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Thread: Opinion sought on divorce settlement

  1. #1
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    Opinion sought on divorce settlement

    This relates to divison of financial assets, specifically a house. I'm not after any definitive answer about what to do; rather I'm hoping to get some idea on what is fair and reasonable (yes, I'm fully aware that divorce settlements and fairness seem to be mutually exlusive). I am of course discussing this with professionals, but as TZ-UK has such a diverse range of age, sex and income level (ha!), I though I would see what the opinion was.


    Figures simplified to keep things, er, simple.

    House valued at £400,000
    Outstanding mortgage of £50,000
    House - mortgage = £350,000 equity
    The mortgage is in my name only, and my soon to be ex-wife has already moved out.

    We have agreed a 50/50 split of assets. I would prefer to buy her out and remain in the house, so on the face of it I would need to give her £350,000 / 2 = £175,000. Now to the question(s):


    In order to raise £175,000, I would need to re-mortgage, at an example cost of £1000. Is it reasonable to take half of the re-mortgaging cost from her share? e.g. £175,000 - £500 = £174,500.

    Alternatively if I were to sell the house, estate agent and conveyancing fees would cost an estimated £7,000, so her share would be £175,000 - £7000 = £168,00 £175,000 - £3500 = £171,500.


    Regardless of whether I stay or sell, I am inclined to say that her share should be £171,500. Is that reasonable?
    Last edited by hogthrob; 29th October 2020 at 12:13.

  2. #2
    Master thieuster's Avatar
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    About 25 yrs ago I was in the same situation; only the numbers were different. I also opted to stay in the house and I needed to re-mortgage as well. I paid the whole cost of the new mortgage myself. No need to get into a fight over a relatively low amount of money.

    In the other case, she and you will equally 'benefit' from the sale minus the 7,000 fee. I think that those costs should be 50/50'd as well. I cannot see how she or her lawyer will agree with her paying the full 7k fee.

    Keeping things simple will be better in the long term. No need to 'waking a sleeping dog' as they say in Dutch. Being on a watch-related forum, I guess that you have a collection yourself. (Under Dutch law) she could argue that those watches were bought with household money and that the sale of those watches should benefit her 50/50 as well... That's how a friend lost his classic Alfa Romeo... He had to auction off the car and he had to hand over 50%.


    Menno
    Last edited by thieuster; 29th October 2020 at 12:00.

  3. #3
    Don't think it's reasonable to take off any of these.

    The selling fees aren't incurred so shouldn't be charged for.

    The re-mortgage costs are entirely down to you. What about her mortgage costs (if she were to get one), she could add them in too.

    The relative amounts aren't large so I wouldn't be arguing about stuff like this TBH, better to go for a smooth and amicable split if possible. All in my opinion obviously and good luck with it.

  4. #4
    Master Maysie's Avatar
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    Playing devils advocate, surely your wife could argue the same thing when buying her new home with the settlement money, ie she has costs too: stamp duty, mortgage costs, legal costs, decorating, carpets, curtains etc.

    I would try not to come over as penny-pinching too early in the proceedings and only go down that route if (when) it turns petty and nasty - which is usually when a new partner arrives on the scene.

  5. #5
    Grand Master learningtofly's Avatar
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    OP, I love your optimism. However, in scenario 1 the cost would be yours and in scenario two the cost would be split.

  6. #6
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    I am absolutely no expert on this but my initial thought if you sold the house was that you would split the net proceeds so the selling costs would be effectively split between the two of you?

  7. #7
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    Thanks so far. I edited my OP to correct an error (should have been £175,000 - £3500 = £171,500 and not £175,000 - £7000 = £168,000)

  8. #8
    Grand Master learningtofly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hogthrob View Post
    Thanks so far. I edited my OP to correct an error (should have been £175,000 - £3500 = £171,500 and not £175,000 - £7000 = £168,000)
    Even with the corrected maths, you can't deduct costs that haven't been incurred.

  9. #9

    Opinion sought on divorce settlement

    And hoping for 50/50 split might disappoint you...

    Any kids?

    I was in the same position 4 years ago. Property in my name only, lots of equity, etc.

    We have a son of 9 at the time.

    Long story short, I have her the whole house (well, we sold it and she got 100% of the equity).

    Good luck with improving on that. It is a bloody minefield. Try and agree it with her, donít take the piss (even if you want to) and get yourself away soon as.
    The money will be remade.
    The time spent fighting, the stress and anguish, all will never be recouped.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by notenoughwrists; 29th October 2020 at 12:25.

  10. #10
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    Costs of the remortgage are yours.

