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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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First post - looking for advice.

  • bubblegum36
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26 Jun 07 #1013 by bubblegum36
Topic started by bubblegum36

My husband and i split a month ago. He is coming back to stay on the sofa at the weekends to see the kids. he is staying at his Mums. I have been to see a solicitor for a free half hr today.

My husband gets £25K basic wage before tax etc but always gets several thousand overtime every year through travel time and extra work. He also gets a pension that is £6K+ before tax pa. He is in another pension scheme with work but has only been paying for that for a year. I believe that the final value of this pension when he reaches retirement will be more than the profit of the house and even more so as we have agreed to pay of all debts and loans before profit is split. He also says he has to pay over £2k tax pa for a company car.

We have jointly owned home which is worth around £150-160K and is going on the market in a few weeks. Our morgage is around £67K. I am then moving away as soon as it is on market to my parents for a while til i sort myself out. We have 3 children and i don't work at the moment as my youngest is only 2 and we can't afford childcare costs.

My only income will be child benefit, child maintanance and whatever benefits i can claim. We have yet to separate the finances. His idea of CM is £300pm which i said was abit low and i was thinking of £500. The main problem is the house. Everytime we try to discuss it he gets grouchy but we really need to agree who will get what as we really can't afford to pay big legal costs. The problem is that the solicitor today said that given his earning potential against mine and his ability to get a good morgage i should ask for ALL the profits of the house! Now i had never thought about that much but she says that if he agreed, i could agree to no share in his pension that he is still contributing towards. I wouldn't even know how to ask him about it as he would blow his top. Then she said that maybe he would accept £15-£20k. I am never going to be able to afford my own home anyway and would never get a morgage but do need somewhere to live - can't stay with my Mum forever!

I don't know what is the best thing to do, if i agree to 50/50 like he says it should be i won't be able to buy my own property at all whereas he would beable to afford one and get a morgage but if i suggest i get more of a share of the house he acts like he is going to be on the bread line and will have lost everything. He says he wants to meet the needs of his kids but how can i get him to understand what that means?

I am doing my best to be "grown up" about this, we have been married for just under 13 years and he has put me through alot. He has however agreed to let me go away witht the kids which will mean that he will only see them a few times a year. I realise that he doesn't have to do this and i don't want to rock the boat but i need an agreement that will enable me to give my kids a stable home and a decent life.
I really want to get it sorted before i leave and file for divorce as soon as i am settled elsewhere.
Hope this all makes sense??
What do you think?
Any advice appreciated

  • LittleMrMike
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27 Jun 07 #1014 by LittleMrMike
Reply from LittleMrMike
I do not know nearly enough to advise you with certainty. However, a few pointers :

1. You are much better trying to resolve this matter by negotiation if possible. The more money that goes to lawyers, the less there is for both of you, and more importantly, for your kids.

2. child maintenance is calculated by reference to a fixed proportion of the net salary of your husband and therefore there is little or no room for negotiation. Try the CSA website where you will find a calculator which will give you at least a general idea.

3, In addition, on the basis of the information you have given me, I think that spousal maintenance ( ie for yourself ) is at least a possibility It is very difficult these days, even for an expert, to second guess a Court and what it might do. But you cannot rule this out ; even if it is not much, it all helps, and it can be varied upwards at a later stage if your husband is earning megabucks 10 years down the line.

4,Liza, I think you would greatly benefit from a visit to your local CAB for advice about benefits. These can be very important in low income cases. In particular, in your case, I would be thinking of the possibility of housing benefit ( help towards your rent ) and Council tax benefit, to help with your Council tax. The problem that I find here is that it seems to me that, even if you got the whole of the proceeds, you are unlikely to be able to buy a house for yourself and 3 kids. So I think you will at least have to consider renting, and the problem here is that any capital you have can, and in your case probably will, affect your claim for housing and Council tax benefit.

5. As regards the house, I admit I just don't know. You do have to remember that a Court will have to consider your husband's needs as well. This is a situation which seems to me to call for creative thinking on both sides, to see how, by a combination of various means, the needs of both of you can be met. I can think of several possibilities, and what your solicitor has told you about the possibility of a horse deal is certainly one option. There is, I am afraid, no getting round the fact that divorce means a lowering of living standards all round, for both of you. I think you will need some more legal advice ; for a start, you can't really put the house on the market unless you are agreed as to what happens to the purchase money. But go to the CAB first and see what they say.

  • bubblegum36
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27 Jun 07 #1015 by bubblegum36
Reply from bubblegum36
Thanks for the reply.

I have already seen CAB and they said it might not be the best idea to move out so soon but i'm afraid the wheels are already in motion and i have cancelled my kids positions in school next term and got new ones. I want to be settled before my son starts secondary school in sept so it is easier for him rather than pulling him out after a short period of time.

The solicitor says its okay to sell now as if financial settlement has not been agreed by the time house sale is finalised the money can be held by the solicitor acting for us in the sale til an agreement is reached.

I am also moving to the IOM where i can't get help from the CSA. There is however good benefit system over there and i will probably be abit better off with what they would give me til i can find work and if it is at all possible to buy my own place a morgage will actually be cheaper than renting as prices for the 3 bed homes that i would need are extortionate prices for renting. I really want to sort it out before i go and i'm sure we will but think maybe one of us will be compromising and giving up alot and that has always seemed to be me in the past.

Thanks for yur help

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