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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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  • nutman
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09 Jul 07 #1259 by nutman
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Been divorced a year now, no kids, marital house is sold.The money approx 100k is sat in the sols bank. During the nine year marriage she rarely worked. I did two jobs. I ended up with 30k debts, her 10k. She wants 70-30 split and leave my fire service pension alone. 60-40 split and share of pension. I offered 50-50 but i pay the my debts which she helped accrue.and she can have share of pension entitled to. In all she gets 42k, i get 25k. She's turned it down and is taking me to court. The only winners are the sols, approx 7k legal fees. how else can this be sorted? Any views greatfully read!

  • LittleMrMike
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09 Jul 07 #1261 by LittleMrMike
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Difficult one, this. However I will open the batting and offer you a few thoughts and perhaps other will chip in, either agreeing with me or telling me I'm talking rubbish !

You have two options from your wife, and the first option ( 70/30 split and no claim on your pension ) does not seem to me wholly unreasonable. I am no expert on pensions, but your wife does have a claim on your pension, so she is, in effect, trading off long term considerations against her immediate need for cash - something a lot of divorcing wives will do.

Your second option gives your wife less cash but a share in the pension and you don't say what the share is, so that is harder to evaluate. And you have offered an equal split with a share in the pension - again not an unreasonable standpoint, but again you don't say what the share is.

I know this might appear like a condemned prisoner being offered the choice of being hanged, electrocuted or gassed ! But the fact that your wife has rejected your offer shows to my mind that she has some need for cash and that long term considerations don't loom large in her legend - and to some extent, the same applies to you.

So I think you have three options, none of them on the face of it, all that unreasonable. To some extent this is a personal decision and it is one that only you can make. But it looks as if you have a solicitor acting for you - have you taken his/her advice ?

It seems to me, sir, that you are probably not all that far apart here, and you need to balance what you might achieve against the cost of achieving it. It might be a case of reductio ad absurdam, but you don't want to spend £10K fighting in Court over £10K. Even worse, you definitely do not want to be landed with your wife's legal costs as well as your own. I think you do need to consider the possible incidence of costs - what they could be if the case went to Court, and who ends up paying the bill. That is something only your solicitor can tell you. Sorry.

Mike 100468

  • Dockley
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09 Jul 07 #1262 by Dockley
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Hi Nutman,

Why is that in today's society women have struggled and battled for so long for equality with men in terms of pay, promotion etc, for it all to go out the window in divorce?

Women have faught to have an equal footing with men in the workplace and other areas, and quite rightly so, but then why do they not want this equal footing when it comes to divorce, preferring instead to have a massive leg up on the men.

I am taking my ex to court due to her assumption that I will just roll over and hand 70% (previously 80%) to her despite the fact that during the marriage we were on an equal footing on everything from childcare responsibilites to available income/spending.

True, I earn more than her now, however, we have one child each and she is able to work as many hours as I do should she wish to in her trained career.
Maybe I should bridge the gap and drop my hours to part time, rather than her bridging the gap and working full time, as this seems to be an absolutely abhorrent suggestion.
Hmmm, I quite like the idea of finishing work at 1pm, having a sunbed, doing a spot of shopping, getting a pedicure, going for a drink with friends while kids are still in school,sounds nice.

If you are unfortunate enough to have an ex who is being "greedy" and unreasonable then I see no alternative but to go with it to court as your hands are tied.

I would say that where no children are involved the court would take the view of a 50/50 starting point and there would have to be good reasons to depart from that equasion, rather than just a "greedy" ex. Obviously this is in simplistic terms based on the information you have supplied.

Cynical? Sounds it but when you have to spend a minimum of 8 GRAND on solicitors just to get even a sniff of a fair settlement, then this is how you end up...........very bitter.:evil:

It would help ALL in the divorce process if solicitors advised their clients what to reasonably ask for and what to reasonably expect rather than this "get everything you can" attitude that they seem to take, maybe then we would ALL not be so deluded and be more readily accepting of a "fair" settlement and able to sort things out without resorting to costly litigation, and lining the solicitors very deep pockets.


  • Liago
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11 Jul 07 #1304 by Liago
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You are the exception to the rule, there are a minority of men like yourself who are the main carers for their children.

Women have faught to have an equal footing with men in the workplace and other areas, and quite rightly so, but then why do they not want this equal footing when it comes to divorce, preferring instead to have a massive leg up on the men

In many cases, women tend to be left "holding the baby" so to speak. Whilst off X goes to persue his career and start a new life etc. As you know yourself, looking after children is a huge responsibility. And I believe (going to open up a can of worms here) that the majority of women will never be equal to men due to the fact that the children usually stay with the mother.
I struggle with juggling my role as main carer against persuing my own career. I don't have the same prospects of promotion as my male collegues purely because although I am just as consientious and hardworking, my children have to be my priority - and if one is sick or needs picking up from school then I will need to oblige - I am all they've got!.
X is a "when it suits him" father.

On that basis I believe I am entitled to a larger share of the equity etc etc.

Like you, I would love to leave work at 1pm and treat myself to all the things I can not afford!! I wish!!!

We have to remember that we can not generalise.all our situations are different and yes, it is common for woment to fight for more financial provision in divorce for the reasons above.