    It is entirely reasonable to deduct the notional costs of sale from the value however. That is what the court will do in any scenario involving a transfer.

    Here W is avoiding any disposal costs if they are not deducted from the value whilst H would have them to pay in full in the future.

    If you had £100k in a bank account you can access it for free. The equity in a house worth £100k cannot be accessed without costs.

    My local courts generally accept 2% of value as representing the costs of sale.

  11. #11
    Journeyman
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    It's a difficult situation for all involved but like the others have said, you cant split costs you have not incurred and a 50/50 split depending on your respective positions may be optimistic.

    Splitting the mortgage costs does sound reasonable as that is how you would finance the transfer of equity, however on balance that transfer of equity is your responsibility and the ex-wife should not have to pay these costs. If that was the only point left to clear (which i suspect may not be the case), I would absorb the mortgage cost myself.

  12. #12
    Journeyman
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    I feel the need to reiterate that you can split costs not yet incurred and it is a given that costs of sale will be deducted from the value.

    The court is looking at the net value of assets. The net value of property is less its mortgage and costs of sale.

    If it was a BTL / second property or shares it would also be net of CGT (another cost not yet incurred).

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troubled_Joe View Post
    I feel the need to reiterate that you can split costs not yet incurred and it is a given that costs of sale will be deducted from the value.

    The court is looking at the net value of assets. The net value of property is less its mortgage and costs of sale..
    Agreed, that is fair point. I probably should have said, you cant split costs that you are not going to incur i.e. selling fees if you are not selling.

  14. #14
    Master
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    I realise this is a very naive world view, but if she didnít want the risk / responsibility of having her name on the mortgage when times were good, thus allowing you to pay it all and take all the risk, then why should she get half now?

    Clearly, Iíve never been through a divorce and never had to think about such things.

  15. #15
    Master vRSG60's Avatar
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    It's cheaper to have her shot!

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by ach5 View Post
    I realise this is a very naive world view, but if she didnít want the risk / responsibility of having her name on the mortgage when times were good, thus allowing you to pay it all and take all the risk, then why should she get half now?

    Clearly, Iíve never been through a divorce and never had to think about such things.
    Some years ago I knew a couple who lived together, had three children and were never married, they bought a house together with both names on the mortgage, the woman then left the house and family after two years to live with another guy and no papers of any sort signed, just went.

    25 years later when the mortgage was paid up she took the guy to court to claim half the current value of the house which the court awarded her.

  17. #17
    Master
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    This is all in the rounding surely - the difference between £170k and £175k is very little, and not worth the argument. If she agrees to half the equity, then just pay her the £175k and be done with it all

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captaincook View Post
    Agreed, that is fair point. I probably should have said, you cant split costs that you are not going to incur i.e. selling fees if you are not selling.
    You still can though because they will be incurred at some point. I accept that there are lots of variables but ignoring all those for the purposes of this example:

    House valued at £200k no mortgage and agreed that it should be split equally. Costs of sale are £4k.

    If sold H gets £98k and W gets £98k.

    If transferred to H and he remortages for £100k to pay to W (because costs of sale not deducted) W would get £100k and H on selling would get £96k (£200k less £4k costs of sale less £100k mortgage).

    If transferred to H and he remortgages for £98k to pay to W (because costs of sale deducted) W would get £98k and H on selling would get £98k (£200k less £4k costs of sale less £98k mortgage)

    Only by deducting the future costs to you achieve the intended outcome and the same outcome as if the house was sold and proceeds split equally.

  19. #19
    Master TKH's Avatar
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    What do you do if you see your wife (partner) staggering around the lounge ?.........

    'Reload'...

    --------------------------------------

    'Love is grand divorce is £ 250'000 '..

    --------------------------------------

    On a more serious note don't start nitpicking over the little numbers...it may come back at you....

    amicable amicable amicable ....bite lip until it's all done and dusted..start new life..

  20. #20
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TKH View Post
    amicable amicable amicable ....bite lip until it's all done and dusted..start new life..
    This.

    We sorted out a settlement that we were both satisfied and told the solicitor to write it up, much cheaper and less hassle.
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  21. #21
    Master
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    Iíve known of cases like this in the past and whilst sheís be entitled to some of it, Iíd have thought a judge would take into account all that he had paid in mortgage payments and general running costs as well possibly. He would have been able to prove that he had paid everything from 2 years on and that would go in his favour.

    What Iíve learnt from having clients who have divorced or separated is thatís thereís always two sides to a story and generally you, or me, only ever hear the one side.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheTigerUK View Post
    Some years ago I knew a couple who lived together, had three children and were never married, they bought a house together with both names on the mortgage, the woman then left the house and family after two years to live with another guy and no papers of any sort signed, just went.

