and have the finances all dealt with over here.
      I can’t advise you about what will happen ie what the ultimate distribution will be, save to say that 50/50 is not automatic and it doesn’t matter in assessing the parties reasonable needs who actually owns the property. You do need to take legal advice if you aren’t already.

      • Ali says:

        Hi Marilyn ,

        Thank you very much for the answer , it did help me a lots .
        Just one more question please ,
        As I said before in my email , the ex – wife got the court engage in Algeria about the properties over there which is fine with me , but she is taking me to court in UK not only for the UK properties but also for the Algerian ones as well. Can she do that? All I want is the court in Algeria to deal with properties in Algeria and the court in UK to deal with UK properties . I also heard that the English court got no jurisdiction against Algerian court , is it rue ?

        Many thanks


        • Marilyn Stowe says:

          Dear Ali
          I don’t understand why either of you would want to have two sets of proceedings in two countries. The English court can deal with all the assets of the parties, enforcing its order is a different matter.

          • Ali says:

            Thank you again Marilyn,
            The EX started settlement back home .after I divorced her in Algeria.
            We did have 2 married certificates UK and Algeria .
            When she divorced me in Uk I was technically still married to her , the English divorce was not recognised back home , I had to go to court and divorce her.
            Back home the law is 50/50 aswell . I am a bit worried if she get 50/50 from properties back twoice. Back home and here .!!
            My lawyer back home told me that English court got NO jurisdiction about Algerian court . And the same for Algeria court they can not enterfer with English court , I don’t know if is that true or not .

          • Ali says:

            Dear Marilyn ,

            I emailed you last week regarding my divorce settelemt with the EX-WIFE , we have properties in UK and back home . We engaged with the court in UK and back home .
            My solicitor in UK said this :

            The English courts have jurisdiction over assets worldwide which means that they can and do make orders over properties in different countries, but the courts of those countries may not recognise an English order. You need to find out from a Moroccan lawyer whether the Algeria courts recognise English orders. But if you have proceedings in Algeria that would resolve that issue.
            He then said the English court will deal with UK properties and Algeria court will deal with Algeria properties .

            From my side , I don’t mind as long as she doesn’t claim twice .

            Can you advice please .



          • Marilyn Stowe says:

            Dear Ali
            You are e mailing me but you have a solicitor. I have already advised you along the lines of your latest comment and I can’t add to it.

  74. Sharon says:

    Hi Marilyn, could i please first ask a basic question. Is there a period of time or event, after divorce is granted that would change any aspect of a financial settlement involving a FMH & Police Pension?

  75. David Mckee says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    I have been married just under 3 years and in that time I converted a commercial building which I previously owned into a house with all my own savings. I lived in my wifes property for the first 2 years and then both in the house for the last year. Will my house including capital and/or increase in asset appreciation be included as a “matrimonial asset”? Thanks Dave

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear David
      The law is currently that all assets are available to be shared on divorce, but it’s a different story whether they will.
      If you are both working, have a short childless marriage then it is likely your respective claims against the other will be very limited indeed if anything at all. However I’m not retained by you, I don’t know the full facts, take legal advice and act upon it.

  76. Amanda says:

    Hi, my ex has applied to vary the order down as one son now lives with him. On form E2 he says he is responsible for partners son 5/7 a week, although he says his outgoings are paying rent to her of £450/ month.. This child is fully supported by a well off father and his mother.
    Ex lives in partners large house- no mortgage. Partner has her own income . Ex refused to give full disclosure of his own and her income on previous Form E.
    Although we both have responsibility to maintain our children, my income is very low- I work in a school 25 hours/ week and receive tax credits. I’m 51, gave up my career to bring up the children and need to retrain to get back into a permanent job. We lived together for 18 years. I have lost £400/month because my son left and his income has gone up net £1000/ month since the order was issued 18 months ago.
    I was awarded global maintenance before. He is 7 years younger.
    What do you think my argument should be as if maintenance is reduced further I will have that loss too as well as an obligation to pay maintenance under CSA rules. The living standards between houses is already significantly different. I just worry how I will support my youngest child. Both children have been through a lot previously with ex ‘s behaviour. I have a court order for the children but I see no point in alienating my son further by trying to enforce it as he is 16. He has been lured there with promises of a car and more money and no homework or revision. He rarely visits me or his brother or any of my side of the family now. Ex is extremely hostile . Youngest son hasn’t seen him for two years as he tried to prosecute us both for’ stealing his laptop’ which was actually my sons laptop which contained evidence of ex’s working whilst bankrupt( unbeknown to us) ex was protecting himself, police gave him back the laptop ( later discovered the policeman was his friend) but fortunately the CPS threw it out.. Is the court interested in this for the sake of explaining why it’s so important to keep some security and stability for my younger son? He is just 15, lives near his school and friends and I live in a modest , although 3 bed house in my name ( mortgage in joint names) Mortgage is currently around the cost of a small two bed locally. Ex previously walked out of highly paid job- went bankrupt and paid nothing for two years then walked straight ‘back’ into same job. My sister bought out his half of the equity in my house. He has a history of making false accusations to the police prior to a court hearing. This time he is saying that I contravened privacy of E2 form by asking his partners ex( who is a friend and neighbour) what the situation with his children was . ( as they are mentioned in ex’s statement) but I have not disclosed personal details or shown the form to anyone.My son has lost his dad and now his brother. And I’m constantly having to battle ex. This will be the 7 th time ex has taken me to court. Mediation refused to see him before and he won’t negotiate with me. He has not done very well each time but I had legal aid. Now I’m on my own. Any advice would be gratefully received .Thank you.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Amanda,
      Exactly what kind of order is he he trying to vary downwards? Do you receive spousal support from him?

      • Amanda says:

        Thanks for your reply Marilyn,

        The court order is called- General Form of Order- Ancillary Relief.
        And it is ordered that the applicant pay periodical payments for the benefit of child a and b at £1686/ child/ per annum…. ending on the later of each child’s 18 th birthday or the completion of their full time tertiary education.
        And …….. Periodical payments to the respondent for her benefit during joint lives at the rate of £2400 per annum ending on the earlier of death, re marriage, co habitation after 6 months, further order of the court, or until 1/11/2019.
        Whereupon the respondents claims for periodical and secured periodical payments shall stand dismissed……..
        ‘ the global sum of periodical payments payable to the respondent pursuant to…. ( above) …be reduced pound for pound by the amount of any CSA or equivalent assessment ……

        So not sure exactly how the order is affected and what arguments I should use to keep global maintenance.


        • Marilyn Stowe says:

          Dear Amanda
          If you’d like to call the office I will be happy to have a conversation with you. Send me your documents and lets see what options you have. No charge.

  77. Bryan D. says:

    Dear Marilyn,
    My decree absolute was granted in 1998, since then I have been paying regular child maintenance via the CSA, that maintenance account is now closed but I am due over £1000 back in over-payments, which the CSA is seeking from my ex-partner due to non-disclosure of a change in circumstance.
    At the time of divorce I was required to submit a significant capital payment in addition to the ongoing child maintenance and burden of certain debts, which was stated in my solicitor’s letter as ‘in full and final payment’.
    My (future) armed forces pension did not form any part of the settlement amount.
    Having been contacted by the CSA to repay the amounts owed to me, could my ex-partner now decide (potentially out of spite) to make a ‘new’ claim on my pension, some 16 years after our divorce was finalised, despite the previous ‘full and final’ statement as declared all those years ago or is it time-barred?

    Thanks for any brief advice.


  78. Amanda says:

    Hi Marilyn
    I really need some advice. My husband left me and my two children (18) and (20) last year. Prior to the separation my husbands business went bust, we lost our home and were both made bankrupt in 2010 leaving us financially ruined. I have been married for 17 years and we had been together for 24 years. I am 43 and although I returned to college 3 years ago with the intention of going to university, the separation has financially prevented me from doing this. I am currently working part time on a zero hour contract and living in the rented property we moved into together. My tax credits and housing benefit are about to stop due to my daughter turning 18 and I don’t know how I am going to financially support myself. My husband has a good job and earns approx 35k plus 20k in overtime. . I have little in the way of savings and don’t know how to secure my future financially. He has offered me a small amount of money monthly which he said he will pay until 2018 then I am on my own. The money along with my part time salary will not cover the monthly outgoing and even if I work more hours, I am on little more than minimum wage and would be struggling financially. He doesn’t want me to seek advice from a solicitor and I don’t know what to do.
    Please help……

  79. Andrew says:

    Bryan: pension sharing is only available if the petition was issued on or after 1 December 2000. If you were divorced in 1998 your pension is safe.

  80. Ju says:

    Hi Marilyn
    I wonder if you can help me. My husband is making my life unbearable and I can’t take much more. He refuses to leave the marital home.

    I filed for divorce on unreasonable behaviour grounds after 26 years of marriage. We were together 30. There has been domestic violence and emotional abuse for all this time. The decree nisi has been granted. Before we can get the absolute my solicitor wants to settle financially and make arrangements for the children. Two are secondary school age; two are no longer minors.

    Forms E have been exchanged and he has not been truthful. The main issue appears to be pension information, or the lack of it! I am in a position where a relative is willing to lend me money to buy him out, but my solicitor advises against proceeding with an offer until we have full disclosure. He is ignoring all our requests. I cannot afford to go to court and don’t know where to turn.

    I would be very grateful for any advice you can offer.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Ju
      Talk to your solicitor about costs. You may be panicking needlessly. If your husband has been paying into his pension for a lengthy period then I think your solicitor is absolutely right. The court will order production of this information. Stay patient. You only get one go at this and it’s important you settle on full knowledge rather than partial. You will only complain later of you settle without it.

  81. Jayne says:

    Dear Marilyn

    Would you kindly help me get my head around this scenario:-
    A very modest property (circa £100-£120K) purchased with parents long before marriage. My entitlement – one third. Would this be included in asset share or excluded for the aforementioned reason and also because the property was purchased by funds wholly external to the marriage?

    Also, on an entirely separate point:-
    The matter of costs of sale of the former matrimonial home (“FMH”). Is my understanding correct that they are not mandatory and open to negotiation?

    There is no transfer of title (therefore no legal work) involved. The FMH was only ever registered in name of husband (no particular reason for this) and husband is adamant he will never sell the property.

    Why should sale costs be applied when this MAY NEVER happen and thereby reduce my entitlement when there is a CERTAINTY that I will have to fund purchasing a property for myself? “Costs of purchase” are not mentioned or applied and the costs of purchasing a property are
    considerably more than for a sale?

    Surely the Courts are looking to be as fair as possible to both parties?

    Thank you for your time.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Jayne
      All property which belongs to either party may be taken into account but your interest is unlikely to change hands and will remain on your side of the balance sheet. The extent to which it will be taken into account however in an overall settlement depends on all the assets and the circumstances.
      Costs of sale are negotiable as to amount and applicability: and again depend on the circumstances.
      Do ask your solicitor for full legal advice as you don’t tell me any of the facts and I’m not acting for you.

      • Scott says:

        How much would the cost be to represent myself in court to conclude my divorce. I am divorced but the Ex refused to sort the financial part of divorce after repeated attempts ( she divorced me)to try and get her too. I was told the longer she leaves it the better it will be for me. But I just want it all sorting so I have no ties with this person. We have nothing to share only joint debts which I have been paying for this last 2.5 years and my pension which I want to protect if I can. We have no property (repossessed), but have two children and mt ex still runs a family business we set up together which I have not received or given a penny to since our divorce. Will I be able to trade the business off for my pension on my own in court if I represent myself?

        • Marilyn Stowe says:

          Dear Scott
          You can make an application for a financial settlement to the court. The court will apply the factors set out in Section 25 Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 in deciding what decision to make. You can read more by downloading my book from the sidebar of the blog for 99p. All proceeds go to the Children’s Society. There is a lot more info in the book to assist you than I can include in this reply.
          If you decide to proceed there is a court fee to pay. I think however if you are smart you will first go and see a solicitor for personal advice. Every case is different as is every outcome and it will all depend on what’s fair and reasonable for you both given your own circumstances and reasonable needs.

          • Scott says:

            Thank you Marilyn, I downloaded you book the very first week it came out. I shall arrange a visit to my solicitors again very soon and try to keep costs down as much as I can.

          • Marilyn Stowe says:

            Dear Scott
            Ok and thanks. If you want to arrange a tel call I will be happy to have a conversation with you to give you some more advice FOC. I’m currently away and have a hectic schedule from next week but I’m sure we can fix something up. Please call Morna Rose on 01423 532600 and arrange to send her the info I will need about you and your wife’s respective circumstances and financial positions per the book. Don’t worry if at this stage you only have rough guesstimate about her, but do get an up to date transfer value of your pension.

          • Scott says:

            Ok and thank you I will be in touch soon.

      • Jayne says:

        Dear Marilyn

        Thank you very much for your reply.

        My enquiry is made only for my own sanity and comes after the event I am afraid.

        As unbelievable as it may seem, the topic of costs of sale was never discussed with me so it came as quite a shock to discover that I had not been in possession of all the facts. I signed the Consent Order at the Court believing that there was no more information to be had as I had to make a decision. Only afterwards did I realise my interest in the FMH took into account costs of sale of 3% which I have since been advised are always applied and this rate is used when an agreement cannot be reached between the parties. Please believe me when I say I was not party to any such conversation on this issue.

        I had already been forced to ‘let go’ of my ex-husband’s non-disclosure, salting away assets, inaccuracies, protraction etc., in order to reach a conclusion on the day without costs escalating and for the Court to take over so this proved to be the ‘final straw’. Sadly my complaint came to nothing yet only served to add to the incredible anguish at the time after a long marriage.

        I have since taken the opportunity to navigate your website and have read quite a few of the posts – quite a learning curve for anyone suddenly plunged into this life event. Your advice and guidance therefore I feel is invaluable. Heartfelt thanks.

        • Marilyn Stowe says:

          Dear Jayne
          My pleasure. Thank you too for your kind words which are much appreciated.

  82. Lee says:

    My husband divorced his wife some 15 years ago when she signed a clean break order. She is now saying she has received a letter from the Pension Department saying she is entitled to half his pension. Is this correct? I thought that was the whole point of the clean break order.

    Thank you

  83. julie says:

    Hi, my divorce has gone through all gone to court ex agreed to pay me £10,000 on conditions if he cohibits, sells our house or move out, he done this in january this year, and i still havent been paid, my solicitor dont seem to be bothered, they contacted my ex’s solicitor but had no response, now my solicitor wants £300 off me to try and sort things out. Just wondering if there is any other way i get get around this, ive waited 6 months already for my money. Thanks

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Julie
      You must apply to the court for an order for sale directions for how the sale is to be done etc. Its the only way to get him to obey a court order if he wont do so voluntarily. You also want a court order directing that all the legal costs involved are paid by him out of his share.

  84. Daniela says:

    Dear Marilyn

    I desperately need some advice and I would be extremely grateful for your help.

    I want to divorce my husband. We have been having constant marital issues after only having been married for 11 months (almost 1 year) due to his adultery and lack of intimacy (this also was not the first time he cheated on me).

    Would you kindly help me get my head around the following scenario with regards to any likely settlement a court would approve?

    – we were together for 4 and a half years prior marriage (living with each other), which I would call cohabiting (though never formalized), no children
    – I don’t work (lost my job back in April). We wanted to use this time to focus on having children and for me to become a stay-in mum (unfortunately I have found out about my husband’s repeated adultery in due course). He currently provides me with a monthly allowance to cover basic needs, medical bills for my parents + food for us etc.
    – while cohabiting my husband purchased a house selected by me using fully his funds worth currently £2 mln (no mortgage, house was purchased in his name).
    – his annual income is of around £500k p.a + pension fund + savings/ share equity of £1 mln (accumulated throughout the time we were together), unfortunately mostly pre marriage apart from this year bonus.
    – ultimately this felt like a mind game, he works in investment banking and knows how to manipulate people, he is highly intelligent and ivy league educated. He always knew I have to depend on him, which will not allow me to leave him irrespectively of constant lies and adultery over all these years, which I simply cannot take anymore. I have tried to forgive and forget so many times, but this time I want to move on. I have enough of being brainwashed.

    Appreciate any advice you could give me.
    Thank you.


    • Luke says:

      So what you are saying Daniela is you don’t like him but you like his money and don’t want to give it up !

      You have no children so there was no need to give up your job – and you have only been together a short period of time and ‘committed’ (and I use the word loosely) for even less – why on earth would you think you are entitled to anything ??

      Surely you should have some self respect, divorce him and move on.

      This sort of attitude demonstrates perfectly why no man should ever get married…

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Daniela
      For general advice please do download my book which will cost you 99p from the side bar and will go to charity. This should help explain in much more detail what will happen, why and give you an idea of your situation. For more detailed advice you must see a solicitor.

  85. Andrew says:

    Golly, Marilyn, and you think I am harsh!

    Luke is not fundamentally wrong. A modest pay-off, including short-term maintenance at a reasonable rate, not including his in-laws’ medical bills, to get back into independent life. Why on earth should she expect more?

    • Luke says:

      I do agree there might be a modest payoff, but that’s pretty much a given in court anyway, even though she lost her job she does suggest that they agreed for her not to look for work (and I expect that that’s true) and although I think without her being pregnant that’s a bit ridiculous people are sometimes ridiculous 🙂

      I don’t see maintenance as necessary, on the contrary, I think a clean break would be better and fairer too.

      I am not competing to be harsher or less harsh than you Andrew, and whether I am or not isn’t really relevant. I am just giving my opinion.

      In cases such as these where the husband is a high earner I think what happens more often than not is that the woman grits her teeth and sticks it out for a few years – then when she does go for the divorce the payoff will be much greater. The evidence seems to suggest that generally when a woman does go for a divorce she has been unhappy in the marriage and thinking about getting out for a few years. She picks her time, it is not a spur of the moment thing.

  86. Mark says:

    Hi don’t know if anyone can help me on this matter,split with my partner 13 years ago. Paid her off for house and it was put into my name, a few years later we reconciled, the money I gave her was never returned or paid off the mortgage, she was never put back on the deeds of the house, we stayed together for another 9 years and after she had another affair she moved out. She is now threatening to try and claim more Money from the house, question is can she legally expect any more money. It was all sorted out through solicitors the first time she left? Is there a time limit on disputing a house transfer.

    • Luke says:

      Mark, hopefully someone with expertise will comment but speaking as an ordinary Joe Blow I think you are in a strong position – provided you didn’t get married.
      If you didn’t get married then I think she might struggle to get anything out of you and if I was in your position if she threatened you with court I would definitely fight it – but if you did get married you are f*****d.

      This is an interesting case because even if not married when a future government do bring in the (in my view) unreasonable cohabitation laws [which I think are very likely to be introduced in the medium/long term] you would definitely be in a lot more trouble.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Mark
      Doubt it. She could only claim an interest in relation to any contribution or trust that may have arise during the period of your reconciliation and it all sounds rather doubtful to me. BUT I don’t have the full facts. If she pursues this see a solicitor. In the meantime do make a will.

  87. Mark says:

    Hi thanks for the info, put my mind a little more at ease. We were never married or had children, when I paid her off we agreed on a figure, as I basically bought the house on my own, but what she claims is that she never got a fair settlement back then even though she agreed to it at the time. I was just really wanting to know if there is a time limit on disputing the settlement.

  88. Brian says:

    Hi Marilyn
    I was married for 20 years and my wife decided last year she didn’t want the marriage any more. She is with another man but I can’t prove adultery. We have agreed an amicable split however. Our sons are 25 and 19 years old. We sold our house and split the profits 50/50, I pay her £200 per month until my youngest son finishes college next year and she has agreed to a 35% share of my pension . I have my decree nisi and all we want now is the court to agree the pension sharing order. Will the court still want financial details about me under these circumstances and could they still award her more money? She has her own small business with a small income, I work full time and have now bought my own house. She is living with my son who bought our FMH and looking to buy her own property. She is adamant she doesn’t want anything else from me and I have an email from her agreeing to all the financial arrangements. We just want everything finalised. Will the courts just agree the pension sharing order under these circumstances?

