I’m pretty new here and was hoping someone could help with a few questions.
Married for 19 years with two children, one 16 and one 14.
Stbx’s salary £35k mine £19k
Pensions stbx’s 200k mine 32k
Three properties between us. All purchased whilst married.
Property 1 value £75k mortgage free
Property 2 valued approximately £100k with £50k equity.
Fmh valued £170 and equity £100k
Borrowing capacity stbx’s £90k mine £7500
Stbx wants a 50/50 split. I keep fmh with its £70k mortgage whilst he lives in mortgage free property and also keeps property 2.
I have some savings but my debts outweigh these.
Stbx has no savings, however has been making large cash withdrawals from his account every month( £1000 approx ).
I’m so stressed atm as my children refuse to see him due to his behaviour and I have no idea how the courts will devide the assets. I’m worried due to my minimal borrowing capacity will I lose my home?
I have tried to google how courts spilt assets but to no avail.
Has anyone been through something similar and what has been the outcome? Any advice/information would be greatly appreciated.
You say stbx wants 50:50 but then go on to describe division of properties which gives you equity of £70k and your stbx £125k. There is no mention of the pensions, settling the liabilities or the possible Capital Gains Tax liability.
You need to seek legal advice on your options. You should start at 50:50 and look for reasons to depart from this such inequality of earnings, childcare etc.
Why not stbx keep property 1, you keep the fmh and you sell property 2 and split the equity? You can have a 50% share of his pension, maintenance for a set term on top of child maintenance? That would be closer to 50:50 than stbx is proposing and it has more ground in reality.
If stbx really thinks his proposals is equal to 50:50 I would be asking for full disclosure as I am sure he is showing/telling you what only he wants to see/hear.
Thank you Charles for your reply.
I do have a solicitor, Who is draining what little savings I do have.
We both have completed our form E, also have just got replies for the questions. Just waiting on the valuation for property 2, which he undervalued. Then I’ll be meeting my solicitor to put a settlement proposal. My solicitor has said she is going to ask for a 50:60 split and half of his pension.
He does pay CM and I’m happy for him to keep properties 1 and 2. Tbh I would be happy if he just gave me a lump sum so I could clear my mortgage. Would it be possible to offset the pension portion off against the fmh? I just don’t know how the courts decide these matters.
What is the most l outcome?
Pension offsetting is common but the cash for the offset has to come from somewhere. If your stbx has access to the cash that is all well and good.
The offset is not a pound for pound exchange though. There is no firm guidance but the value of a pension on a cash basis will be worth more the closer to pensionable you the member gets. The type of pension makes a difference too.
I am not completely uninformed on the pension offsetting issue but there are so many permutations when performing a calculation and a lot of the issues will be case specific which complicates the matter further.
Your solicitor would not be able to advise on the appropriate cash offset for the pension, even with the knowledge available to them so any opinion here would be a guess.
My guess would be around £40k (for your half of stbx pension) but it could be more. I doubt it would be less but I wouldn't be surprised if £35k was the final figure.
You have to look at all of the assets 'in the round' and also consider the needs of the parties. In your case there are three properties which means that each party can be housed and there should be a slight bump to compensate you for any lack of earnings capacity on account of lost career advancement due to child care.
There are no definitive answers I'm afraid as there is likely to be information that you haven't posted which would make the difference.
Thank you Charles, that is pretty much it. I can’t think of anything else that I haven’t mentioned. You have shed some light on the whole mess and given me some reassurance and food for thought. I’m just hoping stbx doesn’t dig his heels in and demand on a final hearing.