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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.


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New to all this: Advice needed please

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01 Apr 07 #27 by citizen
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I apologise in advance for the lengthy nature of this post but I have tried to include all relevant information.
1977-1983/4 met girlfriend at college and moved in together. At the end of my degree we moved to London in rented accommodation.
1984 we split up as she is having an affair and I buy a flat.
1985/86 she buys a flat we reconcile and both move into her flat. My flat is rented out but due to our joint excessive lifestyle (it was the 80’s in London) my mortgage was not paid and eventually the flat was repossessed and auctioned off by the mortgage company. The excess was returned to me , some £4000 and was spent by my girlfriend and I.
1989 girlfriend sells her flat and we use the increase in value (approx. £20000) for a deposit on a house in the country. My name is not on mortgage due to previous financial problems
1989-1999 we get married in 1993 and subsequently have two children. During this period I developed a gambling problem which caused a number of difficulties and eventually to me leaving the marital home (not my choice). During this time the mortgage was always paid (admittedly sometimes late) as I ended up borrowing money from friends and family, which I eventually paid back.
1999 house prices in doldrums and my wife sold the house and used the equity around £35000 to pay off debts and put down £20000 deposit on a smaller property for her and children.
2001 my wife decides to sell up and move up north to be closer to her family. 2 days before they are due to go she asks me if I want to come back to which I agree and we all move to a new house (still in her name as I was not in the picture when house was bought.) again there is now £40000 equity in property. This is used as deposit on new house £20000 and living expenses and furniture as neither of us has a job when we move north.
At this time I also contribute £20000 to living expenses as I receive this for previous unfair dismissal claim
2002 Yet again we split up and I am asked to leave the home which I reluctantly agree to.
2003we reconcile and in 2004 we remortgage the house to raise £45000 to fund gap year trip round Europe in a motorhome with the children. At this time my name is added to mortgage.
2005 we return to UK and I begin working immediately as my wife has no income for 5 months as she is starting her own business and I am sole breadwinner.
2006 in February my wife announces that she is filing for divorce and moves into rented accommodation locally (This time I refuse to leave).
We are both in agreement that the house should be sold.
In all my absences from the marital home I have paid for the children’s maintenance (substantially more than is required by law).
Equity in current house is now circa £90000. In February my wife cashed in an endownment policy for circa £21000
I am more than happy to pay the required amount of maintenance for the children.
There will be no arguments over child access
There will be disagreements over splitting of assets.
My questions are as follows. 1) Given the above circumstances what would be the likely decision of the courts. 2) Is it possible to handle this myself as A solicitor with whom I had an initial consultation has advised me that costs for resolving the financial issues could go to £10000 3) If I decide to handle this myself is it possible to use a solicitor on an ad-hoc basis.
If anyone has any advice whatsoever I would be very grateful.

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02 Apr 07 #28 by wikivorce team
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Citizen,

Re: your 3 questions:-

1) let me begin by saying that the long and detailed history you wrote is largely irrelevant.

The only bits that really matter are:
- you were married for 14 years (long time)
- you have 2 kids

To give some guesstimate on finances then you would need to let us know:

- how old are the kids?
- which parent will they live with?
- how many nights per year will they live with other parent?
- how much do you earn?
- does she work, how much will/can she earn?

There are other (less critical) factors such as contribution and conduct etc but if you let us know the above we can give you a starting point.

2) It is an option to self represent - maybe using a solicitor for certain aspects (reviewing appropriate offer to make and writing offer letter - for example).

3) Yes - you can get fixed cost advice from a solicitor.

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02 Apr 07 #32 by citizen
Reply from citizen
Thanks for such a swift and informative reply. It has made me feel slightly less aprehensive about the whole thing. The extra information is as follows
1.the children, both girls are 11 and 13
2. They will live with their mother
3. due to the nature of my job( I am a truck driver, away a lot) I suspect their time with me will be mainly days out although I will take them away for a couple of weeks in the summer.
4. My earnings are around £25000 pa
5. my wife is self employed and has her own company. Last year (2006) was her first year of trading and she earned around £22000. However her minimum rate is £50 per hour and could obviously earn a lot more if she put her mind to it. She has no travel expenses in relation to her job as this is all charged seperately for to her clients.

Thnks in advance

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03 Apr 07 #33 by wikivorce team
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Citizen,

In very rough ballpark figures:

As you wife is the primary carer then she will get the greater share of your joint assets (you dont mention pensions, shares, savings etc - so im basing this on just the house).

So she could expect to get 60 to 70% of the assets (i.e. the house). You get the rest.

So she sould have to buy you out of your 30 to 40% share in the house by remortgaging.

If this is not affordable a court may decide that your share has to be left in the house until the youngest kid is 18, then she sells it or remortgages and you get paid out.

As salaries are pretty similar no spousal maintenance will be due.

You will have to pay child maintenance at CSA rates, so 20% of your net take home until the kids leave full time education.

The above is very apporximate - but at least gives you an idea.

Please read our disclaimer regarding any advice posted on this forum.

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04 Apr 07 #38 by citizen
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Thank you once again for your speedy response. Sorry to be a pain but I have another couple of questions to which you may be able to provide some answers. It looks as if the house will go on the market so I take your point regarding the division of equity. However in my initial consultation with a solicitor I was given the impression that the endownment policy which my wife cashed in the week before she left would also be taken into the equation regarding a division of assets notwithstanding that it was in her name. Do you have any thoughts on this.
I originaly asked the solicitor if I could reasonably request my wife to contribute towards our ongoing mortgage but was told that this would not be acceptable as she had moved out and was renting elsewhere and I was the sole occupier of the former marital home. However it looks like the situation may be about to change in that I will be relocating to another part of the country for work and will have to rent accommodation for myself. In your opnion would it now be reasonable to expect my wife to pay half of the mortgage up until such time as the house is sold. If this is the case how would the court view it if I simply cancelled the direct debit and informed my wife that as from next month she will have to pay the mortgage and I will ensure that my contribution is in her bank before payment is due.
Once again thank you for your advice.

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04 Apr 07 #39 by wikivorce team
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From the info you supplied tne endowment would indeed be considered part of the matrimonial assets. So you would be entitled to a share of that too.

Regarding the mortgage - this is a tricky situation.

The reason that currently she is not paying is that she has the kids and her first priority is to pay for their housing (her rent).

If you move out too, then the above does not change - her first priority will still be to pay the rent and other living costs of her household.

I can understand if work is driving the move - but it will clearly be difficult to finance 3 houses (FMH and her new place and your new place).

Strictly, as regards liability for payment of the mortgage the building society (independent of what is happening in the divorce) will hold whoever is named on the mortgage as liable for payment.

In practise I do not think that the court will order either of you to pay the mortgage in the interim.

It is more a practical financial issue that you have to solve.
- You could rent the place out.
- She could move back in.
- You could sell the house.

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04 Apr 07 #40 by wikivorce team
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One quick caveat - please careful about selling the house before ancillary relief proceedings are concluded. There may be implications related to Capital Gains tax.

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