Response to Andy’s questions

Posted By: suzy Miller on 16/05/2024 at 09:03

“ If the courts decide on settlement is it 50% split of everything or 50% split for the period of marriage on both assets & pension”

The split is usually based on the assets at the time of the divorce – so unless you have a pre/post nup saying otherwise, you literally put all assets and debts into an invisible pot and then split into two. If one person has greater need – kids or inability to work etc, that’s taken into account – but the best thing is not to try and leave some judge to work at how best to split things up because they often lack specialist skills. It should be you and an expert in finance like Henry, who I’ve introduced you to, working out the most efficient and sensible way to split the assets.

If someone has already been helping themselves to the assets without permission, then they may well get away with that if they can prove that money was used to sustain the family home or to live, but if it’s been spent on things that are nothing to do with the marriage or their core needs, then you could have a case to say that those amounts should be included in the marital pot.

The financial split is something to propose through mediation, which Henry can be invited to join in with to explain everything to the other spouse – with clear graphs and visual ways to understand the financial information that make it easy to see what is the best way to split these assets. There is absolutely no reason at all to make this decision happen with a judge, though if you provide the financial information in the same format, it will make it easier for them to make a better decision (so creating a cash flow forecast with Henry is an investment however the financial discussions proceed) – but it is vital to demonstrate that you want to stay out of court because if you do get dragged into court because the other person just doesn’t fancy mediation, then you have a case to ask for them to pay the court costs.

Issuing a letter offering to do the divorce amicably making use of the amicable divorce UK network is a good way to do this. There is a template letter that I will access and put into this group because it’s useful for everyone. It basically states that your intention is to stay out of court and mediation – and also arbitration is an option if not everything is agreed in mediation. All of this I explain in the workshop, which you have access to the recording from the February one I believe?

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P.S. I’ve resent your link so you can add in all your financial info. If you decide to work with Henry or any of the other professionals, let me know and I’ll send them a link so that they can see all the information and you don’t have to be emailing them tons of bank statements.

09:43 16/05/2024
suzy Miller

Finally Andy - I’ll email you an example template of a letter making clear you intend to divorce amicably. There are two more letters that follow that, and encourage your spouse to commit to the process. This doesn’t have to be done via a lawyer. But if you want to use the Amicable Divorce set of letters it’s needs to be via one of the Amicable Divorce authorised professionals. That could be a mediator - or even me! I could adapt the templates and guide you in making sure your spouse signs up to the process as this would prove your intention to avoid court. If you want that extra support then I offer a 1-1 subscription which usually works out much more economical than booking in a full 1-1 session. <a href="" target="_blank"></a> Or you can just use the wording and create your own version DIY - and come and chat in the next meetup last Thursday of the month (part of your Secret Divorce Group subscription).

09:36 16/05/2024
suzy Miller

“ On the petition to divorce application - I want to discuss settlement and difficult spouse wants to leave to the courts to decide, do we both need to agree the same route to proceed?” On the petition you say whether the finances will be dealt with (ie. If there are no assets at all or pensions to split, you would not tick that box) - but you will be creating a Consent Order (refer back to the workshop) so you acknowledge that on the form. It’s nothing to do with the methods used. It’s not relevant. Just tick yes. Your spouse needs to understand that mediation (when you have your financial proposal properly laid out (cash flow forecast with Henry) is the cheapest quickest way (let me know when you want intros to Mediators) and if she wants court, you will request the court to make her cover all the costs on the basis it’s completely unecessary. Formally sending a letter making it clear you intend to stay out of court is important to document this (template to follow). As long as your financial proposal is reasonable, then she will gain nothing by going to court. But make sure she cannot dispose of assets so as soon as the petition goes in, make sure joint back accounts are closed if needed etc. If there are any moves to sell property or draw down on pensions/savings without your agreement or where a third party isn’t used to hold the funds until the consent order is agreed - then a court order may be needed to stop that happening. Lawyers to help with that are available - but hopefully won’t be required!

09:17 16/05/2024
suzy Miller
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