  89. Tiff says:

    Marilyn, I desperately need your advice and help, please.
    I have been married for 23 yrs and I have been going through a divorce for more than 1 year. My children are 18 and 19. My youngest is still in full time education until 2015. we all still living in the family home, which is very difficult and there is always a lot of tension in the house. My husband and I jointly own the house and he has always paid the mortgage and pays some of the utility bills when I have been running the household and bearing all the cost around my children. My husband is 61 and I am in my forties and we both work full time. I initiated the divorce on grounds of unreasonable behaviour on his part.

    I want to keep our 3 bedroom home where my children and I will leave. We agreed a financial settlement through mediation. Him and his brother jointly owned another house, but when we were in mediation, he transferred his share of another property on his brother’s name. He is refusing to sign the consent order. We negotiated again through solicitors and I agreed to 2 of his proposal. However he has again refused to sign the consent order and has asked for an increased lump sum. I have refused his last demand and my solicitor has written with an alternate offer but not meeting his demand. As I did not hear from his solicitor, we have written back saying I will be going to court. It’s getting a bit too much for myself and the kids as he refuses to move out. To end this, I have reluctantly decided to go to court because we seem to be going in a circle. I he was living separately, I would still keep negotiating via solicitors, but then there is the cost that come with it and I have already spent 5K.

    My solicitor suggest I take it to court myself to reduce cost.

    In court the FH could be divided 50/50 and I will also go for the second property he transferred to his relative, to hide his asset. If I get to keep the house for myself and the children, I could just about manage financially, but I would be difficult at time.
    My husband is very stubborn and cannot seem to let go and is seeing past the welfare of the children.

    Am I doing the right thing by taking this to court to settle? I feel like I am at my end here and can get a breakdown I things continue like this. How much do you think it might cost me and how long can this go on for when in court. I will appreciate any advice, tips you can give me please.

    Many thanks

  90. Alan says:

    Hi Marilyn

    Hoping you can provide me with some advice. I left my wife in 2004 and I divorced her in 2009. I also remarried in 2009. At the time of the divorce I did not apply for a financial break. I paid Child Support in regards to my two children as directed by the CSA and my exwife continued to live in the marital home. I paid the mortgage for 15 years until I left her at which point she maintained the mortgage payments. The mortgage is now fully paid and the children are now adults although still residing in the home with their mother. The property is in both our names and I have no other capital to speak of and no pension either. What, if any, entitlement do I have in regards to the equity now in the property? I would like to give my sons my share but don’t know if I actually am entitled to anything?

    Many thanks

  91. lynn says:

    urgent, i have a financial dispute resolution hearing tomorrow, and i am LIP with my husband represented by his sisters friend (solicitor). I am the non resident parent and have recently remarried, and we have a very low income self employed business, £15 pw currently. My ex husband lives in the marital home with our 12 and 15 year old children. the equity in the house is £120k with a £70k mortgage which is due to be paid off in 7 years and no money to do so. There is a paid up endowment policy worth £25k and I have pension pot of around £170k whilst he has £50k. What i could do with help on is what is likely to happen as regards what a reasonable split of assets could be.

    thanks in advance found you so late, and the hearing is in the morning. I would like to settle just to be rid of the controlling man!

  92. Malcolm says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    I appreciate a definitive answer unlikely, but basically two questions, is the value of settlement calculated at the date of separation or now, we married 1994 and separated to different houses 5 yrs ago, our two children are 19, at present the house she lives in is in my name with a 70000 mort which I pay, and I own an apartment in Spain but not officially full time living in Spain, there is one more property, about 8 yrs ago my brother and I put my mums Hs into our names jointly, my mother at 90 still lives with my brother.
    My x is attempting to get 50% of the 2.5 houses in my name, I agreed to put the Hs she’s in into her name and pay off mort, but she wants half of my half of my mothers property, admit idly it is in my name…
    Also she wants split based on today’s values not five yrs ago?
    Thank you for your advice in advance

  93. Sam says:


    Liked the article that you have written. Just need a small clarification on what sort of ratio do you reckon the court will decide in my case:
    My wife and I both work however I earn more that what she does. She was working as a bank advisor and earning approx 18k p.a for the last 5 yrs. Recently, she got promoted to become a mortgage manager and earns a salary of 31k p.a. I earn a salary of 60k p.a. We have liquid assets all in savings accounts or fixed deposits. We don’t own a house or have any mortgage. We dont have any children. Till date, the entire expenditure (for the 8 yrs of our marriage) has been provided by me. She hasnt paid a penny for any expenses. Most of her money is in her bank accounts and mine in my bank account.
    Would you be able to advise what sort of allocation ratio would the court decide? Is it 50% of total assets in all cases?

  94. Nicky Summers says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    I’m in a difficult position currently and my solicitor is just not getting back to me. I could really do with some advice.
    I am currently going through a divorce and my husband an I originally agreed a figure of £43k for him to pay me over a series of months. He earns £180k and I earn £33k, so a big difference. We have no children. We were married almost 6 years.
    He has now decided, due to moving in with his new woman, that he shouldn’t be giving me anything. He’s already given me £8,000 and after some persuasion he’s agreed to pay me a further £1,000 per month until December 2015 by way of spousal maintenance. This is because he said he’s been advised that I shouldn’t be getting a penny and there are also no assets. We were renting and he’s spends every penny of his income every month, so has no savings.
    I wasn’t aware I was due anything until I was informed by my solicitor that the huge discrepancy in earnings would be considered an asset. I struggle financially living on my own with the rent and bills, though I admit my income isn’t terrible, it’s a hugely different life to what we had together, and he is still having now. I am working towards a better life for myself, doing a degree, etc. but my current earning potential is pretty poor in comparison to my husband’s so we originally agreed, as he though it was also fair, that he paid me off some money as part of the financial settlement. We built up his high earning consultancy business together whilst were married, as I used to be the higher earner, whilst he worked away from home I looked after our home, dealt with any and all issues relating to our home or the business, and earned a smaller extra income.
    Should I be fighting this or just accepting what he’s offering? I really can’t afford huge court fees.
    Thanks so much for any advice.

  95. Name Witheld says:

    Hi Marilyn, I find myself in a very complicated situation.
    Mt ex-husband left me 2 years ago on my birthday.
    He lied and cheated throughout the marriage, which was 10 years.
    I bought the house which I live in with the money I had saved and he brought nothing to the marriage in money terms.
    He had been to prison for 3 years after rapeing his ex-wife and is now on sex offender list for life.
    I realise this was my fault for inviting this creature into my life.
    We have no children together.
    He is now taking me to court to claim half my house.
    I did put his name on the deeds but wrote a statement to say he was only entitled to 10 percent of th house.
    Will Statement of Deed stand up in court.
    He has claimed that he refurbished the house – which is totally untrue.
    I have paid the bills for the last 6 years.
    He has been unfaithful throughout the marriage.
    Please would you give me some advice.

  96. ruby says:

    My husband and I have been together for 4 years but only married for 2 years 6 months. He has been highly controlling and emotionally abusive through our marraige, which began with him being bankrupt and not earning while I supported him for a year. We took on joint debts for ivf and household expenses in my name. He then worked but it was always a struggle to get him to give even half the bills/ rent. Since he left a few months ago, he has got a well paid job and has told me the debt (£12000) is mine and he wont pay anything to it. He earns nearly double my salary and has left to make a new life with no debts in his name. What could I be entitled to? We have no children. I do not know his address, although I have tried to find it out, but would like to begin the divorce proceedings.

  97. Muggins says:

    I was pressured by my ex into signing an agreement not to claim any of the business 3 days after I left.We were married for 22 years and I helped build the business while being full time housewife and mum. Will I be
    eligible to anything even though we never owned our home?

  98. Charlotte says:

    My delightful ex husband, after several months of him and his solicitors playing silly buggers and refusing to send me the consent order to sign, has suddenly decided he does want a clean break after all, and wants me to pay half the cost of it, with sinister intonation that if I don’t they might seek costs for the divorce, which they previously agreed not to do (they agreed not to seek costs at all but apparently now he wants £400 for a clean break)

    I suspect he is in a far better financial position than I am; I also suspect the timing is somewhat deliberate- being sent very soon after he knew I would be emigrating (I emailed his solicitor to ask, for a final time, them to send me the papers as otherwise I would be on another continent. 2+ months later- after I’ve left and several abusive emails from them since, suddenly it’s been sent).

    Do I even have options? I can’t afford to come back to the uk to defend myself and I’m assuming that I can’t do anything about it- other than pay up- while I am out of the country?

  99. Sally says:

    Hi there

    We in the middle of a pension sharing financial disclosure and the percentage has been agreed on. Ex wont sign the papers to go to court and its been 3 months since we agreed on it. Can we do anything to force ex to get on with it and sign it so i can all be finialised?

  100. Russell says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    I read your article and comments with interest. I have recently divorced, settled out of court based on my exes fjnancial disclosure. We split our healthy equity 30/70. Since the ink has tried she has inherited a large sum which she was withholding during the process, bought a large house 100miles away independently. Her partner has now put his up for sale and is moving in with her. None of this was declared on form e. I am unable to buy anyhing over than a one bed flat (I have 2 kids). This makes me feel the signed disclosure process is largely meaningless when such things can be ‘left out’. It leaves me with significant issues around providing a home for my kids which seems a little harsh.
    As an aside I couldn’t afford to fight this in court. Do I have any grounds to surface any of this now that the divorce is finalised?
    Many thanks

  101. Steve says:

    I have been married 5 yrs in this country and got married in Japan i am English wife is Japanese
    she been here since 2010 when i brought the house the house is in my name and mortgage in my name, i have put the house on the market been 18 months and got sold this may 2014 been sold 3 months when she put a land registry block on it ! so late in the deal ? she now wants to devoice me.
    What i want to know what would she expect to get out of this short marriage ? all bills paid for by me all house work and maintenance paid for by me , most food bills paid by me , she started a job carer in nursing home and earns on average £200 a week , never ever paid towards anything , i cant talk to her she goes into small child like ways , so what i want to know where do i stand and what do i need to know and do before i get a solicitor , she has got on claiming DAIS saying lies about me thats all she has ever done, so this puts me in strange position now with the house sale.
    Any help i have so much to tell too short of time

  102. Shaun says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    I have been divorced just over a year, the wife is in the family home. I had debts of 15k linked to property on credit cards ie conservatory, kitchen and general decor of property. Since moving out of family home I had a flat which I could not afford to run my debts have spiralled upto 30k and now have moved in with my parents. I have never missed a payment on the old family home which is around £500 a month we agreed that covers the maintenance costs. The ex wife is now going solicitors for half the house although she did agree with the mediators before I could keep the house in my name because the debts and me putting 8k deposit on the property originally. She did not sign the agreement in the end. Now she is trying to get half of the property as well, I am a in masses of debt living with my parents she lives in the marital home with kids. This really does not seem fair, what should I do or really expect the financial agreement to be or “clean break” . In total I am in 30k of debt to the moment.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Shaun
      The court must take both parties reasonable needs into account and this includes taking into account the debts and who is paying them. Go and see a debt adviser as to how best to deal with your debts and also see a family solicitor and get this sorted out.

  103. Samantha says:

    I am getting nowhere fast with financial settlement. I earn less than half of my husbands salary, he has £245k CETV against my £75k , both final salary, 2 children, house equity approx £270 & savings of £50k. We have agreed that the children will be with me 7 nights a week.
    he wants a Mesher until mortgage is paid off, I don’t due to his controlling ways. Can he force me into this? I think we will need to go to court as he is threatening if I don’t agree to the Mesher and I have run out of money due to solicitors fees.
    Ideally I would like to buy him out of the house by letting him have all the savings and getting a small mortgage but this would mean a 66/33 split in my favour. Would the court see this as reasonable?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Samantha
      Yes it might. There isnt a 50/50 automatic split, the court considers reasonable need and first consideration is the children. I agree with you a Mesher order should be avoided if at all possible. I think this is the wrong time to dispense with lawyers. This is just the time you need one. Speak to a good one and agree how the lawyer will be paid.

      • Samantha says:

        Thank you so much Marilyn. I’m trying to look at things from both sides but he just can’t get past the fact that I need to provide a home for the children.

        In the light of your reply I will talk to my solicitor, it was nice to hear that a 66% split would not be unreasonable.

  104. Jan says:

    Hi there – my husband and I divorced in 1991. I was the petitioner. We didn’t bother with any financial settlement through the courts and I bought my ex husband out of the property we owned at the time. It was amicable. However – I am now looking to commence my pension – this would have accrued during the 9 years we were married (plus a further 9 years post divorce) – He has remarried and I have not. is he entitled to any of this pension?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Jan
      Pension sharing was not introduced until 2000. He was the Respondent and made no claim to the court before remarrying. He cant make a claim for pension sharing because the petition was issued prior to it becoming law, and he cant ask for “ear marking” because he has remarried and I doubt he can make a financial claim at all if he has now remarried. I havent seen the court papers and dont know exactly what happened so obviously cant be sure he is completely barred, but I suspect not and in any event another point is why wait so long? Thats another high hurdle, a very high hurdle. So stop worrying. He might try it on, but stand up to him and get some legal advice if he does.

  105. boom beach cheat says:

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    • Cameron Paterson says:

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  106. Jim G says:

    Dear Marilyn,

    My wife is divorcing me. We have 2 children aged 9 and 12. Our property is worth £175,00-£190,00 (dependant upon who you decide to believe). About 8 years ago my wife used her inheritance to pay off the mortgage (£81,478) so that we would be mortgage free but I continued to pay her the £750pcm that I had always paid for mortgage/bills/housekeeping. We then bought a caravan for £20,000 that she inexplicably put on the mortgage. Her solicitor proposes that the £81,000 should be taken off the net equity together with a mythical selling fee, even though she will be staying in the property. Thus they calculate the net equity at £152,000. Her solicitor then says it will be reasonable to award her 2/3 (£47,014) and me 1/3 (£23,507). She has been told to raise a mortgage of £43,500 which i don’t understand as we were mortgage-free.
    I find it a tad unfair that after 15 years of marriage that she gets to stay in the house and I get £23,507, which is barely enough to replace my car, let alone put towards a new property. Does this sound normal, as it looks like I will be getting 13% of the property value, when I hoped to at least get 40-45%.
    She currently works term-time and has blamed me for stopping her from progressing her career (even though we are both the same grade) but it won’t be long before she is able to go back full-time at which point her earning ‘capacity’ will be equal if not better than mine.

  107. J says:

    Excellent post

    Marilyn, I admire your energy and commitment in giving your time and experience to advise and help everyone involved in this complicated business.

    My situation is difficult to explain briefly..met at 16 and 18, together 7 years then Married for 29 years to date, 3 grown up children, 27, 24, 21, supported him build his career, from a van driver when i met him to now managing an electrical wholesale branch, Separated 7 years ago due to me finding out 12 years ago that he was gambling excessively which resulted in us losing our home, i begged him to seek help, he refused, i stayed in the marriage for 5 years to try to mend it all, the £20k equity from the sale of our home ‘disappeared’ as did our PEP for £8k that he cashed in. he broke my heart and my family apart, i have suffered from depression ever since and struggle to survive emotionally and financially, my salary was paid into his account for 2 years before we split, he went bankrupt for £100k and due to his addiction, taking loans out in my name, me for £30k, i have zero credit rating, he harassed and stalked me, police wanted to arrest him but I couldn’t, felt sorry for him and my children, I had worked continually throughout our marriage as an Adolescent Support Worker, earning £25k but made redundant last year. This knocked my confidence and despite counselling, I am unable emotionally to attempt to seek work in the area I am skilled at, I am now homeless, sleep on parents sofa, work part time, earn £7k pa working part time in pub, ex earns £50k plus benefits, recently taken out a mortgage on house with new partner, his life is full of holidays, golf, champagne and meals out, I struggle to survive. My children are my world. We had 1 mediation appointment to sort our Finances, he lied about bonus, shares, pension then refused to return, saying that because we separated so long ago, nearly 8 years, I am due nothing. He has had Company Pension Schemes for 34 years, but says that it is worth next to nothing as a company he worked for that went into receivership also took his pension. Is this possible?? He has a friend who deals with his finances and i am sure they’ve ‘played with the figures’ I have a local authority pension for working ‘term time’ for 12 years. He says mine is worth more than his so we should call it quits, he won’t discuss Spousal Maintenance. I used to be organised, on the ball, good at my job. I am a mess. I can’t afford a solicitor, he’s refusing mediation. Please help

  108. PS says:

    I wish I’d found this site before now – my divorce case has been a total farce from start to date.
    Financial dispute hearing is on Wednesday 7/1/15 & I am at a complete loss as what to do for the best. My soon to be ex-wife started all proceedings by locking me out of my own home & changing the locks in January 2013. Since then, even though my solicitor is a LLP Partner, I have been subjected to total lies & feel so frustrated that very little has been achieved – other than a lot of expense.
    kind regards

  109. Sarah Page says:

    Can your divorce be finalized with a financial settlement being agreed?

  110. Jason says:

    Hi, married for 7 years and now going thorugh divorce, we have no children together. We purchased the house (joint names) before we got married and I used 30k of my redundancy (which i got before we married) as a deposit for the house. due to a fall in the market, the house is now valued at 80K, with a 50K outstanding mortgage and we have 30K equity in the property. I also recieve a military pension , after 20 years service, of £500 per month, which i was in receipt of before we got married. we have no savings or other assests. we have other loans against the house of £6500.

    I take it the fact that i put 30K into the house means nothing and the equity would be split between us? Also would she be able to claim my military pension even thought this was earnt and awarded before marriage?she has a military pension of around 2Kpa, but cannot claim this until she is 60. I am 44 and she is 40 years of age. I did recieve more than 30K redundany, but the rest was used to pay off some debts before i got married, her solicitor is asking what happened to the rest of the redundancy payment (which i recieved before i was married) and i really don’t see that this is relevant.

    She has also moved from the north to the south of the country, where house prices/rental is much higher. will this impact on any award to her? we both work, i earn around 33Kpa including my pension and she earns around 18Kpa. Would she be entitled to spousal maintenance? I am still in the house (and hoping to keep it, even if i have to pay her 50% equity) with my 17 year old child from a previous relationship and she (soon to be ex wife) is currently living with her parents down south.

    any help/thoughts would be appreciated as my mind is spinning.

  111. Anabelle says:

    Hi, I am divorced for 7 years no kids, married for only 3 years and separated after 2.5 years and we have not done the clean break as both had too much debt too aford to go through the process. If he tomorrow claims against me what are his realistic chances to successfully claim against me? I have remarried 2 years ago and have a 4 and a half child. Ot took me 7 years to recover financially and I am finally now financially stable. Thank you.

    • Andrew says:


      Three questions.

      1. Is he still single? If No, he has remarried (even if he is no longer married) – stop worrying, he can’t sue. If Yes, go on to question 2.

      2. Does he know or could he find out what your name now is and where you are living? If No, stop worrying, if he can’t trace you he can’t sue you. If Yes, go on to question 3.

      3. Is he greedy and spiteful enough to make a claim? (I know your marriage to him broke down, and no doubt he was in some part to blame – but be realistic about this one). If No, stop worrying, he won’t claim. If Yes, move on.

      If the answers are Yes, Yes, and Yes, you have a problem which you cannot wave away. And in the light of the Vince case in the Supreme Court last week, he could make a claim which could at least have nuisance value so you might have to buy him off. The fact, if it is a fact, that you have made a go of your life after divorce and he has not will not save you and could cost you.

      You think that’s unfair? So do I.

      • Anabelle says:

        Thank you Andrew. Q1 and 2 are probably yes, 3 is to be honest “I don’t know” but I fear not to get ideas following Vince supreme court judgement, though it may cost him more than he actually could be awarded. One last question: If he ever goes bankrupt can his creditors claim against me? Thank you.

  112. Kate says:

    Hi Marilyn

    25 year marriage, nisi 11/13! Finances still up in the air. H earns £3500pm, I’m on ESA due to ill health. Three children all over 16, 1 who lives with me aged 19 at college.
    I received inheritance post nisi which I understand is ring fenced.
    H owns FMH outright, No mortgages. He has 3 pensions totalling £300000+
    All I’m asking for is 1/3 of pensions and £50,000 from a house worth £170000.
    H digging heels in, doesn’t feel I’m entitled to anything as I have inheritance.
    He won’t entertain lump sum or pension share, wants clean break and doesn’t want to give me anything.
    I understood that this is classed as a long marriage and due to many years off work Ill, difficult for me to get back into work. Is my proposal of 1/3 pension and £50000 reasonable? If so any tactics would be much appreciated, stress and depression making my condition much worse.

