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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.

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New to this - And Stressed!

  • TheG
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25 Jun 12 #338932 by TheG
Topic started by TheG
Hi everyone.

I''ve recently split from my wife.

Following an extramarital relationship on my part I came clean and ended our marriage back in March and left the marital home to live with my parents for a few weeks. I have now since then moved in with my new partner and we have a small flat in which we currently reside.

I have 2 children, one aged 4 and another who is 1 and they still live with their mother in the marital home.
My name is still on the title deeds and as such I am still paying for half of the mortgage of £300 per month. I am also paying maintenance for my children, which works out to be around £300 per month as well. The maintenance is not going through the CSA at the moment and is worked out using a calculator which appears to be about right. I have the kids every other weekend however in July, I have the kids for an entire week.

Do you think I am within my rights to withold 1 weeks payment on maintenance money given the fact I want to be able to do things with the kids that week and that she is taking £600 every month from my wage, it doesn''t give me much money to spend on my children? I know she clears a good wage (part time over £1200 per month and is also getting about £800 in tax credits, plus £120 in child benefit) so she is not in a poor financial position even before she gets the money I am giving as maintenance.

Also - I am having a bit of a difficult time with things around the dates and calendar events in the childrens lives with her. She asked me on friday to "have a think about when I wanted to see the children, as there needs to be some structure to their lives"
So I came up with a rotation up to the end of December which works so that I have the children every second weekend where possible, however taking into account weekends she has arrangements, I am happy to accommodate and take the children those weekends so she can have a social life.

That was all fine in principle however when it came to the subject of me taking my children to see my mum for her birthday (of which she is close to my parents) She wanted to be the one to take the kids over to see her for birthday and didn''t want to discuss it just now because it is further down the line. Well IMO, nothing will really change given the fact that if she wants to take them now, then she wont change her mind come December! I dont think this is really fair given the fact that it is my mum, not hers, and I should be allowed to celebrate some family events with my children without the ex wife being in the picture? Please stop me if I am being petty, or silly or stupid! But this is the way that I am feeling about the whole thing.

I am just confused in the bigger picture because in one breath she says she wants stability for the kids, and then in the next breath she says that she wants to be flexible and work out the dates with me, when she clearly said for me to come to her with dates?

If this isn''t going to work then I will have to pursue access through the courts, and to be honest, that is the last thing I want to do, but if it that is what is going to be done to get the dates that I believe are fair.....
Can any of you give me some advice to the situation. I have a solicitor at the moment, but she is about as useful as a chocolate teapot!

  • sexysadie
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25 Jun 12 #338944 by sexysadie
Reply from sexysadie
It''s not reasonable for you to withhold one week''s maintenance money when you have the children for the week. child maintenance is to pay for things that they need all the time, such as clothes and shoes, not just (for example) food for the week.

It is reasonable, though, for you to be the one to take the children to see your mother on her birthday.

If it''s becoming a problem to arrange contact time flexibly, you could just have an inflexible arrangement. Some people I know find that better - they have a completely fixed set-up and if you don''t see the children on their birthdays or Christmas one year(for example) then that is just the way it is, whichever parent you are. These people are amicable, by the way, but they find this avoids arguments.

A compromise would be a regular arrangments with swaps by agreement where appropriate, but that depends on how much you can co-operate.

bEst wishes,

  • Marshy_
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25 Jun 12 #338950 by Marshy_
Reply from Marshy_
TheG wrote:

Do you think I am within my rights to withold 1 weeks payment on maintenance money

No. Think of it this way. Although you will have the kids the place where they live (normally) still has to be maintained. Its not like she can go to the lender and say, "look, the kids are away this week, I dont have to pay you as much now do I?". It wont fly mate.

Thing is, they are your kids and you have to support them. And if you tried to take her to court she would most likely just go to the CSA. So you wont win this one. Be helpful to yr ex. She has the kids all the time.

Yr being petty on the mum thing. Just let it go mate. At the end of the day, your mum is still their nan and they need to be able to see her in anyway they see fit. You can always see yr mum another time. C.

  • Canuck425
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25 Jun 12 #338996 by Canuck425
Reply from Canuck425
I agree with the two comments above. You''re also confusing pragmatic/logic with emotional. You had the affair, you left and you have the other woman. This has unleashed emotional wounds that you cannot imagine (trust us here).

It sounds like you and your ex are doing your best to get along well. Well done to both of you!!

If you go to court then, I think, the tone changes. Big time! Be nice to her. Be thoughtful. Be supportive. Be caring. Treat her with loving kindness. This doesn''t mean you want her back. Oh no. It just means you respect her as the mother of your children. It''s important. It will make her feel relevant and she should.

  • flowerofscotland
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25 Jun 12 #339086 by flowerofscotland
Reply from flowerofscotland
Hi TheG,

Are you sure about the £800 in tax credits when she is clearing £1,200 a month????? Not sure that is reflective of 2 children. Seems rather inflated, otherwise most of us here are not being claiming enough...


  • jonesst3
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25 Jun 12 #339141 by jonesst3
Reply from jonesst3
As a woman i feel for you. Some may say you had the affair but who are they to judge. Its an emotional roller coaster with the kids. my husband refused to pay maintenance and that was fine until he said he wanted maintenance of me. eventually i went through the CSA to force him to pay and then told him i would accept half of the amount the CSA declared he should pay. i felt £200 per month fed and clothed the kids and lets be honest if your paying towards the mortgage you are "maintaining" the home. My advice? contact the CSA and formalise it. it will help in the long term and both you and your wife will feel that with a 3rd party deciding then it takes the emotion out of it. i have known the CSA help men to stop being treated unfairly as much as the other way round.
i also understand the need for you to take the kids on your mums birthday. My ex was visiting all my relatives making it difficult to go round in case he was there. Although we were amicable i wanted him to stick to his own family and leave mine alone. good luck

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