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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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Boy do I need some help!

  • BWA
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10 Aug 07 #1861 by BWA
Topic started by BWA
I do hope somebody has some reasonable advise for me.... Been married 10 years... getting divorced for over a year :(with the finances taking most of this time... two children who will live with my ex, no issues on maintenance or visiting rights just over the financials as follows

1, my solicitor started with suggesting we offer a percentage of 75% of the capital from the sale of the house (approx £160k) with a 'charge back' to be recovered on sale, remarry etc of 25%, since my wifes solicitor rebuffed the proposal my solicitor has dropped the idea.... can anyone advise are 'charge backs' a normal process?? could i be expected to get 50/50 with the house capital, even if i did have to wait to get it? any ideas what the courts would say??

2, I initially put in £20k, my wife £3k as a deposit on our first house, on purchasing our next home (after selling the first!) I put in an additional £26k from the proceeds of a house sale owned solely by me. Am I entitled to reclaim that money back (£46k) prior to any split of capital from the sale of our house? my solicitor is being somewhat vague stating the courts may just distribute the whole sum as we have been married for 10 years, although we only bought our second house 6 years ago.

and finally :)i understand I need to provide for my wife and the two children but she is quoting 3 bedroom house prices that are at the top end of the range in the area near were we live, stating that the school catchment area is important for our second son... which it is, problem is this would mean she would need close to 80% of the capital from the house sale leaving me with enough to pay our debt!! obviously i want to provide for the children but need to be reasonable with what can be achieved with the cash available. What is the ruling on number of bedrooms required? both my children are boys under 9. Does anybody know a quick way online to find the catchment area of a school?

There ..... I feel better already :)

Any help, comments or suggestions would really be appreciated.... even if its just 'hang on in there' so I know i'm not alone in this mad mad world..... im sure thats a song! :cheer:

  • LittleMrMike
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10 Aug 07 #1867 by LittleMrMike
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Forgive me, but I am not sure what is going on here.

In a situation where there are dependent children - as in your case - then the Courts will make it their priority to
make sure the children have a home when they are still dependent. That means that the parent with care - usually, but not inevitably, the wife - will be given the right to live there until the youngest child reaches 18.

But the Court also has to look ahead to the time when the children cease to be dependent. So it also has to say what is to happen at that time. In my experience, such as it is, most of the arguments revolve round that issue. There are a number of things that can be done.

(a) Sell the house and divide the proceeds in some agreed proportion, This arrangement is often called a Mesher order
after the case in which this type of order was first made.
(b) However the wife may be given the right to live there indefinitely, or at least until she marries, cohabits, voluntarily leaves the accommodation, or dies, at which the point the property is sold and the proceeds again divided in agreed proportions.
(c) The PWC may be given the house outright. This type of order is not usual but it might be employed in cases where it is clear that the PWC could never hope to get reasonable accommodation if she were forced to sell and divide the proceeds, and at the same time, the other ex spouse has considerable means and would have no such difficulties.

This is a potted summary of a potentially difficult situation, but in your case you are talking in a way which suggests a sale is contemplated and I just can't work out what's happening.

Mike 100468

  • Sera
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10 Aug 07 #1875 by Sera
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I can only suggest my own experience on the term 'Catchment area'. Some schools have advised guide-lines, as in the 'catchment area ends at this point (say High Street) with this point, (say station).
In theory, it works with the number of child applicants, vs. actual places available.

In dense population like London, some catchment areas, don't even cover to the end of the street the school sits in! If one class (of thirty pupils) is already filled by applicants (such as siblings of existing pupils) or homes within 200 yards, then others outside of that range are not offered places.

It's a term Estate agents can only suggest. Although you could check with the school, and you'll have a stronger case, if your older child is already at the school.

In my divorce of 1999. My ex found the cheapest houses in the area, and I found those that didn't need extensive work. (Not the 'top' end, just normal for the area). The judge took the middle-ground.

It used to be a ruling that same-sex children can share. Not sure if that's changed? But, if you argued she only needed a two-bed house, after estate agents fees on selling, Stamp duty, legal and moving costs, it might be just as well to leave her where she is.

I don't think it will matter who put in what.... especially since it's ten yrs, and there are children. She could argue that being at home with kids, prevented her earning power being as great as yours, or her ability to pay a pension reduced etc.

The court would look at need, and favour the person at home with the children, pressumably your wife. A judge could order this any way. You could keep your pension, but give her a larger proportion of the MH. She could sell that for her pension when the kids are older.

It's different rules for everyone.

  • BWA
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13 Aug 07 #1944 by BWA
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HI, thanks for the responses so far, just to clarify we have agreed to sell the house as its 4 bed and to big for either of our needs, albeit the share is the stumbling block at the moment hence the questions on catchment area of schools and number of rooms etc. Given the area we live in, a stones throw can make the difference of up to £25k for an 'Average 3 bed semi' and I'm keen (obviously!) to limit the cost as much as possible so I might have enough for a deposit of my own. My wife works and can afford a small mortgage.

Couple more questions,

1 Her solicitor is making claim for a percentage of my pension, which is understandable under current legislation but is she entitled to a share of my pension gained previous to being married? I have approx £65k in a pension fund from before my marriage which they are currently including?

2 has anybody had experience of payments after secondary education, ie tertiary to degree level? Have these payments been reduced from normal child maintenance payments due to less time at home, goverment grants and the fact that the children can work at least part time?

many thanks

  • Fiona
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13 Aug 07 #1946 by Fiona
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