    Many thanks. Kate

    • Andrew says:

      Of course your inheritance comes into the pot. Why wouldn’t it?

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Kate and Andrew
        As the law stands all your respective property is available to share but whether it will be shared and in what amounts depends on all the circumstances and your respective reasonable needs. Post separation accrual and non matrimonial assets can be ring fenced from division, but as I don’t know all the facts I simply can’t give an opinion.
        What does your solicitor/barrister say?
        If you arent happy you can get a second opinion.

        • Kate says:

          Thanks for information Marilym.
          I’m dealing with this ain’t person, haven’t actually received inheritance payment through yet, with HMRC for Grant.
          Trying to resolve out of court, but H adamant that e won’t settle on my proposal. Stalemate. My health isn’t good, this is making it worse!

  113. JWS says:

    J – November 17, 2014 at 11:02amReport/Reply
    Excellent post
    Marilyn, I admire your energy and commitment in giving your time and experience to advise and help everyone involved in this complicated business.
    My situation is difficult to explain briefly..met at 16 and 18, together 7 years then Married for 29 years to date, 3 grown up children, 27, 24, 21, supported him build his career, from a van driver when i met him to now managing an electrical wholesale branch, Separated 7 years ago due to me finding out 12 years ago that he was gambling excessively which resulted in us losing our home, i begged him to seek help, he refused, i stayed in the marriage for 5 years to try to mend it all, the £20k equity from the sale of our home ‘disappeared’ as did our PEP for £8k that he cashed in. he broke my heart and my family apart, i have suffered from depression ever since and struggle to survive emotionally and financially. I’ve always worked, albeit pt time, my salary was paid into his account for 2 years before we split, he controlled me & our money.. he went bankrupt for £100k and due to his addiction, taking loans out in my name, me for £30k, i have zero credit rating, he harassed and stalked me, police wanted to arrest him but I couldn’t, felt sorry for him and my children, I had worked continually throughout our marriage as an Adolescent Support Worker, earning £25k but made redundant last year. This knocked my confidence and despite counselling, I am unable emotionally to attempt to seek work in the area I am skilled at, I am now homeless, sleep on parents sofa, work part time, earn £7k pa working part time in pub, ex earns £50k plus benefits, recently taken out a mortgage on a house with new partner, his life is full of holidays, golf, champagne and meals out, I struggle to survive. My 3 children are my world. We had mediation appointments to sort our Finances, he lied about his bonus, shares, pension. He agreed to pay me £250 per month Spousal Maintenance and paid me for 4 months then stopped.. saying he was ‘taking advice’ He refused to return to Mediation, saying that because we separated so long ago, nearly 8 years, I am due nothing. And he hasnt enough time to attend.
    He has had Company Pension Schemes for 34 years, but says that it is worth next to nothing as a company he worked for that went into receivership also took his pension. Is this possible?? He has a friend who deals with his finances and i am sure they’ve ‘played with the figures’ I have a local authority pension for working ‘term time’ for 12 years. He says mine is worth more than his so we should call it quits, he won’t discuss Spousal Maintenance any more.. I used to be organised, on the ball, good at my job. I am a mess. I can’t afford a solicitor, would I be able to get Legal Aid on the grounds of Domestic Abuse (Financial?) Ive filed Form A with the Court asking for Interim Maintenance.. am I likely to be successful in receiving anything? Please help me

  114. Adam says:

    Hello I need some help.
    I want to get divorce, marriage for 3 years, we are not happy at all, with diffrent views on mamy things.
    My wife wants kids, and I don’t. She wants to me go to doctors and allow her get in-vitro, and take trat that baby as hers.
    All she is on about is kinds and that is drinving me mad. There are other issues involved, but bottom line I had enough.
    We do have a house on a mortgage in joint names. I pay for it though. She wants to move out and still pay for it and leave home to her. Although she can not afford it on her own, in fact neither can I.
    I want to sell the house devide money 50/50
    How can start divorce procedure and do I need to move out? I so do I need to pay for house she lifes in?
    If she gets pregrant with my knowledge and concent (I you can call it that way) can I use it in court as an Adultery? She pushes me to the limits to agree for something I don’t want to.

  115. Ann says:

    Just after some advice. I was with my husband for 7 years but we were only married for 4 months before I left after he turned violent. We had no joint assets. I lent him £10k shortly after we got engaged. He said he would pay me back by putting that extra amount in when we buy a house. Needless to say we didn’t get round to buying a house and is now saying the money was a gift! My annual salary is £22k and his is £70k, I can’t afford for it to be a gift. There was no contract it was all verbal, we just got engaged. Turns out the money was to pay his credit card bill, the bill was for my engagement ring. So I bought my own ring! I’ve tried to sell it but the best price I’ve been offered is £2k.
    Is there any way of getting back my money? We have been given out decree nisi and now have 5 weeks to apply for the absolute. So now I need to sort out the financial settlement.
    Can anyone help me?

  116. Hafid says:

    Dear Marilyn ,
    Could you please advice me . My ex-wife divorced me in UK , proceed court settlement about the property back in morocco , after year and half proceeding and due to her compulsive laying the result of that :(case dismissed )and there cost charges on her .

    Now she started another settlement proceeding in UK regarding property in UK and again wanted to claim about property in Morocco which doesn’t exist and she lay about .

    Can she do that bearing in mind Morocco is jurisdiction country .

    Many thanks


    Sent from my iPhone

  117. A says:


    I’ve been married for 5 1/2 yrs. A daughter of 4 and a son of 10 (my husbands step son) I cannot work due to illness and on disability. My husband wont put my name on the mortgage or any finances. Where do I stand if we divorce he says I will have nothing. I came into the marriage with £10,000 savings now I’m £2,000 in debt. Any advice would be great. He has such assets as pension,house,Porsche and Rolex watch.

  118. John says:

    Dear Marilyn, I would like to seek your advice on a matter regarding my divorce. I have continued to pay the mortgage. There is very little equity in the home which i live in with my new partner and her son. I am in financial difficulty and current have outstanding debts of which I have offered and paid £1 to each of the creditors (three in total). Am I able to recover half of the mortgage payments from my ex wife for the period since she left the home. While divorced I/We were unable to agree a financial order. I could sell the house but there is hardly any equity and my credit rating is very low so have the risk of not securing a property to live. Could I even apply to the court to increase the % share of the home which she moved out of approximately 4 years ago.

  119. T says:

    Hi Marilyn, great blog. My decree nisi is due in court today – i filed against my husband due to his alcoholism and emotional abuse to myself and our 2 children (18 & 14 yrs). Met with solicitor yesterday who says that my having already re-mortgaged from joint names to my name only and giving my husband £10,000 which i have added onto the new mortgage could be a problem but he didn’t explain why? My husband currently lives with his sister. My solicitor has explained about the clean break order but says i probably don’t need one. Can i specify officially that we cannot claim on each others pensions in the future without a clean break order? Thank you.

  120. G says:

    Hi. I separated from my ex husband 20 years ago and divorced 5 years later. However we never sorted finances. We have a house which has now gone through repossession but has approx £20000 equity owed back after the sale. However I lived there with our daughter for 19 years without a mortgage payment from ex. I paid all. Would I be entitled to more than 50 percent X
    Thank you
    Gill X

  121. p says:

    Hi Maryln

    I’ve had been with my partner/wife for 14, I purchased a house for us to live together in 2003, we got married in 2011 and have just split up in August of this year (2015)

    the mortgage is in my name only and I’m the only name on the title deeds

    the reason I went solo on the mortgage is when we went to get a joint mortgage we were refused, when i went on my own – bingo, mortgage granted

    she as already applied for a “matrimonial home rights notice” through her solictor

    during the 12+ years of the mortgage I’ve worked extra hard to pay the mortgage, It is a virgin one account mortgage where you can benefit from overpaying the mortgage, the original mortgage was for £85000 and I’ve overpaid by £30000, therefore I only own £27000. if things has stayed on plan I’d have paid it off 10 years early.

    During the 12 years my ex-wife as paid only 4 bills totaling £150/month – Council tax (£100), house insurance (£14) water rates (£20) and the TV Licence (£14) – I’ve paid all others – gas/electricity and phone/tv/internet

    what’s also come to light during our separation is my ex-wife has be prentending she had savings, this is so far from the truth, she has a really poor credit rating and has been racking up debts over many years , the companies she’s been dealing with are… poundstopocket, lendingstream, wagedayadvnce, vanquis (credit card), littlewoods catalogue and Fredrickson international (debt collection agency)

    my question is – where do I stand, am I looking at a 50-50 equity split of the house?

  122. Terry A says:

    Hi Marilyn,

    Can I ex wife claim maintenance if she is co- habiting and is in a much more affluent position?

    The short story. Reason for divorce is adultery (husband admits), children has subsequently been withheld but maintenance for children is still regularly paid. False allegations of intimidation caused local police to warn father to steer clear but he has no financial means to go to court. Husband is in financial trouble because he has to pay a bank loan that was (you may call it calculated) taken out in husbands name for the purposes of clearing wife (9 years married) store cards and other debts, tummy tuck etc. So understandably husband has own living costs and loan, Csa to pay each month. Wife has filed for divorce and the trigger for this (separated 2014) is that she is expecting baby with new partner who she was dating within weeks of leaving husband. Has played cards well in that cohabiting can’t be proven until Dec 2014 (he stayed part time between two places). Divorce petition states no costs if husband doesn’t defend but does indicate wife wants maintenance on top of all other costs husband is paying. Worth mentioning that husband paid entire mortgage on family home until it sold in 2015. He paid for all repair and decoration following vandalism to the premises and when the property sold the equity was split with wife. Who has made zero contribution through out.


    Frustrated father and ex husband.

  123. Viv says:

    Hi I met my husband 6 years ago he had nothing when I met him. A poor paid job no car no home. I had 2 houses and a good well paid job. We have been married for just over 3 years with no children, he has left me for low paid young girl who lives with her parents. He has moved in to a bedsit, he has taken his £8000.00 car paid for on my credit card. I have credit card debts of 40K mainly spent by him. Foolishly I put him on the house dead 10 weeks before he left me. (not that I believe that matters) I have over 150k of equity and he wants 30K plus the car to set up home with this young girl. I have been left devastated having to pay the debt all bills by myself. He never contributed a lot really and di more spending. I was a fool to trust this guy, fortunately I have family who will pay my legal costs, but I cant sleep with the worry that he can just take this from me. I don’t believe that he can afford much legal help but what are his chances of winning? if he won I would have to sell my home,

  124. M says:


    Finally my case has come to an end. Began August 2013 and after the final hearing was adjourned 3 times the final hearing lasting two days was finally conducted this week. The message for everybody is do not lie and get caught out.

    i am a male aged 53, ex-wife 43 and I filed for divorce in August 2013. The decree absolute was March 2014. Length of marriage 15 years. The only significant asset was the FMH worth £220,000 with an outstanding mortgage of £40,000. No agreement could be reached between us on how to divide this amicably so inevitably this went through the full process with the ex-wife as the applicant. The home is in my name only as I bought the property two years before we met. After the decree absolute came through I evicted my ex-wife, because her matrimonial home rights ceased at this time. She was claiming thousands of pounds in costs as a result of her being evicted from the property, and was pushing for a 60/40 split in her favour.

    So after 2 adjournments, the hearing was set for end of June. Then bizarrely one week before the final hearing I discovered that my ex had bought a brand new house with her new partner. Because of this the hearing was adjourned and the judge wanted more details on the house purchase, as she had violated her duty of ongoing disclosure. She still tried to lie about this in court and the judge was not impressed. The end result was a 75/25 split of the property in my favor and I have 3 years in which to pay any money!!! Unbelievably, her house purchase was completed just 4 weeks before the June hearing. I was saved by her stupidity.

    Her mortgage application was completed on March 2 2015 and on March 22 she sent her sworn statement to the court claiming she needed more from the property because she only had a borrowing capacity of £45000, and yet 21 days before she had arranged a mortgage of £161,000.

    I don’t know if my case was a one-off, but i clearly got the message that if you are going to lie in court it could have very negative outcomes.

  125. denise says:

    I have just got divorced and am now entering into financial settlement agreement. I was married for 1.5 years but overall the relationship was 5 years in total we have no children. My ex and i lived in my ex property for approx 1 years. He owns the property outright with his sister on a joint tenancy. my ex and I moved out and lived in rented accommodation for a year and then got married. I never lived in my ex sproperty again. I was not working and have not contributed to the outcome of the bills in my exs property. I do not work and was not working during the marriage, my ex does not work but he has savings in his account of approx £30,000 when he was laid off work. Do I have any rights over his pension and the property he owns with his sister?

    • Luke says:

      “Do I have any rights over his pension and the property he owns with his sister?”
      I’d like to think most definitely NOT – but you’ve owned a ‘Golden Ticket’ (marriage certificate) – so I wouldn’t put it past our legal system to find a way to asset strip him…

  126. arabella says:

    OMG! Are you for real? So you’ve done nothing but now you want part of his pension and why not share of the property too!

  127. raymondf says:

    der Marilyn, can you help me I have agreed to the financial with my wife but I’m not happy with it I don’t have a solicitor as I cant afford one and I fell I was put under presser on the day by my wife’s solicitor I have not sent in the forms for the decree absolute can I have the financial changed your help will be gladly appreciated thank you

  128. Marie says:

    Hi Marilyn,

    I have been seperated from my husband for 2 years, we have 4 children. 20, 18, 12 & 9. The 18 year old lives with him and other 3 live with me. He is taking me to court to force me to sell our home. He is a builder earning good money, whereas i dont work at the moment. He wants 40% if i gave him 40% then i wouldnt be able to afford another property. Do you think the judge will force me to sell it? If so what percentage would i have to give him?

  129. MB says:

    I’m currently going through divorce, I ended my marriage last Sept, filed last Dec on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour …I got my Nisi in may, we’d been together 24 years, marriage for 8 and have 2 children 16 & 19.. We have 2 properties, one we rent out and the one I currently live in…. We’d have a business together of which I’ve been 50/50 partner of.. I used to do all the administration, vat, payroll etc whilst my husband went out on site to work…. Once we separated He took the responsibility of my part away and instructed our accountant to continue with the accounts..without my consent, he stopped giving me the information to process the wages invoicing or the vast so I had no choice . And in April I was stopped receiving wages… Up to then. I was living in those wages whilst the business paid the mortgage… My solicitor requested a dissolution of partnership at this stage and requested that my husband instruct the accountant to finalise accounts..however my husband refuses to accept that I was only ever more than a name only partner and therefore not in any rush to do this…. I’m still linked to that business tax wise and recently received a tax bill in excess of £4700 that my husband insisted I had to pay…… I work part time as an oncall firefighter Aswell as securing 2 other part time jobs. However. I’m still linked to HMRC with regards to the business that I’m not actually earning anything from other than on paper….. So I have to be careful how much I earn with regards to dropping in the 40%tax bracket…I’m using what savings I have to live and although I’m surviving it’s a struggle….my husband doesn’t seem in any rush to finalise things and now I have a new partner, who has since moved in to help, my husband now focuses on the fact he’s living with me and therefore thinks I Dont require any Financial support immediately from him…. He’s only just started paying £200 a month maintenance as from Monday 2/11/2015 however this amount was never agreed, I was under the impression it was based on 20% of the net profits of our business not what he thinks he should pay……my solicitor is sending him letters pushing for a resolution… My accountant is still yet to finalise the accounts for 2014-2015 books because my husband hadn’t instructed him to, he was under the impression it had all been resolved!! .. In the meantime, other issues arise, like he’s set up another business alongside the one we have, doing exactly the same thing, using the assets from the business he’s yet to dissolve….. How can he do this and yet not dissolve our partnership, I want closure so that I can move on, yet my husband still wants to control every element of my life…. My husband responds to my solicitors letters a month after they’re sent it just seems like he’s calling all the shots..and normally in a punitive nature!! It’s his way or no way and my solicitor doesn’t fulfil me with much confidence with regards to what it is in entitle to….. I’m so far into the process and spent so much money I’m torn as to whether to change solicitors or not….. I just want to know what I’m entitled to. And the likelihood of the outcome…. At the moment I won’t be able to afford the mortgage on my own but with the settlement I feel I can reduce the amount to a more affordable amount so I can stay in the house…..with his children…. But He seems he’ll bent on making me sell purely to punish me… I just want it over for the sake of my family and my sanity so that I can move on but he wants to drag it on and on!!

  130. miss b says:

    Hi i need some advice my uncle wants to have a clean break yet his wife is refusing to sell house and he doesn’t no what to do as she has the land registry and refuses to put him on the mortgage. The money from house will go to his children who are living independently. Where does he stand from a legal point of view and he’s not in a position to pay for solicitors. Is he entitled to legal aid or could i get legal aid for him please help as hes in his 70s and all this is taking its toll on him your advice wouls be much appreciated thankyou

  131. Frankie says:

    My partner is going through a divorce and they have two properties which they have agreed to have one each and his two children to stay in family home and he also agreed to waver the 25 thousand equity he had in family home to make a clean break and to be over with as soon as possible .he has his children at weekends and pays 400 a month or 15 % of his income.his gross earnings are 21-26 thousand her income is 42 plus thousand
    She has continue to change the finacial remedy order over the last six months…one of things he has asked that he is taken of mortgage and wants prod the other request is the maintenance to be 400 set even if he looses his job or gets ill..which seems crazy.
    Her latest letter which came today has given my partner till 21 Dec to sign it or it will go to court and he will foot the court cost… that right can she do that….
    Kind regards

  132. Ian says:


    I have been married nearly 7 years and am currently trying to sort finances for the divorce. My wife had 3 children from her first marriage (17, 14, 13) and we jointly have a 5 year old daughter. The family home has approx £100k equity in it.

    I run a business which I set up 5 years before marrying which my wife became a joint partner in but does very little work helping me run it. She also did very little work with the family, leaving me to run the family (including her 3 children) and the business while she chose socialising with friends most days. The business is being sold next April which will leave a pot of approximately £265k in addition to the house money.

    Through her solicitor she is claiming 100% of the house and 50% of the business based on her housing need. The 3 step childrens dad lives locally and is very hands on. He regularly has all 3 children stay over with him – earlier this year the eldest lived with his dad for 7 months straight. The property she has chosen in my opinion is unnecessarily expensive where she could purchase a far more modest house for £40k less.

    I would be interested to hear your opinion on this as I feel I am being held wholly responsible for housing 3 children that are not mine when both parents can also contribute to making sure everyone is housed appropriately.


  133. Katie says:

    Dear Marylin
    Could you please advise. Husband left after 27 years together and several dalliances. We were renting, shared household goods out equallyand he took car which was equal in value to furniture and tv/laptop left behind. That was almost fouryears ago. I have student loans which were accumalated during marriage, am currently unable to work due to breakdown and ptsd following split. I have small pension, his is larger and i know he has accumalated some loans since separation. As i need to put the turmoil behind me for sake of my health and getting back to work, i want to go for clean break, asking him for £3k to be givne to my married son over thenext year until i am in able to drive again/have a holiday/work again. Would the courts accept this kind of settlement, even thugh appears to be weighted in his favour?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Katie
      You can ask the court to approve any deal you’ve done. It’s up to you to take legal advice and decide if what you want to do is reasonable and fair. You get one go only, and you need to make sure that for the rest of your life what you’re doing now is appropriate. You could always download my book from the sidebar of this blog for 99p and read it for starters.
      My blog is full of stories of people who act in haste and repent in leisure.

  134. Tracey says:

    Hello Marilyn,

    I hope you can shed some light please…

    We have been married 19 yrs with one daughter aged 15.
    House is worth £650k minus a £65Kmortgage. Daughter will be staying with me and plans on going to university locally.
    House is currently on the market. He has only started contribution g to a pension in the last 2 years. We have no other savings or assets. He earns £48k I earn 27k but will have to reduce my hours due to the divorce as I won’t be able to work late nights. My salary will drop to £19k.
    Am I being reasonable in going for 70% of the sale of the property? my view is as daughter is staying with me I am entitled to a greater share and also my salary will be dropping. He can pick up a mortgage easily whereas I will struggle. Also he is due to inherit 200k from his parents who will be selling their family home as they are relocating to their house in Australia. Although they have refrained from selling it just yet……
    With that in mind should I go for more than 70%?
    Or is the sale of their house irrelevant?


