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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.

A fair settlement without high court costs

  • Nikxs
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02 May 12 #327879 by Nikxs
Topic started by Nikxs
hi all. My husband and I have been seperated for about18 months. I applied for divorce because he was agressive and cheating one me and I have the Decree Nisi. The court awarded in my favour for costs.

We are not trying to reach a fair settlement but I dont think the current proposal from my ex is fair however any advice would be appreciated before I go into battle.

The situation is:-

Married ten years, living together for a year before marriage.

We have three children. 10, 8 and 3.

I work part time and am planning on going to university to train as a nurse. He is on a years contract.

The marital home is currently being rented out as prior to this jon he was out of work so we risked repossession so renting was our only option at the time.

Me and the kids live with my mum. He was living with his girlfriend but now is renting his own 2 bedroom flat.

The plan is for me and the kids to move back into the house in September this year.

The settlement is

50/50 equity but house to be signed into my name but he stays on the mortgage.

However He wants me to pay all the mortgage on my own from when I move in the house.

We have a joint loan of £450 a month. This is currently covered by rent but he wants me to take this on to.

He earns - £6k gross a month. I currently work part time and earn about £500.

we both have debts.

Me - £13000
Him - £22000

He argues that I am liable for half his debts so as he is paying them he wants me to sign my share of the family care to him. Worth about £4000.

He also has a motor bike worth £7000. I drive my dads old car worth £400.

The house is worth £450k. The mortgage is £280k.

I paid £90k in order for us to get the house in the first place.

I feel like I should not be settling for this and that it is unfair.

There is no allowance in teh settlemnet for spousal support for me from him or allowance for the raising of our children and the money I invested in the first place.

He argues that while I was not working bringing the children up he paid the mortgage.

Also if I stay in the house until my youngest son is 12 which is another 8 years and pay the mortgage how can he still get 50% of the equity.

Any advice would be great. I had a solicitor for the divorce part but she is really expensive and as I have a share in a house I dont get legal aid but I really dont have loads of spare cash to fight him in court.

  • somuch2know2
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02 May 12 #327885 by somuch2know2
Reply from somuch2know2
Who paid what to buy the house or pay the bills during the marriage is irrelevant. Its all joint.

50/50 seems unfair if you have the kids.

You both have some hefty debts, and the mortgage will be hefty. With you going back to school money will be tight.

What do you reasonably need?

Lawyers and courts cost money, and from my experience people are more likely to be generous if dont feel like they are being bent over a barrol.

can you not sell the house, pay off the debt, split the assets 70/30 your favour?
Deposit the money in a high interest account, live with your mum for a couple of years to get support (helping out with the kids, financial savings)while you go back to uni and then start a new life?

I think will struggle with SM as he is a contractor which means work may end after so many months. Someone may be able to say more on this.

CSA sets the child support- but again with him contracting this could vary.

Also- 6K gross is only just under 4K once you take out taxes. If he is renting, paying CM and has his own household bills, I would imagine there isnt much left to pay for part of your mortgage- and considering you are living there and he is already payin CM it seems unfair to ask (in my opinion). Do you receive CTC and CB?

  • Fiona
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02 May 12 #327889 by Fiona
Reply from Fiona
From the legal POV a "fair" settlement is one that complies with the law. There is a reasonable amount of equity so that means there are more options.

Depending on both parties aspirations the equity could be split 50:50 if that is enough to provide a deposit for you to buy a property adequate to house yourself and the children with perhaps some SM to help with mortgage payments. If your husband is a contractor it will be his potential income based upon his earnings for the last year or so that will be a factor. Alternatively a Clean Break might be achieved if you have a larger share of the available equity.

A Mesher type of arrangement when the parent with the majority of care and the children stay in the former matrimonial home and the other parent maintains an interest in the property until the youngest child reaches 18 (or 21 if they are likely to go to uni) is only really appropriate when there is no other way of keeping a roof over the heads of children.

Apart from being tied together in property the disadvantage of a Mesher is that by the time the youngest child reaches 18 or 21 you will be older and may not be able to get a mortgage for the usual 25 year term so you may have difficulty rehousing then.

  • TBagpuss
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02 May 12 #327892 by TBagpuss
Reply from TBagpuss
No, the propsola doesn''t look fair. He seems tobe expecting 50% of the assets, for you to take on a larger share of the debts, nd it takes no account of your different needs or incomes.

Generally speaking, you are presumed to have contributed equally while you were married. in your case, your contribution was by way of caring for the children and home, freeing him up to work outside the home.

(It may help to think about it in terms of ''what would it have cost to have paid someone else to do the jobs your ere doing? I''m willingto bet that a full time Nanny would have cost more than the amounts he was paying for the mortgage etc, and that''s before you start to add in the cost of a cleaner as well!)

