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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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Seperation Advice

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26 Sep 07 #4004 by Skeety0
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I am seperating from my wife of 3 years, my x2b had a child from a previous realationship and the child is now 8. We have sold the house and agreed to split the procceeds 50/50, hpwever this is a very small aomunt. I have agreed to set her up in private rented for 3 months until she has sorted out her housing benefit. I have also said that I would pay an amount every month for a set period of time to support her and the child. Have I done this the right way? We are both amicable about this and want to ensure that neither party is financialy over stretched. I have been informed by CSA that there is no claim against me for the child as I have not adopted the child. Any further suppoprt or help would be really appreciated.

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27 Sep 07 #4018 by Fiona
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Well done for remaining amicable. When you have the Decree Nisi write down what has been agreed, take it to a solicitor and ask them to draw up a Consent Order which is sent to court for approval. This ends any future claims.

Child support won't be assessed by the CSA, but depending on the length and nature of your involvement the child could be deemed a child of the family and the courts have jurisdiction over maintenance. I'm not sure how likely this is if the marriage was only 3 years. Did you cohabit before marriage and does the natural father pay child support or did you assume the responsibility?

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27 Sep 07 #4021 by Skeety0
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Thanks, I am trying to do the right thing by all but it is not easy.

The father is on the birth certificate but has never paid any financialy or seen the child for the last 7 years. I did live with them for a period of time, this was around 4 years.

I am happy to support the child as I would see that this is the right thing to do, but as life goes on I am worried that I will have to pay long term for his upbringing.

If we agree to all the finances and get this drawn up by a solicitor would the courts not see that I have been supportive since the seperation and allow our agreement to stand or will the have the right to overule our plans?

Thanks

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27 Sep 07 #4042 by Sera
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What a nice step-dad you sound! :)

However, you have lived with this child only four years. You are being very generous in your commitment to this childs welfare, (especially in the absense of payment from the real father). But consider this:

The CSA guidelines are 15% of your net income. (You probably wouldn't be hit with this if you're not the father). Why doesn't she get the payments from the father?

In moving forward in your life, (you don't say your age), you may need or want to start a new life with another woman. And it's then I forsee problems in your continued payments to this child you had a short relationship with.

If you care about the child, you could maybe wish to continue a relationship role in that childs life. You may also wish to start a savings account, in the childs name, (for the childs use - not your ex's).
If a court should see that you have to make payments, (I doubt it!) You will then have to for the next 10 yrs, (until child 18).

I'd be wary, since a lot may change in your life. (Future wifes' resentment, your ability to work, a new mortgage) whatever.

I would severe all financial ties regarding the child, but keep options open regarding a relationship with the child. (Sounds brutal advice!) But when your life moves on, I think this could cause you some regret later.

And ask yourself this: If your wife moves on with another man, (she probably will), and HE becomes next step-dad, and clocks up more years than you - how would you honestly feel regarding what she does with the money? Say they were all off on holiday, at your expense?

I'm just being realistic, you sound like a nice guy! But you need to look further into the future, get past your 'emotions' of today, and don't do anything too stupid.

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27 Sep 07 #4054 by Skeety0
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Great thanks for the advice and honesty.

I am going to look into the option of setting up an account for the child as this would sound like a really positive move.

The reason for not following up the real father was based her not wanting him to have any involvement with the child as he had made it very clear from the start he was not interested. I have always said that she should have received monet from the birth father as this was the right thing to have done. Still time goes on..

You are right about the future, I am aware of the reality that a previous realationship may have on the future contact with the child extra. I am still young (33yrs) so I don't want to be held to this for ever. I believe it is only right to support the child as they have played no part in this breakdown and should not be made to suffer.

Whe nyou siggest cutting a financial ties, I have agreed the 50/50 split of the equity and agreed to pay the first few months of private rent. How long would you suggest that I continue to pay towards the maintenance of my X? I don't want to again see her out on the street but I do want to re-start my life and want to have financial flexibility long term.

Would the courts again make me make payments to my X even though she would have had a split of the equity, 3 months rent & deposit, 100% of the items within the house? I think I am being very fair towards her to ensure that she can keep as much of her lifestyle as poosible as she only works part time and has limited income, where as I have a good job with a good salary and lots of financial perks.

Any further answers or questions please ask.

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27 Sep 07 #4057 by Sera
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OK, the courts would look at the 'needs' of both of the parties. I think coming to an agreement of a 50/50 split is fair.
I still find it incredulous that as a matter of 'pride' she won't ask her childs father for money, yet expects 'housing benefit' (as you suggest).

To my knowledge, she can't backdate on a CSA case, (only from application date?) but she needs to make a claim for the next ten years for her child, (from bio-father)since they grow! and don't get any cheaper!!! REGARDLESS of whether or not he is 'in' the childs life.

Two questions here: Why should men like him father children and expect the State to pick up?
And why is she looking for other 'support systems' (you and housing benefit) when there is a 'legal' scource she can collect from. (Him)?

I'm not sure if she's due spousal support (maintenance from you?) Maybe if you post incomes, someone else could advise. Although, after a 3yr marriage I'd doubt she'd get a lot. The courts could suggest a limited period (I think they call it an 'adjustment period'?) which is pretty much what you've already offered anyway. If she has an eight yr-old child, she could work full-time, if not now, within a few yrs, and if she's also in her early 30's, I'm assuming pension splits is not considered?

I'd suggest taking your agreement to a solicitor (avoiding the courts if at all possible!), and ask their advice to your plans.

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