Minimising Divorce and Settlement Costs

Topic by MoreSky

MoreSky

Home Forums Marriage & Divorce Minimising Divorce and Settlement Costs

This topic contains 34 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by Wickerman  Wickerman 2 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #631363
    +9
    MoreSky
    MoreSky
    Participant
    4875

    My final divorce papers came through recently, which was definitely a cause for celebration, and the result was significantly better than initially anticipated.

    Part way through the divorce process I was in a complete mess and I did not have clue what I was doing, I was going to have to give a lot of money to the bitch who was unfaithful to me and I had no idea what my purpose in life was or what was the point of my existence. Suicidal thoughts surfaced regularly and I was not in a good place.

    It was at this point I found MGTOW. As well as helping me to define my purpose and the rest of of my life it gave me a clarity of thought and a calm approach to just about everything. I then drew on my experience as an Engineering Consultant and certified Project Manager to get things under control.

    As a result I was able to manage my divorce considerably more effectively and I estimate that my divorce “bill” – settlements and lawyer fees – was about $50k (equivalent) less than it would have been.

    I’d like to share some of the insights gained and potential tips for minimising lawyer fees and settlement amounts. Please bear in mind that this is for divorce under UK law and not all aspects may apply where you are.

    The headline issues I will cover in later posts in this thread are:

    • Things to do pre-divorce (if possible)
    • Things to do at the point of separation
    • Get your head in the right place
    • Document Everything
    • Get the f~~~ing lawyers under control
    • Separation of Concerns
    • Research, Research, Research
    • Do It Yourself
    • Get the timing right
    • Understanding what she’s after and what is driving her schedule

    Other stuff may be added as I think of it.

    "...reinvent your life because you must; it is your life and its history and the present belong only to you.” It is Your Life, Charles Bukowski.

    #631366
    +5
    GregB0
    GregB0
    Participant

    Great outline MoreSky and thanks for doing this.

    From previous posts I know that there were considerable assets, children and probably pets involved?

    What does your ex do for a living?

    ​"​My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.​" - Clarence Buddinton Kelland

    #631372
    +4
    Removed
    Removed
    Participant
    4683

    Great way to stick in there and deal with the crappy situation. You did it well. The longer you are divorced and don’t have to live under her nagging, the better it will feel. You finally get to live for you.

    #631375
    +3
    MoreSky
    MoreSky
    Participant
    4875

    What does your ex do for a living?

    Ex now runs her own business – setup and operating costs paid with the settlement I gave her.

    From previous posts I know that there were considerable assets, children and probably pets involved?

    House, cars, pensions – the usual stuff. Probably about $500k (equivalent) or so.

    Custody of our daughter and pets was one issue that was easy and was agreed immediately and was non-contentious and didn’t factor into the other divorce stuff (other than child maintenance).

    "...reinvent your life because you must; it is your life and its history and the present belong only to you.” It is Your Life, Charles Bukowski.

    #631386
    +6
    MoreSky
    MoreSky
    Participant
    4875

    Things to Do Pre-Divorce (if possible)

    I’m sure someone will point out that the easiest way to avoid divorce costs and settlements is to not get married in the first place, and, of course, they will be right.

    Pre-Nuptial agreements are generally not worth the paper they are written on but may gain some credit with court if the bitch is identified as being at fault (adultery, desertion etc.) and may reduce the settlement a bit.

    If you’re unlucky enough to be married and can see a divorce coming, or even are recently married and wish to prepare, there are a few things what can be done to help your future divorce case:

    • If you are the only person on the mortgage / deeds to your house – keep it that way.
    • Do not have joint banks accounts. If you have them try and transition away from this to operating exclusively from your own account. At any hint of a divorce she will drain any joint accounts dry.
    • If you need to make a significant family purchase (new car, holiday etc.) pay for this yourself rather than from a joint account or her credit card or credit rating. As you have to pay for it anyway, then you increase your debt and decrease hers which affects settlement calculations considerably in your favour.
    • Do not use credit for anything that is exclusively for her, as she will be keeping that regardless (probably). Although this is slightly at odds with the previous point.
    • Document and retain everything (texts, emails, letters, phone bills, photos/posts on Facebook etc, and perhaps keep a diary as well so dates don’t get confused, especially of times when she is at a “conference” / girls night out etc.)
    • Try and identify her Hive and do not discuss any of this with partners of those Hive members, even if they are your best buddies.
    • If really ambitious, convert cash to a saleable asset such as gold (do not use debit/credit cards for this), which you tell NO-ONE about. This is a bit naughty but may be a way to decrease your perceived assets which you can recover later (post-divorce). Others on the forum know much more about this sort of thing than me.