However I do agree with you, if children do not form part of the equasion then a 50/50 division is right and fair.

Divorce is a nasty old buisness.....

  • Dockley
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11 Jul 07 #1306 by Dockley
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Hi Liago,

Yes, you are right that it is the women usually left with the kids. However, I do not agree that we should divert from equality when there seems to be no apparent reasons for doing so. The law is set up so that it can depart from equality when there is reason to do so, those reasons being like the ones you suggest.

(There you go.... can of worms open!!:))

In my case there is no apparent reason for an 80/20 or even 70/30 split. In the case of nutman there appears to be even less reason for this division as no children are involved, yet it is still being requested by the other party.

It all seems too common place today that solicitors are advising clients to demand this kind of divison from the off, and should the other party object,it suddenly becomes very costly and litigation/court procedure inevitably follows.
This is how we end up in debt for solicitors fees and on this site looking for "free" help.

Of course each circumstance is different, but I think the generalisation actually starts in the solicitors office!
If they gave their advice on the individuality of the case, and advised what to realistically expect based on how the law works (equality and departure from it), with minimal cost, then I believe the courts would be far less clogged up sorting out the mess several months or even years later.

I wonder why so many solicitors dont do this??? kerching!!

My ex has been advised, and still believes that 70/30 (actually 72/28, having been reduced from 80/20) split to her is "fair".

Lets face it the only reason any of us are going down the court route is because we are desperate and it is the last resort for us to try and achieve a "fair" settlement, which has undoubtedly been brought about by unreasonable expectations of an ex.

If nutman cannot get his ex to see a fairer split than what she has been advised and is asking for, then theirs will probably be another case added to the court list.
Mike's suggestion of likening it to being a condemned prisoner are spot on.
and yes it is a nasty old business!!:)


  • Louise11
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12 Jul 07 #1320 by Louise11
Reply from Louise11
HERE HERE DOCKLEY!!!! and I'm a woman!

Women and equality its a complete joke, you only have to read many of the posts on here to see that!
Why should a man be responsible for a woman for the rest of her life?
My NP ex, she worked all throughout their marriage puely because she did not want to look after the kids or do housework! She never tried to better herself at work, even when they were offering NVQs free. So tell me why she expects now for my husband to pay her SM because he earns more? So WHAT!!! He works harder, he works longer hours and through his own intelligence hes got where he has. Is it his fault the career path she choose does'nt pay as much as his career path? And he divorced her 5 years ago! Shes been able to live for 5 years with "no help from him".
In his line of work as well, the equality for women? Hahahhaha thats a complete joke too! The women pay into their pensions, exactly the same as the men do. Do the men get the same pension after 30 years as the women do??? Do they heck! The women get a BIGGER pension because "they live longer"! My attitude to that is............well if the men have shorter lives then surely they should get more so they can enjoy their lives for a shorter period of time!

Also this 80/20% marlarky is in my opinion, a game of poker for solicitors, they start right at the top of whats reasonable, then earn money from both sides arguing in "the best interests of their clients" till one accepts an offer just because the costs are spiralling out of control! In other words they bully and push till one cant take it anymore (usually the cleverer one) who realises that whatever they are fighting over is just going to be wiped out in solicitors fees! Unless like us you decide they are taking the mickey big time and you self rep because you just know its not fair! usually when you self rep you know more about the case than any solicitor does anyway. If we had settled with what she was asking for right at the beginning, we would of had a ruling that was so unfair. She would of got 80% of my husbands pension, 70% of the equity in MY property and he would of been paying her SM for the rest of her scrawny life. My husband offered her 50% of his pension from the time they were together, if she paid half of all the debts, he then said forget the debts you can still have 50% of my pension. She wants 70/80% of his FINAL pension plus 45k cash! and will not budge one inch. Its cost her 30k to get to FH (been adjourned) but from that hearing it looks as though she will get roughly 50% of his pension from when they were together plus shes to pay half the debts!
3 years its taken to get this far, for something he said she could have at the beginning. Who has won anything in this case? Every one knows the answer to that! All we got was sleepless nights and worry. All she got was a big fat bill! (plus its still not over yet!) October 8th and 9th watch this space!

Louise ;)

  • Princess Fiona
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12 Jul 07 #1322 by Princess Fiona
Reply from Princess Fiona
There seems some confusion. As far as the law is concerned equality means people in the same situation are treated the same way. So for example in our situation, although I'm a woman and the children stayed with me, the division was 67:33 in my ex's favour because finacially I'm the stronger partner. That's just the way it is. All the evidence suggests that generally women appear to do better financially at the time of divorce, but men recover and do much better in the longer term.

As far as family/work balance is concerned there is a major problem with working practice for men. Did you know that fathers work more hours than other men? 95% of men with children are employed in full time and inflexible jobs where as 30% of women with children don't work and about 50% of those who do work are in part time and/or flexible jobs to fit around child care committments. This is at the cost of lower pay and promotion prospects. In my area of employment a three year career gap results in a 40% drop in salary from which it's virtually impossible to come back from. I would suggest that until employment practice changes and men work fewer hours and do more child care there can't be true equality.

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