Thank you Hadenoughnow. What you say sounds fair to me. She will actually have enough for a for a 3-bed property, mortgage free and pensions are to be equalised at age 60, giving us each a pension of around £14,000 a year and £50,000 cash. Why would she need more?
If I get a £25,000 mortgage paid over two years then, after I pay child maintenance I am left with the same income as she is (including her universal credit, but not including child maintenance). I am offering her £40,000 more on the equity. She doesn't need SM, she will be mortgage free). She wants £250,000 equity (far more than she needs) leaving £130,000 for me (less than I need?). My thinking is that £210,000 v £170,000 is fair and she can have more by offsetting some pension. 20 years of pension was accrued before marriage (much more by me than her), so the pension she will be offsetting would be the pension I earned many years before we married (marriage and cohab 16 years). It seems very harsh that she wants a share in all the pension I earned since I was 21 (I was 40 when we met), and now wants me to work beyond 60 and have some of that too.
Had another thought. If the argument is that I work until I am 63 and she is 60 and can access her pensions, can I argue that she can also work until 63 to top up her pensions? She is not a teacher so, unlike me, she would receive the pension in addition to her salary, so she would have plenty of spare income. If she offset £30,000 pension for receiving more equity, she could make it back later.
Without knowing all of the precise figures it is hard to advise in detail but based on what you say, I cannot see the argument for you having very much less equity. The difference should really be the amount you are able to raise in mortgage. Obviously that would be more if you worked to 67 but if there is enough to meet both your needs without you doing that, i cannot see why you should radically change your long standing retirement plans. NB if you paid spousal maintenance or she had savings above a certain level, her UC would be affected.
NB i also think there is definitely an argument for this to be an overall 50:50 on capital plus mortgage. So she should get no more than 25k more than you. I would also suggest that it would be entirely reasonable to suggest a degree of pension offset to balance. 30k of CEV to balance £25k of hard cash now is not far off the mark.
Another thing to look at may be what the pension and lump sums would be if pre-marriage pension was excluded. That would provide a larger lump sum for you to clear any mortgage. If your pension income was higher you could use the income difference to service a mortgage over a longer period of time if you needed to. TBH though, I dont think it sounds like that is needed.
Equal housing and similar pensions with you taking a small mortgage sounds pretty fair to me.