    Again, more will be added if I think of it.

    "...reinvent your life because you must; it is your life and its history and the present belong only to you.” It is Your Life, Charles Bukowski.

    #631389
    +5

    Anonymous
    164

    Don’t settle for life under a marriage contract and you’ll lower your divorce costs to $0.00.

    When you sit down and crunch the numbers marriage costs you your life! What’s that worth? You decide, I already made up my mind, no matter what, the math never lies!

    #631405
    +5
    MoreSky
    MoreSky
    Participant
    4875

    Things to Do at Point of Separation

    This is obviously highly dependent on the situation.

    My ex was adulterous and I had proof. She left the marital home (voluntarily) after being confronted with this (in a calm manner). My daughter stayed with me until her mother had found her own place to live that was suitable for my daughter as well.

    At the point of separation, the following may be good advice depending on the situation:

    • Do NOT voluntarily leave the marital home. Whatever the circumstances you may be identified as deserting the family home giving her potential grounds for divorce. This would make her the Petitioner rather than the Respondent which would give her a lot of control. You want that control.
    • Do NOT say anything about future settlements or division of assets at this point. This may restrict future options.
    • Do NOT hit her however tempting that might be. This, again, might give her grounds for divorce (when I confronted my ex with her adultery was the closest I have every come to hitting a woman – don’t do it)
    • Try to remain as calm as possible (very difficult) as the definitions of spousal abuse go way beyond just physical striking and, again, may give her grounds for divorce.
    • Do NOT sleep with her. Sounds ridiculous, but if you engage in sexual activity after the identified point of separation things can get very complicated legally and, again, gives her control that you don’t want her to have.
    • Try not to involve any children. They will have to deal with the separation and divorce but the point of separation when stress is very high is not the right time.
    • Research your local legal community and find a decent, reputable lawyer. Referral from someone you trust is probably the best way. Lawyers are scumbags but certain things need to be issued by someone in the legal profession (this should probably be included in the pre-divorce list).
    • Now is NOT the time to make any decisions. You need to get over the shock of separation and significant change in your life. (I shot myself in the foot a bit at this point by agreeing to pay her rent until the financial agreements were sorted. These actually took the longest to sort of everything).

    More as I think of it.

    "...reinvent your life because you must; it is your life and its history and the present belong only to you.” It is Your Life, Charles Bukowski.

    #631498
    +1
    Point Of No Return
    Point Of No Return
    Participant
    4089

    Things to Do at Point of Separation

    Do NOT sleep with her. Sounds ridiculous, but if you engage in sexual activity after the identified point of separation things can get very complicated legally and, again, gives her control that you don’t want her to have.

    No wonder weeminz go around with the ‘because vagina’ idea in the back of their heads. Jurisprudence is clearly saying ‘pussy is power’ no two ways about it.

    Know when it is your duty to give them zero explanations for your actions.

    #631686
    MoreSky
    MoreSky
    Participant
    4875

    Things to Do at Point of Separation

    Do NOT sleep with her. Sounds ridiculous, but if you engage in sexual activity after the identified point of separation things can get very complicated legally and, again, gives her control that you don’t want her to have.

    No wonder weeminz go around with the ‘because vagina’ idea in the back of their heads. Jurisprudence is clearly saying ‘pussy is power’ no two ways about it.

    Absolutely agree. The legal system effectively supports the view that if you want that pussy you’re going to have to pay for it.

    The point I made was told to me informally by my lawyer. In fact, he said, “Don’t shag her or she’ll be able to take you to the cleaners.”

    He explained that the court could take the view that if you have sex with her after you apply for separation then it could be seen that you are not entirely serious and that you have forgiven her for whatever transgression caused the splitting the first place. This won’t stop the process but several rounds of marriage counselling would be required to get back to the same point to prove that the split is irreconcilable. All at your expense of course.

    "...reinvent your life because you must; it is your life and its history and the present belong only to you.” It is Your Life, Charles Bukowski.

    #631783
    +2
    MoreSky
    MoreSky
    Participant
    4875

    Get Your Head in the Right Place

    This is difficult. Before I found MGTOW, I was confused, felt alone, and had no idea what the future held in store or, indeed, what was the point of the rest of my life.

    Nearly all the things in these posts came about after gaining the clarity and calmness by realising I was not alone; that it was not my fault; and that I had to take control.

