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What are we each entitled to in our divorce settlement?

What does the law say about how to split the house, how to share pensions and other assets, and how much maintenance is payable.

What steps can we take to reach a fair agreement?

The four basic steps to reaching an agreement on divorce finances are: disclosure, getting advice, negotiating and implementing a Consent Order.

What is a Consent Order and why do we need one?

A Consent Order is a legally binding document that finalises a divorcing couple's agreement on property, pensions and other assets.


Been told to expect to pay Spousal Maintenance?

  • pgh
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15 May 12 #330704 by pgh
Topic started by pgh
HI I''ve ben told by my collaborative lawyer to expect to pay SM of £100 per month or £20K in a Clean Break sttlement.
My wife is going to get half our home and savings worth £250K approx (her share) plus a pension sharing order of about £120k of my pension.
With her salary + child maintenance + Working Tax Credits + Child benefit she will have £2700 to live on. I will have £2300 and will have the kids 4 months of the year.
Why would I be expected to pay any SM under these circumstances?
I looked after all the family and ran two cars etc for 7 years on £2700 while she was not working. So where is the need when she will be looking after the 3 of them on the same money but only for 3/4 of the year?

  • TBagpuss
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16 May 12 #330854 by TBagpuss
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You would be best asking your solicitor to explain, as s/he is familiar with the details of your case.

However, it sounds as though a great deal of your wife''s income is from tax credits. & benefits - her actual earnings (and presumably earning capacity) are presumably lower than yours.


You mention her ''share'' of savings - is there a 50/50 split of savings & pension? If so you are looking at a situation where in the short term you both have equal capital and pension, but longer term your income is likely to stay the same or increase, whereas hers is likely to fall as the children get older and her entitlment to tax credits etc falls. So in the short term she may on paper be better off, in the longer term the reverse is likely to be true.

Some things to consider - is she likely to be able to increase her earnd income at all? Is she likely to reach a point where her earnigns are as great as yours? If so, how long will this take her? If she had 7 years when she was not in the job market, the likelihood is that she is always going to be lagging behind in terms of her income / earning capcity and it''s notunreasonable to have some adjustment to reflect that. Whether it shoudl be £20,000 or some other figure is a matter for discussion, but that doesn;t sound like a massive amount in the context of the total assets you have mentioned.

how many children do you have? Have you actually sat down to work out what it costs to support the children?

if you are going through the collaborative process than the aim is for you and your wife to agree on a settlment you both feel is fair and reasonable.

  • rugby333
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16 May 12 #330860 by rugby333
Reply from rugby333
TBagpuss makes some very good points here.

His/her best point is that, in the grand scheme of your numbers, £20k does not seem too onerous a figure to achieve a Clean Break.

  • soulruler
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16 May 12 #330867 by soulruler
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Also don''t forget that child benefit is not her income it is for the children.

I agree with Rugby that £20,000 for a Clean Break would be the better option than finding yourself liable to lifetime maintenence.

I personally do not agree totally (obviously there are exceptions to do with age and ability/disability) with lifetime maintenence.

I think it is one of the worries these days about getting into a marriage contract and then finding out that you cannot really get out of it once children have reached the age of majority.

Bit of a personal rant I suppose.

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16 May 12 #330890 by pgh
Reply from pgh
Thanks for those responses - my stbx currently works 3 days for approx £28k she could conceivably work one day more - but that might affect her Working Tax Credits. Caught in the benefits trap - aargh!

Its just that I thought looking at my figures there currently is no discernable need. She will have her pension put back to the position it was before we married..

We have two children aged 9 and 5.
We are both 46 so she does have time to make up for any lost pension contributions.
Also to answer one of the points made when she stops receiving Tax Credits etc then she will start getting her pension paid out at 60 and so that lose will be eased.

Also one of the reasons sighted as Unreasonable Behaviour was that I apparently did''t want to share my money with her. So the argument of being kept in the lifestyle that she is accustomed to is seriously compromised?

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16 May 12 #330921 by soulruler
Reply from soulruler
You are missing the bigger picture and that is the one of precedent. You sound rather like a fish being landed. Do not fall into that trap.

Rugby is right go for a Clean Break and worry about the rest later (lick your wounds at your own leisure).

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17 May 12 #331260 by pgh
Reply from pgh
I didn''t mean to seem like I was carping on - I use this site as a great resource for tryng out arguments.
If the only reason I am paying Spousal Maintenance is because of precedent then surely the facts need to be taken into considertion.
My needs are the same a my stbx we both need smaller 3 bed houses with similar sized mortgages.
We have relatively the same outgoings though granted she has the kids for 3/4 of the time. But my work is relocating to Central London so my travel costs will jump by £300 per month which will bring me closely in line with her outgoings.
Now forgive for going on but in calculating in what I will have left over it barely comes out at £100 so where is there any safety net for me when interest raes are set to rise again? I can''t get a fixed rate mortgage until the financials has been sorted?
Does that make my argument clearer/stronger?

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