    • Luke says:

      “Also he is due to inherit 200k from his parents who will be selling their family home as they are relocating to their house in Australia. Although they have refrained from selling it just yet……
      With that in mind should I go for more than 70%?”
      Wow, single guys need to read statements like this before they get married – sign the marriage certificate and this is the sort of outrageous stuff you may have to face in divorce court…

  135. Tony says:

    I gave my ex 70% through divorce. She then moved 100 miles away with my 2 children, The day after the divorce papers were signed her parents paid off her remaining mortgage (200k). This is the ‘fair’ system men are forced to endure.

  136. Tracey says:

    you don’t know the ins and outs of my relationship. So don’t judge.
    I am not after the 200k share of the house he will inherit or his pension.
    All I want is a clean break after being a victim of domestic violence for 18 years. He will have full access to see our daughter and holidays will be shared 50/50.
    I am going for 70% as a lump sum and will not be going for spousal support.

    Back to my original question….
    Is 70% an unrealistic figure?
    All I am sayIng is if I am taking a drop in salary and due to being at home for daughter who wants to remain with me then surely it makes sense to go for 70% as opposed to the standard 50%?

    • Andrew says:

      Tracey, why did you even mention the money he might or might not receive from his parents if you are not after it? If you want it taken into account you are after it!

      • Marilyn Stowe says:

        Dear Andrew
        I find your comment objectionable. The money may be a resource available to him and the court properly would take it into account on his side of the asset sheet if it falls in soon as it well might if it’s an accelerated inheritance. Tracey has reasonable needs of both capital and income and is being pragmatic wanting to settle but asking a reasonable question. If a large sum of money is going the husband’s way quite soonit might free up more capital from the house to help meet needs.
        If there was millions involved it would make no difference but this sounds like a needs case and therefore it does.
        Please don’t assume that asking means someone wants it. In this case I think she should get an apology from you.

        • Andrew says:

          Marilyn, I’m troubled about this. If a divorce litigant wants an asset or alleged asset taken into account that means – in meal or in malt – that s/he wants part of it. I quite agree that (in the present condition of the law) the money might be an asset on his side of the sheet – although a witness statement from either parent saying that what they get for their house here will be going into buying a house in Oz might well take it out of the reckoning and you also have to consider whether he has siblings – but she says in terms that she wants no part of it; which to my mind means that it should be left out of account.
          What troubles me is the idea that I should apologise. In all honesty I can’t. I took Tracey at her word. If she were my client I would advise her in her best interest, but that is another matter.
          I have to say that if I had two or more adult offspring – which I don’t – and was rich – which alas I am not – and one of my children suffered a break-up I would immediately change my will so that that one’s share went to his or her children direct – and tell anyone whom it concerned that I had done so. Whatever you say about expecting divorcing parties to pool what they have, there is something profoundly objectionable about expecting their parents to put anything in the pot. Am I right?

    • Katie says:

      Dear Tracey
      I am sorry you have suffered domestic abuse, particularly for so long a time period. I know myself the long term damage this can cause. However, i believe in this country, what has happened does not affect the financial settlement.
      Also, clean break means just that, no coming back later about inheritence, unless i guess this would work both ways?
      I know someone who was in similar situation and to be at peace free of wranglings, it was agreed she would stay in the house until theyoungest child was 18, and then it would be sold and split 50/50.
      I am not sure if that helps.

    • Luke says:

      Tracey, the ins and outs of your relationship can only be truly known by the two people involved, I’m not judging that but that is not the point, I am simply saying to men that if they sign the marriage contract this is what they could be in for should their wife decide to divorce them – and do they seriously think that sort of deal and ordeal in court is for them ?
      Personally I don’t see how a man thinking rationally can sign the marriage contract given this information.
      I appreciate that you say that you don’t want spousal support – but an extra 20% of the house (i.e. you get about £400,000+ – he only gets £175,000) is about £115,000 of his share tax free – that’s a lot of money.
      By the way I’m not saying you can’t get it, the Family Court system is often horrendous to men – it’s definitely not reasonable but that doesn’t seem to ever stop them doing it.
      As for your statement:-
      “I am not after the 200k share of the house he will inherit or his pension.”
      You’ve previously said that the pension has only just started so it’s not worth much and Andrew has already explained why you saying you don’t want a share of your husband’s potential inheritance is inconsistent with your previous post.
      I am not having a pop at you personally Tracey, the vast majority of people (men & women) will take advantage of the court system if it is biased in their favour – it seems to be human nature to rationalise such stuff if it is to one’s benefit. I am just highlighting to men how to protect themselves financially from this sort of situation.

  137. Luke says:

    I hadn’t seen Marilyn’s post before I posted, I’m afraid I don’t agree that an apology is warranted from Andrew. She has every right to go for what she can get legally, but her response IS logically inconsistent and it’s not unreasonable to point that out in my opinion.

  138. Tracey says:

    If I was hell bent on getting a share of the 200k I could just have easily waited a few months before filing for a divorce and made sure the funds had been transferred before I proceeded……
    As it happens I am not so manipulative!
    I was more than happy to go for a 50/50 split on basis me and daughter could stay in the marital home until she was 18. However husband is insisting on the house being sold and we have a clean break.

    Although I want the process dealt with quickly I dont want to agree to 50/50 split when in reality I should be entitled to more….
    I don’t want to have to deal with him anymore and I am close to agreeing to him demands of selling the house and splitting 50/50 just so there can be an end to the whole sorry situation. But by the same token I know I will struggle if don’t go for a little more than 50%….

    I am trying to come to an agreement about the house between ourselves, however we don’t seem to be getting anywhere. The last thing I want to do is drag it through the courts.

    • Luke says:

      “I was more than happy to go for a 50/50 split on basis me and daughter could stay in the marital home until she was 18. However husband is insisting on the house being sold and we have a clean break.”
      Well Tracey I suppose it depends on what spousal support he would be stuck with (i.e. how long) – but assuming it’s no more than 3 years (i.e. until she turns 18) then I think he would be a fool to turn that down as I think that’s very reasonable indeed.
      Once you go to court it is likely that it will it cost a lot money for both of you, and the odds on him getting a decent settlement aren’t great. As a woman with residency the odds are stacked in your favour and it is possible that he could get completely shafted.

  139. Irene says:

    Hello Marilyn,
    We are in dilemma and before going to solicitors and spending money I’m looking for any advice.
    Me and my husband are currently living in the property jointly owed by his ex wife and him. We’ve married 3 years ago and I moved in with my daughter to live with him and his two children.
    My husband divorced 6 years ago and his ex wife moved out leaving children with him when they were minors. There was no agreement on any financial settlement. She moved on and he stayed – paying the mortgage and taking care of the children completely. And I of course contributed since moving in.
    Now, when his children are 18 and 16 we want to sell the house and give his ex wife 50% of the property price as at the date of separation – £50,000. She came back of course wanting 50% of today’s price £100,000 reasoning that she could invest this money since divorce.
    Is it worth for us going to court? I’m prepared to give her more but my husband is insistent that because she didn’t pay any child maintenance she is not entitled to anything else. I’m so tired of it and just want to move on….

  140. L says:

    This is interesting as going through a divorce is so costly and I have to minimise the amount of questions and letters to my solicitor. Mine is a tricky case as I had a successful business, properties etc before meeting my husband. He moved in but my house remained in my maiden name. We had a daughter and I always continued to work and studied and got my degree. My husband drank most of my money and I ended up continuously bailing him out. I took loans which were supposed to be paid but instead he didn’t pay them. To cut a long story short me and my daughter had to move as we couldn’t afford to stay in my house, I couldn’t get mortgage so it had to be in his name and a year later his Solicitor is threatening that my house is sold immediately with the money paid to my ex. Grounds for divorce was adultery, it had been going on for 8 years but again his solicitor although confirmed the adultery would not provide location for the petition so we had to divorce on unreasonable behaviour. He solicitor wanted to contest it but then came to his senses, no Nici at the moment. I feel as if I will loose everything to somebody who does not rightfully deserve it. My daughter will become homeless and again have to move schools. It is all such a worry, fortunately I have a very good job and can provide for her. We have registered a matrimonial homes right on the property which my husbands solicitor is saying it isn’t correct and will not prevent the sale of the house.

  141. Denise says:

    my brother is about to go to mediation, he was in a short marriage and during the duration of the relationship and marriage lived in rented accommodation, but a year prior to the marriage lived in the property that my brother owned. My brother has completed Form E and supplied the evidence but his wife has not and is claiming that she paid £9k for refurbishment of his flat, but there is no evidence of this, would she have to provide this, also she mentions that she was earning £20-30K but again no evidence. She is on housing benefits and job seekers and my brother is on a low income zero contract hours. There are no children other assets involved. Would she need to provide evidence of the £9K and the earnings for mediation?

  142. Sandy says:

    Dear Marilyn,

    Please advise if you can. My partner went through a divorce in 2008 and his ex wife did everything possible including non molestation order as well as ocupational order. She got awarded a full custody of their two boys with alternate weekends and two afternoons weekly contact with the father, the property was ordered to be signed over to her (3 bedrooms, 3 reception rooms, was in their both names, worth £450K with £140K mortgage outstanding) and £400 monthly maintenance. He did not take a single item from home and was left with large debts and as a result lived in his office for over a year. She went on having a child from an older wealthy man who decided to stay with his wife though continuesly provides financial support for the baby. All this time she has been receiving benefits including the mortgage interest being paid by the DWP and only for the last year and a half has been forced to work part time due to the benefit check ups. My partner had purchased another property (worth £450K with £300 mortgage outstandig) though due to financial problems has not completed the refurbishments that he started. Over a year ago there was an incident between the mòther and one of the boys involving SS and as a result of physical abuse one child (11 yo) lives now with my partner full time. The child has neither seen her in over a year nor wants to have anything to do with her in a future. The other son (14 yo), whom the father still has alternate weekends and two evenings per week, as well as the baby from another man still live with her. The question stands now, does he have any chance in getting anything from their former matrimonial home now in view of the current child contact arrangements, seeing that he actually has the children more than her. I know that during the financial proceedings she has signed the agreement not be able to have anything from him in the future, however, he has not done the same.
    I’d be very grateful if you could shed some light as it’s been impossible to find any information on this.
    Thank you in advance.

    Kind regards

  143. Andrew says:

    “I know that during the financial proceedings she has signed the agreement not be able to have anything from him in the future, however, he has not done the same.”
    I have never, ever seen a settlement in a divorce case which did not exclude both from ever making a further capital claim. The ex-h’s claim is usually nominal but for what it is worth it is also dismissed.
    In which case the answer is not what you want to hear.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Sandy and Andrew,
      I strongly disagree with Andrew. I have no idea about his qualifications his experience and why he is giving this advice. It is perfectly feasible your partner’s claims were not closed off. It is perfectly possible he may still be able to apply. Furthermore even if not, and they were, he may have a sustainable capital claim on behalf of the children under Schedule 1 Children Act 1989.
      He needs to get hold of a copy of the order and have it checked then consider his options.

      • Andrew says:

        I have practiced in the field: I don’t now.

        I would never have advised any client to settle capital claims in divorce unless any claim which might be asserted against my client in the future, in life or on death, is blocked; and I would expect my opponent to do the same on the other party’s behalf. I would be profoundly surprised if the ex-wife’s solicitor in this case – who obviously knew what s/he was about – was less careful.

        • Marilyn Stowe says:

          Dear Andrew
          We know nothing about what happened. It’s wrong to give such definitive advise when you haven’t seen the document. A whole host of things could have happened. I accept nothing unless and until I’ve seen it. And even then I might still have my doubts.

          • stitchedup says:

            Her partner clearly subjected his ex to domestic violence, why would you want to help him?

          • Marilyn Stowe says:

            Dear Steve
            It’s not my job to make judgements, it’s to advise.

          • Sandy says:

            Dear Marilyn and Andrew,

            I do apologize for not providing the correct information in the question. We have now gone through boxes of files regarding the divorce proceedings and have the right order. Andrew was right and court order says the following:
            The Respondent shall, with the effect from 1st Feb 2008, pay or cause to be paid to the Applicant periodical payments in the sum of 5 pence per annum until the earliest of a) his death, the remarriage of the Applicant, or c) the youngest child obtaining the age of 18 years or completing full time continuous education to a tertiary level, whereupon:
            a. The Applicant’s claims for periodical payments and secured periodical payments shall stand dismissed and the Applicant shall not be entitled to make any further application under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 section 23 (1) (a) or (b) in relation to the marriage and it is directed pursuant to the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 section 28(1A) that the Applicant shall not be entitled to apply for an extension of the term of the above order;
            b. The Applicant shall not be entitled on the death of the Respondent to apply for an order under section 2 of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975, the court considering it just so to order under section 15 of the Act.
            4. Save as aforesaid the Applicant’s claims for lump sum, property adjustment orders or any other order (for earmarking or otherwise) in respect of the Respondent’s pension do stand dismissed and the Applicant shall not be entitled to make any further applications in relation to their marriage under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, s 23(1)(a) or (b);
            5. The Respondent’s claims for all types of financial provision, lump sum, property adjustment orders or any order (for earmarking or otherwise)in respect of the Applicant’s pension (deemed hereby) do stand dismissed and the Respondent shall not be entitled to make any further applications in relation to their marriage under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, s 23(1)(a) or (b);
            6. The Respondent shall not on the death of the Applicant be entitled to apply for an order under section 2 of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents Act 1975, the court deeming it just so to order under section 15 of the Act.

            We had only briefly looked at it prior to children contact proceedings in 2013 when my partner was not allowed to neither see nor speak to his children for 3 months (although there was contact court order in place) due to not being able to pay maintenance as he had financial difficulties. The maintenance was paid voluntarily with no order in place on the top of educational loan taken out for three years of £5,000 and various other expenses and outgoings for children. At some point she even demanded to be paid for looking after children including night nanny rates as well as the bills, tv license and her car insurance. Throughout their court proceedings she has been making various bogus claims and abusing him verbally as well as physically on few occasions in order to get him out of their matrimonial house. My partner is not the only one that suffers from her volatile nature, her mother ended up in a mental hospital and her father had alcohol issues due to her narcissistic nature. She has been on non talking terms for almost a year with her Parents until she needed Christmas presents and someone to look after her baby. Though recently they’ve fallen out again and she only contacts them when she needs something. It’s sad but we see them more than she does and they are lovely people. I have also been verbally attacked and abused for turning up at their children sports matches and school plays. Anyway, not to bore you with this any longer will go straight to the point. During the court proceedings in regards to children contact she was extremely nice to children as the older child (12 at the time) has expressed his wish to live with father and very soon changed his opinion saying that his baby brother would forget him. The order was left with the same contact arrangements as before. After the court proceedings she soon went back to normal self involving shouting and swearing at children, calling them names and so on. Such reversal in her behavior caused an incident between their younger child and her. There was physical abuse with police and SS involved and the child was placed to live with his father. She managed to threaten him and abuse him verbally further over the phone, which caused the child a lot of stress and not wanting to ever speak to her again. The Social Services said that they feel that her presence would cause a lot of distress to the child and the father provides much better emotional support and care therefore they were happy for the child to live with father without seeing or speaking to the mother. My partner fully provides for the younger child and mother supports the older child though continuously keeps asking for financial contribution.
            During the financial proceedings he could no longer afford a solicitor due to financial difficulties and not being English found very difficult to stand up for himself, therefore agreed to leaving the matrimonial property to her, bearing in mind that it would be left for his children. However, the younger child now lives with him full time and he has an older child two afternoons weekly as well as alternate weekends. All this meaning that he has the their children a lot more than her and the child from another man will presumably get the share of the property which was intended for his son. We strongly feel that all this situation is unfair as the only reason she got the matrimonial house was due to having custody of the children though this is no longer the case. Please could you let me know if there is any chance of getting anything at all for the younger child from their former matrimonial property. It doesn’t necessarily have to be now, meaning it could be as his inheritance or lump sum when he turns 18 or anything similar. My partner does not want this for himself, only for his children to have something left over from what he has earned during their short 3 year married life together.
            Sorry for going into too much detail and thank you in advance for any answers.

            Dear stitchedup,

            Please do not assume or presume without knowing the full story. If anything, it’s her that subjected him though “hell and back”. I sincerely hope that you would never have to deal with such person like his ex.

            Kind regards

  144. Maddie says:

    Hi Marilyn
    I have read through all posts to see if any situations are like mine. Not really so thought I would post for advice.
    Married 12 years and together 15years. It was both of our second marriage. I had a house with 200k equity when we met and he had a car. I have only 10k pension accumulated over last 5 years as had put all my money into my house. First marriage produced 3 children all under 5 when I met husband I am divorcing. He had given everything to his first wife when they divorced as he knew I had a house. He then left HMF after 22 years with full pension 2 years after we met. we married 3 years after we met. He then was found being adulterous in 2014 out of the blue. about to go to court for financial settlement. My question is will his pension be considered as it is worth 300k now as he says it is ring fenced. Yet he wants half the house. 300k equity because we moved and stupidly I put it in joint names. He has what’s his us his and what’s mine is half his. Thankyou. This seems so unfair. Although my children are now 19 20 and 22 and 2 live with me and will not ever
    Iive with him.

  145. lavinia says:

    Divorce has been ongoing since early 2014 husband has/had mental health breakdown which i confirmed despite being detrimental to my case i had hoped he would get help and seek treatment but he has chosen to self destruct drinking and with new woman who is alledgedly an slcoholic. He is a high earner in ecxess of 190,000 plus i am earning 14,000. Long marriage of 30 years, house has sold with no equity all that is left is his pension. I have tried everything possible to settle just to get away even put forward a low offer 6 weeks ago but he and his solicitor have not responded The judge warned us both at the FDR we both have to disclose he stiill fails to do so and the Court order to pay me a very small pot of money was not complied with. I am beyond frustrated i just want my life back. Is there anything i can do? Seems there is no support for someone going through a weird diviorce with mh issues. My first solicitor quit citing him as a lunatic! Any help would be appreciated.

    • Luke says:

      ” I am beyond frustrated i just want my life back.”
      lavinia, surely now that you are not with him that’s exactly what you’ve got isn’t it ?

      • Lavinia says:

        Define getting my life back, if only it was that simple.

        Unless you have experienced what I and many others are going through with a partner who is suffering severe MH problems people really have no idea and there is no protection in the Law for people going through this.

        I am constantly looking over my shoulder at what is coming next, he tried accepting an offer on the home for less than the outstanding mortgage, has invested in shares, paid debt collectors and has been scammed. What he is doing will affect any settlement I will get that’s if I ever see any maintenance. While he lives in a comfortable home with his alcoholic girlfriend I am left renting a room in a relatives house, I have had difficulty renting as I have the family dogs and am unable to afford a place of my own as I am on a low wage.

        There are others in far worse situations with depressives who won’t seek treatment, a friends ex bipolar husband threatened to disfigure their childrens faces with acid, believe me I am one of the lucky ones.

        • Luke says:

          “What he is doing will affect any settlement I will get that’s if I ever see any maintenance.”
          Oh I see, I misunderstood, when you said “i just want my life back” I didn’t realise that you meant that you just want your life back living off his spousal support.

          • lavinia says:

            I think your comment rather sarcastic i suggest you educate yourself on mental health and research what people like myself are being subjected too. I have worked for 36 years plus earning a low income, raised my children and done everything else while he had us moving from one location to another to climb the career ladder. I have never been a scrounger! Also the nice person my husband was did not ask how are kids were after they had been hospitalised or how i was after radiotherapy! Dont judge others before you aware of the facts and events.

          • Luke says:

            I’m a bit surprised by your response – I just stated the facts.
            For the record if you stayed at home and raised his children then personally I think you have every right to part of his pension – that seems fair to me.
            Mental health issues are clearly part of who he is, as is his capacity to earn a large salary. You’ve been married to him for 30 years and not chosen to leave during that time so it’s not like this is anything surprising – I think your attitude towards him is harsh.
            You come across as intelligent so I don’t understand why you are still on such a low salary after all this time – I figure there has to be an element of choice about that. As for maintenance, under the circumstances 2 or 3 years of maintenance to help you get back on your feet seems reasonable to me, but of course under our current Family Court system you can probably extract a LOT more out of him than that.

