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Married 22 years, 3 adult children (Retired Superintendent)

Representing Husband in divorce & financial negotiations by consent

Assets
Former Matrimonial Home £260,000 (equity c£150,000)
Home with new partner (H) £250,000 (half share equity c£40,000)
Cash investments £10,000
Pension (PPS) CETV (H) £850,000

Background

Mr & Mrs B were aged 52 and 54. They were married for 20 years and had three adult children. Mr B was a retired Superintendent with 30 years service. He lived with his new partner in a jointly owned property and was therefore adequately housed. Mrs B was a full time sales assistant living in the 3 bedroom Former Matrimonial Home (the “FMH”) with no pension. The parties had discussed financial matters directly and reached an agreement they were both happy with.

Issues

  1. Housing needs of Mrs B and how such needs should be met.
  2. How to provide an adequate split of pension assets which was fair to both sides.
  3. Mrs B’s earning capacity and whether spousal maintenance should be payable.

How Leonard Gray helped

  1. Advised Mr B that we could not advise him fully on terms of settlement without full disclosure of Mrs B’s financial circumstances. Mr B did not want to obtain full disclosure and signed an indemnity to this effect. This enabled us to proceed as instructed
  2. Advised Mr B as to how best to implement the financial agreement reached with Mrs B. Recording this in a Consent Order to be filed at Court within divorce proceedings. Warning Mr B that a Court may not deem the financial agreement to be fair on Mrs B taking into account that he was retaining his pension in its entirety.
  3. Filed Consent Order at Court. Thereafter liaised with District Judge when fairness of agreement questioned. Submitting various arguments to the Court on Mr B’s behalf.

The outcome

  • Clients divorced.
  • Court Order successfully obtained with no amendment of terms.
  • Mrs B retained the equity in the FMH.
  • Mr B retained his property with his new partner and his cash/investments.
  • Mr B limited Mrs B’s interest in his pension and offset it by paying her a lump sum of £180,000 upon transfer of the FMH.
  • No spousal maintenance payable.
  • A defined contact order was agreed at the first hearing providing for Mr A to have increased contact with the children away from the FMH.

Married 3 years, 2 children (Both Police Constables)

Representing Husband in divorce, financial negotiations & Children Act court application

Assets
Home £250,000 (equity c£52,000)
Cash/Investments £20,000
Pension CETV (H) £95,000
Pension CETV (W) £35,000

Background

Mr & Mrs A were aged 36 and 29. They were married for 3 years. There were two children aged 4 and 2. Mr A was a Police Constable working full time with 10 years service. He was having minimal contact with the children at the Former Matrimonial Home (the “FMH”). Mrs A was a Police Constable working part time with 8 years service. She was reluctant for Mr A’s contact with the children to increase or move away from the FMH. Mr A had moved in with his new partner into her property.

Issues

  1. Housing needs of both parties and how such needs should be met.
  2. Whether there should be any form of pension share.
  3. Whether spousal maintenance should be payable.
  4. The level of contact between Mr A and the two children and whether this should take place away from the FMH.

How Leonard Gray helped

  1. Exchanged financial information by way of Form E (to include documentary evidence of income, outgoings, assets and liabilities).
  2. Advised Mr A fully on terms of settlement, to include likelihood of whether either pension had been under or over valued for the purposes of negotiation.
  3. Suggested mediation to Mrs A’s solicitors as a way to try and resolve the dispute regarding Mr A’s contact with the children. This was refused.
  4. Advised Mr A on the merits of an application to the Court for a defined contact order and the case law surrounding applications of this nature.
  5. Applied to the Court for a defined contact order.

The outcome

  • Clients divorced.
  • Mrs A retained the equity in the former matrimonial home.
  • Mr A successfully argued an offset of Mrs A’s interest in his pension and retained it in its entirety.
  • Mr A retained his investments.
  • No spousal maintenance payable.
  • A defined contact order was agreed at the first hearing providing for Mr A to have increased contact with the two children away from the FMH.