    As I have mentioned elsewhere, issues relating to child custody are the hardest to bear and the financial matters are insignificant compared to that. By comparison to many on this forum, I was fortunate in that aspect, but the reduction in the amount of time I would see my daughter was devastating.

    I cannot overstate the importance of mgtow.com in providing the vehicle to enable me to dispel the feelings of betrayal, loneliness, and despair and the necessity in doing so. Removing the emotional aspects of the situation takes away the main weapons of the ex’s lawyer to elicit irrational responses to the benefit of the ex. Females have enough on their side in terms of court bias and a prejudiced legal system without giving up our main strength which is logic, reason and rationality.

    It may be a biased process, but it is still a process with rules and limits and regardless of bias the legal system has to follow those rules. It is very difficult to fight this system with an unclear mind and emotional responses, even more so when children are involved.

    • Get your head in the right place
    • Make a plan
    • Do things to YOUR timetable
    • A cliche but: ACT don’t REACT
    • Be in control
    • You are not alone

    This is obviously highly situational but allowing them to take away reason and replace it with despair is unacceptable.

    "...reinvent your life because you must; it is your life and its history and the present belong only to you.” It is Your Life, Charles Bukowski.

    #632221
    +2
    CombatRoll
    CombatRoll
    Participant
    2625

    Please keep the info coming. If possible a little more detailed.

    I’m 3 months into separation. We’ve both retained lawyers and haven’t filed yet.

    I have my head in the right place, but I’ve not filed yet b/c I don’t feel prepared and I am convinced she thinks she can get me to come back home. N O P E.

    When I do file the s~~~ storm will ensue. So, I need to prep as much as I can right now – but it may be too late to do much financially.

    #632298
    +1
    MoreSky
    MoreSky
    Participant
    4875

    Please keep the info coming. If possible a little more detailed.

    I’m 3 months into separation. We’ve both retained lawyers and haven’t filed yet.

    I have my head in the right place, but I’ve not filed yet b/c I don’t feel prepared and I am convinced she thinks she can get me to come back home. N O P E.

    When I do file the s~~~ storm will ensue. So, I need to prep as much as I can right now – but it may be too late to do much financially.

    CombatRoll, will do.
    A lot of info in the next few sections is on filing the petitions and dealing with lawyers.
    This is where doing things right can make the biggest difference. I was well beyond the point you are at before I got my head sorted.
    Should get the next couple of sections done this evening (UK time).

    "...reinvent your life because you must; it is your life and its history and the present belong only to you.” It is Your Life, Charles Bukowski.

    #632634
    +1
    MoreSky
    MoreSky
    Participant
    4875

    Document Everything

    I mentioned this in the pre-divorce section but it cannot be stressed how important it is to document everything and get organised. Firstly, it will keep your mind on track but the key point is to refute anything that may be brought up later by the ex’s lawyer to mitigate her position. it will also help in the later financial calculations so that unfavourable estimates can be avoided.

    I was fortunate enough to have definitive evidence of the bitch’s adultery. I didn’t have to use it but it was there nonetheless and could always have been produced if required to refute any attempts at denial designed to gain sympathy with the court or anyone else. This was stored on three separate USB sticks, two separate online cloud services and I emailed it to myself.

    I recommend keeping records of at least the following:

    • Phone bills (preferably itemised)
    • Joint Bank Account statements
    • Credit Card statements
    • Mortgage statements (and make sure the deeds are in a safe place known only to you if they are not in your bank)
    • Loan Agreements
    • Pension statements
    • Payslips
    • Tax statements
    • Nursery / Childminder fees (if appropriate)
    • School fees and related costs
    • All correspondence with your lawyer
    • All correspondence from her lawyer
    • All information submitted and received from court
    • Note the date, time, subject and summarise all meetings, discussions, phone calls, emails, texts in a diary
    • Keep pdf copies of all emails and other correspondence if possible
    • Also note what you are doing every day as “You did this on this particular day” may arise in the future from her lawyer

    Documents can be scanned using your smartphone and there are plenty of apps (e.g. Scanner Pro by Readdle) that scan and create pdf versions of documents.

    I suggest using software such as Evernote, Apple Notes or other online service (ie with cloud storage) to record diary notes and pdf copies of documents. There are plenty of journal apps out there that would probably work as well.

    I used an app called Scrivener because I had it already for writing purposes – this synchs with DropBox and documents can also be stored with it.

    A simple way of recording stuff is to email it to yourself. This will provide a time record and is also stored on a remote server (unless you are using a very old email service). iCloud, Gmail, outlook.com or Protonmail are all fine for this.

    As far as possible, make sure the ex has no access to any of this information or documents. Knowledge is power.

