Divorce,disability,health and "fair? — Scope | Disability forum
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Divorce,disability,health and "fair?

gaz1960 Member Posts: 242 Pioneering
Anybody else in the same,or similar position now or in the past, with being divorced,or in the process of getting  divorced,and have a disability  or have some sort of heath problems,and keep being told by solicitor or judges in court that everything is being done "fair"? 

"Fair" seems to be a one sided expression for the cheater and courts to use if the cheater has cheated,but still wants to use the "legal" way to steal from the innocent party? 


  • newborn
    newborn Member Posts: 747 Pioneering
    The site experts will no doubt inform  you, so have your lawyers.  But, if it saves you crying over spilt milk, you might consider  this:-
    No point even thinking of the word 'cheat', because  it has nothing to do with  anything these days.....No-fault divorce means you split because staying together isn't acceptable to one, or both.  It is irrelevant if  one  of them is a saint, or both are.  Roughly,  there is an assumption of a 50/50 division  of assets.

    The only reason disability could be introduced is if one has unavoidably exceptionally higher living costs,  or an unfairly, unreasonably low opportunity to earn, or if one brought a lion's share of assets or income into the relationship,  especially  if it was short duration .   Courts are  disinclined to take up time on too much haggling and squabbling though,  so pursuing it might be a waste of your energy and the legal fees.

  • gaz1960
    gaz1960 Member Posts: 242 Pioneering
    "Cheat" is the word!

    If somebody cheats,then they should walk away with nothing! It's their choice to dissolve the  relationship! 

    They cheat. Should not be "rewarded " for cheating"! 

    If you break wedding vows,then should not be allowed to steal from innocent party! 

  • gaz1960
    gaz1960 Member Posts: 242 Pioneering
    Right and wrong! 

    Unfortunately, in our age of diversity and "fairness" and "equality ", Men  get screwed when divorce is concerned. 
  • newborn
    newborn Member Posts: 747 Pioneering
    Please dont be misogynist.  It would be exactly the same the other way round.   There is no legal slavery, so people  don't  own other people .    A man is not forced to remain married,  nor is a woman.  A man may change religion, change politics, change house and job, and change his mind about remaining married.   So can a woman. 

    If he leaves his marriage,  it makes no difference why. Maybe he found a girlfriend,  or maybe  he just wanted  a change.   He will get, usually,  half of the matrimonial assets.  So will she.   The word 'cheat' has nothing to do with anything.  The notion of 'wedding vows' has no place in no-fault law. Private behaviour was never and can never be controlled by either a churchman or a lawyer deciding what is 'allowed' and what should be 'punished'.

    Things have moved on. Gaz you will hurt yourself if you cling to hatred and bitterness.  You loved your wife, and had some good time with her. She gave you her time and love and attention  and company.  Its sad it came to an end, but cant  you be grateful and look back fondly at the good times? 

    Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved.

    Did you see Rod Stewart with four wives, all remarried and all living nearby and best of friends? 
    That's  the way to do it.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Member, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,478 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @gaz1960, I'm sorry for what you're going through as I'm in the process of getting divorced too & also have a disability, but my circumstances are different. Divorce is both sad & stressful, so please try & look after yourself.

    As mentioned above, assets are usually divided equally, but all cases are different, which your solicitor may have mentioned to you. The word 'fair' comes into it meaning a fair division of assets & income. In my case my solicitor considered my disability benefit, which I could lose all or part of in the future, is considered as income, which surprised me. My husband will therefore get to keep all of a small pension that we both worked for during a very long marriage, altho' it would be considered, in my case, that I was the 'wronged' party. So, as you can see, women too can have problems.

    When you can, try & 'let go' your frustration & any anger as you go through this difficult process.
  • gaz1960
    gaz1960 Member Posts: 242 Pioneering
    My pension is .......£552,000

    Her pension.. £18,000

    She is legally allowed a third of mine. 

    But kept wanting wanted 50%

    Settled on 32% of accumulated  during marriage . 

    If cheated,should not get anything! 

    So much for "fair". 

  • newborn
    newborn Member Posts: 747 Pioneering
    Chiarieds it seems your solicitor is not fighting for you.  The pension  is permanent,  secure, lifelong, and equally gained.   Each has a state pension entitlement. 

     As you point out, disability  benefits are uncertain. These threads are full of details  of people losing them, despite no change in circumstances. The court should not be invited to see parity.    

    The thing you don't  say is that disability benefits are for a reason.  It is intended to pày for the extra costs of disability. Both you and your husband have a need for basic living costs, but you, alone, need the top up of your benefits.   The court should be informed.

    Scope has extensive information on the extra cost of disability.   Obtain it, and insist your solicitor  makes the point.

