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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 22624
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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We are in the process of gettting divorced. By means of

Customer Question

we are in the process of gettting divorced.
By means of background. My husband had an affair 3.5 years ago. I remained in the family house with my ex looking after 2 kids once a week to stay at his.
My salary is: £42k per annum for 4 days. continuous employment for 5 years
My ex just lost his job (again). It was £65k
i have an au pair who looks after the kids
Lodger pays me £400 pcm
We have a mortgage on the house of £365k
2 girls (10 and 7 years)
Ex (when in work) been paying me £450 pcm
Steven has taken out a loan of £18k. We don't know why yet
i have been using a lawyer who was highly recommended. And about a year ago my ex suggested we settle with a 60/40 split. my ex can be v agressive adn i was always uncomfortable about mediation and being bullied by him. Anyway, my laywer told me to reject his offer of 60/40 and 'let him sweat for it' imlying i could get a better deal.
Now we are in the process of exchanging form Es etc (legal fees etc). and i have been quite clear for the last few months with my lawyer i am keen to have a clean break. i don't want mesher charges over me.
now my laywer tells me that we should approach this in our negotiations with asking for around 75/25 split with a mesher charge hanging over us as my ex will probably reject it. Also it's seen as fair in the eyes of a judge. in the hope steven will reject that offer because he won't see much equity this will then come down to a lower clean break.
HOWEVER, my laywer is also now saying that i 'will definitely get more than 50% of the equity' but no guarantee of 60%. in which case, was i poorly advised to reject that initial offer?? And what are the chances of me getting a 60/40 clean break (remember his job pattern is chequered), plus he took out an £18k loan(we don't know why).
I told my lawyer i felt he poorly advised me and he now suggests i find a new one as he feels i don't trust him. however on 9 August we are going to the first part of the court process on 9 august and i am worried it's not much time for a new lawyer to understand our case and will be more expense.But it could put my mind at ease
I really don't know what to do. Any advice her would be good.
Also my ex is asking for a share in the flat my parents own in Spain. my brother and i are the bare 'trustees' ie we are the registered owners for my parents but with no financial interest. So if the flat is sold the proceeds go to my parents to help them in their retirement or if they go into a care home. My parents manage the flat, deal with all expenses and have paid for EVERYTHING to do with the flat.
However this was a verbal agreement. My question is - how likely can my ex get a share of the flat? My dad can easily prove that he manages everything. deals with the tenants etc.
so main questions:
what are my chances of getting a 60/40 clean break? Given my situation
is it advisable /possible to get a new lawyer ? my lawyer said he could find me a good cheaper one to help me
What are the chances of having to sell the property in Spain? or have to give my ex an extra share of the equity from the family home based on my share from Spain.
Do i go to my very angry ex and just say ' let's forget the lawyers' let's do this without them and agree between you and me? or does that make me look desperate and too late at this stage?!
Help much appreciated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Family Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.

Good morning. Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to assist you. Please bear with me over the weekend because I will be online and off-line from time to time and hence, I may not get back to you immediately.

I need some more information from please.

Will you have residence of the children?

Mortgages £365,000, what is the house worth?

Do you think that your husband would settle for 6040?

What other assets do you have?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
House is worth £870k.
Hi I have a pension of £90k. His is
I also had £20k in isa. This is now offset by his 18k loan.
I have been told becuase the kids have stayed with me that I shkuld have residence of the children. Yes. (Although he will fight for joint custody) but I don't think this will happen.
That it!
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.

If you can settle things between you without involving solicitors, so much the better.

If you have been the main care of the children until now, he is unlikely to get shared residence although he will of course get contact. It has nothing any longer to do with being child’s mother as it used to do years ago.

There is £510,000 of equity in the house and it depends what it would cost to buy a house for you and the children in the area that you live now, not necessarily of the same size.

You could buy a house and there would be enough money left over to give your husband some, then a sale of the house is a possibility. This is relevant to the percentage.

It’s likely because you are going to be caring for the children until they reach age 18 at least, that when the house eventually gets sold, it’s going to be split 6040. However that’s going to be at least in another 11 years when the youngest child reaches aged 18. It may be that your husband doesn’t want to wait that long for his money and hence, would take a lesser sum now.

That is probably what your solicitor was thinking of: your husband has two options, 25% now or 40% in another 11 years.

Whether the loan would be treated as a debt on the marriage or something personal to your husband for which he would be responsible, would depend on the purposes for which he took out the loan. If it was from marital purposes then it would be dealt with within the marital finances and if it was for his own wants (buy a car or motorbike to play with) then from his share.

Your husband is not entitled to any share of the property in Spain if it’s owned by your parents until such time as your parents die and you inherit it if you do inherit it. I don’t know whether that’s a likelihood in the near future. What you going to have an argument over here is this “trust” because your husband is going to allege that it’s a sham trust done purely to defeat any claim that he may have. If the trust was documented and had been documented (a UK trust deed would have been fine for the purposes of this divorce) at the time of purchase, he would have had a difficult time arguing that it wasn’t a genuine trust. It is the verbal nature of it which is a problem for you.

Does that answer the question?

Can I answer any specific points arising from this?

Please do not forget to rate my answer positively. If you don’t rate it positively, I don’t get paid.

You may get the impression that the thread closes after rating, but it does not, it remains open and I can still answer any follow-up points that you may wish to raise. It will be tomorrow morning now.

Kind regards.