Disability and Divorce — Scope | Disability forum
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Disability and Divorce

Hi. I am divorcing my husband who became very bitter and abusive towards me when my disability meant I could no longer work. We are currently going through mediation and he is asking for a 50:50 split of the assets, including my ill-health pension. He had a pension set up by his father but decided not to contribute to it and must therefore have been relying on mine. My solicitor seems clueless when I ask if I have any extra protection because I am disabled...leaving the negotiation with my husband up to me. My husband had me in tears in our last mediation meeting as he is adamant that he wants half my pension....yet it is all I have to live on. Can anyone help please? 

Comments

  • topshoes
    topshoes Member Posts: 442 Pioneering
    a solicitor can find out if someone has got any pensions ,savings all sorts of stuff  if they want ,  by the sound of it  your husband dont want you to know if hes got a pension ,are you paying for you solicitor  may i ask 
  • Markmywords
    Markmywords Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    While the baseline is 50-50, the judge is open to arguments for adjustments to this.
    It seems unlikely that you could reach an agreement with your husband so it should be put in the hands of the judge to decide. In the event of no agreement then both parties must declare their income and asset history to the court.
    If you can compromise on something else to make it appear "fairer" to the judge it would help your case.
    The trouble with pensions is that you can't access it until you reach the maturity date so "giving half" is not really possible.
  • Pippa_Alumni
    Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,799 Disability Gamechanger
    Oh I'm sorry to hear this @Claire1964, it sounds like a really uncomfortable situation for you to be in.

    Given the circumstances, I think our best advice would be to seek more targeted legal help with this. There are some useful websites and organisations on this page which may be worth a look at. Alternatively, you could give our helpline team a call at 0808 800 3333 (free). Please do let us know how you get on.
  • Claire1964
    Claire1964 Member Posts: 16 Listener
    Thank you for your comments. Some answers to your points...Yes, I am paying for my solicitor even though I am on Universal Credit until my pension is processed...I was told there are assets I can use to pay for the legal help once I have my settlement. I will draw down my pension now because I have been awarded ill health status...I don't wait until pension age and i am not penalised.
    I have mediation again on Friday and, as I have said, it is up to me to fight my corner....I am finding it very distressing and it is making my condition worse.
  • debbiedo49
    debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,904 Disability Gamechanger
    Are you getting any help from cab ? Or welfare rights or an advocate?
  • Lindylu
    Lindylu Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi. I am divorcing my husband who became very bitter and abusive towards me when my disability meant I could no longer work. We are currently going through mediation and he is asking for a 50:50 split of the assets, including my ill-health pension. He had a pension set up by his father but decided not to contribute to it and must therefore have been relying on mine. My solicitor seems clueless when I ask if I have any extra protection because I am disabled...leaving the negotiation with my husband up to me. My husband had me in tears in our last mediation meeting as he is adamant that he wants half my pension....yet it is all I have to live on. Can anyone help please? 

  • Lindylu
    Lindylu Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Ask your solicitor about divorce on the grounds of cruelty as my sister was adviced she could divorce her then husband on those grounds on far less than what you have been treated by, this allows you to more rights & your entitlement is 3/4 75% of everything, I can't believe your solicitor hasn't suggested this. My solicitor I felt was working on my X's side more than mine, wish I had complained & got someone else to take over... later found out her partner worked for the company my x had hired, talk about a conflict of interest. Hope you get some luck in this & hope my suggestion is of help 
  • Claire1964
    Claire1964 Member Posts: 16 Listener
    I am divorcing on the grounds of unreasonable behavior. I have been advised that whilst the police were called out to an incident, it wasn't deemed to be a crime because I didn't call immediately, I waited until the morning. The police did refer me to Womens Aid but I still am not being deemed to be 'at risk'...I am using the solicitor I saw whilst with Womens Aid. He hasn't given me any advice regarding my disability...I am having to negotiate myself in mediation. The law has changed on entitlement..it starts at 50:50 and you can negotiate a change in mediation. If that doesn't work, you can go to court (you have to pay) where a judge will make a decision based on the circumstances....it doesn't always go in the disabled persons favour apparently. Thank you for your comment, much appreciated.
  • Claire1964
    Claire1964 Member Posts: 16 Listener
    No, I am not getting any advice, except from my solicitor....but I am now going to ring the Scope helpline....will keep you posted.
  • Lindylu
    Lindylu Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Oh dear that's aweful. 
    The one thing I'm struggling with is how is he entitled to claim any of your disability money, this as I'm always told isn't a working income it's for your disability needs, he isn't disabled so can't be entitled to any money that is for your disability surely? Think yes you need more advice from the people that will actually know more aboit your entitlements as a disabled person, never know you maybe entitled to more help because your disabled. Good Luck with it all
  • Claire1964
    Claire1964 Member Posts: 16 Listener
    Thankyou Lindylu. There seems to be little protection for ill health pensions in divorce situations...it all goes into the assets pot. It is then up to the disabled person to fight their corner in mediation. If that breaks down then you can go to court and hope that the judge looking at the case comes down on the side of the disabled person...not a done deal. I am gobsmacked to be honest...I thought there was much more protection in law for disabled people than there actually is.
  • Lindylu
    Lindylu Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Too right, I agree with you especially when he was abusive to a disabled person too. It's sickening to think he feels in the right to after bad behaviour to make money from their disability, guess it shows what kind of failed male he is..... I refuse to grace him with the name Man coz he certainly isn't acting like a Man... more an immature boy playing still in a school playground. Really do hope you can find information on your side to justify your fight for your rights in this, keep strong Claire
  • Claire1964
    Claire1964 Member Posts: 16 Listener
    Thank you Lindylu, I have mediation tomorrow. I will post with an update.

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