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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.


Settlement Help - Getting there slowly

  • bobbeckit
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01 Oct 12 #358736 by bobbeckit
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Hi All,

It''s been a while since I last posted, as me and the STBX have been taking things slowly.

We are about to get the ball rolling on the financial settlement and I would like some views on our circumstances. Ideally we would like an equal split if possilbe.

(all properties are in my name although the wife has registered a marital interest in the FMH)

We have been married for 6 years and have 2 children from the marriage and my wife has a daughter from a previous relationship who I have brought up as my own, the absent father does not pay any maintenance. She is 31 and I am 40.

4 bed marital home worth £185,000 with (£67K Equity) wife in occupation.

3 x Investment propertys as follows:-

1 x 3 bedroom worth £150k (£43K equity)
1 x 2 bedroom worth £125K (£35K equity)
1 x 2 bedroom work £100k (£18K equity & I am in occupation)


Pensions CETV

1. 13K
2. 15K
3. 9K
4. 10K

Debts

1. Overdraft £1K
2. Loan Joint Acc £1.75K
3. Credit Card: £5.5K (My name)
4. Credit Card: £3.5K (My name)


The children are all at school and are aged 5, 7 and 13.

I work and bring in £1900 a month from my day job, and £456.13 from rental income, and £177.10 from managing other properties.(Roughly £2.5K a month)

Broadly speaking the equity in the FMH is £67K and the investments £96K.

My wife works 18 hours at minimum wage and with benefits probably brings in £1.7K a month.

I dont consider that my housing needs have been met as I am living in a 2 bedroom property which is a nightmare with 3 children. I have to have one in sleeping with me.

I am happy to stay on the mortgage of the FMH as I can''t see that my wife will be able to get a mortgage herself.

Can anyone come up with a good suggestion amongst this.

And dare I ask if things get nasty what would my outcome be if I had to deal with this in the court room?

Not sure if it makes any difference but my wife brought nothing to the marriage, and I had about £40K equity at the time, and 2 of the pensions were accrued before the marriage.

She would like to divorce me on UB, but I beleive since I have moved out of the house she has found a new boyfriend. I can''t prove it but I think it may have been going on for a while in hindsight.

Regards

Bob

  • maisymoos
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01 Oct 12 #358743 by maisymoos
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Does your wifes income include child maintenance?

This is a needs case ideally you both need 4 bed properties, how often do the children stay with you?

What are the monthly mortgage payments on the FMH? Could she find a 4 bed house for less? If the FMH is sold and your wife rebuys this really needs to be weighed up against the costs of doing so and Im not sure it makes financial sense.

Could you move into the 3 bed property? and sell the £125K one to reduce the mortgage on the FMH?

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01 Oct 12 #358754 by bobbeckit
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Hi Maisy,

Yes my wifes income includes a child maintenance payment from me.

It breaks down as follows:-

£123 per week from 18hr work
£600 per month working and child tax (does this look right)
£600 per month child maintenance

The mortgage on the marital home is £519 per month.

There is no way she could afford a four bed home in the area unless she considered renting, and I wouldn''t want the children moved to be honest.

My plan is to move into a 3 bed house once we have sorted the finances, if I can. The problem arises in that, the only way I can see her staying in the FMH is either to screw me over totally and force me to liquidate the other properties, or by having me stay on the mortgage which will probably prevent me from getting another mortgage.

One solution I keep kicking around is that I could continue to pay a sub account on the FMH mortgage which is £94 a month, which would effectively increase her equity by another £12.5K and then down draw another £15K from the other properties to pay down the FMH to reduce her payments, and help get me off the mortgage sooner.

This would realise a 50:50 equity split, and likewise we could divy up the pension accordingly.

Would this be acceptable in a consent agreement, or would we have trouble getting it through because it''s not a 60:40 or 70:30 which seems to be the norm.

Likewise would I be expected to include some SM here because of my income.

Regards

Bob

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01 Oct 12 #358805 by maisymoos
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Due to your wifes low current earning capacity and the fact that she is having majority care of the children (am I right) I think 50/50 is probably not going to ride and I fail to see how she will manage financially.
You also have an income differential not large but still significant, if your wife is to be the majority carer of 3 children her outgoings are going to be significantly higher. Is the mortgage interest only or repayment?

  • anna200
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01 Oct 12 #358816 by anna200
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hi

the welfare and housing needs of the children are paramount and as yours are young and ex is main carer if you go to court this is the priority. you seem to want to to achieve this anyhow which is great and you can find calculators for maintenance etc on line . Avoid court at all costs, we ended up with an 80k legal bill and the process was worse then the divorce. for my part i had no choice and my split of the bill as hideous as it sounds was a sound investment as ex just didn''t want to cooperate and lied about everything, so i ended up with a fair a settlement as i could have hoped for . i tell you this just so you can focus your mind on not going to court. if you and the ex are amicable why don''t you both just try some of the online stuff or if you are at a total loss then just have a single consultation with a solicitor for guidance on what a reasonable proposal would look like...don''t let them get into trial by correspondence .. if you ex gets a solicitor though i would definitely appoint one yourself as you have a long term commitment to the family and you could be done over if you are over generous now ( plenty of posts on here of other fair minded like you who have been duped into a poor deal).

hard as it is i don''t think you have much choice but to get rid of one of the properties or sell the FMH to reduce the mortgage as there does not appear to be enough money to house you both and have a decent standard of living ...looking at both your income /expenditure would be a good place to start as it would be good to keep the kids at the fmh if they are settled.

  • bobbeckit
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02 Oct 12 #358865 by bobbeckit
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Thanks for your input.

The settlement I had in mind was as follows:-

The mortgage on the FMH has 2 accounts one at £105K and one at £12K. I have proposed to keep paying the £12K loan which reduces my wife''s mortgage payment to around £420 per month, and effectively increases her equity by £12K.

I would then draw down circa £8K (this is dependent on actual valuations) from the other properties, so that the equity is 50:50 equal in the FMH, and the 3 investment properties. This is of course on the assumption she pays the £8K off the FMH mortgage.


If necessary I could look at pulling more money out of the properties to appease the court, but ideally I wouldn''t want to sell in the current climate.

The income problem is also slightly addressed by taking this approach as my rental income would decrease to cover the extra borrowing to pay the £8K, plus my outgoings increase to cover the £100 per month on the FMH sub account.

In time I would hope that my wife''s hours increase, or she moves the boyfriend in which would ultimately help to get me off the mortgage so that I can look for something more suitable.

Hope this makes sense.

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04 Oct 12 #359278 by bobbeckit
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Hi all, sorry to bump this up, but was wondering whether there were any comments on my settlement proposal.

I have no idea what is and isn''t acceptable.

From what I have read it would appear that even when 2 adults consent to a 50:50 split the court still may decide not to sanction a Consent Order on these terms.

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