Holly represented a Husband in divorce proceedings following a marriage of 10 years. The Wife wished to remain in the family home, which the Husband agreed to provided he could be removed from the mortgage. The Husband had a large Armed Forces pension following years of service, (over half of which was before the marriage), and sought to retain this in full. He had a growing income as he was re-training in a new field, and had used part of his pension lump sum to fund that training. The Wife had a low income but the Husband argued that she was minimising her ability to earn.
Unfortunately the FDR (‘dispute resolution’) hearing did not go ahead as the court did not have a judge available. The parties agreed, at Holly’s suggestion, to instead hold an out-of-court meeting, at which they chose to remain in separate rooms, and the lawyers negotiated.
The Wife sought to remain in the family home and receive a large lump sum from Holly’s client to compensate for him retaining his pension, and the monies he had used on re-training. The husband agreed to her retaining the family home so long as he could be removed from the mortgage, but wished to retain his pension in full and opposed the payment of a large lump sum to the wife. He argued that his need to re-train was inevitable when he left the Army.
Holly was able to negotiate an agreed settlement at the out-of-court meeting. It was agreed that the Wife would remain in the family home and remove the Husband from the mortgage (or sell the property if she failed to do so), he would retain his pension in full and pay her a lump sum of £1,250. A consent order was drawn up at the meeting and signed by both parties.