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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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Spousal Maintenance

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30 Oct 07 #5515 by Concerned
Topic started by Concerned
Can anyone offer me any advice with respect to Spousal Maintenance? My dad is currently in the process of separating with his wife, they've been together for 25 years. Currently the house is on the market and the split is fairly amicable but recently she's been mentioning spousal maintenance to him on a regular basis.

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30 Oct 07 #5516 by Sera
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:)Hello concerned.

You have every right to be upset on behalf of your dad. BUT: if this is the partner your dad chose, (assuming she's not your mum), and he chose to support her for all those years, then you both need to accept that's what he chose. Things ovbviously have gone sour, and they will probably divorce.

If your dad wants to divorce for 'adultery', then that's a valid reason. If she doesn't accept his divorce petition, he'll need to wait either for two years actual seperation, and possibly five years (seperation) if she doesn't accept after two.

The reasons for divorce do not affect the financial claims. If she moves in with a new partner, your dad can stop paying spousal support.
Unfortunately Adultery = less share of assets just isn't an equation!

If he's supported her for all those years, chances are she'll be very successful in any claim for spousal support. (The less you've done workwise, the more you get!) If you're a career woman, you won't normally get anything. If you've not worked, and there is no career prospect - that will be taken into consideration also.

Not scaring you, just stating facts, that the Court and welfare system does not just pick up for people once abandoned in marriage. Spousal support could be awarded on a temporary timescale, until she has a job. What each negotiates is up to them. No 50%-50% ruling, it's a startingpoint.

If your dad had a good salary, and a good pension, then a court would question where her pension will come from? She is obviously too old to start one now, so she'd have been given either a share of his anyway, or (as in most cases) a much larger lump-sum from the house, to make up for her pension losses.

A 50-50% split sounds reasonable within a long term marriage. In fact, your dad sounds like he is getting off lightly! 70-30% to unworking spouses is not unheard of. Sometimes people post here about 80-20 splits etc.

If she is depressed, then you can't force her to take medication.

If you post more financial facts, someone with legal knowledge may have more of a comment. Or get dad to use the calculator here.

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30 Oct 07 #5519 by Concerned
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I feared as much, thanks for that. My whole point is that she has been more than afforded the opportunity to work and go back to college yet she has chosen not to. Would this not be taken into account?

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30 Oct 07 #5523 by Sera
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Taken into account, by whom????

It will be taken into account if presented to a judge. If your dad didn't want to pay spousal support, and she applied for it, the judge would look at all the options, including her choices for further education, and her ability to work in the future.

If a judge did just make a temporary judgement for payments, then maybe she'd get up and do something, knowing that the good times have ended! And the reality that dads support will cease.

Most people don't accept change, until change happens!

If they're still legally married, a divorce may take months, maybe years. (People on here quoting 18months - 2 yrs as normal) Nothing just changes overnight!

Things don't just come to an abrupt stop because of their situation. It all needs to be worked out on 'facts'. The fact is she's not working, so you can't present an account of what could-have-been these past 25 yrs. Fact remains, she is dependent on your dad. What happened over the past 25 yrs? Did they have kids, was she home supporting him and kids???

It would be all of our dream tickets to just settle matters overnight, with a clear set of rules to apply.

There simply are no rules in divorce. :dry:

Only guidelines.

That they've agreed the split on the house, and her keenness to move on, is a blessing! It could be worse, she could be parked up forever, claiming she's too ill, and too depressed to move!

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30 Oct 07 #5528 by TMax
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As Sera says divorces can take years so really there is no need to sell the house untill D day the person who stays in the house has slightly more sway than the person who left, so get dad to stay put, mum may leave and initiate the divorce in 2 years time for her own unreasonable Behaviour as long as your dad does not initiate it, I think Im right there if not someone will shout at me ;-)

Allow me to give you a quote from my Doctors to me on Depression.
As far as I know and from experience depression does not stop you working, there are ways to do things that let you carry on working. i.e

1. Getting out of the house and into work can be helpful in preventing isolation, some days you may just need a lighter day at home.
2. If memory is poor, this may occur from depression itself or medication. keep a notepad to write down important information ie meetings or work practice.
3. Take a walk on lunch breaks. Brief bouts of exercise improve your moods and give a change of scenery from place of work.
4. A person may not care much about their appearance while feeling depressed, but pushing themselves to put in a bit of effort can boost self-esteem.
5. Maintain some sort of a routine so that you keep commitments and meet obligations and deadlines.
6. Avoid isolating yourself from co workers.

I tried to go sick with depression and was told not too as work is quite a good therapy and keeps your mind active. That was over 2 years ago. I’ve since had a stroke and now told that work is the best policy. So some people can work according to the Docs and others as you say are just too… kin bone idle.

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30 Oct 07 #5530 by Sera
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Good advice about handling depression. However, if the couple have already agreed to sell-up and move on, great they've done that off their own amicable backs. Court fees could far outway any capital in the FMH.

B-U-T!!!! If they sell now, split profits, she drinks it, gambles it, or spends it all BEFORE they divorce, then he could still be liable for her housing needs after she's been through her assets. (Unless of course she uses money wisely on down-payment for new place?)

He's leaving himself a bit 'open' with this!!

Isn't he? Worst case scenario woman.. Sera!

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31 Oct 07 #5542 by TMax
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Yes :-)

Worst case scenario woman

:-)my situation X coming back for more of the lesser that I had. Mmmm had I but known then

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