    EDIT: it would also be useful to learn how to encrypt documents and drives. Not essential but useful.

    "...reinvent your life because you must; it is your life and its history and the present belong only to you.” It is Your Life, Charles Bukowski.

    #632728
    MoreSky
    MoreSky
    Participant
    4875

    Get the F~~~ing Lawyers Under Control

    The fee schedule for my divorce lawyer was as follows (this is a cut-and-paste from the invoice):

    Letters written : 20 @ £18.50 each
    Letters received : 7 @ £18.50 each
    Telephone calls : 0
    Preparation and attendance : 150 minutes @ £185 per hour

    Adding on tax this comes to just over £1000. Court fees of about £600 were additional to this and they are unavoidable.

    This is a pretty low amount for divorce fees. Even so, about 80% of this was before I got my head together so it could have been even lower.

    My lawyer’s initial estimate was at least £3000 to £5000 if things went smoothly.

    This is only for the divorce annulment part of the process. Initial Petition, Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute.

    The financial agreement process he estimated at between a further £1000 and £2000 (again if things went smoothly). In the end it cost me £150 as I did it myself.

    This also does not include child custody issues as again that was sorted out by myself and ex-wife separately without involving the lawyers.

    There are four key things to remember:

    • Lawyers increase fees by generating conflict, often unnecessarily, especially those acting for females
    • YOUR lawyer works for YOU and can only act under your instructions
    • The ex’s lawyer works for her and can only act under her instructions
    • Do NOT under any circumstances agree to pay for her legal costs. That is giving her lawyer a blank cheque.

    To keep the costs to a minimum I suggest the following:

    Tell your lawyer NOT to do ANYTHING without a specific instruction from you in writing (email preferably)

    Lawyers will try and get you to come to their offices for long consultations where they will explain the process in detail and will say things like “Shall I proceed on that basis?”, “Do you want to do that?” or “Do you understand that?” and will take that as an instruction generating lots of letters to yourself, the court or her lawyer.

    The initial consultation is useful for context and may be useful to determine if there is anything unusual about the situation but beyond that it is basically form filling. If you can research and understand the forms yourself (more on this later) and provide him with nearly completed documents that he just needs to sign and send this will save a lot of time and money as he will not need to explain it you and minimising the back and forth with her lawyer, which is critical.

    Note: your lawyer should be a “him”. Her lawyer will almost certainly be a “her” or a scumbag mangina.

    Only giving instructions in writing may rack up the letter count between you and your lawyer but it will reduce the letter count between your lawyer and hers (lawyer costs are based on sending and receiving letters – you don’t charge yourself for receiving a letter).

    Minimising the contact to her lawyer is crucial. Assuming that you are the Petitioner (more on this later) they can only respond to information provided by your lawyer which you control.

    If your head is in the right space and you can manage it calmly, the ex should be convinced of keeping the costs down. More money in your pocket means more money for her at the end of the day. Of course, minimising what you give her is another challenge. Nobody “wins” if the lawyers are getting all the money.

    In summary:

    • Control your lawyer
    • Control the information flow to her lawyer
    • Do as much as possible yourself
    • Persuade her that keeping costs down is to her benefit

    "...reinvent your life because you must; it is your life and its history and the present belong only to you.” It is Your Life, Charles Bukowski.

    #632752
    MoreSky
    MoreSky
    Participant
    4875

    Two areas to be added to the Headline Issues list:

    • The Initial Petition
    • Making a Plan (Project Management 101)

    I’ll be doing The Initial Petition section next (probably tomorrow).

    "...reinvent your life because you must; it is your life and its history and the present belong only to you.” It is Your Life, Charles Bukowski.

    #632769
    +2
    Juehue
    Juehue
    Participant
    1320

    KM should sticky this.

    If you can OP, please Bold the For UK laws on your first post

    #632772
    +1
    MoreSky
    MoreSky
    Participant
    4875

    KM should sticky this.

    If you can OP, please Bold the For UK laws on your first post

    Unfortunately can’t edit my first post any more.

    "...reinvent your life because you must; it is your life and its history and the present belong only to you.” It is Your Life, Charles Bukowski.

    #632793
    Noname
    noname
    Participant
    749

    KM should sticky this.

    Agreed, hopefully he will.

    We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. - Aristotle
    Warrior asked Fear, “How can I defeat you?” Fear replied, “If you don’t do what I say, I have no power.”

    #634033
    +3
    MoreSky
    MoreSky
    Participant
    4875

    The Initial Petition

    A reminder at this point that my experience is under UK law, or more precisely the law of England and Wales. The laws in Scotland and Northern Ireland may be different.

