Hello, probably like everyone on this forum, it is a group that I never thought I would have to join...but now that I have I hope I might find some advice. I'm sure my situation is very common, but I have absolutely no idea what the future holds or what steps I may need to start taking.
If I explain my situation, perhaps some kind soul would help me with these basic questions:
- can I reasonably assume a 50/50 split of assets (so that I can work out roughly what my finances might look like post-separation?
- should I start seeking legal/financial advice?
- anything else I should start doing now?
My situation is as follows. I am aged 60 and my wife, aged 52, has just walked out (6 weeks ago) saying she needs her own space and doesnt know if she is coming back. She has signed up for a 6 month rental on a property nearby, and has already taken most of 'her' stuff. I have two adult children living at home; one in FT employment, one at university.
The house is worth 500K (just had an estate agent round) and there's 60K left on the mortgage. I earn 80K, my wife earns 35-40K (not exactly sure). She has very little pension, as she was out of work for 11 years raising our children. I estimate my pension pot to be worth 500K.
My wife refuses to talk to me, saying she is not yet 'ready' so I have no idea what her plans are. I want her back but I have a bad feeling that there may not be a happy ending here. As I'm only 5 years away from retirement, I'm terrified that I will be forced to sell up and buy a tiny house and have next to no pension to live on.
Can anyone tell me what I can reasonably expect as a settlement, and should I now seek legal advice?
Sorry you find yourself in the situation you are. You will come out the other side one way or another so keep focusing on looking after yourself along the way.
With an asset pot approaching £1m you should definitely seek some legal advice even if it is only an initial session to understand your options.
As both children are adults it simplifies it somewhat but basically you are now left to ensure you both have somewhere to live and the means to live a reasonable life and retirement.
You both have reasonable salaries and your wife has some age on her side to continue saving for retirement. If the house was sold would both of you be able to house yourselves suitably (technically a 1 or 2 bed place for your circumstances), if so then splitting the equity 50/50 would seem possible. Pensions are a different beast but you are closer to retirement etc so there could be an argument that it wouldn't split 50/50 due to that reason.
A solicitor or the helpline on this site seem a sensible starting point. If you sketch the rough details of all assets/debts you both have, wages/income and pensions etc then it gives a starting point for the advisors/solicitors at least
Thank you. I’ve booked a 20 minute free legal consultation in which I hope to gain some idea of what my options are.
I’m hoping that I’d be able to take an interest-free mortgage on my house, sufficient to pay my wife 50% of the equity, and stay in it for 5 years until I retire and then sell up. I really don’t want to sell now (and don’t see why I should be forced to!)