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Divorce: what's the worst that can happen to a man if he cannot pay?

  • 15-07-2022 2:12pm
    Registered Users Posts: 24 lost2022

    Could somebody please give me perspective on this? I'd pay for counselling for it, but I cannot find a single professional who could give me informed perspective on divorce (my anxiety levels are going off the charts the longer she delays the legal process and my money runs out)

    I'm going to have c. €50k in debt from legal fees by the end of this divorce process. The repayment on that loan will be €900 per month for the next five years or so, so that's off my disposable income per month. Despite this (and a few hundred thousand in equity in the family home, but selling it would, she contends, lead to a decrease in her ["the kids"] standard of living so she refuses to agree to sell it), it is likely that my wife will take the family home, and children and I will have to pay for my share of the mortgage (she earns more than I do, but that's another story) while I will pay significantly more for rented accommodation for the next 20 years (until the children are 23) than the mortgage is.

    Now, the figures from my net monthly income after mortgage and that loan for legal fees do not add up - and that's before Dublin accommodation rents for me are met. That's the long and the short of everything. So, something's got to give. It seems that for as long as the family home is not sold, my best case scenario is to be a slave in rented accommodation for the next 20 years, seeing my children (with whom I currently have a very strong and loving relationship every day without exception) whenever it suits her. I'm increasingly suspecting that my mental health is going to be the thing that goes. I have no intention of doing anything "drastic" as she would then get the life insurance policy and have the mortgage paid off, which would be the ultimate coup at my expense. I want to be there for my kids, and they definitely need me, but the way the case is going that will entail being under my ex's control at every turn, which would make it no different at all to what was happening during the marriage for years (I ended it, and she's utterly vicious about destroying me now under the guise of "the interests of the children", of course).

    What, in the name of God, are my options in this scenario? If I stop working, I've salary protection for a while in the event of illness but presumably there'll be an attachment order on that. My pension will also, I surmise, be taken and given to her. If I stop paying the mortgage because I don't have the money because I've no job due to ill health, what happens (as said, there's considerable equity in the family home)? I'm acutely conscious that if I'm honest about having a breakdown, it will be used to deprive me of access to my children - but I don't know how long more I can do this. But this is making me like this now, so I don't know if I can use that as a defence. Prison would be remission and personal safety, to be honest. Apparently, no matter what happens the media cannot report on the injustice because of the "in camera" rule/secrecy of family courts so even a hunger strike wouldn't be reported by the Irish media.

    What, in short, is the worst that the Irish state can do to somebody who has had a mental breakdown and can no longer pay all the post-divorce bills and simply cannot truthfully live in conscience with the injustice of what the court has done? Every single thing in irish law is operating to silence me, from the legal costs to the prohibition on reporting (I currently have a superb credit rating, have never defaulted and, on the face of it, have a good, responsible professional job but everything is definitely coming to a head).


  • You are assuming an awful lot as a fait accompli and that your wife will be granted everythng she wants before you even reach the courtroom.

    Insist on tyour legal representative making a strong case for a property adjustment order that the house be sold. If your ex will not agree to the house being sold, then her options are to take out a new mortgage to buy you out of your share, if she earns more than you do. Or, if she cant raise a new mortgage to buy you out, that she takes over the full mortgage payments, and when tahe house is eventually sold in whatever number of years time, your share of the sale is based on whatever your share is on the day you last contribute towards the mortgage.

    These are examples of other possible options when it comes to dividing property in separations - there is not just one option - wife stays in house and husband pays half the mortage for the next 20 years.

    Honestly, what are your legal team advising you, and what are you paying €50k in fees for, if they are not fighting in your corner?

    You're not going to end up in jail, either.

  • Registered Users Posts: 666 ✭✭✭ CreadanLady

    Ultimately the absolute worst that can happen if you end up having no money to pay for maintenance, the €50k loan and whatever else and you are out of a job is that that there would be a nominal attachment order put on your social welfare payment and you'd have to live in a HAP rental or something like that.

    So that is as bad as it could possibly get. But it is not calamitous either. Not worth having a mental breakdown over. And it certainly isn't worth having a mental breakdown over money or lack of it.

    The MFV Creadan Lady is a mussel dredger from Dunmore East.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10 cyclohead

    From what little I've heard. You can only pay what you can pay.

    They look at your finances, her finances. If, at the end of the month, after all bills and loans and rent paid, you have for arguments sake €200. Then they may look for some of that. Yiu won't be getting holidays etc, but it will be able to live and not starve.

    Judges are human and understand all this too. Try impartial advice from FLAC (Free Legal Aid) . It's only advice they give, not actual legal aid... as far as I know (can be proven wring though)

    Just remember, they look at her circumstances too. She won't be rolling in cash either and you struggling.

    Best of luck.