    The divorce process is related solely to the annulment of the marriage and has very little, if anything, to do with financial settlements, child custody or child or spousal payments. Those are completely separate.

    It is possible, but not recommended, to get divorced without having reached a financial agreement. This costs a fortune in the long run as spousal maintenance comes into play which is a nightmare.

    A lot of my information on the process comes from the UK government website at https://www.gov.uk/divorce which explains the process and has links to all the relevant forms. I regularly reviewed this even before I got my head together.

    The grounds for divorce are:

    • Adultery
    • Unreasonable Behaviour
    • Desertion
    • Separated for 2 years (and agree to divorce)
    • Separated for 5 years (agreement not necessary)

    Adultery and Separated for 2 years are the most common in the UK. They are also the easiest to get through the court system.

    My lawyer told me that judges don’t get involved in looking at initial applications these days, it is all done by clerks who follow a checklist. Get the form right and the clerks will sign it off, they aren’t paid to think.

    The person who has been adulterous cannot petition for divorce on the grounds adultery. The Petitioner has to be “innocent” party. There are is a form for the adulterous person to admit the adultery (which was surprisingly inquisitive) and that is sent with the initial petition.

    If the adultery is admitted then the process is as simple as it can be.

    The Separation reasons have similar forms but to be legal requires getting a legally binding Separation Order, which to be frank is almost identical in terms of process as the divorce petition. You then have to do it all again after the two or 5 year period with the divorce petition at that time. There is no point Petitioning for a divorce until the time period is up and you have a legal Separation Order. This is about the closest to getting a no-fault divorce. The separation process does not require proving the marriage is irreconcilable.

    Unreasonable behaviour is becoming somewhat more common as a reason for women petitioning for divorce, and in my opinion (other than physical violence and substance abuse) is a get-out for women who can claim unreasonable behaviour for all sort of ill-defined reasons (including being too logical). This part of the divorce process is mostly procedural and non-biased but unreasonable behaviour is the exception and is heavily biased towards women.

    Desertion is when one party leaves without good reason or the other’s agreement or specifically to end the relationship. This is the reason I have stated a couple of times – do NOT leave the marital home voluntarily.

    Adultery and the Separation reasons are pretty clear-cut and would be unlikely to require a court hearing (and are hence a lot cheaper). Unreasonable behaviour and desertion may be contentious and that is when judges might start getting involved. However, if the grounds are admitted it is, again, a lot simpler.

    Shortly after my ex left she said she wanted a divorce. I was still a bit in shock from life-changing events happening so quickly. I had suspected her of adultery for years but didn’t 100% know until that time. I was seriously considering the 2 year separation route as the way to go, as I didn’t want to be rushed into a process I knew absolutely nothing about and did not know the consequences.

    I said this to the ex, and she said that she had spoken to her lawyer and that if I didn’t petition for divorce on grounds of adultery then she would petition on grounds of unreasonable behaviour. The unreasonable behaviour being that she never won an argument because she was not as clever as me (her words).

    It was also at this point that she said that her lawyer had said that “she was entitled to half of the house, half my pension, significant maintenance payments and that custody of our daughter would be up to her”. I now know that all of this is bollocks but at the time I didn’t have a clue, and it shocked me. It’s not only bollocks but it also has nothing to do with the divorce process.

    I still, to this day, don’t absolutely know why she wanted to get divorced so quickly. Perhaps to monkey-branch to the bloke she had been shagging, I don’t know. He dumped her three months later anyway and the pressure for a quick divorce vanished. Coincidence? I think not.

    Anyway, I agreed to file for divorce on the basis of her adultery. Which, in hindsight, was the preferred option for me anyway.

    For the separation routes be aware that the financial settlements cannot happen until the divorce, so spousal maintenance comes into play. During the separation period, the Separation Order will include payments of child maintenance and spousal maintenance from the higher earner to the lower earner which can be considerable. The child maintenance payment methodology is fixed and a government calculator can be used (it’s not necessarily fair but it is clear). Spousal maintenance calculations are complex, non-standard and cause a lot of conflict. Once I learned of them I wanted to avoid them completely.

    In the USA, 70% of divorces are filed by women. I believe the figures in the UK are similar. The Petitioner has more control than the Respondent. Try and be the Petitioner, if possible.

    "...reinvent your life because you must; it is your life and its history and the present belong only to you.” It is Your Life, Charles Bukowski.

    #634037
    Romulus
    Romulus
    Participant
    4683

    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

    How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being.

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