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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.


Can''t figure out if clean break is fair

  • MalcolmY
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03 Jun 12 #334928 by MalcolmY
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thx Dukey -

yes - nothing to suggest any health issues

no change from existing income for either - I may or may not get another job, so assume the £52k for another year at least

Yes - in same house, no other people involved

thanks again

  • LittleMrMike
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04 Jun 12 #334946 by LittleMrMike
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Malcolm, I have a confession to make. I had read too much into your statement that she does not wish to rely on you. Somehow or other I had overlooked that she wants all the equity and that would certainly alter things.

What I said about Separation Agreements is true. Following the case of Edgar v Edgar it seems that courts are willing to uphold agreements reached between sensible adults, but the point is that they are never guaranteed to be 100% bomb proof.

A Court order, on the other hand, is final and binding in 99.5% of cases and the risk of it being overturned is very slim.

Sometimes a separation agreement can be worth considering and the usual case where you will find it is where the parties have decided on a trial separation. However if the parties are going to divorce, I think that a separation agreement in most cases is superfluous. To be sure, it can be converted into a Court order easily enough, but it''s extra expense, and expense, right now, is something you can do without.

In most cases, the Court''s main concern in a divorce is to make sure that both parties ( and particularly the children ) have somewhere to live.

But there is quite a bit of equity here, and after a long marriage it would be very unusual indeed for one spouse to come away with no interest in the family home at all. OK, you have the larger income and can therefore afford a larger mortgage.

For these reasons, it might be expected that she would have a larger share in the equity than you ; but I don''t think you should come away with nothing at all.
I am normally wary about housing options because it does so much depend on where you happen to live and what your share of the equity will get you.

Where the children are to live is also important. Ideally both of you should have houses big enough to allow staying access. In this particular case this seems realistic.

I very much doubt whether a Court would give her all the equity, unless you were compensated for the loss in some way. Sometimes this can be done by giving you a larger share of other assets. Sometimes it can be done by foregoing spousal maintenance ( not child maintenance ) and this is a question of balancing what you would stand to lose by such an arrangement in the way of equity against what you might have to pay in SM and over what period.

But I personally would advise caution before accepting an arrangement like that. For a start you need some of the equity for a deposit. Secondly, I would always ask myself whether your wife had any plans to remarry, Even if she hasn;t found Mr Right yet, the general intention may be there. If she remarried the SM would end anyway so you have little or nothing to show for your sacrifice.

Well now, about spousal maintenance. If there are two children, you lose 20% of your net income. Sooner or later child support ends of course. But you will be paying her a slice of your NET monthly income for some time. Now if you factor into that equation her benefits ( particularly tax credits ) you will find, I think that the discrepancy in your incomes is not as great as you thought it was. It may mean that SM, if awarded at all, could be for a fairly low figure, although, given that there are dependent children, some SM is a possibility.

I apologise again for misconstruing your letter and hope this may give some guidelines at least.

LMM

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04 Jun 12 #334947 by dukey
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Are you self employed, or a contractor perhaps, you say your working below market value, what is your future income potential, it sounds very much though it could be quite high.

Assuming pensions are small, and historic and future income potential will be no surprise what is suggested is not unreasonable, your income is x2 the wifes and because of that and assuming the children are staying with mam most of the time mam keeps the liquid assets.

It is unusual for one person to keep the lot so a Consent Order may be questioned by a judge considering it, if you both sing from the same song sheet it should still be fine.

What Mike said about the separation agreement is well worth taking note of.

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04 Jun 12 #334950 by dukey
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Mike just a thought, this appears to be an agreement where the gent keeps his income, the lady right now is not asking for CM meaning he would keep his entire income.

It could be a case or i expect it is of the parents hoping that this will cause as little disruption to the children`s lives as possible, another issue is the lady is self employed, lenders don`t like the self employed as i found out.

  • MrsMathsisfun
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04 Jun 12 #334958 by MrsMathsisfun
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Also there would be no guarantee that the no child maintenance would be honoured as the ex could go to the CSA at any time and request money.

The CSA wouldnt recognise the fact that the NRP hasnt received any equity from the property. Also at present it doesn''t recognise 50/50 shared care arrangements.

  • LittleMrMike
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04 Jun 12 #334960 by LittleMrMike
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Dukey

Well yes, I could certainly understand it if the parents wanted to cause as little disruption as possible to their childrens'' lives.

However, there are other ways of achieving that objective without giving the wife the whole equity in the FMH.

As you know, an agreement to forego child maintenance would be unenforceable.

I agree of course that rules are not set in stone, and an agreement that does not conform to '' the rules '' could be, if not perhaps 100% fair, still fair enough for a Court to approve it.

But I remain unhappy about the husband having no interest at all. It may be that he may not be able to realise it for a time, but total confiscation seems to me to be going too far. Still , we don''t have to come to blows about it - - - -

LMM

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04 Jun 12 #334965 by dukey
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I think chess Mike rather than show off our lack of pugilistic skill, i don`t think we would have Hollywood throwing money at a 3D version of Rocky 9 (or whatever it is).

I made a very similar agreement with my ex, and yes it was questioned in court, the judge did seal the order after some quick fire questioning.

I suppose what would be more agreeable would be for the original poster to think about a charge place on the marital home so that down the line he does receive some money, its what i would suggest if he was talking to me, the worry as always is that if his wife refused court becomes probable, would court leave him with nothing?, very unlikely but what would it cost them both, 20k maybe 30k and what effect would this have on the family.

Is the proposal possible probably is it wise from a purely financial position probably not, at the end of the day its for the husband and wife to decide what is best for them.

Now if you will excuse me i`m off to buy boxing for dummy''s and maybe see what it costs to hire Madison square gardens ;)

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