It is not unreasonable for you to pay the mortgage once you are living in the house.

His share in the equity should be based on the CURRENT equity, not the equity at the time the lump sum is paid (so today''s equity is approx. £170,000. If this were to be split equally (which is unlikely to be fair unless he is also going to be paying spousal maintenace) he would be entitled to £85K. The hosue is currently worth £450K so £85K is around 19%. So his charge back would be for 19% of the value of the house.
This is the normal way of dealing with a charge back - it means that he gets the benefit of any increase in house prices (if the hosue is worth £550K by the time he is due to be paid, his 19% is worth £104K) but he does not get the benefit of your mortgage payments.

In your case, I would say that you need to look at your finacial needs - can you cover the mortgage and other outgoingd on your income (including child support) If not, you need to look at spousal maintenace (or downsizing to somewhere cheaper)

If you can, then you need to decide whether you would rather have a clean break (in which case it is reasonable for you to look for more than 50% of the capital to take into account your lower income and earning capacity and your greater financial needs) or ongoing spousal maintenace, in which case a split closer to 50/50 of the capital may be fairer.

You on''t necessarily get credit for the extra capital ouput in at the outset but it may be worth raising it with him - if he wants to argur contributions then the situation is you contributed £90K and he has made no contribution ot balance that, as your respective contributions by way of paying the mortgage / caring for the children were of equal value in terms of the benefit they provided to you as a family.

As a very rought guide, i would probably be thinking along the lines of his having a charge back for 25-30% of the eqity, on the basis that he is responsible for the joint loan and the debt in his name, you keep responsibility for the debt in your bame and there is a clean break save for child support.

If he is on £72K gross p.a. thenhis liability for child support would be around £1,000 pcm, reduced to take into account any over night contacts, so he has net income of around £3,000 after that is paid.
You have earnigns of £500, plus maintencae of around £1,000 and presumably some child benefits & possibly tax credits. How does that compare to his income?

Although ti is always appropriate to try to reach an amicable settlement, I think it is very important that you do see a solicitor and get some independet advice about what is reasonable for you in this situation. You have said that the relationship ended due to your husband''s agression and cheating. To me, that suggests that you had a relationship in which he was very used to getting his own way and he is likely to continue to expect to make decisions and to tell you what to do.

The proposals he is making are no where near fair - they would leave him in a far better positoon than you (If he gets 50% of the equity after 15 year s of you patying the mortgage, that''s as if you''re paying him maintenace for all that time, as 50% of the amounts you pay off the mortgage go into his pocket)

Get some advice so you know where you stand, and (if needed) so you have someone who ''has your back'' and can reassure you if/when he stats telling you how unreasonable you are, and that he isn''t going to ''give'' you any more.

  • Nikxs
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02 May 12 #327897 by Nikxs
Reply from Nikxs
hi thanks for this. I am unable to live with my mum long term this is not an option so we have no choice but to move back to the house or to rent another property which seems daft.

Also our house is close to the kids schools and ultimately i dont think they should suffer any more than they have already by the marriage ending. Most of the debts were as a result of my ex purchasing items we did not need without any though to me or the kids at the time. Like a motorbike.

I will look at renting out the spare room in the house and after uni and when I have a job I do want to get my own place as I refuse to be financial tied to him for years.

I am actually trying to be fair but he isnt as he just tells me he paid all the mortgage while I was bringing up the kids and that I get to live in the house and I get the kids so I am being unreasonable.

Its very hard to be fair with a man who just shouts and gets angry if things dont go his way but courts will be very messy.

I dont want to just give in.

The only other option is to sell the house and me and the kids to rent for 3 years but that will be a higher cost than the mortgage and loan.

Yes i do get CTC and CB.

  • somuch2know2
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02 May 12 #327907 by somuch2know2
Reply from somuch2know2
I think most on here are dealing with someone being unreasonable.

I did a spreadsheet with her income vs mine and our fixed costs. I put formulas in this to give me an idea of where I would be financially if x was granted without y or any other possible outcome.

The purpose of this is to demonstrate my needs, and the lack of income I will have in various outcomes and the disparity between disposible income.

If you do teh same you will know exactly what you need and where your incoming/ outcoming funds go. This should make it easier to speak to your ex. If not, then at least it supports your argument at cout as its pretty hard to argue with factual numbers.

  • Nikxs
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02 May 12 #327925 by Nikxs
Reply from Nikxs
thank you all your comments are helping and we have had some conversation today and he is starting to suggest a fairer split.

He has now suggested that I take out the difference in deposits from the equity and then split it. I think having it as a % charge seems fair.

I have done some caluclations and if I rent a room or two I can afford to pay the mortgage on my own but if I do this then any equity split needs to take this into account.

Its slow progress but although I now have a raging headache its less expensive than courts so far.

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