          • lavinia says:

            My attitude is harsh after i did everything to love and support him and tried to get him help? Unfortunately this is not a choice i wished to make his behaviour resulted in our daughter becoming ill. When you are a parent your kids safety come first. When you have experienced being tortured by someone who has mh issues is drinking and wont seek help then you can tell me what harsh is.

      • Lavinia says:

        The point I was trying to make is I would like to settle out of Court before any more money is wasted and he does any more stupid and dangerous damage and to seal a deal were I am not reliant upon him for any maintenance so I have him out of my life for good.

  146. Scott says:

    I’ve been divorced 2 years now and wife still refuses to sort financial side of divorce out after repeated attempts she just ignores all letters. I’m just getting on with life now.ive got two years left CSA to pay then I’ll not have to give her a penny. Children don’t talk to me as have been Alienated but that’s not a crime in this country. Anyway she just thinks it’s karma I’m getting. I’m still paying all the martial Debt on my own I think this is why she won’t sort anything, or maybe her claiming of many benefits illegally and conning the taxman may I say might have something to do with it.

  147. Williams says:

    I’m hoping you can advise me with ‘where to go from here’ and ‘what can be done/if anything at all can be done’, as I’m at a total loss with this one.
    My parents separated and divorced when I was a child, the year would have been around about 1985. My brother and myself moved with our mother, and our father was left living in the family home.
    Both parents names where on the mortgage, so both owned .5 each. My father was asked to buy my mothers half share of the house, but at that time ‘claimed he was unable to financially’, and instead offered a different solution.
    He told my mother that he would not likely continue living in the house in defiantly, instead he intended to put the house on the market in a years time, and when it was sold he would then ‘give my mother half of that sale’. Rather than it being ‘an option’, it was more a ‘like it or lump it’ that my mother felt forced into rather than agreeing to.
    My father was a violent and controlling man, having finally managed to break free of him for good, she wanted no contact with him whatsoever, she feared the man and had always lived in fear of him. Due to this, she took the offer that she was given and signed the contracts he had drawn up.
    The contracts stated that ‘when the house was sold, my mothers half share would be divided 50/50 between my brother and myself, and would be placed in savings/trust fund for the future, this being done/set up by our father himself.
    My father has since always stated that 2 accounts where opened by himself, one one each for my brother and I, and that we would inherit this money ‘only after his death’.
    Now I have always wandered whether or not he was true to his word, and due to past experiences and is selfish nature, I have doubted very much that this was something that was not done and most likely was never intended to have done. Over the years I have tested the waters, asked to be shown the information proving that he had indeed kept his promise, and done what the contract stated me must do, but still to this day have not seen a shred of evidence proving this.
    Due to many years passing since, I’m afraid to say that ‘not all information/ documents’ made it to today, and there a papers belonging to my mother that have somehow been lost between homes we have lived at since.
    My mother has prove that she did In Fact have her name on both ownership and mortgage of the property, but has not got the complete documentation regarding this contract that was set up about her ‘half share’ of the money and what he was to do following the sale.
    So problem one is this- Would the document she has got be enough to prove there should be inheritance owed by him, that would be later passed on to his children. And if ‘No’, and more information would be needed, ‘how would she go about finding the information that was needed, where to go from here.
    The second problem is this- the family home was sold sometime during the 1990’s, and ‘I think’ was sold on to the council, who had intended to have the house demolished. I have no prove of ‘who the house was later sold to’, but assume it would have been local authority due to the row of houses that the house stood next to. The row of 4 quarry men’s cottages where taken down stone by stone and moved on to a local museum, leaving just two houses remaining, one having stood either side of the 4 quarry men’s cottages. We have since tried hard to find information online, or prove of the family home having indeed been stood In that spot during the past, but I’m afraid our search has been in vain, have since not gone any further from this. The problem is that the postcode is no longer in use, and there doesn’t seem to be any information in the land registers aether.
    I have since been told that my suspicion regarding my father have been most likely true. He has , or ‘so I’m told’ been bragging about his plan to swindle, and bragged about having managed to keep and spend both his share, and my mothers share from the sale of the house, and assumes that nothing can be done about it and he will not get in any trouble for spending all the money, due to the fact of him ‘no longer being here on the day we eventually find out’ about it.
    I would be greatful of any advice you could offer, no matter how small, anything would be much appreciated as I’m at a total lose and have no clue what can be done and how.
    Kind regards

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Williams
      If I understand correctly both your parents are still alive, in which case if she never applied for a divorce settlement and got a court order, why doesn’t she apply now? There is no time limit. Subject to this:- If there is no money left what’s the point?

      • Williams says:

        Yes,both parents are still alive, and have been divorced 30 years.
        When my parents divorced 30 years ago, my mother left the marital home that she owned with my father, and shortly after this my father put the house up for sale.
        When the house was later sold, half of that house sale was owed to my mother, and my father to have the other half.
        My father kept and spent his half, but rather than give my mother her half payment from the sale of their house, he instead ‘opened a trust fund’ for my brother and myself, and my mothers half share was divided between my brother and myself and both put into these trust accounts.
        This was sorted via their solicitor, and both parents signed contracts.
        However there has been no evidence of these two trust funds ever been made, my father was in charge of setting the accounts up and he had control of both accounts, and the money from those two accounts are to be payed out to my brother and myself only after my father dies.
        We suspect that the money that came from my mothers share of the house, wich was later divided between my brother and I and put into trust funds, has been spent by my father.
        Therefore my query is ‘is this legal?’, Whatcan be done legally to recover what was meant to be our future inheritance? That money has not his to spend.

      • Williams says:

        Williams – March 9, 2016 at 2:31pmReport/Reply
        I’m hoping you can advise me with ‘where to go from here’ and ‘what can be done/if anything at all can be done’, as I’m at a total loss with this one.
        My parents separated and divorced when I was a child, the year would have been around about 1985. My brother and myself moved with our mother, and our father was left living in the family home.
        Both parents names where on the mortgage, so both owned .5 each. My father was asked to buy my mothers half share of the house, but at that time ‘claimed he was unable to financially’, and instead offered a different solution.
        He told my mother that he would not likely continue living in the house in defiantly, instead he intended to put the house on the market in a years time, and when it was sold he would then ‘give my mother half of that sale’. Rather than it being ‘an option’, it was more a ‘like it or lump it’ that my mother felt forced into rather than agreeing to.
        My father was a violent and controlling man, having finally managed to break free of him for good, she wanted no contact with him whatsoever, she feared the man and had always lived in fear of him. Due to this, she took the offer that she was given and signed the contracts he had drawn up.
        The contracts stated that ‘when the house was sold, my mothers half share would be divided 50/50 between my brother and myself, and would be placed in savings/trust fund for the future, this being done/set up by our father himself.
        My father has since always stated that 2 accounts where opened by himself, one one each for my brother and I, and that we would inherit this money ‘only after his death’.
        Now I have always wandered whether or not he was true to his word, and due to past experiences and is selfish nature, I have doubted very much that this was something that was not done and most likely was never intended to have done. Over the years I have tested the waters, asked to be shown the information proving that he had indeed kept his promise, and done what the contract stated me must do, but still to this day have not seen a shred of evidence proving this.
        Due to many years passing since, I’m afraid to say that ‘not all information/ documents’ made it to today, and there a papers belonging to my mother that have somehow been lost between homes we have lived at since.
        My mother has prove that she did In Fact have her name on both ownership and mortgage of the property, but has not got the complete documentation regarding this contract that was set up about her ‘half share’ of the money and what he was to do following the sale.
        So problem one is this- Would the document she has got be enough to prove there should be inheritance owed by him, that would be later passed on to his children. And if ‘No’, and more information would be needed, ‘how would she go about finding the information that was needed, where to go from here.
        The second problem is this- the family home was sold sometime during the 1990’s, and ‘I think’ was sold on to the council, who had intended to have the house demolished. I have no prove of ‘who the house was later sold to’, but assume it would have been local authority due to the row of houses that the house stood next to. The row of 4 quarry men’s cottages where taken down stone by stone and moved on to a local museum, leaving just two houses remaining, one having stood either side of the 4 quarry men’s cottages. We have since tried hard to find information online, or prove of the family home having indeed been stood In that spot during the past, but I’m afraid our search has been in vain, have since not gone any further from this. The problem is that the postcode is no longer in use, and there doesn’t seem to be any information in the land registers aether.
        I have since been told that my suspicion regarding my father have been most likely true. He has , or ‘so I’m told’ been bragging about his plan to swindle, and bragged about having managed to keep and spend both his share, and my mothers share from the sale of the house, and assumes that nothing can be done about it and he will not get in any trouble for spending all the money, due to the fact of him ‘no longer being here on the day we eventually find out’ about it.
        I would be greatful of any advice you could offer, no matter how small, anything would be much appreciated as I’m at a total lose and have no clue what can be done and how.
        Kind regards
        Marilyn Stowe – March 9, 2016 at 5:25pmReport/Reply
        Dear Williams
        If I understand correctly both your parents are still alive, in which case if she never applied for a divorce settlement and got a court order, why doesn’t she apply now? There is no time limit. Subject to this:- If there is no money left what’s the point?
        Williams – March 11, 2016 at 6:06pmReport/Reply
        Yes,both parents are still alive, and have been divorced 30 years.
        When my parents divorced 30 years ago, my mother left the marital home that she owned with my father, and shortly after this my father put the house up for sale.
        When the house was later sold, half of that house sale was owed to my mother, and my father to have the other half.
        My father kept and spent his half, but rather than give my mother her half payment from the sale of their house, he instead ‘opened a trust fund’ for my brother and myself, and my mothers half share was divided between my brother and myself and both put into these trust accounts.
        This was sorted via their solicitor, and both parents signed contracts.
        However there has been no evidence of these two trust funds ever been made, my father was in charge of setting the accounts up and he had control of both accounts, and the money from those two accounts are to be payed out to my brother and myself only after my father dies.
        We suspect that the money that came from my mothers share of the house, wich was later divided between my brother and I and put into trust funds, has been spent by my father.
        Therefore my query is ‘is this legal?’, Whatcan be done legally to recover what was meant to be our future inheritance? That money has not his to spend.

  148. JamesB says:

    I remember when I tried to say something as a LIP in court. I tried to stand up, as the other sides Barrister had just spent ten minutes talking on his feet to the court. Then the Judge said (quoting him) “No, sit down”, so I sat down. Then he said “I do not come to your place of work and tell you how to do your job, so shut up”. So, I didn’t say anything and got stitched up. The moral of the story, try and avoid going to court and keep costs to a minimum, especially if other side are being unreasonable, and be represented if you can. If you need counselling through it pay a counsellor rather then try and discuss feelings with a lawyer.

  149. JamesB says:

    One thing I found was limiting correspondence to one letter a month to the other side helped me keep costs down. I need to go now. Best regards to you all.

  150. David Downie says:

    Dear Marylin,

    I have been divorced for a number of years now and the issue of financial settlement has been going on for three years without settlement. We have had a number of court hearings and almost reached the stage of a consent order but once again my Ex has changed the terms. The court quite rightly is losing patience and it will have to move it to full trial, however the costs for me as the applicant are unaffordable. Can I request the judge for a discontinuance as the applicant and force her to be the applicant? Note: I have been paying monthly maintenance for her and the children without fail after the divorce.

    Regards David

  151. P says:

    Hi, main issue I have a degenerative disease only able to work part time, have needed to reduce hours per week over the last 6 years with no way of increasing my income. Divorce due to ex moved out having an affair with his manager (they are not living together as yet), divorce almost complete: we have undertaken mediation but no resolution to finances. I have a son and daughter aged 16 and 17 staying in full time education for another 3-4 years. I want to sell the MTH and purchase a smaller 3 bed home with a clean break.
    Ex is wanting me to stay in the marital home for another 10 years (stipulating he doesn’t wish any hardship on the kids or me) with triggers of selling as follows: sell when my son reaches 25 years, sell if one of the kids leaves home and sell if I cohabit. He is pushing me for this as my small family unit needs are at the moment a 3 bed house. His main reason for this is, he is only wanting to pay for my sole needs only as he says that the kids will not be living with me after 10 years and I will only need a 1 bed apartment.
    I also agreed for him to take £10,000 out of our shared savings on his departure so he was able to rent somewhere as the marriage was well and truly over. He now states he has spent this and doesn’t want this taking into account with the final settlement.
    I am currently waiting for papers to apply to court for the settlement. I know he is bitter about the fact that I may receive more of the equity in the home due to my health situation as he says ”its not fair as he has worked all his life it should be split equally”.
    Question do you think this is a reasonable proposal that he is putting to me? I feel he still wants to control me and my kids and I would prefer a new start back in my home village near my family.

  152. C says:

    Please could you advise me on what to do about my ex husband. I don’t feel I was advised well during my divorce as I am struggling financially and will struggle further in the future. My main question is, can I take my ex husband back to court even though we had a clean break divorce. I have the children living with me and they see their father every other weekend. Sometimes he cancels having the children due to being busy with either holidays or when he is busy playing in his band. I never have any contact with him other than if he contacts me once to tell me he was no longer paying child maintenance for my eldest daughter as she was doing an apprenticeship and then because he want to let me know he’d given my youngest daughter some money for her birthday, I am now struggling to build a career as I am unable to talk to him about child care arrangements for my youngest daughter while I’m at work FT. While we were married (18 years) I was the main carer of the children working PT and school hours, we lived in a small town with no family close by. I have change my job since the divorce and basically got as far as I can within the limits of the job I do and the area I can work. I was given a 75% spilt of the equity of the house when we divorced as I had the children living with me. I know find that I can not further my career in any way as he doesn’t help with picking up or taking my children to work and school. ( he lives 10 minutes away). Once divorced I moved to a village out of the town which is out of the school catchment area, not far away but no transport links to and from my daughters school.
    My eldest daughter works on a farm 10 miles away and I take her to and from work before and after work. He has rarely taken her to or from work, Once in the morning when I was ill and a couple of times dropped her after work. I drop my youngest daughter to school (she didn’t want to move from the school she has attended since 11 so I haven’t changed her to the more local school in our catchment area, As there is no transport she sometimes goes to a friends after school or comes to my work place and waits until I’ve finished work. She doesn’t like doing this much but there isn’t much choice. On a few occasions she has asked her father to pick her up, which he has done but not without complaint that I have isolated her by moving to a small village out of the catchment are. He constantly puts me down to the children and lies about why we split up. He was always a very manipulative person and has told lies to anyone that will listen.
    I feel trapped in the job I do as I can’t get any help from him with the children, I will have to stay in the job until my youngest daughter leaves education by which time I will be 50 and my chances of building a career will be limited.
    If I had known that he would help so little I would have fought to stay in the marital home until the children had left their education as I could have managed my career better with friends helping with the children. He has a career that was built while I stayed at home/PT work, I am trapped in a low paid job but above the threshold for any help with course fees.
    He refuses to reply to texts from me so I know any requests for help with childcare will just be ignored. I really want to go back to court to have the original decision overturned and request spousal maintenance citing that if I had realised he would help so little and cancel having the children when he was meant to then I would have made sure I was protected for my future. He had an affair which caused the break up of the marriage but I am left with no future to get myself back on my feet and independent. It seems so unfair that I am struggling financially but just can’t improve my situation because I have minimal support from him.

  153. Sandra Panciera says:

    Marilyn, I am 63 year old female have been in a gay relationship, for 20years I have been the stay at home mom and domestic I have worked very hard to keep up with the house kids yard we have 2 boys that we adopted the baby was three months old and was a drug baby, our sons are 11&12 the relationship is no longer worth saving for a lack of respect she is a retired police officer of 32years am I entitled to any part of the retirement or the house we did not marry, we were already having problems, do I have any rights as mu responsibility is the same as if it was a man I have given my all I dont even have the fiance to get me an appartment and she said that she will not give me any thing, do I have any rights

  154. Vinnie says:

    Hi Marilyn, what a breath of fresh air that someone is actually listening to reason and helping people through simple acts of kindness.

    I was married in 2012 in India, my wife got her visa in 2014 – took 2 years and when she arrived, we had a brief marriage which wasn’t physical and after some 5 months she made allegations of domestic violence and fled our home.

    I went to court on s.39 common assault depite ‘her’ making an admission (I recorded the calls) and said she has caused her own injuries with an iron, after telling the police I did it with a shoe, lots of conjecture, like no defence wounds and I have never hurt a soul 🙁 I’m 50 and she’s 30 and perhaps it was too good to be true – still she’d tried to come the the UK twice before once as a student and once as a married student bother were refused, I wasn’t aware until after the fact.

    All said and done I was found not guilty and I reported everything to the UKVI via MP Judith Cummings, and it was acknowledged by the UKVI intelligence unit. We were divorced thereafter and nisa and now decree absolute has come through, there is a matter of the financial settlement, I paid my ex-wife £8000 in money orders whilst she was in India, money she was going to pay back once she arrived in the UK and found work.

    I own three houses (buy to let’s) which were purchased in 2006 / 2007 – and have suffered massive financial hardship since, and after the false assault charges, I became depressed and my income has slumped from circa £20k to less than half this amount, and that includes the profit from property, which isn’t much when you consider the outgoing mortgages.

    My question to all is ‘she has committed marriage fraud’ has no physical relationship which was proven in court, admitted to assaulting herself on tape, which was forensically substantiated (that the call took place between our two phones – when she was in a hostel) it was played on court and she admitted it was her voice and was instrumental in proving my innocence, the CPS and the Police was appealing I’m their conduct throughout but sadly, I am told this is the norm for GREAT Britain (where incidently I was born and bred) !

    All said and done she has put a home rights notice on my main residence which is now let (I had two buy to let’s) this makes three because I moved to an appartment after death threats were made by nasty sorts that she had encouraged. All said and done I would like my £8000 back, I have a HMRC debt of £20,000 which I have been paying for 2 years and is now done to £12k and other priorities, and cannot see how she can ask for anything ?? Naturally I am worried, I receive carers allowance for looking after my elderly disabled parents and work part time (about £3k per annum).

    Whilst she should be deported, it’s clear that the UKVI is unlikely to do that because she has a case worker etc all of whom will be fighting her corner. Notwithstanding this, because it matter not to me since we are divorced and she is in a women’s hostel in Cardiff – our marriage was around 2 years, of which she was with me in the UK for 6 months, she contributed nothing, we had no physical relationship / kids, and she has told her solicitors that I bought 3 houses whilst we were married, when I was clearly destitute and had nothing – my incomes dropping like a lead balloon and 3 houses in total all bought in 2006 / 7 – 5 plus years before we were married, arranged marriage in India.

    The fraud aspects upset me and I don’t see how she can have a financial settlement – contributed nothing, I made moneygram payments in the amount of £8000 and supported her both here and in the UK – I have about £60 – £80k worth of debt, and my soul was crushed this past year after the allegations of assault which were closely followed by ‘rape’ were made, the latter was dropped by the police after they obtained my medical records which verified my statement that I was depressed and we had no physical relationship – my doctor had sent me for testes exams etc and it was all cleared up with ‘no further action’ but it was a nightmare ordeal and it still hurts, would a judge listen to the allegation cases or the outcomes, my solicitor provided me with a letter that states that the magistrates didn’t find her evidence given via video link to be credible. She has made a mockery of the legal system and I am deeply wounded that after the ‘decree absolute’ this ugly matter has arisen once again, I need closure and cannot afford to make any kind of settlement and on principle can’t see why I should have to if all the evidence is provided to the judge and my properties are ‘ring fenced’ and the money given to her is taken into account – naturally I can substantiate my postiom but the solicitors acting for her are asking for a huge list of information covering 12 months bank statements, mortgage account statements etc etc – I know I must respect due process but I would like to know point blank if I have a solid footing reference the above, I am very disheartened that I picked someone so poisonous, someone who’s sole intention was to come to the UK someone who still has contact with her ex in India and now wants to rinse me and take from me what I haven’t got to give, nor should I have to 🙁 please help !


