Ex chasing for half your assets?

Posted By: suzy Miller on 06/06/2023 at 23:41

Do you have the main responsibilities for the practicalities of parenting (buying clothes/making sure uniform is washed/dinner money)? Co-parenting still usually means one parent is responsible for the everyday admin.

Also – there is one parent who can’t just suddenly get a full time job miles away because they are the one for whom the buck stops here.

So it can seem really unfair if that same parent is the one who has a pension and some assets like a property or savings – whilst the other parent may not be working or contributing financially at all – but they want a good chunk of what you’ve worked so hard for whilst doing most of the child rearing.

This may not be the right time to point out that a sensible post nup might have protected some of those assets (just saying) and unfortunately your ex really can try to grab half of everything you’ve paid and worked for, especially if they are doing 50% of the overnights (which we know is not the same as the parenting admin, but the courts seem to assume it does).

The good news is that if your ex is broke, and impatient, they may find using the courts to get hold of your assets – which may mean making you very financially insecure if you are the one working part time because your kids are still young – a long and expensive process. I say this because if you have been more than reasonable in your mediation but they still want their 50%, then calling their bluff may be your best course of action.

And when they work out that a bird in the hand is better than a whole flock in the bush, they may come back to the mediation table and cut a deal.

Irksome and unfair as it may be, giving them something to get that Consent Order – maybe a % of a future sale if the family home (ensuring that’s based on profit not leaving you in debt to them if the house sells later for a loss) might be what’s needed to get an agreement across the line.

But if they are determined to extract whatever they can with no appreciation of the fact that they are not even helping support their own child beyond basic expenses for when they are on parenting duty – well don’t be bullied.

Keep a clear record of the costs of being a parent and record the impact that has – eg. Not being able to work full time / turning down promotion opportunities or work involving travelling. It’s fine if you are a genuine co-parenting team – but when the non-resident parent wants to get a job hundreds of miles away they can do that. You can’t if that rips the kids from school and the new job doesn’t cover the cost of an au pair.

So the reality of co-parenting is that one person carries the main responsibilities and they may need all their small pension or that house they own because otherwise they won’t have enough to live off when they are older. Why should they have to sell their house and not be left with enough to own their own home whilst being unable to earn enough to raise a deposit because they are too busy bringing up the kids 24/7 – even when they are off having a fun time with the other parent?

Use the financial software in dTour.life – included in your Best Way To Divorce Secret Divorce Group subscription – to demonstrate clearly your ongoing financial needs.

Even if your Ex doesn’t care if you end up living in a one bedroom flat miles from your family and friends because that’s all you can afford, it is possible that a judge may be more reasonable – especially if your Ex is fully capable of working but prefers not to.

But that information must be clearly expressed and using dTour.life you can create a financial forecast of your future needs – and that of your children.

If your finances are complex with larger pensions and property at stake, a full cash-flow forecast with a qualified financial planner (like Henry Elliston) would be a smart move.

Or if your finances are more modest and you feel giddy at the thought of dealing with all those numbers – then ask Celia Conrad to help you do your own forecast in dTour.life.

If you would like a free call about using dTour.life let me know and we’ll set up a zoom.

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