Just wondering what your take is on my situation...
I left my husband a little over a year ago. We bought our first house together in 1994, and co-habited until 1995, and then we got married.
Our financial circumstances were very similar until around 5 years ago (we both pretty much earnt the same salary)- he got a fast-track promotion, and I fell pregnant with our first child! I continued to work part-time until my daughter was born 3 years ago. I then made the decision to give up work as my husbands workload had increased dramatically - and so had his salary.
My husband still currently lives in our matrimonial home - he refused to leave, 'because he didn't want to get screwed by my solicitor'. We also have another property that we rent out. We have around 200k in equity - and at the moment all I recieve from him is the CSA calculated maintenance for the children.
I do not receive any of the income from our rental property - even though it is in joint names!
He wants to do a 50/50 split in terms of equity of the properties - and he is adamant that I do not attempt to put a claim against his pension. My future earnings potential is very small compared to his, as I have 2 kids under 5, and would really only be able to work part-time. Whereas he is earning £45k a year plus benefits (company car, pension etc) and a usual bonus of around £3k a year!
He sees the children as regularly as work permits - every other weekend for 2 nights, and is meant to see them 2 nights a week - although this is constantly being rearranged.
Based on your info plus the assumption that post divorce you continue to have the major caring role for two young kids:
- based on your needs (single mum two small kids, part time work at best) a court may possibly award you a greater than 50% share of the equity. 70:30 for example.
- you dont mention the mortage/value of each of the two houses - but perhaps it is practical for him to take the smaller one and you the larger one.
- you may well have a claim on his pension and are entitled to apply for a pension sharing order (if he wants to keep all the pension then he may have to give you an even larger percentage of the house equity, i.e. > 70%)
- you may be entitled to spousal maintenance as well as child maintenance which could increase his payments from 20% of salary (based on CM alone) to between 33 and 50% of his salary - this could be for any length of time until your career is back on track and you can support yourself.
I couldn't quite figure out from your note the current living arrangements (all in same house with him away working for two weeks at a time? or have you moved out?)
I have moved out - I lived with a friend for around 6 months, and am currently living with the children and my new partner.
I realise that co-habiting could have a detrimental effect upon my settlement. This does concern me a little, because my partner and I have a completely separate financial arrangement. I look after myself and the children with the money I recieve in maintenance from my ex, and family tax credits that I receive.
My partner pays his mortgage and bills the same as he always has done.
The two houses I own with my husband are worth approx £240K, and £325K.
We have a long-standing tenant in the house worth £240K. We also have a buy-to-let mortgage on this property, which means that neither of us is allowed to live there. My husband intends to keep the rental house - as his own investment, and sell the one he currently lives in to pay me my settlement.
He will then probably use the equity in the rental property to secure a mortgage for a house for himself.
Nothing is ever simple when it comes to money is it?!
This new information that you are living with a new partner who is housing you and the kids makes a very big difference.
It substantially reduces your 'needs' and means that a 50:50 split of equity plus ongoing child maintenance are the likely outcome.
You need to be very sure that the new relationship is going to work out in the long term.
As it stands now, the finances will be settled according to your current co-habiting circumstances.
If in three years time your new relationship breaks down you will not be able to go back to claim more from your ex-husband - and under current law you will have little claim to any of the house equity or income of your co-habiting partner.