  155. Vinnie says:

    Could you kindly opt me in reference this reply to Luke, so that I may receive a reply,

    Totally agree Luke, would you kindly look at my comment, just posted and offer your opinion, I would be most grateful as my marriage was hardly 2 years of which my ex was in the UK for 6 months before she made false DV charges and the police happily took me away to a cell for 24 hours! And it’s been a nightmare but ‘not guilty’ verdict thanks to recorded phone calls when she was trying to make up and stacks of evidence forensic evidence to substantiate the call was indeed made and it was played in court and she admitted it was her – within the call she states that she hurt herself with an iron, and not unsurprisingly no defence wounds, all the things you’d exoect an impartial Police to investigate – sadly despite being a British citizen born and bred the support is always for the woman and as a foreign national she was on a role, case workers and the likes all swallowing her drivel whilst I went into depression and received death threats, but that wasn’t anything serious according to the police!

    Long story short married in August 2012 – arrived in UK in September 2014 – she made false allegations and left my home May 2015 and Divorced early 2016 (nisi then absolute) we had no physical relationship (proved to police via my medical records – I was depressed and impotent after all the anticlimax if her arriving and causing chaos!) subtle but stressful, she contributed nothing

    I have 3 buy to let houses (2 are rented – one is being advertised to rent) the latter was our family home, but I left after the death threats and found an apparetment, FYI she has put a home rights notice on this house, 2 houses are in negative equity and one has a small potential (but has home rights notice on it now) also my income dropped from £20k per annum to half that amount this and last year and I owe £20,000 to HMRC – I’m paying £300 per month and have it down to circa £12k now and have around £60k worth of debts overall, I gave her £8000 in moneygram orders whilst she was still in India as loans because she wanted to pay off her dads debt and have some construction work done on the land etc – she was supposed to pay me back once she arrived and started work, this did not happen !

    On the contrary hee solicitors are applying for legal aid to proceed with the financial settlement and want full disclosure (I don’t mind supplying the facts as they are) but can’t afford a solicitor at this time, I receive carers allowance and am on low income because I find it hard to work, and this in turn makes it harder to lay bills etc, especially with a house sitting empty with a £600 mortgage to pay, my folks help me lots, but I am at times beyond help and increasingly destitute,

    This woman committed a marriage fraud and it has been duly reported to UKVI via my MP and I have done everything to walk away from this leach, but she won’t go away ! She’s committed fraud, made false allegations, committed perjury but no one and nothing is going to stop her crushing me – where is justice for the meek? I just want to know if considering these circumstances, which I can substantiate have files and files of evidence, surely my 2006/7 assets would be ring fenced and my current income and debts don’t allow for anything, which I shouldn’t have to pay to someone who came here to defraud me ?? For example Luke, she has told her solicitors (who informed me) that I had bought three houses whilst we were married ? An outright lie, I only have 3 houses and two were bought in 2007 and one was gifted to me by my mum and dad in 2006.

    If I can show my dire circumstances, debts and appealing low income right now, and the fact that the properties were bought years before my marriage and the fact that she made false allegations which were disproven and owes me effectively £8000 which I can prove, should I continue to suffer, or do you think in your ‘humble’ opinion, that a judge would throw this out on a limb because she has lied persistently and has ruined what little chance of happiness I might have had – it was an arranged marriage and I was 48 and she was 28 and I’m 50 now 🙁 and just want some closure and can’t understand how she can even make a claim against me… But she is poison and her soliciotrs are clearly happy to make their fees – despite my offer to disclose evidence of her deceit to them; they are happy to carry on regardless.


    • Luke says:

      I am not a lawyer and I am only responding because you specifically asked me to, but I’m NOT the person you need.
      I don’t know what the actual monetary value of your assets is but if it is significant you need a good lawyer NOW ! Trying to avoid paying for one in your position is a false economy, I would have thought you would be able to get an initial consultation which should give you a decent idea of the depth of the hole that you are in – even if we assume your story is correct and you can prove it the way our courts work I fear that you may pay dearly for your foolishness 🙁
      On a general note the naivety of the male population in this country never ceases to astound me – but I’ll repeat this – in my view if you have more assets than your partner has then as a man you never EVER sign the marriage certificate. It is a bit like financially sticking your head in a guillotine and giving your wife the option to figuratively behead you as and when she sees fit. Sometimes the ‘beheading’ doesn’t quite work out as she hopes, but the option to do it is always there.
      Once you get to court the judge financially ‘owns’ you, you are completely at their mercy, they can take from you literally whatever they want – from assets made during the marriage; before the marriage; after the marriage (spousal support); pensions throughout your life – Uncle Tom Cobley and all.
      if you wish to cohabit long term then the ideal scenario in my opinion is to write up a contract at the beginning which both parties can live with if it breaks up – if you can’t agree then you know where you stand – but just being foolishly swept along with the tide of romance and getting married means:
      I am the master of my fate:
      I am the captain of my soul.’
      …NO LONGER APPLIES – what man with an IQ above room temperature looks at this and agrees willingly to give that up ???

      • Vinnie says:

        Luke, thanks for the candid reply, and duly noted and no doubt I must seek some professional advice.

        My only point to clarify if I may, my assets are in negative equity other than one home which has a small equity but a deed of trust is in place because I owe my sister £15k.

        I have no net worth other than this and I think i mentioned I am on carers allowance and net income under £10k per annum, I have HMRC debt equivalent to one years I come and my ex wife owes me £8000.

        Furthermore, she committed a marriage fraud and made false allegations against me which were proven to be so in court, surely – my ‘position’ doesn’t allow for anything to be settled – however, I was just concerned that I may be faced with further adversity !

        I am a fool granted, and won’t be making that mistake again, but it is what it is and I would have bought that we would go our separate ways with our respective debts in tow, because she is in no position to pay me anything and I to be honest am in no position to compensate a fraudster.

        I was hoping that the mitigating circumstances would have given me some piece of mind notwithstanding the usual push and shove of our lame legal system.

        Indeed, I value and alleviate your feedback kind sir.

        • Luke says:

          I wish you the very best of luck man, and you deserve it – being naïve isn’t a crime – I know that I was naïve in the past too.
          You can recover from all this so hang in there !

  156. J says:

    Hi Marilyn I am looking for some clear advice. I have been married almost 5 years. My husband and I are divorcing. I sought an amicable divorce and sent a letter and petition to him first but he then sent his own petition direct to court filled with a number of lies. I am ignoring them in order to get this nightmare over and so am not defending the lies. We signed a prenup but only two days before we married. It was manually amended six months into the marriage. It states what we pay for individually, we own. My husband entered the marriage with few savings and a lapsed pension which he never found. I had my house for 9 years before we married and some savings and a teacher pension. He and I lived in the house I own and for which I pay the mortgage and he paid me money for bills most months until he filed for divorce. Then he stopped paying apparently advised to do this by his solicitor when he filed for divorce because I earn more than him and am richer party! During the marriage I bought an investment property to serve as a pension as I had become self employed. I moved overseas for a job just over 6 months ago. My job is not that secure but is quite well paid. I earn more than my husband. He got matrimonial rights on house and has in past made up accusations against me to get URN with police and has been collecting evidence for a divorce for some time. My husband rejected a settlement offer of over 15k. He wants half of everything which if I sold house and investment might be about 85k. We have only been married 4-5 years and he has a job, is not disabled, we have no children and he has stopped paying any money for bills. He has also been obstructive in allowing work quotes on house. My solicitor is advising me not to go back to stay in the house when I return to England due to his accusations but I am concerned a judge will see his living there as justification for him getting house. Also this is difficult as my family live some distance from my house and i want to be near it to sort out some things in it as I want to get house ready to rent if divorce does not result in house sale. Also i am concerned that now I am paying for everything like he is a dependent when I know he is not. Can you advise how you think i should proceed, how much he may get in divorce , and whether I should go to stay in the house. I am going to fill form E in soon.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear J
      As I understand it this is a short childless marriage where there is a pre and post nup which specifically states each keeps their own property. He signed them both voluntarily. I’m assuming the marriage has always been rocky from what you write and you were thinking about your long term future.
      He has income and no capital as I see it. I know nothing else about either of you.
      I think you should proceed on the basis he is entitled to nothing other than what is his as per the agreement. Then negotiate from there. Radmacher is a case in point.
      I do not think he is entitled to a 50/50 split and think it’s a try on because you are abroad.
      As for returning to the house I think it makes no difference and will be a point of stress for you until this is resolved. The fact you are paying all the bills and he’s living rent free will most likely go on your favour as it shows him up. I would prepare an inventory of everything you have paid and continue to pay. It will go into your outgoings in the Form E.
      Calm down, don’t try and run before you can walk with your plans for the house.
      Stay commercial. Consider how much it might cost to litigate against the cost of giving him a deposit to buy somewhere else and clear off. You won’t get your costs back unless the court thinks he’s been unreasonable and it sounds as if he might be but there are no guarantees especially as I doubt he will get a big pay off.
      I stress however, I have no real info, I’m not retained and I’m giving this opinion entirely without liability! Have a good conversation with your lawyer who,you are paying to deal with one of the most important times in your life and understand where s/he is coming from. A retained lawyer will have more information to hand than I have.

    • Luke says:

      J, I hope you take Marilyn’s advice, in the case you describe your leech of a husband deserves absolutely nothing.
      I do think this case highlights the fact that whilst prenuptial agreements and even postnuptial agreements are good they are not nearly as strong in this country as some people like to think – they are certainly not binding on the court. The only safe course of action is to avoid the nuptials bit altogether 🙂

  157. Tom Blue says:

    Dear Marilyn, hope you have time to reply, 40 years old divorced almost five years ago (one child), financially not settle, i have remarriage and move on with now other children’s, left one child from previous marriage also a house never sold or settle after divorce, i receive threats since i left due to that, she’ll be keeping the house for her only, never paid a single penny after i left on that mortgage because i couldn’t afford it any way as i now have a another rent to pay and a very low income. Cant really afford any solicitors, have spend lots in solicitors in the past and courts to have parents visits with my child. the question is: The property is now estimated in £350000 with a £167,781 mortgage balance, do i have any entitlement in that mortgage? or once she goes to court i shall have none, She also is in a stable relationship for the last 4 years, financially she is not struggling in any way.
    maintenance dont know how that works, have to get help from local council as my salary cant pay for rent etc, how can i pay for maintenance ? Help!



  158. Dimpy says:

    Hi Marilyn

    A brief summary:

    Married 1990 – Nisi 2013 – not yet absolute – so currently a 25.5 year marriage.
    3 grown up children – all over 18 – one still lives with me (special needs)
    H had affair in 2012 – went to live with his mistress in her house – still there now.
    No further children on any side.
    I’ve made 4 proposals to settle finances – 1/3 value of FMH (£170k therefore £50k lump sum) and 1/3 his 3 pensions – he’s rejected this together with a similar proposal of £30k and 1/3 pension.
    Tried mediation – he declined to produce up to date pension values wanted me to consider some at least 3 years out of date – I declined and mediator agreed this was reasonable by me.
    I got a form A signed by mediator to apply for Finances hearing – he beat me to it (and saved me court fees!) and filed his own application but it is not signed by mediator – just mediator’s contact details put on form A.
    Is this valid?
    His solicitor has ticked all the boxes for applications on form A even though many of them are irrelevant to our situation.
    He wants clean break, as do I but he seems to think this means that he does not give me a lump sum/pension share or anything at all.
    Can I dispute his application? Are my proposals reasonable?
    I don’t work due to ME/fibromyalgia – not worked full time since 1992. He has FT job and 3 pensions!
    I’m LIP as I can’t afford a solicitor anymore.
    Hope you can help, I’d really appreciate some guidance.
    Thank you. Dippy

  159. ada19 says:

    I do not agree.

  160. Salma says:

    I recieved my divorce in 2011, after a short marriage which produced two children in america. I won custody of the children in the uk in a seperate case involving jurisdiction. As the divorce in the US only ever covered the custody issue, nothing else was discussed during the two year battle. I was awarded a temp spousal support which my ex never paid. He pays no maintenance toward the children and I feel that we have been left in the cold. Is there anything I can do? I am currently back in uni, trying to gain better job prospects for the future, but help with finances would be great. We live in one room, and barely make ends meet Do you have any advice? My ex is selling the marital house, which he put in his mothers name at the time of purchase, and has moved to another state where he works as an accountant.Should I try to reopen in the US, or do something here? Thanks

  161. Ella13 says:

    I am due in court for a financial hearing following divorce. We have exchanged all financial documentation and it is clear from my ex husbands self employed accounts that not all income has been declared and that the majority of income has been written off with expenses, leaving a pitiful income of £6k a year (less than myself who works part time as a single mother). However, when you look through bank statements the lifestyle he leads is beyond this income with £13k a year spent purely on luxuries – holidays, eating out, leisure etc – this is backed up by bank statements.

    In 6 months he banked £23k in income and thousands of cash deposits.

    My solicitor advises that it is impossible to go against the accounts because the court will accept them as official declaration of his income having been submitted by an accountant. Irrelevant of how clear it is that this is not a true and accurate overview of his financial situation.

    He also said that unless we are talking huge amounts of money due in Spousal Maintenance and enough to get me off tax credits then there is no use arguing the financials as spousal maintenance only lasts for 12 months.

    How is this fair that self employed accounts can be manipulated so much that absent parents can get away with not supporting their children to the best of their ability yet continue to live above average lifestyles themselves and even provide more for their new partners children?

  162. Caroline says:

    Hi, I have recently received decree nisi in respect of my 14 year long marriage and am worried about the financial settlement. Throughout the marriage I was the primary payer of all fees to do with out children (ages now 5 and 8) which are still approximately 350 a month. My soon to be ex husband has never paid maintenance and is extremely financially irresponsible despite the fact that he has a good job. Since the separation over 2 years ago I have worked incredibly hard to support my children and pay the mortgage and the house hold bills and have advanced in my career to the point where I have returned to full time employment and earn a good salary (37,000). I am not seeking maintainance just the property I am living in. I paid a quarter of the house value as a deposit from my own money.
    He has a property overseas in his home country but I have no paperwork to support this. I am concerned that a judge will see the settlement as potentially unfair even though it is something we both agree to. Since the separation I have also inherited money from a family member on my side which I want to keep out of the equation. I feel I would lose out should there be a full financial disclosure due to his laziness to find accommodation (he had lived with friends for 2 years) and lack of private pension. What are my options? I do not wish to screw anybody over but since the separation I have become better off financially and having the children living with me 365 days a year I want to continue to be financially independent. How should I proceed?

  163. mojo says:


    Am looking for any advice, I married in Scotland and moved to wales with my then hubsand and my young son. After 3 years things went from bad to worse and I was on my own all the time with my son, he was very controlling in 2014 I left and returned to Scotland with my son and have been living at my mums. He pushed for divorce and I stupidly didn’t sign anything and subsequently the divorce went through in Sept/Oct 2014. Things were amicable and I ensured that contact was always made in relation to my son. He has never paid any money towards myself or my son. I was a stay at home mum. A caravan was bought when we were together and I paid £20k (from inheritance money I was given) he subsequently sold the caravan and bought a new motorbike with monies. He is still living in the home that was bought for us and as I said I live at my mums with my son and I sharing a bed and a room. Can I make a claim against him financially, all our belongings are stored in the house as I have no where to keep them here. I have spoken to a lawyer here in Scotland but they said I need to deal with a lawyer in Wales. Sorry for the ramble but things have turned nasty again and I need to move on for the sake of my son as he is destroying me emotionally.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  164. Ella says:

    i have a 10 year marriage that is ending in divorce
    husband is proven high earner but been out of work for 12-18 months setting up own business that has not worked. he has used 100k of savings to pay for families living expenses
    husband now in receipt of job offer – basic salary 150k with 60k bonus ( set up as contractor so not paying ‘full’ tax rates)
    stay at home mum to 6 year old twins – got PT job when filed for divorce
    only asset is house – 475k equity
    no pensions
    wife wants 400k which husband has agreed to ( no mesher)
    he will pay child maintenance of csa proportion but refuses spousal maintenance and a share in his bonus ( unless it goes into a bank account for the children only to use at 18 years – not to be used for their living costs )
    wife states with all of above she cannot manage on this and needs 800 on top of child maintenance
    whats your advise?

  165. MP says:

    Desperate for advice and direction please, I will try to be as succinct as possible if you can advice me to my chances or any landmark cases. I seem to recall one similar where ex got the equity charge changed many years later by judge due to what she had put into the property financially and maybe financial situation that results years later? cant find the case now.

    1. 1991 came into a common law relationship, which resulted in two kids and 8 years.
    2. he came in with quarter million pound debts, i with 30 thousand from proceeds from a house sale i had.
    3. Bought his liquidated co, good will and fixtures. turned over a great profit in a year!. He subsequently took this and lost in many other business ventures
    4. 1999 break up ……only equity left in flat we had and i had 2 kids under 7. He tried through courts to for 8 long bitter years to first to get me out of house, take kids away (because he wanted the house) and then to claim 50% equity charge on property. I was told after long lengthy court case and huge legal bill that it was not a moral thing but a law thing and despite what he brought in and what i brought into the relationship we were common law and i could not contest money prior to our relationship.
    5. i had a breakdown and had to give up and 45% charge was made to him despite i was struggling for years alone with two kids and no money coming in and he not helping for anything.(5% more for me as i had been paying mortgage with capital at the time, now interest only)
    6 He off course did not pay me or the kids any money and hid all his income etc!. Now some 17 years after this and also from when i bought the flat in 1992 and paid for all of the mortgage etc ( he was employed for years) i had to go on income support for years back then. So he has not paid a single penny to his house. I have got back on my feet over these years, work my socks off alone and have spent countless thousands modernising and upgrading etc.
    7. He has married, wealthy solicitor, had multiple houses, one abroad, bought my son a 6 bedroom house putting in about £50 thousand i believe. He lives a good life with his wife.
    8, before our relationship a long term partner he had came to me and told me he was trying to take their shared home despite she had paid for it over the years when he was crashing business and she was keeping them afloat. This he did to me and he is a parasite of women and their money.
    9. Now all i have is my home and the equity in it for my pension and older age and he is very ok with the money they have.
    10. I begged him to give the 45% in the name of our children even, i could stomach that more than he having it for doing and paying nothing for the whole 22 years of the mortgage, maintenance and bills i have paid fo this home. He agreed in front of the kids but then reneged when time to sign paperwork.

    Do i have a case to change the equity, as i would have hardship if i sold my place and has only 50% after mortgage and costs, to fund my older age. Whilst he is very very ok with his life.

    I fought tooth and nail to not let him get what i believed was not his right when he did not have any money, never paid towards kids to help me, put me through 8 year of court cases which really affected all including our kids and he hid money. But ill health and huge legal bill i had to concede back then.

    I still wish to contest the equity and the charge in his name Can i do this? was there a landMark case i think i heard of similiar circumstances?

    My solicitor said if i can get reference to it they would help!. but i feel i still have a case but do not want to incur huge bills again and result in a no win!.

    Our kids are 23 and 20 and both working and the charge he could have pushes when our youngest stopped education. i am surprised he did not as he is a ruthless man!.. i have 4 more years on the mortgage but dont want him to have what he is not morally entitled to for having a mere name on the deeds.

    The mortgage is now in my sole name. He even found a law back then that whilst i paid the mortgage i would have had to pay him half for rent!!!.. i was in shock! his lawyer said they would not implement this if i conceded to half equity!!.. and yet the the mortgage providers did not chase him for his half of mortgage. He would not have paid because he wanted the house sold so he could take the money and lose it yet again in business!.. Is the law such an arse!..

    Please help, really need direction.


  166. JD says:

    Hi there,
    I wondered if I could get some advice re: action and entitlement?
    I have recently (last week) left my husband. I left a note and left while he was at work due to his history of irrational, aggressive and abusive behaviour.
    – we have been married for 2 years
    – together for 5 years
    – I was not working when we met due to serious illness and disability
    – I am financially dependent on him
    – he has been sporadically abusive – emotional and verbal throughout our relationship – alone and in public. He has been controlling and isolating.
    – I have a serious brain condition meaning that high stress situations and confrontation can potentially trigger further brain injury. I am partially sighted and have suffered with anxiety for the last 2-3 years
    – we have recently (2015) bought a home with a joint £260k mortgage and there is £40k equity in the house
    – he earns roughly £48-50k pa
    – we have a puppy (my companion dog) and I took her with me.

