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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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divorce finances: what''s fair?

  • Freedom2012
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28 Sep 12 #358355 by Freedom2012
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PLEASE can anyone help? I am going through a divorce and we agree on 1. getting divorced 2. child custody (me) but not 3. finances. I wish to keep the home for my children.

I gave up a very well-paid job (pay scale£39000 to £49,000) to look after the kids. He didn''t stop working.

Our ages: he: 47 me:49

Married 13 years

2 kids aged 5 and under

He''ll have them one or two nights a week but we agreed I will have full custody

equity in house: 170,000
pension CETV: :£92251 me
£105089 him
both since 1997. We married in 2000. Our pensions over our working lives are similar but the discrepancy of nearly £13000 happened when I gave up my career to look after the kids.

ALL ASSETS: me: 36, 420
him: 56,770 (but £26,000 of this an endowment policy maturing feb 2014)

Liabilities: £115,000 mortgage nothing more

incomes: him: £2000 per month (full-time)
me £1,300 per month (part-time 50%)

Outgoings: mine: £2350

The equity in the house was from our salaries when we both worked full-time during the marriage prior to kids and also the profits from sale of my flat which I brought into the marriage and from an endowment I was mis-sold and cashed in early. I took it out the same time as the one of his which is maturing.

  • WYSPECIAL
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28 Sep 12 #358369 by WYSPECIAL
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Does your income reflect benefits and CM that would be due?

If he is having children 2 nights per week and you 5 CM at CSA rates would be about £285 per month. Once you add in CB and tax credits your income will exceed his in all probability.

Are the assets other than the endowment liquid?

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28 Sep 12 #358381 by Freedom2012
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no the 1300 is what I earn, no benefits or CM included.
He may have them 1 night per week to start with. We agreed he''d give me 10% per child i.e. £400 per month.
I listed the assets in forst post.
If my income exceeds his, does that matter given I gave up chance of highly paid career and need compensation? I lost pension, salary, propects etc...although am part-time now.

  • maisymoos
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28 Sep 12 #358382 by maisymoos
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This is about need and the main factor will be the children''s housing needs. In theory you both ideally need 3 bedroom properties. How much does one cost in your area?

Do you currently contribute to the mortgage? Have mortgage payments been factored in to your outgoing figure?

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28 Sep 12 #358383 by WYSPECIAL
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Freedom2012 wrote:

no the 1300 is what I earn, no benefits or CM included.
He may have them 1 night per week to start with. We agreed he''d give me 10% per child i.e. £400 per month.
I listed the assets in forst post.
If my income exceeds his, does that matter given I gave up chance of highly paid career and need compensation? I lost pension, salary, propects etc...although am part-time now.


If you have come to an arrangement for CM that is great. That now means he will be on £1600 per month and you £1700 plus CB and whatever tax credits you will be due. No it doesn''t matter that you will have more income as you will have children the majority of time but it negates need for spousal maintenance. You don''t get compensation for the fact you gave up a highly paid job though, thats the choices you made at that time it''s the situation now that counts.

Just wondered how much of the assets you listed were liquid? Clearly the £26k endowment isn''t but assuming the rest is with the equity in the house you have about £237k. How far would this go to re-housing you all?

Would you be able to afford the current mortgage payments and run the house on your own or are you looking to downsize?

Your pensions are worth virtually the same so probably able to just each keep your own unless you think he may be willing to take more of the pension pot for less of the house equity or liquid assets?

By the way there is no such thing as custody anymore. Courts only make residence orders where they feel that they really have to otherwise it''s up to the parents to sort out between themselves. So long as court is satisfied with the arrangements you put down they wont get involved.

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28 Sep 12 #358384 by Freedom2012
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I feel that to move house with two 5 yr olds (twins) is to be avoided if at all possible and yes I am hoping to afford the current mortgage payments on my own, not downsize. I want advice really on how I can achieve that fairly.
I understood the law (mcfarlane 2006) does allow for compensation. Each party needs to be treated fairly (not discriminated against)whether they looked after kids/house or went out to work and to maintain parity the wife should not lose out due to it. We agreed jointly that I''d watch the kids.
It also does matter where the kids live according to the CSA. More than 2 nights and less CM needs to be paid.
The assets are liquid excep the end. policy.
I hope to keep the house by paying him all the assets we have, but not sure if that''s fair or right?

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28 Sep 12 #358385 by maisymoos
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I agree with WY SPECIAL spousal maintenance is unlikely. In some situations where a career is given up to care for children and earning capacity is reduced in the longer term this may be a factor to consider in allowing a higher proportion of equity/assets to that party. Due to your incomes I am not sure this will be relevant in your case.

Once benefits and CM are added on to your income you are likely to be better off than your ex. Housing is the priority for both parties, a better way to approach this split is to look at ways this can be achieved with the current assets.

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