Married 4 years, 1 child (Paramedic)

Representing Wife in divorce & financial negotiations via Mediation.

Assets
Former Matrimonial Home £260,000 (equity c£190,000)
Cash/Investments £3,500
Pension (NHS) CETV (W) £110,000
Pension (NHS) CETV (H) Value not obtained

Background

Mr & Mrs D were aged 43 and 42 years respectively. They were married for 4 years and had one child together, aged 3. Mrs D was a Paramedic with 14 years service. She had three children from a previous marriage. Mrs D continued to live in the 4 bedroom Former Matrimonial Home (“FMH”) with her three children from a previous marriage. Mr D was a health care professional, but unemployed at the time of the divorce. He lived in privately rented accommodation. The care of their child was shared between them. The FMH had been purchased by Mrs D in her sole name prior to meeting Mr D. Mr D never contributed financially to the FMH. The parties attended a local mediation service to negotiate a financial settlement.

Issues

  1. Housing needs of the parties and the children.
  2. Child maintenance.
  3. Whether Mr D has a financial interest in the FMH and, if so, the extent of that interest.

What we did

  1. Advised Mrs D throughout the mediation process. Confirmed that full disclosure had not been obtained, in particular the CETV of Mr D’s pension. Despite this, Mr & Mrs D reached an agreement in mediation and a Memorandum of Understanding was prepared by the mediation service.
  2. Advised Mrs D as to how best to record the agreement reached at mediation in a Consent Order. Warning Mrs D that a Court may not deem the financial agreement to be fair taking into account that Mr D had shared care of their child and was effectively walking away from the marriage with nothing.
  3. Filed Consent Order at Court. Addressed any potential concerns as to the fairness of the agreement in the accompanying Statement of Information form (summary financial statement). Submissions made as to short length of marriage; bulk of pension built up prior to marriage and FMH purchased before the parties met.

The outcome

  • Clients divorced.
  • Court Order successfully obtained with no amendment of terms.
  • Mrs D retained the FMH and her pension in its entirety.
  • Mr D secured Housing Association accommodation.
  • Child maintenance payable to Mr D as Mrs was the higher earner on a shared care arrangement.

Married 10 months, no children (Both Police Constables)

Representing Husband in divorce & financial agreement by consent

Assets
Home £200,000 (equity c £20,000)
Pension CETV (H) £30,000
Pension CETV (W) £25,000

Background

Mr & Mrs C were aged 31 and 30. They were married for 10 months, having lived together for two years prior to marriage. Both Mr & Mrs C were Police Constables working full time with 6 years and 5 years service respectively. Mr & Mrs C reached their own financial agreement prior to instructing solicitors.

Issues

  1. One year bar to divorce.
  2. How best to reflect the financial agreement reached between Mr & Mrs C in a legally binding Court Order.

What we did

  1. Advised Mr C that divorce proceedings could not be issued until they had been married for a period of one year. During the two months leading up to that date, preparing draft divorce papers and sending these to Mrs A for approval. Thereafter representing Mr C in divorce proceedings to conclusion.
  2. Advised Mr C fully on proposed terms of settlement, to include an outline of concerns regarding the financial agreement reached. Advised Mr C that we could not advise him fully on terms of settlement without full disclosure of Mrs C’s financial circumstances. Mr C did not want to obtain full disclosure and signed an indemnity to this effect. This enabled us to proceed as instructed.
  3. Prepared a Consent Order reflecting the agreement reached and forwarded this to Mrs C suggesting that she seek independent legal advice.
  4. Filed agreed order at Court for the District Judge’s approval.

The outcome

  • Client’s divorced.
  • Financial Consent Order granted.
  • Mr C retained the former matrimonial home.
  • Mrs C received a lump sum in lieu of her half share of the former matrimonial home.
  • Mr & Mrs C retained their own pension interests.
  • Clean break.

 

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