    I was going for some guidance as to what may be entitled to, what to be aware/concerned about and how best to proceed with the divorce to minimise the stress and anxiety for me?
    Thanks very much in advance for any advice/help

  167. russell says:

    Hi , just after some info. Ive been married for 26yrs and seperated from my wife about 3yrs ago, i moved out but continued to pay half the mortgage. She has now decided she wants to sell the house and i have agreed to this. For about the last year and a half to 2 years her new partner has been living with her and also our 2 children still live there ( who are both over 18 ). My wife wants to move sell the house and move into a new home with her new partner and our 2 children. Do you have any idea of what percentage of the sale of the house i would be entitled too.

    Many thanks
    mr coleman

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Russell
      The starting point would be 50/50. Get some good legal advice don’t guess.

  168. Jayne says:


    I would greatly appreciate some advice. I have been separated for over 3 years now and have been trying to agree a divorce settlement for over a year. I was with my husband from 2005, married in 2007 and he left in 2013. We have a 6 yr old child with significant additional needs and I gave up my job to care for him in 2011 and went back part time in Jan 2014 under pressure from my ex. I am only on a fixed contract until Xmas. Our son is likely to never be fully independent. My ex earns 5,500 net monthly plus bonus whilst I earn 1,200. We have a house worth around 450,000 with a mortgage of 130,000. I have a pension of 45,000 and his is 200,000. He has around 160,000 in the bank from shares and savings. He has a car worth 20,000. I have one worth 7,000 and an isa worth 10,000. He has made an offer of me keeping the house, getting a pension share of just under 30,000, a cash sum of 15,000 to repair the house and 850 a month in child maintenance. I was going to accept but he just ‘found’ an extra 60,000 in his pension and has added that I need to pay conveyancing fees and half the pension sharing fees. I will struggle to get a mortgage on my uncertain income. He is threatening to withdraw the offer if I don’t agree and that most of his assets could be considered ‘post separation’ and don’t need to be included in the offer, so he is being generous. Help please, is this fair? Is that true? I am worried I won’t be able to support the house on my income. I have started Co habiting but he has limited income, his own children to pay maintenance for and debts of over 20,000, so he can’t support me.

  169. nicky Harmes says:

    I was looking for advice, I am married with two children and have for 16 year we have a house which we both contribute to. I am looking to divorce my husband and he has been told my his solicitor that he will be entitled to 50% of the house and 50% custody of the children, the children are 14 and 11 and in school in the local area, is this the case and would any court force me to sell the house to accommodate this request. I only work part time at present but could up my hours now my children are in secondary school. my husband is the higher earner. Could you also advise if a court with take into consideration gambling and depression into their decision and could I use this to negotiate so that it doesn’t end up in costly court costs. Kind regards Nicky Harmes

  170. name witheld says:

    Have a query here divorce wit my husband and I dud not close my account closed of saving in the post office . And he knows about it what can he do in exchange questionaire ? Can he go further ? I do not want to disclose it it was close in last few month and our divorce not yet finalised …We are in early exchange questionaire ? Please advise as solicitor are rip off charged arm and legs and still do…. cheers …

  171. Andrew says:

    If you have failed to disclose an account and the amount is more than trivial compared with the sum of you must disclose it NOW. And if that means you get a less favourable order – in all honesty, why should it not?

  172. Gordon Gordon says:

    I liked your blog. I wanted to ask, where a lump sum is due, but the husband does not have the money, is there an alternative to an order that he must pay if when he comes into money, such as an installments regime to run alongside the maintenance? Second, is there a right in principle for a lump sum solely to represent the length of marriage?

  173. Marilyn Stowe says:

    A lump sum order cannot be varied, an order for payment of a lump sum by instalments may be varied :-
    The answer to your second question is the court will take into account a number of factors under Section 25 MCA1973 length of marriage is one factor.

    • Andrew says:

      Of course if the husband does not have the money the wife may be left with a bad debt!
      Personally I regard lump sum orders as like any other judgment debt between ex-partners. They should therefore (1) be subject to limitation (2) be provable in bankruptcty (3) be released by discharge in bankruptcy and (4) be postponed to the claims of other creditors.
      But that’s because I believe that marriage is a partnership “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer”; that if it fails both parties are entitled to a life after divorce; and that where the business and the marriage both collapse the outside creditors must come first.

  174. Lou says:

    hi, trying to agree a financial agreement with myself and ex, once we’ve agreed the split % of the house and we can do our financial agreement paper work for the court will we both need two separate solicitors or can we share a solicitor to sign off the paper work to save on solicitor fees?

  175. Jenny says:

    Police pension and actuarial advice: I am keen to get some advice around how it is best to convince the courts that an actuary report is needed to decide the division of our pension assets. Our financial situation is that we have about 250K joint equity in the house, my own assets are 40k in savings and a further 85k in regular company pensions. My earnings more or less equals his + new partners (declared in disclosure). So far so simple. I have had a preliminary estimate done of his police pension which was valued at CETV at 200k but by the actuarial company valued at potentially 750k. Needless to say, I am pushing for a full actuarial report and he is pushing back on this heavily.

    Although this means his asset are worth more than twice all other assets, my questions are:
    1) Can I insist of dealing with the equity as a separate issue from the pension or do the two issues have to be ‘offfset’? I have residency of the children and require a larger house. At the moment, what he is proposing to do with the equity would cost me £500+ more in mortgage fees per month and I can’t afford that. I would have to consider relocating to a cheaper part of the country or abroad or petition to remain in the house (not ideal for clean break)
    2) As his solicitor and counsel are well-versed in this subject, the push back is hard. How can my solicitor best present a case for a court ordered actuarial report to be undertaken?
    3) If an actuarial evaluation is done, how is this then applied to the pension share to ensure that his pension administrator assigns the right % pension share. As this is done on his current conditions, it should theoretically be ‘reverse’, i.e. the share for me would exceed half to accommodate the split in assets and the discrepancy in valuations?

    Thank you


  176. CUO1 says:

    Hi Marilyn
    I would be grateful for your advice. I travelled abroad and met my ex wife in 2003 and in 2004 we married over there and I sponsored her to come to the UK in Oct 2005 with our 3 months child. In Sept 2006 she had our second child and another child making it 3 in all. All the 3 children reside with me as a result of court residence order. I have had residence of the children since 2009 and at the same time obtained a non-mole against my ex. She was convicted twice for domestic violence against me for both common assault and harassment respectively. She moved out of the family home in 2010 following an ouster order. We separated in 2009 and divorced 2010.

    There are 5 properties with 4 buy to let all in negative equity and in my name. The family home has an equity of 50k and the children live there with me. My ex never made any financial contribution either monetary or in childcare as I had to employ and pay a child minder for care of the children from 2008 when last daughter was born to this day. My ex wife has now moved to a hostel and work with agency no childcare contribution. I have to care and support all our 3 children on my income as I work full time. I have debts of 70k used to acquire and modernise the properties which remain unpaid.

    She has now gone to court to request for lump sum or periodic payment. I don’t have savings and what can I offer when I have no cash.


  177. Vinnie says:

    I’m sorry to hear your dilemma – I too am in the same predicament, I have 3 buy to let and my wife came to the UK and accused me of assault. The law is heavily in the favour of a woman and it’s seriously out of date and for the most part totally pants. Lawyers are just out to make a mint fromones misery and both sides know right and wrong and that in my cases a marriage fraud has happened and this has been recorded in a confession over the telephone but to be frank the men hating case workers are all over this at every level as are the Police and CPS and it’s all about her and there is absolutely no interest in the facts ! I have £97 jk debts and negative equity and I am waiting to hear what the next blow will be – it’s costing me £££’s and she has legal aid.

  178. E says:

    Dear Marilyn,

    I’d like some advice on my interpretation of handling of inheritances in financial settlements. It concerns my parent’s situation; they have been married 35+ years, my dad is over 60, my mother approaching it. My mother has wanted to leave for a long time, but hasn’t due to fear of (relative) financial hardship. My father earns over £80K a year, my mother £30K, both working full time. Apart from early in their marriage, when my mother was sole earner while my dad was a mature student, they have manage their finances by both paying the same percentage of their earnings into a housekeeping account to cover living costs; the remainder was their own to do as they say fit. Under this arrangement my mother has accrued savings of around £30K, my father has less than £10K (he is a high functioning addict, so any personal money he has left tends to disappear). Their other assets are the family home, worth about £300K (mortgage almost paid off), and their pensions. My father’s will pay him a lump sum of around £80k and then an annual income of about £20K. My mother’s pension is much smaller as she had time out of work and worked part time raising us (all adults now), I think it might pay her about £5K per year.

    This year my last grandparent died. When it is all sorted out my father will inherit around £300K. My mother believes if she leaves she will see nothing of this, since it is my dad’s inheritance. I am not sure this is the case; taking the house and my parents total savings into account they have about £340K in total. Half of this each is not enough for them each to buy a house in our area, and due to their ages I am not sure of their mortgage prospects. Given the length of their marriage and their financial situation, would a court consider her entitled to some of the inheritance? Or order my father to pay her some of it in lieu of a share of his pension?

    Unfortunately it is quite likely that this would go to court, as my father is unlikely to agree to an amical separation. He has been emotionally abusive throughout the marriage, and frequently accuses my mother of “stealing” his money, since she has always managed the housekeeping account. He is also a very good actor and capable of being very charismatic when he wants to. I think her concerns about being left with little are quite well founded, but perhaps not as certain as she thinks. I will point her at your book!

  179. Evelyn says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    I have been reading the posts for the past hour. I can’t believe the stories and advice you have given is really good. I was just wondering if you could help me.
    Married for 15(still officially married) and two children under the age of 14. Marital home is under both our names but he has moved out and living with his girlfriend. He wants to sell the house but the kids start crying every time we discuss this and tbh I also don’t want to move. There is min of 300K equity in the house and kids do not stay overnight with him as they are scared of him due to emotional and verbal abuse throughout the marriage. I have booked an appointment with a solicitor but I find that the guidelines regarding the split are very vague. I am full time student and working part time as well, earning around £12,000 p/a. He earns around £56,000 p/a.
    He is still paying the £800 mortgage and the house bills and I am paying the kids’ basic (and every other) needs and the grocery bills. If I wanted to to stay in the house, what would the fairest option be to put forward in mediation?
    I understand mediation is whatever we agree on, but I need to know what I am entitled to as well. I could take on the mortgage I have been told by the bank; however, I would not be able to buy him out or take on another loan to pay him his share. He has a pension which he has paid into for the past 15 years though.
    I look forward to baring from you.

  180. Tony says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    I was divorced 18 months ago and forced to pay spousal maintenance for 2 years – ending Feb 2017
    I have now received a summons as my ex-wife has decided she needs more money and wants to extend the period.
    Since the divorce, I lost my (well paid) job and have set up my own business, now in its first year of trading. I am earning a very low wage but have maintained my spousal payments – over 50% of my income and am pulling business expenses for mileage etc which subsidised my income.
    I’m hoping to make my small limited company successful and am now concerned about my liabilities going forward and also, what rights does my ex have to view a limited company’s accounts?


  181. John says:

    I married in 2000, separated in 2007 and divorced in 2009. We have a so. And he has lived with me and my now wife since 2011. He is now 18. My ex-wife refused to sell the house when we divorced but when she was due to remarry her future husband wanted all financial ties broken so she agreed to sell the house. Her solicitor pushed for full financial disclosure but my solicitor advised that we go down the route of mediation first. We did this and came to agreement on the split of the proceeds from the sale of the house. There are 5 financial charges on the property and we have almost completed on the sale of the house bar getting one settlement figure fort a debt on my ex-wife’s name. My ex-wife has dragged her feet signing paperwork for the sale of the house and told me I’m an email that she would not sign the paperwork unless I signed the consent order that her solicitor had prepared but there were items contained that I was not happy with such as paying the mortgage arrears when I only agreed to pay the mortgage interest. My ex-wife has now decided to pull on the sale of the house despite being close to exchanging contracts. The buyer has been messed about and had hoped to be in the house for Xmas as she is relocating. My ex-wife now says that at the time of mediation she needed the money but now she doesn’t. It’s unlikely that she will now sign the consent order to and is being uncooperative. However, I’m still paying the mortgage and only agreed to do so as I thought house would be sold but it is now becoming a burden. How can I proceed with the sale of the house and the consent order? Your thoughts on this would be gratefully appreciated.
    Many thanks

  182. lavinia says:

    The nightmare continues.

    Tried negotiating for a fair settlement and to avoid costs of a FH the “unstable untreated alcoholic ex” had other ideas and his futile stance meant we had to go to a FH. The outcome was a fair one but both him and his solicitor have failed to comply with court orders, it took 3 months to obtain the monies held by his solicitor which has all gone in fees. It is now 7 months since the FH and he is refusing to respond to the Pension Sharing order and his solicitor is also being obstructive. Any advice would be appreciated.

  183. K says:

    Advice please!

    I left the marital home with 3 suitacses and my 3 children (youngest from this marriage)18 months ago due to constant abuse for which I sort council. I commenced divorce proceedings immediately. My Ex is self employed and 3 years ago was earning £70,000 as a plumber. Over the last 2 years he has lowered the profits changing to a Ltd company and now states he only earn £14000 per year which is a joke considering he works 9-7 each day and can earn £500 for just one job. The property has been valued at £189,000 with a £71,000 mortgage outstanding. I have gathered together my previous pension information and have been told the transfer value is £101,000. which has shocked me as only paid in £3000. I work part-time as I am a carer for my daughter and only earn £10,000. per year. My ex has refused to put forward 3 years of accounts and denies ever having had a pension. I am living in rented accommodation and struggling to live. What can I do? My ex wants half my pension. I feel gutted that It looks as though I will walk away with nothing after everything he has put us through. He has 3 vehicles and lives a life of luxury.

    How will the court look at this?

  184. Slim says:

    I have recently got my decree absolute, 6 years after separating. My ex wife and I have not communicated for 5 years of these. We both want a financial settlement where neither of us want anything from the other but want to ensure that neither can go after each others assets in the future. Her solicitor advised her to go after Financial settlement through court, I received a affidavit and when I went to get advise was advised that it would cost approx. £6000. I cannot afford this sum so completed a replying affidavit myself. I have since spoken to my ex who assures me that she wants nothing from me, just wants some form of legal agreement that whats hers is hers and whats mine is mine. Is there such a thing?

  185. Kaz says:

    Hi Marilyn

    My 5 year, childless marriage broke down in 2011, l opted to move out of our Matrimonial home and went abroad to live with family, hoping during our Separation we would try and work things out , reconcile and may be mend our marriage. During my stay abroad, my ex instead went ahead and filed for divorce, in my absence she got herself a divorce nisi and in March 2012 subsequently got a decree absolute. My ex was always a high earner in our marriage, l found her with 2 homes, we set up a small company together which l used to run overseas, but during my absence , she as company director and secretary, used her powered to struck me off directorship of the company, without my consent, and blocked me from accessing our joint company bank account ( she did this as soon as l left the Uk).My life abroad was hell, l struggled financially, lived off family members and friends for 5 years , my ex wife never supported or paid me any spousal maintenance during the whole 5 year period. Am now back in the UK, staying with Friends, still struggling financially, jobless and trying to get back on my feet. I contacted her and asked for some financial help, of which she bluntly refused, does not want to meet me or talk to me over anything. I have been advised to seek financial settlement from her, what do u think my chances are? I can hardly afford any solicitor , but your advice will be greatly appreciated. Her homes are probably worth (£450000, A Flat in London,zone 2), fully paid, no mortgage, and a country cottage (£ 350000), south of england, probably 75% mortgage paid, she also have saving, shares, stocks and pension. Loom forward to hearing from you. G

  186. Joe says:

    I will keep this brief and to the point.

    I was married for 3.5 years to my wife with her two children that are not mine, she received little maintenance from her ex. I bought a house with her and put down £85K and she put down £10K during the six years living together i paid all mortgages, bills etc. I also spent £32K renovating the house and £8K on furnishing the property, I can prove all the above as I have out a case file together with bank statements and invoices. I have filed for divorce and wish to collect at least my £85K, I had no agreement with her as she would not sign any documents in case we split. I also have another property which she has a financial order on which is worth £50K which i paid cash for myself. I want a 70/20 split to me for both propertys but my solicitor is saying it will be hard to force a sale on the house as she wount be able to raise the £85K on top of the £73K mortgage and she as two children as no judge will see her homeless. I have tried to come to an aggreement out of court but she wont have anything of it as she wants the courts to deal with it. The house is a four bedroom house and there is only the mother and two children living there, so they dont need a four bedroom house which surely I can get a force of sale. The house is worth £200K and she has put on her E Form £175K under valueing the house with no evidence. I have supplied emails and mortgage valuation what both propertys are worth. At the hearing they want both propertys valued to be fair. I feel I have taken on a wife and two children and given the best I can and paid for everything and being treated like this as she wants 50/50 split as she has not contributed to renovations and running of the house. Any advice would be much appreciated.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Joe
      You have a solicitor and are presumably paying for good advice. Why not ask your solicitor who knows everything that’s going on because I certainly don’t, and if you’re not happy say so? There should be a good working partnership between you and if there isn’t do something about it.

  187. jon says:


    I am going through a dovorce, we have attended mediation at the request of my ex and her solicitor. We proviosnally agreen an 70/30 split in the equity of the house in her favour £800 a month global maintenance and 25k from my pension.
    she has since turned this down stating my pension was not mentioned at all.
    her solicitor has stated my CETV is 200k and hers is 7.5k. This i know to be untrue as her last pension statemnet before the split stated her expected pension would be 7.5k per year. she hasn till not produced her CETV.
    we have four children 23 22 14 and 8 my ex lives in the family home 4 bed house. she has stated she needs four beds to provide accomodation for the oldest two.

    There is about 170k equity in the house minimal debts, she earns 16.6k a year receives 700 a month in benefits and 250 a month rent from both children.

    i am paying a reduced amount on the mortgage agreed with the lender, and Im paying the secured loan. My ex is paying the household bills. Her solicitor is now demanding 1000 a month maintenance .

    He has demanded that i pay 1000 a month maintenace give over half my pension and signed the house over once the mortgage is paid off.

    Will the court take notice of the memorandum of understanding at the first hearing. Imdefending myself and feel that she is demanding too much

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Jon
      My advice to you is invest in a solicitor and get some good informed advice based on a full assessment of the situation. Writing to a blog is not how to handle this and you could end up much better off.

  188. Chrisb1579 says:

    My wife is divorcing me and she is higher earner in the marriage . We have a house brought after we married but in her name with £100k of equity. A property she has abroad before we married with £100k OE and another property abroad inherited 6 years into marriage worth £60K She has £15k in saving and £120,00 pension pot plus a share isa worth £35k . We both 53 years old and don’t have any children. She earns £80k net and I earn £15k net . My wife tells me I will get nothing and to walk away.
    She obviously has more buying power in regards to the legal process but is she right can her legal buying power and my limited earnings force my into getting nothing..we have married 61/2 years and cohibitated for 1 and half years before marrying.

  189. Chrisb1579 says:

    I forgot to mention that I have pension with a of CEV £76k… and we have a car again her name worth £7k I know you can’t be specific but what is a broad outcome of this?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Chris
      In English family law all assets are available for sharing irrespective of ownership. The court must make sure both parties reasonable needs are met in terms of income and capital such as housing and other capital needs going forward and given your ages potentially for the rest of your lives. The court will likely ring fence non Matrimonial assets such as pre owned or inherited property if your reasonable needs can be met out of the Matrimonial assets alone.
      If you download my book from the sidebar for 99p you will get more information. Proceeds to The Children’s Society.

      • Chrisb1579 says:

        Thank for the reply Marilyn.

        I downloaded your book yesterday and it is really helpful….

