amicable forum

Can the courst force me to continue working too hard?!

I've a limited company which I'm joint director with my wife ...we are divorcing. She doesn't commit much time to the business, meaning that I've had to work very long hours just in order to raise enough income to stay in our (expensive) London rental.



We can't work together (we just don't get along...her work ethic suck, always arguing)...but now that we're divorcing she wants to remain in London with our kids...our kids aren't doing well at school & my estranged wife had wanted to move them prior to the divorce (meaningshe wasn't worried about their upheaval), so with that in mind I think it's better we just relocate out of London where we can find 2 places much cheaper (town to be chosen by both of us - 2 separate properties)...she won't & is digging her heels in to stay in London (ludocrously expensive)....and is pretty much just expecting me to finance that.



So as it stands, I've already been working too hard to keep a roof above our heads...but now we're divorcing...well, my mind boggles at how high our overheads are going to be...two properties rented...1 being in London....I just don't think I'd be able to cope with the work & stress.



Nope, I can't work that hard anymore - it's crazy - So to my question...we can either try to sell the business (tough, becuase the business really is me...probably wouldn't raise much anyway), or we can wind down the business...but what I worry about is that if I do either of those two things, then our income dries up ....& I would worry that any judge would consider this reckless & therefore just give my ex-wife most/all of our (considerable) cash assets to weather her income-less storm with the kids (most of our cash assets pre-dated me meeting her - I'd worked hard for 22yrs & had properties...sold about 6 months prior to meeting her...so had a lot of cash assets)



Are my worries justified? Surely a Judge can't expect me to work my fingers to the bone on my jack jones to finance her London lifestyle? (this is what has caused the marriage to fail in the first place!), but now I'd have to work even harder. I'd rather sell up & stack shelves...a nice simple, stress free job


replies

    Hi Drew,



    Thanks for getting in touch. As you rightly point out things aren’t easy when you divorce and one of the toughest things is adjusting to new financial circumstances and commitments. There are no hard and fast rules about what a court will order. We have judge based law and that gives each judge a lot of discretion. This is generally considered a good things as it means individual circumstances can be considered when making financial orders but it also makes things harder to predict. You can see a list of the sorts of things a judge will consider when making a financial order on our website here (bullet 2).



    A judge may see the disposal of assets (i.e. selling a business) and cutting off an income stream very negatively and as you say may well decide to award cash assets to your ex to ensure her financial welfare, especially if the children are living with her for some or most of the time. The court will expect you both to work and become as financially independent as possible. A court cannot force either of you to move, but you will have to live within your financial means. The bigger consideration is probably understanding what’s really in the best interests of your children. You don’t say how old they are, but they may well be old enough to have their views considered (obviously you and your wife will make the final decision). It sounds like you are seeing this from only one side at the moment..? and, to move forward and negotiate a resolution (without forcing the issue through court) will need you to put yourself in your wife shoes. If you can see things from her perspective it will help you create some options that work for the whole family. We’re very good at playing devil’s advocate if you want to try one of our free advice calls!



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