    25 years later when the mortgage was paid up she took the guy to court to claim half the current value of the house which the court awarded her.

  22. #22
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    Thanks again to all.

    A couple of notes:
    These aren't the real numbers
    The settlement is being agreed between my wife and myself through mediation, and the Courts aren't involved
    There are two sons who spend slightly more than half the time with me


    My wife worked throughout the marriage, but contributed virtually nothing financially and spent pretty much all her salary on herself. As you can imagine, the opportunity to give her hundreds of thousands of pounds fills me with joy. I think I'm doing a reasonable job of keeping things civil, all things considered

  23. #23
    Craftsman jonasy's Avatar
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    Understand you are through hard times, but isnít the problem here that you accepted that arrangement throughout the marriage? Wish you best of luck mate
    Last edited by jonasy; 29th October 2020 at 14:26.

  24. #24
    Just agree an amount, and pay it.

    You donít have the hassle of waiting for a buyer, or other associated costs if you agree to buy her out - be sensible and work something out.

    By contrast, Iíve just signed a mortgage free property over and put it behind me and moved on.
    It's just a matter of time...

  25. #25
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    The only time that your wife 'pays' is if you actually sell the family home - in which case, she shares the cost of the sale. (nett value of equity released)

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devonian View Post
    Iíve known of cases like this in the past and whilst sheís be entitled to some of it, Iíd have thought a judge would take into account all that he had paid in mortgage payments and general running costs as well possibly. He would have been able to prove that he had paid everything from 2 years on and that would go in his favour.

    What Iíve learnt from having clients who have divorced or separated is thatís thereís always two sides to a story and generally you, or me, only ever hear the one side.
    You're right. Whilst it will likely have been unarguable that their beneficial interests in the property were equal if they held it jointly the court can then go through a process of equitable accounting. One party would likely get credit for reducing the mortgage and possibly improvements to the property.

    The problem is that the other party could have an entitlement to occupation rent i.e. the party who remains in the property owes the other party for living in their half of it to their exclusion.

    One often wipes out the other.

  27. #27
    Master Maysie's Avatar
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    Don't forget that they will consider ALL assets if it gets legal.

    When my brother divorced recently, he was the sole earner for most of their married life yet ended up giving his ex-wife the house so that he could keep his pension.
    He left with just his pension and had his name removed from the (small) mortgage that was pretty well all he got from his 18 years.

  28. #28
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    Opinion sought on divorce settlement

    As someone who went through this back in 2016 my advice would be to keep it amicable as much as possible, in my case we had agreed to go 50/50 from the start but again as soon as the solicitors and family members got involved it started turning messy with me being informed by my solicitor i would walk away with 20-25% of everything, that was a shock especially as the majority of things I’d had before even meeting my ex, in the end we managed to resolve things, i paid her costs and she got the car but in the grand scheme of things they were irrelevant as i got my 50/50 deal...

    It may hurt and sting but bite your tongue and if it means paying a little extra then just do what you have to so it gets you the best deal...
    Last edited by Martylaa; 29th October 2020 at 19:53.

  29. #29
    Master Thewatchbloke's Avatar
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    Keep it amicable and agree on 50/50 once all disbursements have been paid.

    One thing is for sure, if she decided to go to court because she feels you're being parsimonious you'll end up with a lot less!

  30. #30
    Master amnesia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maysie View Post
    Don't forget that they will consider ALL assets if it gets legal.

    When my brother divorced recently, he was the sole earner for most of their married life yet ended up giving his ex-wife the house so that he could keep his pension.
    He left with just his pension and had his name removed from the (small) mortgage that was pretty well all he got from his 18 years.

    Same here... she got the house, furniture, pets, jewellery, car.
    I kept my pension(s).

    Still think I'm better off, assuming I can actually get to retirement age to spend any of it !

  31. #31
    Master
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    I got divorced about 8 years ago...the ex wifes name wasnt on the mortgage........makes no difference.

    In fairness....i got off pretty lightly (financially)...she wasnt too greedy.......I was most worried about my pension...as I wanted to retire at 60 (which I did in the summer!)....she didnt want any of that........if she had?............ Id be STILL be working at least until I was 66!

  32. #32
    Master amnesia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valleywatch View Post
    I got divorced about 8 years ago...the ex wifes name wasnt on the mortgage........makes no difference.

    In fairness....i got off pretty lightly (financially)...she wasnt too greedy.......I was most worried about my pension...as I wanted to retire at 60 (which I did in the summer!)....she didnt want any of that........if she had?............ Id be STILL be working at least until I was 66!
    I've calculated that I can retire about 5 years after I die...