        I just had one of those low moments when I was doubting everything …

        Thanks again

  190. DA says:

    Divorced on the grounds of my ex husbands admitted adultery.
    Still to sort finances out.
    A proposal was put to me via solicitors to which I counter returned my propsal for negotiations to continue. My ex has now stated that he won’t continue with negotiations. Will not pay the mortgage and I can keep the house, of which I have no way of paying the mortgage as I’m not at risk due to illness. I can not obtain legal aid due to there being equity in the house but no one seems to be able to assist me without payments upfront and I have no access to funds. I’m worried sick I will loose my home.
    I have a 16 year old son who my ex doesn’t bother to see but has until now paid a monthly maintaince to me for him. By ex has a substantial pension pot of £600k He has recently resigned from his £80k a year job as to avoid having to pay me spousal maintaince ( he’s words) but it is my understanding that at this point he will move in with the girlfriend who has her own property.
    I’m sick with worry. My last £2k savings are now gone on solicitors fees and I’m not going to be able to pay her for future representation so will have to go it alone. Don’t know what to do ?
    Any advise would be gratefully received
    Thank you

  191. DJK says:

    My ex wife and I have agreed on a financial settlement. She asked for a payment urgently so I made a payment as requested and this was done with letters from my solicitor. She continues to change her mind and is now saying that she wants to change the agreement. I can not afford a solicitor anymore as I am paying her more than the CMS says because she said she will stop me seeing the children if I reduce it. I pay nearly twice what I should. She is now saying she is going to ask for a financial remedy order. From what I have read this is for people who can not agree on a settlement. Can she go back on the agreement already made, the payment she has already received is a third of the overall settlement.

    She lives with her new partner in a house they have bought together. We have a property and the settlement was to buy her out. She is now saying that she will force me to sell it. I have always paid the mortgage and bills. She didn’t work for the time we were together.

    Any advise you can offer would be gratefully received.

    Thanks in advance.

  192. L says:

    Hello ..
    I was wondering if you could help me at all.
    I am in the process of divorcing my husband after 14 years of marriage and 3 years separated. I have 3 children and we do not wish to move out of our family home.
    My husband rents a house not far from us and pays a very small contribution to our mortgage and i pay the rest. He mentioned that we should just get divorced now and sort out the finances at a later date. Does this sound right to you? I’m not sure if he’s plotting something. Also I know he has mentioned on many occasions that he wants the house and for me and the children not to be in it.
    Do you have any idea what percentage we are both entitled to if we sold and how much of the mortgage should he be paying now?
    He earns good money and is self employed. I work part time and struggles to pay the bills and the mortgage. He does pay maintenance but has only started doing this a year ago.

    Thank you

  193. S says:

    Hi I really need some advice me and my ex husband are back together but he thinks he still has to pay me a settlement I agreed to £2500 but the court has thrown it out saying I deserve more but I don’t , I had a drug habit that cost him £18000. He days he wants me to move back in to his him with him and my 6 ur old son, but he wants to give me a final settlement first so if things go wronged again I can’t get any money out of him in the future, I really don’t want any money I just want to go back home please help.

  194. Kim says:

    During my first directions hearing, the judge was annoyed at how long things have been taking, and that negotiation would be fruitless, so ordered that it proceed straight to a final hearing after obtaining an actuaries report for pension sharing. Given that there will be no without prejudice negotiations, is it possible that the same judge could preside at the final hearing?

  195. sam says:

    I have a quick question – I am the petitioner
    Had my final hearing for children matters – he was given 2 nights and some hours during the week. I have children rest of the time.
    Have FDA coming up – I would like to keep the matrimonial home for children.
    At the moment he lives upstairs in the same house.
    He already got an adjournment for the FDA.
    Can he stop me taking 50/50 more like am I eligible for 60/40
    There is a flat and also this property owned by both of us.
    Am I the receiving parent for child maintenance or is it because he has substantial amount of time during the week as well, I wont be able to get anything.
    I look forward to your reply.

  196. c_finn says:

    I disagree. Look at:
    Sincerely, Clotilde

  197. Ash B says:

    Hello there,

    I am asking on someone else’ behalf here.

    I know two people who are going through a financial court order in due time. I know the final outcome is dependent on earnings i.e. higher paid party usually provides maintenance to the lower paid. One party (lets call them the ‘honest’ party)earns roughly £24k a year and the other is unemployed (by choice) for three years and out of pride, wrote on the divorce documents that their occupation was something that earns around £10k more than the ‘honest’ party.

    Is this taken into consideration by the courts? Could this be a stumbling block for the lying party in the proceedings? They also live off of their partner’s fairly high income but don’t actually live with them yet. The ‘honest’ party has custody of the child. would that make their financial demands greater and put them in good stead?

    Thanks for any advice you have. I understand this may be a tricky case, so appreciate anything you can give!

    Thanks for your time!

  198. Sarah says:

    Hi Marylin,
    Help please! 5 years ago I separated from my husband. We have been married 17 years and have 3 children. We had a god standard of living, first class flying, living in India, private education for the kids etc. When he left and moved abroad, unknown to me, he stopped paying school fees and has racked up a debt of £20,000 for this. I have since been paying her fees out of an injury settlement IRecieved for a car accident, although this money has now all gone. I am in the matrimonial home which has equity of £275,000 after the mortgage is paid. I have just received his financial statement. It shows he earns around £100,000 per year tax free. He pays me very little maintenance and spends all his money on gambling and alcohol, which can be evidenced in his bank statements. In December alone last year he spent £20,000 in bars and casinos. He has also racked up £115,000 of debt while we were married which I knew nothing about. He wants this to be paid off before any financial settlement is made and wants a clean break. If this happens there is only about £100,000 of equity in th home, not enough to re home me and my 16 year old daughter. I won’t get a mortgage due to my ago and low income of £500 per month. What do you think the outcome of this mess will be please? Thanks I’m desperately worried.

  199. Gareth says:

    Hi – Great blog post. One question that you don’t seem to cover here. You talk of the length of marriage being an important factor, but I’ve read conflicting things about the effect of separation. I have been married for 4 years, however we have now separated and are living separately. Does the clock on marriage length stop when we separate or does it continue until we formally divorce? I’ve also been told that short is defined as under 7 years, and yet you say 5 – why might I see different numbers in different places? Many thanks!

    • Cameron Paterson says:

      Hello – could we ask roughly which part of the country you live in?

      • Gareth says:

        Hi – It’s London.

        • Cameron Paterson says:

          Okay. Since you have a query about a specific point of law, we’d suggest you attend one of the free, 30 minute legal advice clinics regularly held at our London office. You’ll find details here:

          • Gareth says:

            Thanks Cameron. I’m certainly interested in attending one of these. But in the meantime, please could you confirm if separation time is included when calculating marriage length or not? Also, if a short marriage is defined as one lasting 5 years or 7? (your site seems to be the only place saying 5). Thanks in advance!

          • Cameron Paterson says:

            Good morning – I asked one of our solicitors for you. He says that the answer to question one depends on the circumstances of each case, but generally speaking shorter periods of separation may be included but longer ones probably would not. In relation to question two, courts generally consider a marriage of under five years as short to medium, while one lasting seven years would definitely be considered medium

  200. whiting21 says:

    I don’t agree.
    Friendly, Jazmine

  201. bw says:

    Hello, I’m hoping for some advice before we have to begin the legal route, simply because I don’t know where to begin!!

    In essence my partner and I have decided to move in together, selling both our properties and using our equity from both sales to buy our own home.

    This is where the problem began, upon checking the Land Registry Deeds on her property it emerged that her ex husband (divorced 13 years ago) is still showing on the Deeds and according to what she tells me they never had got a Financial Agreement when they divorced, he stopped paying any form of maintenance when the youngest child was 14 (now 21) he used to pay the mortgage instead of child maintenance but stopped paying and my partner only found this out when Bailiffs arrived at her door advising she was 6 months in arrears and proceedings had began for a repossession order.

    Firstly is he still able to claim property ownership and therefore entitled to 50% of the equity? and can he stop any sale of the property?

    And secondly if the answer to the above question is yes, does she need to apply for a financial agreement after all these years (and as a bargaining chip) make a claim on his works pension (something she does not want to do).

    Any help advice would be gratefully received

  202. Andrew says:

    bw: ypu cannot sell without his signature and if you are in s hurry you may have to agree to terms you might not like. In his shoes I would agree to a sale on exchange for a consent order wiping out all claims in life and on death – including pension sharing – but he might well insist on some share in the equity. That’s what comes of not sorting out the finances at the time of the divorce.

  203. Tony says:

    Hi marylin

    I married in August 2015 – wife moved in beginning of November 2015 and left the home mid December

    Divorce proceedings in August 2016 with absolute June 2017.

    No joint assets – I rent the home – she was unemployed prior to marriage

    I work full time earning

    now her solicitor wants me to voluntarily complete form E

    I am in late thirties and she is in mid thirties

    No prior cohabitation or children

    Should I ignore her solicitor request?

  204. John says:

    Hi Marylin,
    I was divorced from my Ex. nearly 4yrs ago, and at the time we couldn’t agree on a financial settlement, we are now trying to sort this out amicable, but the first thing my Ex stated was that her solicitor told Her that any settlement would date back to our divorce date ? Is that correct as my financial position has changed significantly since then , and I have been using my savings to get by, so I don’t have as much savings to split.

  205. Peter says:

    My wife and I have been through the long divorce procedure and the absolute paperwork has been granted but not signed as of yet (mainly due to a string of family issue not related to the divorce)
    The wife has the house, I pay a generous amount of maintenance per month and I have access to the children
    The remaining issue is the pension, we have amicably agreed an amount that I will provide from my pension, my wife who works, has a good wage and her own pension and is happy with the agreement. The solicitors are both pushing the full disclosure, court and expensive options involving mediation and countless meetings, we are at a stage where we know what we want, and we want some closure.
    My question is …. do we need to go through the courts to finalise of amicable financial settlement, do we need to utilise our solicitors to draw up the agreement or can we use a third ‘neutral’ solicitor to complete the paperwork / process, or can the process be completed by financial / pension advisors or other financial/ legal entity?
    Many thanks in advance

  206. s says:

    Hi, I have been married 20 years. I have a house I bought before my marriage that my daughter lives in, and I bought a flat when I got married which my husband lives in with me. My husband has not made any financial contribution to any aspect of our marriage e.g. mortgage, gas, elec, food. He does not help in the house at all by cleaning or decorating – in fact he makes a huge mess.. He earns very little and what he earns he spends on equipment for making videos . He is violent and controlling – today he hit me on the head. I am frightened to tell him I want a divorce. I work full time and have a very good pension due. I do not want to give him a penny. I want my money to go to my daughter who is not his daughter..

  207. Jose says:

    Hi All
    I do hope someone can advise me here.
    We separated in 2003 and divorced in 2012. My ex wife has lived in the marriage home all this time.
    We have 2 children you are 18 & 21 this year.
    When i was living at the home i was the sole bread winner, since leaving i have paid approx £800 per month. This stopped in 2010 due to me not working. She has paid the her household bills herself since that time.
    My ex now wants to sell the house as she is getting married in September.
    I have tried to negoiate but she has only offered £40k on what should be a £440k profit from the sale of the house.
    As i have said that is not enough she now insists we go to court. Also in 2007 i purchased a flat in which i still live and which holds equity of approx £140k.
    Two things is it possible if we go to court they will award me more than £40k? and also can i defend myself in court?
    Many thanks

    • Cameron Paterson says:

      Hello – thanks for your question. We may be able to get some advice for you. If you could let us know roughly what part of the country you live in, we’ll ask a solicitor from the nearest office to drop you a line

      • Jose says:

        Hi Cameron
        I live in postscode SM3, which is Sutton, SW London.
        Will there be any costs relating to this advice? Unfortunately i am still not working, now signed off ill

  208. Sharon says:

    My ex husband got me when I was suffering from depression and anxiety and I was on medication to sign our house over to him for £15.000 but we had verbally agreed £40.000 but because he couldn’t raise that amount told me he could only get £15.000 when in actual fact he got £20.000 And kept £5.000 for himself but being mentally unwell I signed the house over No court order was made just the change of deeds from mortgage company but now I’m getting better could I take him to court also we ran a business together would I be able to claim 20years worth of that back from him and claim maintenance from him I feel he took full advantage of my mental state at the time I know have to survive on benefits we’ve been divorced 3 years thank you for any help or advice you could give ..

    • Cameron Paterson says:

      Hello and thanks for your message. We may be able to get you some advice. If you could let us roughly which part of the country you live in, we will ask a solicitor from the nearest office to drop you a line with some feedback

  209. Williams says:

    Following the breakdown of my parents marriage in 1985 and as a result of their devorce, the court issued financial matters to be dealt with as such
    – the marital home in which they shared equil ownership rights was to be split 50/50. A child maintenance order was put in place, my mother was to be payed maintenance from my father for both my sibling and myself.

    Due to violence on my fathers part, my mother and my brother and I had fled the family home and had no desire to return even without the presence of my father. We wanted a clean slate there for found a home to rent whilst my father stayed living at the family home.
    My father put the house up for sale and was expected to pay half of the sale cost to my mother once the property was sold.

    My mother wished to gift her half sale of the house to my brother and myself, and had stated this in her divorce. My father at the time would continuously victimise my mother through intimidation and wuiet threats hoping that fear would eventually get the better of her and she would sign the property over to him. He promised that if she would do so, he would personally put equil share amounts into a trust fund for my brother and myself as she had wanted to do with her half of the money.
    My mother has no recollection of ever agreeing to this, and does not believe that she would ever have agreed to such. She has nothing on paper confirming that this occurred, no agreement or any memory of this whatsoever.

    My mother never received a single child maintenance payment from my father, and when the house was eventually sold she was not given a penny. Since their divorce in 1985 when my brother and myself were age 8 and 9, we have received nothing, no birthday or Xmas gifts, not so much as pocket money.

    My father has always claimed to have done what he promised to do should my mother agree to his terms and sign over the family home. Over the last 30 odd years he has claimed to have put aside a trust fund in equil amounts to my brother and myself, one which is to be gifted to us only after his death.

    We have never seen any proof suggesting that he has done what he claims, on request of proof we have always fallen flat and my father has point blank refused.
    Three years ago my brother and myself were informed by an old friend of my father that the whole story of him setting up and funding these trust funds was simply fabricated by my father. He knew he had worked his magic on my mother by putting the fear of god into her years ago, and had physically and mentally sbused her to the point he was certain she would never question a single penny that she was owed. He then lied about the trust funds simply to ‘keep the wolf’s from his door’ meaning my brother and myself. He hoped by saying that the trust fund would be gifted after his death would keep us at bay, and he would continue to live happily having broken the order of the court.

    My question is, is it all a bit late in the day to be wanting to do somthing about all of this? Is there anything that can be done? Or is the time since to great leaving us with little hope in ever seeing a penny of what is owed?

    Kind Regards

  210. Steve says:

    Hi Marilyn

    I’ve been married 46 years and am 65 my wife 64 and now seek a devorce ….I have lived separately for 3years and supported my wife iat all times.but I must say that she works part time and that has made it easier …I now have some private pensions worth 70k maturing shortly so I think now is good time to split the assets if we can agree
    I’m still working full time and self employed with a Limited Company with under 50k taxable and we both own a property outright with rental of £1000 month that my wife has but I pay maintainance on the property
    My question is how do I get this agreement legally binding so that I can retire knowing that I have only me to worry about in the future and do we have to devorce first to do this

    • Cameron Paterson says:

      Hello and thanks for the message. Marilyn retired from the firm last year but we may still be able to get some advice for you. If you can let us know which part of the country you live in we will ask a solicitor from the nearest office to drop you a line with some thoughts

  211. Tina says:

    I was married for 18 years. We had 2 daughters that are now grown up. During by split with my ex husband I was asked to sell the house. I did this and we had 40/60 split, after debts where paid (my husband had more debts). My ex paid maintance through the CSA, however there where times he didn’t pay due to loosing his job. When we where married he had a good job and paid into a very good pension. I didn’t have a pension as we always agreed this would be enough for both of us. When coming to the end of discussion with my solicitor, I did ask about my entitlement to his pension. I was told at the time “I was the wrong side of 40 to make a claim” I have never been sure about this. As I am now 52, and only have a small pension myself to look forward to, I keep coming back to this, was this the correct advise?. Both myself and ex have remarried. My current husband has his own business which has suffered over many years and consequently had to cash some of his own pensions in to stabilize the business, and part of his pension has been put to one side for his ex wife . My question is ….was I given correct advise? Do I have any claim on my ex husbands pension now?

    Many Thanks

    • Kate Nestor says:

      Hi, I have passed on your comments to our Client Care Team who will be in touch and able to help you. Kind regards,

  212. Andy says:

    I am going through divorce with my wife (14 yrs married + 2 boys 8 & 10) the divorce was petitioned by her after running of with someone else. I have had the NISI now for about 9 months.
    Is it possible to agree to a clean break divorce now as we both want to move on with relationships without additional recurring claims on either side, and also create a legal arrangement to sell outstanding property once the repair work has been done. This is due to problems found with my mothers house after she died.
    My Mother died in November 2017, and we split at the beginning of august. She was never interested in my Mother and for the last year of her life, my wife never visited her. Does the lack of interest and time since seperating countregarding claiming against my mothers will ?
    She also refuses mediation.

    Many Thanks for any advice.

  213. Emma Hudson says:


    I am currently in the process of drafting up a financial settlement, we have agreed to a 40/60 as my ex partner has full custody of our child. Their solicitor is requesting a 2.5% deduction for the cost of sale. Is this a standard deduction that must be taken into consideration? As I am being bought out of the property so we feel this cost is not applicable to us?

    I look forward ti your response.

    Many Thanks

  214. Donna Mclean says:

    Dear staff,

    My fiances ex wife..divorced 2 years ago..they were married for 11 years. My fiances pensions all accrued before they met. The ex wife, on record medically is vulnerable as had a brain event, has chronic depression and seizures, and other physical and psychological illnesses. She is on highest rate PIP, but surrenders her mobility component to provide her daughter with a new car.
    My fiance lives with me and my 4 children, two are disabled. My fiance receives attendance allowance along with pensions. When figures are worked out, their incomes are £3000 a year difference. They did not own property and have no assets.
    Q. If the ex wife has all the illnesses mentioned , does that qualify her as a vulnerable adult?
    Q if she is classed as a vulnerable adult, is there a code of practice to prevent a solicitor taking advantage of that? The reason i ask, is because she is requesting some insane answers to questions and claims he once told her in 2010 that he would buy a camper van..and now she would like the funds for that?? They did not buy a campervan!!
    Q when making a reasonable offer, do my 4 children who my fiance lives with become classed as liabilities or dependents as they are classed as children of the family, two of the children are disabled.
    Q if ex wife vulnerable adult at what point of her being able to keep asking for fictional amoints of money that dont exist and cà what point do we ask the judge if her solicitor may be taking advantage of her as a way to profit?
    Qwe have no savings, my fiance gives me money towards bills and his living costs, can they request my bank statements, even though my fiances name is not on my bank account? Im a 3rd party, and am constantly overdrawn..they belive he is hiding money in my account.. BUT if she is a vulnerable adult with a brain event diagnosed she could ask our neigjbours or our dogs if they have bank accounts and so on and so on!! It just seems really quite odd..! Lastly Q who pays the court fee??

    • Kate Nestor says:

      Thanks for your query. I have passed it onto our Client Care Team who will put you in touch with one of our lawyers. Kind regards,

  215. Louise Barratt says:

    Dear Marilyn,
    Your advice would be much appreciated. My partners ex is going for half the house they both own. They got married 2007 when they bought the house and they split in 2012 with her leaving the family home..and their two children resided with my partner. She has not been involved in the children’s life for over 5 years, she’s never paid maintenance and any money towards their upbringing. My partner has worked hard to support them on his own, and he has soley been paying for the mortgage and bills the whole time. She has recently been convicted also of benefit fraud (housing for the children).
    He has tried to divorce her over the years however she’s never responded to him. Now she’s in contact to get her money!
    I have been with my partner 5 years and I help to bring up the children financially and give them stability. We just about keep our heads above water. In your experience with the law, is she entitled to anything?

    • Kate Nestor says:

      Hi, Marilyn no longer owns Stowe Family Law having sold the firm some years ago. I’m sorry to hear what you are going through at the moment. I have passed your comments on to our Client Care team who will be in touch with advice. Best wishes.

  216. Ruth wood says:

    What happens as in my case the financial consent order was uploaded to the court and rejected because of a technicality which has now been resolved and re uploaded so will be signed off by the court but my spouse gets the matrimonial home which had been sold but the buyers have now pulled out and because he hasn’t kept up with the mortgage will be repossessed will the financial consent now be null and void and I’ll have to find even more money to give him and get a divorce .

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