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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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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.


splitting the house

  • fairy
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11 Oct 07 #4599 by fairy
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Hi all, could really do with some objective advice.

Married in 2002, split June 2006.

Our current house we bought in 2004 and there is a mortgage of 205,000 on that house now. I am living in it with my boyfriend, he has bought again with his new girlfriend. At the moment I am paying 450 a month to live here and he is paying the other 900 on the mortgage.

When we split we agreed to split the equity 80% to him, 20% to me, to reflect that he had always paid lion's share of bills and that he paid off a 20,000 education loan I had. This was done 6 months before we split at his idea as we envisaged the repayments hitting us both in the 9 years to come of paying it off.

With the house market dropping it looks like neither of us will do that well out of selling the house given that we'd be paying 3,000 estate agents fee and 6,000 mortgage penalty. He has suggested that he buys me out but I don't know what a fair price is to accept. The house is on the market for 249,950 but the estate agent wants to drop it to 237,500 as the market is bad. He has suggested that he buys me out for 7,000.

My parents are telling me I should ask for 12,000 based on a value of 250,000 and escaping fees and penalties. They think that we should take the equity, which would be 45,000, take the 20,000 from my loan off, and split the difference 50:50.

I'm finding it really difficult to argue for that as he is subsidising me living here and always supported me financially. I'm thinking of accepting 8,000, but my folks say he then benefits disproportionately when he sells it.

Any thoughts would be very gratefully received - me and my family are too emotionally involved to make rational decisions on what's fair...

Sorry for the long post :(

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11 Oct 07 #4601 by dun
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You are very fair person, so good for you. Assume house is worth 245K, less mortgage 205K - net equity 40K. split 50/50 this is 20K.
You are still legally married so if you have no children you are technically entitled to a min of 50% of the equity. Between what you are thinking of asking for 8K and your parents suggestion 12.5K there is not a huge difference. You are possibly also likely to benefit from other savings / assets he might have and his pension. In the interests of an amicable split why not ask for 10K and a 'Clean Break' on divorce, unless there are any other substantial assets, and it will let both of you move on with your lives.

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11 Oct 07 #4603 by fairy
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Thanks dun - that sounds like a good compromise. I'm not getting anything from pension, or anything else, only a share in the house. I don't know if I'm doing myself out of money or not. It's weird because I'm legally trained and know how much I could ask for, and would advise others to ask for, but can't seem to ask for it myself! He's made me feel bad about the money he paid off my loan, but I know advising someone professionally I'd tell them it didn't count.

We haven't used solicitors at all because I know the procedure and we didn't want to lose the few assets we had in fees, but it's so hard working out what's fair between you!

Thanks for your advice.

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11 Oct 07 #4608 by dun
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Fairy
It sounds to me from your post , that you may be suffering from depression or some level of low self esteem, it is important not make quick decisions in that state of mind, that you may regret into the future. Is there a need to split the house now or can you leave arrangements as they are and maybe go to mediation ? Then, at least both your assets are on the table and you can agree a fair division. I would not be in the least concerned about him paying your fees, it was very good of him, but you were together at the time and that is what spouses do - help each other out. It is really immaterial now. You probably need to feel better about yourself before you take this any further and you probably need to be careful that this might not be some form of 'gentle' bullying on his side - 7K is not a lot of money to sever links with someone even in a short marraige. I would seriously suggest a few amicable sessions with a mediator.

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11 Oct 07 #4614 by fairy
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Thanks Dun. I think there is an element of low self esteem there, that's why my parents have been battling with me to ask for more! Anyway, thanks to your advice, and that of a family friend who's god with numbers, I think I've got my head round it and have put in a bid to him for more than I was planning to.

I wish I'd gone to mediation earlier, but it's got to the stage now where the house is like an albatross for both of us. It's far to big and expensive for me to keep and he's keeping another house now as well for his girlf with baby due in 2 months, so we need to get it sorted. It's been on the market for 3 months already and not shifting in this crazy market!

I wish I'd found this forum earlier too - reading other people's posts have resolved lots of the 'I shouldn't be asking for this' type thoughts I'd been having.

Thanks again!

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