  33. #33
    Master reggie747's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheTigerUK View Post
    Some years ago I knew a couple who lived together, had three children and were never married, they bought a house together with both names on the mortgage, the woman then left the house and family after two years to live with another guy and no papers of any sort signed, just went.

    25 years later when the mortgage was paid up she took the guy to court to claim half the current value of the house which the court awarded her.
    What a biyatch !!!

  34. #34
    Master KavKav's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtagrant View Post
    This is all in the rounding surely - the difference between £170k and £175k is very little, and not worth the argument. If she agrees to half the equity, then just pay her the £175k and be done with it all
    I agree with this. Hogthrob, teeth-gritting as it may be, stay pleasant, bite the bullet, pay the costs and hopefully this will keep her onside and not ‘offside’. If she thinks you are nit-picking then her mind may turn to how she can screw you further and you want to avoid that if you possibly can. Get it done, get it settled with minimum aggravation, even if it costs you a bit more. Good luck for the future once you get through this tunnel of aggravation.

  35. #35
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheTigerUK View Post
    Some years ago I knew a couple who lived together, had three children and were never married, they bought a house together with both names on the mortgage, the woman then left the house and family after two years to live with another guy and no papers of any sort signed, just went.

    25 years later when the mortgage was paid up she took the guy to court to claim half the current value of the house which the court awarded her.

    Foly Huck! Scottish Matrimonial Law would never allow for that!

    Scottish law is remarkably-fair in respect of divorce and the apportionment of funds/responsibility.

    One thing to pay heed to, no matter the jurisdiction: Do not reach an agreement without each party running it by a lawyer at least - failure to do so, can lead to situations like above surfacing in the future.

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by TheTigerUK View Post
    Some years ago I knew a couple who lived together, had three children and were never married, they bought a house together with both names on the mortgage, the woman then left the house and family after two years to live with another guy and no papers of any sort signed, just went.

    25 years later when the mortgage was paid up she took the guy to court to claim half the current value of the house which the court awarded her.
    If both on the deeds, legally they would each own 50% (unless set up differently) so understandable. Doesnít matter whoís paid for it.

  37. #37
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    If both on the deeds, legally they would each own 50% (unless set up differently) so understandable. Doesnít matter whoís paid for it.
    True, but (certainly in Scotland) - the house is valued on the date of the effective separation, or estimated if years have passed - and that is the figure used in the split of that asset (less funds owing to lender at the time).

  38. #38
    Grand Master 100thmonkey's Avatar
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    Iíd just give her the £5k, its only the price of a couple of nights with some superb hookers
    "When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
    For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today"

  39. #39
    Going through this myself. Did the ďreasonableĒ route all agreed and signed up, then solicitors got involved (pension sharing order) just weigh up how much you stand to keep compared to how much the legal arguments will cost.

  40. #40
    Master Tifa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omegamanic View Post
    Just agree an amount, and pay it.
    This.
    Then move on with your life.

  41. #41
    Master
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    Yeh
    Wouldn't argue over fairly small stuff
    I remember my friend going through an incredibly acrimonious divorce(he actually wrote a book on it which was then used against him in court).
    They were cohabiting whilst separated and he was out of bread.
    His wife wouldn't allow him to take 2 slices of bread from her stash.
    His words were "I've bought her Porsche's and Rolex and the fuxxing cow won't give me 2 slices of bread"
    They now only speak through lawyers.

  42. #42
    Master thieuster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hood View Post
    Yeh
    Wouldn't argue over fairly small stuff
    I remember my friend going through an incredibly acrimonious divorce(he actually wrote a book on it which was then used against him in court).
    They were cohabiting whilst separated and he was out of bread.
    His wife wouldn't allow him to take 2 slices of bread from her stash.
    His words were "I've bought her Porsche's and Rolex and the fuxxing cow won't give me 2 slices of bread"
    They now only speak through lawyers.
    True, a friend (the one who lost his classic Alfa) ended up in court with no chance of a friendly settlement. His ex had a paper in front of her with some text on it. My friend had to go to the bathroom and was then able to read the text: "Whatever he says, I will not give in!" Several court cases later, another judge presided; due to other obligations, the highest judge of the country courthouse. And, first time a male judge presided. He looked at the large dossier on the table and told the lawyers: "You 'll only leave after you've reached a settlement. Just cancel all your appointments for today. You'll stay in this room. I'm fed up with this clogging of the justice system!" It took them nearly 10 hrs. He lost his Alfa, but managed to achieve a fair alimony agreement for his sons.