    Can scope help? Can the equal rights organisation?   At the extreme, a disabled person  might take direct  payment  to employ carers.  It is normally  less than needed, never surplus income over ànd beyond what the individual  requires for ordinary living costs.      It is paid to the disabled  person, but handed to the carers in return for their work.   It could never be regarded by court as an asset to be divided or taken into account in divorce.

    You must not, in àny case, agree full and final settlement  clean  break, lest your disability  worsens and your benefits reduce, which is possible.   You  must place a claim on the joint pension, to prevent the  partner drawing it in cash and disposing of it, when it is the life security for both of you.

  • david235
    david235 Member Posts: 170 Pioneering
    I wanted to endorse the wise words of @chairieds and @newborn . Unlike in Scotland divorce in England and Wales has yet to move to a "no fault" system, though there are ongoing efforts to change the law (there is a Divorce Reform Bill that aimed to introduce "no fault" divorce in the current Parliament though this Bill, like all proposed legislation yet to become law, will lapse at prorogation). In practice it is rare for a divorce petition to be defended and almost unheard of for a divorce petition to be successfully defended: Owens v Owens [2018] UKSC 41 is a very rare exception to this, where Mr Owens successfully defended Mrs Owens' divorce petition. A peculiar feature of this case is that it is Mrs Owens who had an affair.

    The simple fact is this - a relationship takes the assent and input of two people to work. If one person no longer wishes to be married and has gone as far as applying to the court to end the marriage then the point of retrievability of the relationship has almost certainly been passed. Anyone willing to go to the expense and humiliation of arguing for a contested divorce in open court clearly has a very strong desire to divorce.

    The courts are aware that often custody of children battles are fought in an attempt by one divorcing partner to "punish" the other, also attempts can be made to resist equal division of assets and income on grounds that amount to a desire for punishment. The guiding principle when it comes to money is equality, though in some cases there is a reasoned basis for departure from this.

    The chances are that trying to punish your ex-spouse financially will merely increase your joint legal bills and also the pain and suffering from the divorce.

    @chiarieds and @newborn both point out the need for healing, which I endorse. Whatever led up to a successful divorce petition, there are two things that are overwhelmingly likely to be true: at one point the partners loved each other and now at least one of them desperately wishes to part. Divorce is already stressful and often bitter enough without harbouring a desire to punish your soon to be ex-spouse. I know it must be a very hard thing to do, especially if you were not the one that behaved in such a way that brought the desire to be married to an end, but is it not better to set your ex-spouse free and, in so doing, set yourself free as well.

    To all those who are hurting over an ongoing or past divorce, I hope you can heal. Betrayal of any sort is extremely difficult to take.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Member, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,478 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2019
    Hi @newborn, I am only too aware of the uncertainty of disability awards, & indeed had a fight to get my current level of PIP only after a successful Mandatory Reconsideration.

    My husband & I were able to split our assets amicably. All that was then left was our income. 2 years ago I was living off my Disability Living Allowance alone after separating from my husband 4 years previously. Now I receive the New State Pension, which is more than my husband's Basic State Pension.

    I was aggrieved about the private pension. This had been the result of getting a life insurance in my husband's name needed to get a mortgage for our jointly owned home; monies coming out of our joint current account. We were not only married, but also business partners for over 30 years, until my husband took out the private pension which ensued.

    I thought surely I contributed equally to 'his' private pension, which was for our retirement. Apparently, since he is now getting this private pension, it is considered an income stream.

    I mentioned repeatedly to my solicitor that my PIP award was meant to help with the extra costs a person with a disability faces, but this is a similar amount to the private pension my husband now receives. I have asked here on Scope for advice in another thread, & because of the support I received I wished to have my day in court .... to fight with the principle that disability benefits should not be considered as income. My solicitor advised that the small amount my husband offered (equivalent to half of the next 3 years of his pension) would be lost taking it to court.

    None of this helps the OP, unless it shows every case is different. I personally decided to 'let it all go.' There are no 'winners' in divorce, yet I get to see our son nearly every day; our daughter & 3 granddaughters way more often....& that is something you can't put a price on.

    As @david235 mentioned there is not yet a 'no fault divorce' procedure in place in England & Wales; you have to give a reason why the marriage has irretrievably broken down. I loved the person I married & still care for him deeply; my marriage vows matter to me enormously. Try to forgive the person you loved @gaz1960.

  • gaz1960
    gaz1960 Member Posts: 242 Pioneering
    @chiarieds. Unfortunately, forgiveness is not an option. She cheated,she lied,and she split the family up. None of my kids will speak to each other. And it's been three years since we divorced, but hopefully everything  settled soon,I have an appointment with the solicitor for Friday next. But will still need to keep working and not able to retire on what will be left in my pension  after she has been allowed to steal from it. 


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