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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.

What is a Consent Order and why do we need one?

A Consent Order is a legally binding document that finalises a divorcing couple's agreement on property, pensions and other assets.


joint debts

  • SALLYANN777
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25 Apr 07 #112 by SALLYANN777
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when we were together my husband and i took out an extra £30,000 on our mortgage to build an extension. while we were getting plans drawn up he transferred this money out of our joint account and into an account just in his own name( needless to say, without my knowledge) now we are separated i offered him the chance to keep this money as his share of the house. he has now told his solicitor that he no longer has this money as he has used it to pay off joint debts. i know nothing of these joint debts, i suspect they may be debts that he has run up on his credit cards through gambling, drinking, dodgy sites on internet etc. now he has left the house i am paying the mortgage on my own, this was originally only £30,000 but with the extra we took out it is now £60,000, so in effect i am actually paying for these debts through the mortgage and he has walked away from them. am i actually liable for his debts even though they were almost certainly caused by his own extravagances, and never benefitted me or the children?

  • DownButNotOut
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25 Apr 07 #114 by DownButNotOut
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From the point of view of the mortgage company - yes you are both liable for the debt as you signed for it together.

From the point of view of divorce law, you are jointly liable for all debts except in the case where one party disposes of funds (in this case 30,000) in a way which the court views as excessive, and benefiting only one party.

So it comes down to what he spent the money on. If it was all in gambling etc then the court will take that into account when sharing out marital assets.

So in sharing out the house you may get a greater share than you would have otherwise.

You mention nothing else to point towards how the house might be shared out (your income, his income, kids, who looks after kids etc).

But assuming no kids and same incomes, then normally you would typically see a 50:50 split, but in your case to make up for the wasted 30K you may see a 60:40 split for example (again no house equity value stated so figures are all indicative examples)

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25 Apr 07 #115 by SALLYANN777
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the house is worth about £120,000 so there would be £60,000 equity. he has 2 jobs, i'm not really sure what he earns but it is certainly quite a bit more than i earn. i have got both the children with me and he has no contact with them at all. he has also got a good pension, about 20 years, whereas i haven't got a pension.

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25 Apr 07 #117 by DownButNotOut
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If you will be the main carer for the kids after the divorce then your needs will be greater than his (you have 3 people to house and feed).

On this basis you may get awarded > 50% of the house equity (70% would be typical).

Then if the court took the view that the 30,000 debt was misspent then it may award you more: e.g. 100%

As for maintenance - in a simple case with 2 kids you get 20% of his income until they are 19.

If he earns more than 2 times what you earn you may also qualify for spousal maintenance which can take the total maintenance to 33% to 50% of his earnings.

You can make a claim on his pension. Although if you do get awarded the lion's share of the house then expect him to get the lion's share of the pension as a kind of balance.

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