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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.


Do you need help sorting out a fair financial settlement?

Our consultant service offers expert advice and support to help you reach agreement on a fair financial settlement quickly, and for less than a quarter of the cost of using a traditional high street solicitor.


Spousal Maintenance vs. Capital Split

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04 May 07 #161 by ziggurat
Topic started by ziggurat
Is it normal to trade off spousal maintenance against the capital split? Say going 50/50 on capital and get spousal maintenance vs. 70/30 on capital but no spousal maintenance? My preference is for 50/50 and spousal maintenance - so that I have more cash now to put into a new house (btw I do mean cash as we recently sold our house and are sitting on the proceeds - this was not break-up related)

Or are there circumstances where she could claim 70:30 AND spousal maintenance?

My wife currently works part time on just over a quarter of my take-home. Both our kids will be in school this September and she could go back full time to around half my take-home. I know that she would rather not go back full time, and spend time on more sociable activities with me propping up her part time income - but would our financial settlement be based on what would be 'reasonable' to expect her to do rather than what she prefers?

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05 May 07 #164 by wikivorce team
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Yes - this kind of trade off is common.

The approach a court might take is to consider capital split and maintenance seperately at first.

Depending on the case the capital may be 50:50, but could also veer away from that due to "needs" or "compensation".
Lets say for example they decide on a 60:40 split as the wife has 2 kids to house.

Then the look at maintenance (and in this hypothetical example) they decide the wife needs 30% of husbands salary for 5 years (until kids leave secondary school).

You can either leave it at that : 60:40 plus 5 years maintenance.

Or you can "capitalise the maintenance" and basically pay it as one lump sum in the form of a higher share of capital assets. Perhaps in this case it ends up being 90:10 split of assets and no maintenance - i.e. a Clean Break.

1 point to consider - courts recently have been awarding maintenace for life, or for a set period but with an option for parent with care to apply for an extension.

If you are the person likely to be paying (rather than receiving) the maintenance - there is an incentive to negotiate a Clean Break rather than have an ongoing maintenance obligation with no certain end date.

The court does expect the parent with care to work but often accepts that part-time work is appropriate while kids are still at school age.

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05 May 07 #169 by ziggurat
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Thanks for that - very helpful and very quick.

As implied in my entry, I am 'happy' to pay maintenance - but would like to maximise my cash in hand immediately after the split.

Out of interest, because it is not really an option I intend to go for, in case of say a 90:10 'Clean Break' deal, surely I would still have to pay ongoing CSA levels of child maintenance? Or would such an extreme split be deemed to cover that also? I guess it may depend on the actual amounts of cash involved.

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05 May 07 #170 by wikivorce team
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Good point. In my previous email I was referring to Spousal Maintenance.
There is no ¨Clean Break¨ option when it comes to supporting your kids via child support. This is an obligation until the child is 19 (or can be until they finish uni)

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05 May 07 #171 by wikivorce team
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Another quick tip - even though you are 'happy' to pay maintenance, it may still be wise to ensure that the Consent Order (formal agreement document) states that the deal is a 'Clean Break as regards capital' so that for if you accrue assets in the coming years she cannot come back for more capital.

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05 May 07 #172 by blokey
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Just a point I wanted to make but when my case got to court she suddenly wanted ALL the equity and spousal maint of £720pm, kids grown up & away. She got all equity + £600 for 5 yrs, appealled this & got 5 yr bar removed!!

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06 May 07 #181 by ziggurat
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Having raised the child maintenance issue, I am now a bit confused and slightly concerned. From stuff on this and other sites, I had developed the impression that I would be looking at around a third of my net income going to my other half - and that this would cover both child AND spousal maintenance.

I now have a nauseous feeling that I will have to shell out the CSA requirement for child maintenance PLUS around a third of my income as spousal maintenance. Which in total could be half or more of my net income.

I know I am talking vague ball park figures - but I really would like to have some general idea of what might transpire just so I can start to get my head around it. On the basis that nothing good comes out of divorce, I guess my worse case is the more likely??

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