having been married for 12 years and with 2 kids ( 10 & 7) I now find myself seperated from my wife.
I have moved out and bought a house nearby, and have the kids 6 nights out of 14.
I work full time and earn about £4250 pcm. whilst my wife works 2 days a week ( by choice) and earns £800 pcm.
We have assets of FMH ( £420K) and interests in 5 other properties ( £260K net including the house I live in).
I have offered her £1000 pcm and £360K, but she is adamant from legal advice( ie Coffe morning hearsay probably) that she should have the FHM and £1200 pcm.
The CSA website calculation suggests that a contribution of £650 pcm for the kids is about right.
I have a double issue here, she needs more cash per month to maintain a 5 bed house, whilst the money from a sale of the FHM would allow her to buy outright a 3 bed house in the same area. It would also allow some cash for me to get a suitable house to keep the kids in ( currently only a 2bed).
What should I do and where do I stand?? I am assuming a 50:50 split of assets and £1000 pcm for the kids is reasonable.
I can't convince her to sell the FHM nor will she work any more to increase her own income.
We have ceased mediation, as she will not budge from this position.
Difficult one, this, and you have raised an issue which could well be relevant in my own case.
As you may know, it is quite unusual for the Court to order a sale of the family home when there are dependent children involved, and for obvious reasons. But it is not impossible, if there is sufficient equity to buy accommodation which is suitable for the needs of the PWC and the children. However I feel that the fact that you have been able to buy accommodation on your own account will go against you.
May I make a suggestion - and it is no more than that, just a suggestion, which you should most certainly discuss with your solicitor first - that you go for what is known in the trade as a Mesher order, which in plain language means that she has the right to live there until the youngest child reaches 18, when the house is sold and the proceeds divided. At this stage, when there are no longer any dependent children involved, it becomes impossible for her to argue that she has a need for a five bedroom house, and courts do not like to make an order which deprives the husband of all his interest in the FMH. I hesitate to make such a suggestion, because I can see your point. In my case ownership is not an issue - my wife had her house in North Carolina before we were married and even though I could probably claim a share after a long marriage, I don't want to .
I think in principle your point about expenses is well made, and clearly, as a matter of principle, there must be an understanding that the wife's needs should be reasonable. Going back to my case, and my wife, she has to have a car in the USA, but it doesn't have to be a Cadillac ! ( I should add that she's quite happy with a Ford !! ) . I'm a bit confused by the maintenance figures you quote. You know about child support and that is fixed by reference to a statutory formula, so the issue is how much extra you pay on top of that. I think it is likely that you will have to pay something extra, but not £1200 pcm on top of the child support. But can you clarify this for me ?
First of all, a query about the £800 pcm that you say your wife earns.
Does this figure includes benefits such as child benefit, and tax credits ? Also remember that her council tax reduces by 25% if you are not living there.
I was not clear from your letter if the £1200 pcm your wife wants includes child benefit ( or, put another way, she isn't claiming £1200 pcm plus £620 in child benefits ). If her claim is for £1200 pcm, then I would say it was not too bad an offer, if she is taking home £800 pcm and not £800 plus a battery of other benefits.
As to the house - if you do end up with a situation where you have an interest in the house, which you cannot realise for 11 years or so, then you need to speak to your solicitor or accountant. Such an arrangement could have implications for capital gains tax.
I must stress to you that I am not an expert in this field and I advise you not to discuss this matter with your wife, or make any offer at all, until you have discussed the matter with your lawyer.
I have spoke thus much, as Shakespeare wrote, to try and put it to you that you and your wife may not be as far apart as you thought you were when you wrote this post, and your wife may be more reasonable than you believed. What I do NOT want for you, sir, is that you dissipate your assets in litigation if it can be avoided. I would be interested to see if other contributors add their views, and see how they compare with mine.
So, if she gets her disabilty allowance (why is that? presumably a factor in why she can only work 2 days a week notwithstanding the young ages of your children and their needs) she will have £1500/month for her and your two children aged 10 & 7 and you will have £4250 (and you wonder why women make scathing comments at coffee mornings.) You say you have them 6 nights out of 14. If you are splitting the care of the children 43% to you, 57% to her why not split the income on the same basis ie £5750 = £2472.50 for you and £3277.50 for her? The reality is the money is not just for her, it's for her and your two children. Why would you object to that? Presumably the reason she is reluctant to move from the FMH is because of what it will mean to your children. In time she will deal with this but right now is probably too soon emotionally for all concerned.
So, why not work on giving a fairer proportion of your monthly income for the children as opposed to some arbitrary CSA figure and a longer term deal vis a vis the FMH? After all, you did father these children and presumably would want their mother to be able to treat them in the same way you can clearly afford to.