    M

  43. #43
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    Iím confused by this thread and maybe somebody can answer, having not been through a divorce I donít know but it seems like everything goes in favour of the women regardless of the circumstances?, whether sheís at fault or not, why is this?

    It seems completely unfair and unjustified, why should you try and be as acrimonious as possible? as Iím sure Iíd be far from it, Iíd burn the house or car down before she got it if I couldnít have it

  44. #44
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hooshabak View Post
    Iím confused by this thread and maybe somebody can answer, having not been through a divorce I donít know but it seems like everything goes in favour of the women regardless of the circumstances?, whether sheís at fault or not, why is this?

    It seems completely unfair and unjustified, why should you try and be as acrimonious as possible? as Iím sure Iíd be far from it, Iíd burn the house or car down before she got it if I couldnít have it
    Most men (including me) would agree it does seem to be unfair and leans towards women, but then go on a different website and youíll get females saying it leans towards men, at the end of the day you just have to accept what you get otherwise solicitors get more and more the longer it goes on...

  45. #45
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hooshabak View Post
    Iím confused by this thread and maybe somebody can answer, having not been through a divorce I donít know but it seems like everything goes in favour of the women regardless of the circumstances?, whether sheís at fault or not, why is this?

    It seems completely unfair and unjustified, why should you try and be as acrimonious as possible? as Iím sure Iíd be far from it, Iíd burn the house or car down before she got it if I couldnít have it

    The marriage and divorce laws seem to be based around the premise that the wife gives up her career to bring up children, and thus contributes equally to the (breadwinner) man. In giving up her career, she also gives up her earning power for the future. Divorce settlements seem to be based around the idea that the wife will have custody of the children, and should be supported financially such that she can bring the children up in the manner to which they are accustomed.


    Regarding burning stuff (either figuratively or literally), I'm sure it occurs to most of us. It's not really an option when there are children, unfortunately.

  46. #46
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martylaa View Post
    Most men (including me) would agree it does seem to be unfair and leans towards women, but then go on a different website and youíll get females saying it leans towards men, at the end of the day you just have to accept what you get otherwise solicitors get more and more the longer it goes on...
    If you asked divorcees if they were satisfied with their divorce settlement, I wonder if you would get different answers from men and women?

  47. #47
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    I was the sole earner for 20years.
    Agreed to amicable settlement , no lawyers , offered her 75% of the equity , child maintenance at the calculated rate for my salary , half of the remaining assets.

    She got lawyers involved . Ultimately after nearly 5 years of being attacked by her lawyers and branded a bad father she got 70% of the equity , the child maintenance ( I was already paying it anyway) a £20000 legal bill and a warning from the judge that if her legal team persisted in attacking me he woukd award costs in my favour also.

    My legal bill was £5k . She brought a QC to the county court ! My lawyer said it was the funniest thing heíd seen in years .

  48. #48
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.D View Post
    I was the sole earner for 20years.
    Agreed to amicable settlement , no lawyers , offered her 75% of the equity , child maintenance at the calculated rate for my salary , half of the remaining assets.

    She got lawyers involved . Ultimately after nearly 5 years of being attacked by her lawyers and branded a bad father she got 70% of the equity , the child maintenance ( I was already paying it anyway) a £20000 legal bill and a warning from the judge that if her legal team persisted in attacking me he woukd award costs in my favour also.

    My legal bill was £5k . She brought a QC to the county court ! My lawyer said it was the funniest thing heíd seen in years .
    Similar happened to a neighbour in Scotland- he had been a high earner for years, and on divorce had made a pretty generous formal offer. Not acceptable to his wife, she got all lawyered up and continued to pursue him for more, racking up a huge legal bill for each party. Eventually went to the top court, where the judge awarded the wife less than she had originally turned down. Because of that - she got landed with both sides of legal costs - taking care of her half of the house value.

    She was less than happy.

  49. #49
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by hogthrob View Post
    If you asked divorcees if they were satisfied with their divorce settlement, I wonder if you would get different answers from men and women?
    True, i was as happy as i could be at my 50/50 after being told on my initial meeting that my ex could walk away with 70-80% of everything, and bearing in mind my ex had the proverbial nothing when we first met then you literally could of knocked me down with a feather...

    But with children involved the courts do go with the aspect of making sure they are looked after and 9 times out of 10 that means staying with the mother and living their lifestyles as they have previously the best they can...

  50. #50
    Master Maysie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hogthrob View Post
    If you asked divorcees if they were satisfied with their divorce settlement, I wonder if you would get different answers from men and women?
    Lets not forget that Men and Women are very different beasts, whose minds work in very different ways!

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