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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.

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I don''t want to but am getting seperated :-(

  • cook1e
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20 Sep 12 #356969 by cook1e
Topic started by cook1e
Hi,
New on here, having had a quick look around it seems a really useful site and no doubt I''ll be making use of advice and using the forum as a sounding board...
My wife and i are getting separated after 12 years of marriage, not what I want but she is adamant and it''s not going to work as a one sided relationship so I''ve reluctantly agreed. No one else is involved but the spark has just gone out and although I still love her she no longer has feelings for me other than friendship. We are dealing with things amicably, just as well really as we have two school age children to consider. We did try relate, have had family therapy counselling sessions etc but things have not really got better enough for her to commit to continuing the relationship.
We are looking to get a mutually agreed Separation Agreement in place, we will involve solicitors but want to get it all worked out so that it’s mainly just a case of getting a draft of what we’ve agreed between us.
We’ve agreed that we will split the childcare 50/50 with the kids spending one week with me and 1 week with her, I didn’t want to become a weekend only Dad. The Kids seem to be happy with this arrangement, they like the idea of having bedrooms in two separate houses.
In order to allow my wife to move out we’ve re-mortgaged the family home, we were previously mortgage free. She is moving into a small 3 bedroomed house as effectively a cash buyer. I’m staying in the larger 4 bedroomed family home and we have agreed at point of legal separation we’ll transfer the house into my name. We’ve had it valued and agreed this works for both of us in terms of finances. Subsequently I will be putting it onto the market and downsizing which will allow me to get into a better financial position.
In terms of most assets, ie property, shares, savings, vehicles etc we are pretty much even when you add it all up so a 50/50 split works. However where there is an issue is with pensions. I have a deferred final salary pension paid into for nearly 20 years mostly before we were married which is a very sizeable asset. I also have a couple of money purchase company pensions paid into subsequently during the marriage which together are worth a 5 figure sum in transfer values. My wife has a personal pension pot of similar value but she paid mostly into this prior to our marriage. She is proposing that we ignore both my final salary pension and her pension pot as both were mainly pre marriage and just look at my money purchase schemes as an asset. She has suggested taking about 40% of this pot as an offset, obviously I’ll be getting legal advice on this but it sounds like a good deal for me. She has already had some advice and although her solicitor says she is entitled to more she has told them that she doesn’t want to clean me out. Just as well as I’d be pretty much destitute if half of my entire pension pot was offset and I don’t have that much time to make this up either as I’m in my 50s. With this settlement she’ll end up in her new property mortgage free. I am by far the better wage earner and we have agreed that I’ll pay maintenance for the kids which we’ve based at a rate a bit above the CSA calculator so she’s getting more than she’s entitled to in this respect but I’m OK with this as I know I can trust her to use it wisely to the benefit of the kids.
To be honest the whole separation thing is very daunting for me from a financial perspective as we had a good secure comfortable financial position as a family, with no debt and now I feel like I’m in my 20s again, starting on the property ladder but without many years of working life left to pay off a mortgage. In fact the emotional side of the separation has almost gone now as I’m feeling insecure about my future financially although things could be a lot worse I suppose…

  • Canuck425
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21 Sep 12 #357028 by Canuck425
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Hmmm - there is no one else? ok. But be aware that if she has said or done any of the following that odds went up:
- "I don''t love you anymore"
- cell phone glued to her body - with her at all times
- new passwords on email and cell phone
- Heavy blaming toward you for the failure of the relationship

If you''re clear on the above then maybe there is no one else.

Here is my primer for newbies heading down this road.

Good luck!

**********************

In the beginning, I did lots of things wrong but I did a few things right as well. All of the points below helped me move along.

1. Get support. I talked to a LOT of people but I was very careful who I told what to. Most people were so ready to support me which was awesome but the ones that knew both of us really didn''t want to get into the details. I was very specific with the kind of support I needed from different individuals. From some I needed to have a laugh. From others I needed them to listen. From others still I needed their opinion. Others I needed them to feed me. etc. The key for me was to talk, talk, talk. I have probably talked to a hundred people that have been through something similar. Understanding that there is a script to these things was quite eye opening to me. Knowing that the leaver will deny, blame and justify helped me. Knowing that a lot of the garbage that comes out of their mouths not only is not true but has no basis in reality helped as well.

2. Get away. As soon as I was healthy enough I went away on a trip to the sun. Soon after that I went away again to visit family and childhood friends. This was very, very good. Just get away for a few days even. Get some space. I like long drives and have done a few solo trips with 6+ hour drives through the mountains. Getting away like that brings me back to my 20s and is very healing for me.

3. Don''t beg, it is as pathetic as it sounds. I had a few bad moments when I was begging her to reconsider. It was pathetic. When she was in the "fantasy bubble" as I like to call it there is no reason that will be considered. You have to realise at that moment, in their minds, everything is going to be amazing. They''ve never been this happy. Never. So let it go. The fantasy will wear off eventually and then you can see where you are.

4. Take care of you. This is the biggest one. Be kind and patient with yourself. Put yourself first. Really first. Not your kids, but you. It''s like on the airplane when they say put the oxygen mask on you first. You have to take care of you then you will be fit enough to take care of others in your life. This will take time and a lot of hard work. It''s worth it. Why? Because you''re worth it. You. Can you commit to taking care of you? This is a very new concept for so many people. Can you truly love yourself? Can you look into yourself and see a person of value? A person worthy of love?

5. Know that you''ll be more than ok. You''ll be awesome. Honest. The future is not yet written and you have a huge hand in it. The best path forward is making your life great.

Another interesting thing I learned is that the stories are not particularly unique. In fact, the more I talk to others that have been through this, the more the stories are all so sickeningly similar. Honestly, I have not truly moved on but I am doing ok. I have learned a ton about myself and the type of person I am. I have looked deeply into myself and started to understand my role in all of this. Why did I allow myself to be treated so poorly? How did the total breakdown in communication contribute to the environment? I think you move on, if that is even the right phrase, by doing the work on you. What was your role? Who are you and who do you want to be?

One more thing. Stop reading so many books on this subject. Get out and have more fun! This is your life and you get to choose what happens next! Commit to being awesome.

I have no doubt that I am going to come through this stronger. That is my 100% commitment to myself.

Take good care of you,

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